Your Reputation Precedes You: How Targets of Bullying Can Become Known as the “Bad Guys”

Your Reputation Precedes You: How Targets of Bullying Can Become Known as the “Bad Guys”

Here’s something I’m sure almost no one has pointed out: Bullying often has a “trickle-down” effect on victims.

What I mean by this is: A target is harassed to get a reaction. Bullies trash-talk the target, call the target names—basically put the target down, especially to others. The target takes the high road and ignores the bullies. But when the name-calling and trash-talking fail to result in the reaction the bullies desire, they turn it up a notch by shoving. And when shoving produces no desired results, the bullies  turn it up another notch—kicking, punching, tripping, pulling hair—to make the target snap, either breaking down in front of everyone or causing the target to fight back.

Bullies use this reaction, then, as proof that the target is weak, crazy, evil—take your pick. The bullies then embellish the story, making the victim sound worse and worse with each retelling until they succeed in ruining the target’s reputation.

Let me repeat: Bullies harass a victim to the breaking point, and then use the target’s breaking as proof that he or she is weak, evil or mentally unbalanced (the favorite claim of most bullies). The bullies then repeat it to everyone they know.

They go out and tell their families (as well as everyone else they come in contact with) what a pathetic and despicable person the target is, using his or her perfectly normal reaction as evidence. Some bullies will even go so far as to tell strangers on the street!

And as word spreads, total strangers—people the target doesn’t know (and who don’t know the target) form a judgment—without ever meeting him or her!

So now, the poor target has enemies he or she isn’t even aware of!

This happened to me when I was young. At any moment, any stranger on the street might start telling me off or even attack me physically blind and any moment. I started staying home, afraid to go to school, afraid to drive a car through town. I was afraid to walk the dog through the neighborhood, afraid to go out with your friends, afraid to go for a walk in the park or to the local swimming pool. I was afraid to go to the grocery store for my grandmother.

I was afraid to be alone in town because I could be injured or even killed.

It’s a terrifying situation, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

My point: targets ultimately have more to worry about than just their bullies. And if you see someone being mistreated—especially someone alone, with a reputation for being “crazy” or “unstable”—hold your judgment! Take a closer look, and ask questions.

That person might really the victim instead of the antagonist.




About the Author

Cherie White

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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