The Basics of Bullying and How to Stop ItJune 14, 2010 • Contributed by Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFT, Abuse / Survivors of Abuse Topic Expert Contributor
“All cruelty springs from weakness.” —Seneca, 4BC-AD65
There are those who say that bullying is behind all forms of violence, conflict, persecution, abuse, harassment, discrimination, and prejudice.
The death of Phoebe Prince in 2010, a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl who hanged herself after being harassed by a group of students from her school, puts a spotlight on bullying among teenagers. And in fact, there have been many notable cases of teen bullying, on and off the Internet (i.e., cyber-taunting on Facebook) that come to mind when we think of bullies.
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However, it isn’t just children and teenagers who bully. Although it may not be as obvious, or as easily identifiable, adult bullying may be more widespread. “Independent research suggests that bullying is happening to around 1 in 4 people” (from “Life After Adult Bullying”). Bullying impacts many of us, regardless of our age.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is defined as “an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally” (Wikipedia). It is characterized as behaving in a manner to gain power over another person. And it is a form of abuse. I would suggest that if you rephrase the descriptive action from “repeated aggressive behavior” to “taking frustrations out” on those who are weaker or different, bullying becomes a much more commonplace and identifiable act. In fact, it is pervasive.
There are different types of bullies and different environments in which they proliferate. There are verbal bullies, physical bullies, serial bullies, gang bullies, cyber bullies, subordinate bullies, unwitting bullies, work bullies, sadistic bullies, and psychotic and sociopathic bullies. There are bullies at work, at home, in schools, in governments, in religious organizations, on the Internet, and in social cliques.
What Kind of People Bully?
Usually people with low self-esteem and a certain amount of unconscious resentment (envy, jealously) that pushes the bully to project their own feelings of inadequacy onto you while denying that anything is wrong with them. Not all bullies are serial bullies. Sometimes the average person loses it under pressure and takes out their feelings in a bullying manner. But regardless of how or why it is happening to you, it is not acceptable.
What all bullies have in common is the use of power to satisfy one’s own psychological shortcomings. Each time a bully moves against someone weaker, he/she feels better about themselves for an instant. But because that feeling doesn’t last, they do it again and again. Sometimes the bully appears to lack insight into their own behavior (unwitting bully), but more often the bully does know yet elects to ignore the moral and ethical considerations by which the majority of people are bound. The rules don’t apply to them. Or they have projected so much self-hatred on the other that they truly believe that those they are bullying deserve exactly what they are getting.
Why Are There So Many Bullies in Society?
One of the reasons bullying is so prevalent is because most bullies commit non-arrestable offenses. And so bullying becomes unconsciously acceptable. It’s an outlet–a way to express–frustration and/or rage.
There are adult bullies we can easily identify. Hitler was a bully; racists are bullies. Parents and older siblings have been known to bully. Certainly, gang members bully. But what about those who threaten, shame, or intimidate you into doing things you don’t really want to do? It happens to most of us, and when it does, we are being bullied. Even when it comes from a person or institution that you love, respect, admire–your government, your church, your significant other, a family member, a professional colleague. Sometimes there is a fine line between harmless coercion and harmful bullying. But you can feel the difference. You know when you are truly ambivalent and open to being talked into something versus when you are being pressed against your better instincts, wishes, or values. And if you are being bullied by more than one person (i.e. an organization or group), it is even more difficult to stand up for yourself.
More insidious and pernicious is the type of bullying that has less to do about forcing you to do something and more to do with “putting you in your place”–minimizing or even destroying you in order to make someone else feel better about themselves. People do this consciously or unconsciously because of a hole inside of themselves that they try and fill by being better than someone else. It gives them a sense of power and authority in the world that they may not otherwise experience. It is a way to externalize their own feelings of insecurity, inferiority, and/or rage by putting those feelings on someone else and then attacking them.
Some bullying is so subtle that you really believe the bully. They make you feel unsure of yourself; bad about yourself. They can even do it in the guise of friendship or love. It becomes more of a mind game than an outright violation. But it is bullying just the same. We will not be able to rid the world of bullies, but we can learn how to stand up to them.
How Do You Stand Up for Yourself to Stop Bullying?
First and foremost, recognize what is happening and remember that it is the bully who has the problem, not you. Unless they are physically threatening you, bullies are “paper tigers.” If you stand up to them calmly and confront their behavior rationally while asserting your rights, they will back down. If you call them out on their actions, they usually have no place to go–especially if others are witness to these actions. You don’t have to attack a bully; you simply have to calmly and self-assuredly stand up for yourself. You don’t want to give them reason to escalate by engaging in a heated or emotional manner. You may be thinking that this sounds easier than it would actually be. So start slowly. If you can’t immediately stand up to a bully, at least don’t play into their behavior by trying to appease them.
