Today I want to discuss the process of bullying and how bullies make their targets look like the villains by using “The Three B’s.”
First, a bully very meticulously and slyly BAITS their target by provoking the target for a reaction. If the target gives their tormentor an unwanted reaction, or no reaction at all, the bully becomes more repetitive with the provocations, intensifying the torment over time. A person can only take so much and naturally, everyone—everyone—has their breaking point. Bullies instinctively know this and will work to eventually wear the target down until the bully gets the reaction he or she wants.
Once the target reaches that breaking point and reacts (yelling, telling the bully off, cursing the bully out, punching the bully in the face, etc.), the bully then BASHES the victim by using the reaction as confirmation of mental illness or plain mean-spiritedness. By implying that the target is the one at fault, the bully distracts others from his or her own bullying and projects the fault onto the target. For the bully, this also has the added benefit of making others perceive the bully as a victim, winning their sympathy, support, and loyalty while turning them all against the target, who ends up labeled as “trouble” or “unstable” or “crazy”—bystanders and authorities witness or even just hear about the target’s outburst and automatically assume that the target is really the cause of the trouble when, in fact, the harassment has gone on for months or even years and the victim, who has had to handle the abuse calmly and rationally, finally succumbs to exhaustion and cracks after being pushed to the absolute limit.
If and when the target either reports the abuse or tells his or her side of the story, the bully and others automatically BLAME the target. The bully uses the reaction, spinning it to put the target at fault. “It was all in good fun” and “I was just kidding” are two of the common excuses bullies use to make the issue the target and gain sympathy, putting the authority figures on their own side and turning them against the target who actually needs their help. Guilt is transferred from the bully to the target, and the bully goes unpunished — in fact the bully becomes encouraged, taking the support as a green light for future torment. And the target ends up seen in a very negative light, with no choice but to continue to endure the torment in silence, just to keep from further tarnishing his or her own standing with the authority figures.
Each time the target reports the bullying to those who are in a position to help and their complaints are dismissed or blown off, the bully becomes more emboldened and the target becomes more devastated and damaged. The harassment escalates, the attacks more frequent and more intense, until the victim either transfers to get away from the torment, is removed, or in the very worst cases, commits suicide.
The bully, meanwhile, benefits from the feeling of power and control that come from mistreating the target and getting away with it. The bully gets to feel invincible and untouchable while enjoying the sympathy and affection from others for the feigned victimhood. This strategy also strikes fear into the target. It silences him or her, discouraging any future attempts at speaking out and exposing the bully.
If you are a victim of bullying, you already know too well how it feels to be mistreated and then blamed for your own torment. It’s horrible enough to be constantly harassed, but to be blamed for that harassment is downright devastating and leaves you feeling completely crushed!
Although bullying is now at the forefront of media coverage, there are still places it’s considered a taboo subject, especially rural areas such as those in western Tennessee, where I currently reside. Sadly, this epidemic continues to be widely ignored and needs to be addressed if we expect to bring change and drive down bullying rates.
“The Three B’s”—Bait, Bash, and Blame—are a tool that enable a bully to continue their bad behavior with impunity. I had no knowledge of this when I was in school, so I couldn’t put into words the situation in which I was suffering. You, on the other hand, do not have to go through this humiliating, heartbreaking ordeal blindly like I did. Now that you understand it, you can better explain your situation when you report the bullying or harassment, and get the help you need.
Cherie White, both a writer and author, joined the team after being discovered by Brian through her own personal blog and through social media. She has been writing ever since she was ten years old and has a love for writing articles, short stories and novels. She became intrigued with the new Pyngby app because it helps victims pinpoint victims and their harassers for easy protection and litigation if need be. Because she experienced severe bullying from sixth grade until changing schools during her last year of high school, she has a passion for spreading bullying awareness and helping those who are bullied and abused today. Her goal is to bring down the suicide rate among bullied children, teens and young adults. Her debut novel, “From Victim to Victor” is available now at LuLu. Cherie looks forward to helping victims through Watchdog Creative.
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