Let the bully know by your reaction that you are not cowed and quietly walk away. Think about what you want to say and either talk to them later or wait until the next time they behave that way and then call them out on it. Bullies don’t have any real power once they realize that you won’t engage in their game. Once you have exposed them; they will fade away.
© Copyright 2010 by Roni Weisberg-Ross, LMFT - West L.A. Psychotherapy Group, therapist in Los Angeles, California. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.
JUDEJune 14th, 2010 at 11:25 AM
My boss is such a bully…has a special liking to bullying me and a few others…handles us some lenghty work at the last moment and gives us unreasonable deadlines and keeps shouting at us and keep telling us just how inefficient we are and how we can never match up to his younger past…I’d like to just slap him and tell him that he is nothing more than a bully and I am better than him,atleast in the aspect of treating others with some respect!
JuliaJune 14th, 2010 at 4:09 PM
How do adults allow themselves to be treated like this? How poorly do you have to think of yourself as an adult to still allow this to happen to you?
I can understand it happening to you as a kid, you have no real way to defend yourself. But as an adult you should have the ability to stand up for yourself and tell someone that he or she is doing wrong!
cynthiaJuly 14th, 2016 at 8:14 PM
way to be a bully Julia….!
anonymousJuly 30th, 2016 at 5:05 AM
Not when the entire community is against you in a smear campaign! There is no where to turn when authorities start a rumor that is untrue, makes you out to be a terrible human being. Other people go along with this because they don’t want to become victims themselves. And many people think if the rumor is spread through an authority figure then the rumor must be true about the particular person that is being smeared.
PatSeptember 21st, 2016 at 7:54 PM
Sometimes an attorney is the only way to deal with toxic people.
Money and jail time just eliminated a bully from my life.
ElsieAugust 7th, 2016 at 10:45 AM
It can happen anytime a person is dependent on another person, whether they are an adult or a child. It is happening to me right now, at 62 years old, because I can’t afford to live by myself and have to live with an abusive family member. Rents are so high and Social Security so low that it puts many older adults at risk for abuse.
saraAugust 12th, 2016 at 6:22 PM
Sorry Elsie! Can you maybe attend a good church and get to know some of the women there? There could be another woman who would love to share an apartment with you. One caveat–make doubly sure that you know her and your parameters. Also require references from at least two people. You never know; it could work out. This should take anywhere from several months to a year or so–but it would be something that you are working toward. You could both take care of each other; but it is crucial that you respect each other’s boundaries and privacy if it is to be successful. Just a thought. Also, make sure that you have a back-up plan just in case it doesn’t work.
debbieAugust 29th, 2016 at 3:54 PM
You sound crass, like a bully yourself! Ya…just tell the bully to stop and they will…A-Ha! Don’t be ignorant.
LisaJune 14th, 2010 at 4:52 PM
Roni, I’ve been told before that the worst thing you can do to a bully (in their eyes) is laugh at them because it takes away their power. Would you advocate that as a strategy? I’m thinking more of online bullies, not bosses or a person you have to deal with face-to-face. I would think brushing off what they say with a jokey comment that shows it doesn’t bother you would be a good tactic.
TeachJune 14th, 2010 at 7:15 PM
I just read a new study that came out in Canada about workplace bullying. The findings were that workplace bullying can be worse than even racial or gender harrasment. It’s a serious problem there and up until now, it’s not been illegal. A new bill that’s coming in this month addresses that.
JERRYJune 15th, 2010 at 4:24 AM
I have never been bullied and have never bullied anyone either. But I just don’t understand this online bullying…I mean, size or position does not matter online, does it…? Also, you have the option of ‘turning off’ the bully, right…?
SteveJune 15th, 2010 at 4:45 AM
adult bullies are laughable- they are doing it all to prop up their own fragile egos- let them know that you know that about them and I guarantee the bullying will stop faster than it began.
FrankSeptember 17th, 2016 at 8:14 PM
By saying this you are totally playing into the bullies hands. You are saying it is somehow the fault of the target. If you have not yourself been the target of a subtle, sneaky, spineless, devious, consistent bully – you don’t understand how this works.
eg. my bully insisted (because he starts work an hour earlier in the morning than me) that he had to use the lab equipment in the morning (so I am only ‘allowed’ to use it in the afternoons – after he is ‘finished’) – BUT – when I complained to him about his time-wasting – he started making a point of sitting in the office for an hour or 2 every (EVERY) morning- to show that not only am I not ‘allowed’ to use the equipment – he is making the point that he is obstructing me from my job – AND that he is doing this to ‘get at’ me. But if I was to say to anyone that ‘every day he just sits at his desk in order to ‘push me around” – nobody is going to take me seriously! – nobody would – I would have to be a complete NUTTER to accuse somebody of this !! – do you get it???
Earnshaw EJune 15th, 2010 at 12:13 PM
@Jerry:you’re right.its not like they can follow you and taunt you in the real world…but they surely do,in the cyber world…its not as easy as just switching off or logging off…suppose you’re on a social networking site and this particular person is bullying you by posting fake info about you and writing to you.you can block that user but he will only create another user-name and get back to bullying you.and you would’nt want to delete your own account,would you…?!
MarthaJune 15th, 2010 at 7:58 PM
Phoebe Prince wasn’t a Massachusetts girl. She was from Ireland and had only moved to the US months before. Her heritage was part of what made that poor beautiful girl a target too. Jealousy was at the root of this bullying, over a boy she was dating. Those kids killed her with their words and taunts as surely as if they had shot her.
CameronJune 16th, 2010 at 9:01 PM
Wouldn’t ignoring them to be a better strategy than joking about what they said, Lisa? Because when you joke about it, you’re drawing attention to whatever they posted. If you ignore it, it doesn’t get the attention they crave that it will. All the online bullies I’ve ever came across hate nothing more than their rants and bitchy comments being ignored as if they aren’t even there.
PearlJune 16th, 2010 at 11:14 PM
I had a boss once that bullied every youngster in the place. He eventually was removed from the job because a complaint was made against him. Employees need to know they do not have to accept workplace bullying! You can report it to HR. Bullying bosses feed on your fear and assume you’ll never do that. Make it official if you can.
Once you do, it’s all on record and they can’t bully anymore because of that. They know that HR will be watching because they don’t want a lawsuit on their hands.
rareAugust 3rd, 2010 at 9:12 PM
only those who experienced being bullied can truly relate to those who are being bullied but help ,more often than not must come from those who have not experienced bullying. its easy to say how one can allow oneself to be bullied but its a fact its happening and the bullied are helpless. they dont ALLOW others to bully them far from it, if they can leave that situation, im sure they would but they cant. i dont know if im making any sense at all, maybe those who are being bullied can understand what i mean.
kcNovember 20th, 2010 at 6:24 AM
Most often there is nothing you can do to a bully boss. Yes their superiors know it. You become a child dependent on abusive dysfunctional parents. If your a government employee. Only God can help you.
kitJuly 25th, 2016 at 2:26 PM
Yep. Gov. Agency. I told a story once to a boss how previous boss got reported for unethical behavior and fired and I was involved. I wasnt bragging, it was a what would you do ethics question. Ever since then shes been very covertly staring me down and consistently “suggesting” this or that when things go awry. Meanwhile, shes made equally as many mistakes on the scheduling or other appointments. Which I never complain about. These people’s quality control and “you have a performance issue” is a joke and double standard. I will not work under that. I regret my honesty. Shes obviously threatened and has been
bulliedJanuary 22nd, 2011 at 9:10 AM
KC, You’re right about that. As a government employee, my boss is one insecure guy. He’s about 6 years older than me and will harass or make comments on a weekly basis in passing, sending a zinger my way or commenting about my name. I always feel like he wants me to quit but says that I’m doing a good job. He’s got some health problems and is in pain but makes some of the most outrageous comments I’ve ever heard or known a manager to make. And upon review, he’s done it in staff meetings and to our group as a whole. It’s amazing that he hasn’t been taken to HR and warned about this. He also confided to us that he taught high school history, a student drew a knife on him and he broke the kid’s arm. He was fired, but I’m sure he verbally provoked the kid. The kid’s actions weren’t justified but adults are capable of fostering and antagonizing just as easily as children and teenagers. The only thing that assuages my angst is that I consider the source and realize the immaturity and delayed development of this individual. I often wonder if he ponders the thought about the mind/body connection and how it may be worsening his debilitating illness. Yes, I pray about this and other situations at work regularly.
roneyrodeFebruary 20th, 2011 at 1:47 PM
they always mention what a bully hitler was and how evil he was. yet they forget to mention what a bully stalin was who had killed far more people than hitler did more brutally and stalin was a jew. you forget to mention what a bully the united states and israel is to the innocent palestinians murdering and massacrering and raping men and women. oh yeah it is also a typical techinique of the bully to call the victim a bully. thanks to malcolm x, louis farrakhan and kamau kabon and leonard howell thousands of innocent white people are being bullied everyday. you know the words: cracker, honkey, white boy etc. isn’t tha racial bullying?
CourtneyApril 22nd, 2011 at 10:15 AM
@Julia that’s a pretty insensitive comment. People who are bullied don’t want to be and usually are preyed on because they may be shy or timid or don’t like to stir the pot.
Also – what if your HR manager is the one DOING the bullying?
StephMarch 24th, 2012 at 2:30 PM
one of my Supervisers is a Bully to me and we work with kids and we have it posted every were this is a Bully free zone and I went to my manager and I need help on this. I tried doing everything in my power to say something and she goes to the boss and says Steph is Lieing I never did anything that is she saying to me.
MarthaOctober 19th, 2012 at 2:58 AM
I am 46 years old and am currently being bullied by my sociopathic x-husband’s sociopathic first wife. We were divorced over three years ago and this week, his first wife decided to call my current boyfriend’s x-wife (who she doesn’t know) and tell her a bunch of lies about me. Although all the information was false, this phone call has caused so many problems on so many levels and has hurt so many people I love that I am completely overwhelmed by my feelings of powerlessness. X wife #1 has been trying to ruin my life since day one and I thought when I divorced the sociopath that I had seen the last of her as well but she was just waiting for an opportunity. And, frankly, I don’t care what her childhood was like. Yes, adult bullying is real and it can happen because there are people in this world who have more hate than love in thier hearts.
WendyNovember 22nd, 2012 at 4:26 PM
I am a 36 year old woman who has been “mobbed at work”, my manager was a friend who has at every turn manipulated and abused her position as my manager. After years of this and plenty of attempts to discuss the issue and try and resolve it, i then complained to HR. BIG MISTAKE -The bullying escalated until everyone was constantly making personal comments and intimidating threats. I was unable to continue working
any longer and i am now on the sick with depression and stress. My name is “MUD” and i have no redeeming qualities. I had started to feel better, however i have just had a massive shock!! People are abusing me online, the comments are EXACTLY the same as they were in work and although they haven’t mentioned my name it is very obvious who this is aimed at. I can’t stop crying, i am absolutely devastated. Can anybody help me? Has anybody got any advice which would enable me to be able to cope.
ErinDecember 7th, 2012 at 6:19 AM
Would the owner of this post email me if you can? I would like permission to add it to a facebook page I am creating, “Resisting Adult Bullies”.
I am currently dealing with a pair of adult bullies as well. SMART adult bullies. They never attack when there are witness’ around. I’ve resorted to purchasing a voice recorder in the hopes that at the very least, it will deter them from bothering me. It will either do its’ job or make matters worse…
well did it helpOctober 21st, 2014 at 11:39 AM
There more ways of torture than hitting or such, music,
Roaring of a game, Motercycle s, small engines , how to Handel it and where to go for help.
TanyaDecember 10th, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Wendy, So sorry to hear that you are in pain over being bullied. Before you record someone, BEWARE. That may not be legal in your country/state/city. If your bullies are smart, combined with punishing and vindictive, you could find yourself looking down the barrel of a LAWSUIT. My bully is an extended family member who claims to be religious but is a nasty, nasty woman with control issues. She’s kind of sick right now because she abused me in front of a number of people and she’s been (in my opinion) spinning and spinning the story ever since to make her look good. Her mistake (and I think she rarely makes one when bullying) is leaving WITNESSES. I was completely faultless in what I did to “earn” her abuse and…get this….everyone agrees I did nothing. So, this is a rare time she has been CAUGHT and she is reeling from that. I stood up for myself in the moment (without yelling, naecalling, or anything else) and I am so proud that I chose to assertively (not agreessively – I’ve heard that the difference between assertive and agreessive is that assertive protects oneself whi9le aggressive over-steps protecting oneself and begins to trample on another’s boundaries). Now all she is left with is trying to convince others how wrong I was and the conflict is threading its way through the witnesses, with her even demanding apologies from the witnesses who have attempted to respond to her propaganda. The only sentiment I have for her is: CAUGHT. So, to all of you who have been wrongfully bullied, take my scoring justice as a karmic score on your behalf. Love and light to you all!
TanyaDecember 10th, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Oops, my recording comment was actually meant for ERIN,
JenJanuary 5th, 2013 at 3:42 PM
I have just had a run in with one of my very best friends. He’s turned it into something quite nasty and upsetting so in a bid to find out how to address it I hit the internet.
It was such a relief to read this post. I could identify his behaviour exactly, it’s almost a box-ticking exercise. I know I’m not perfect either, who is, but it was good to see that his disproportionate anger and attack was not really deserved. Having always played the peacemaker/conciliator, I feel encouraged to stand up for myself for the first time in 10 years of friendship.
KelFebruary 6th, 2013 at 9:11 AM
I recently watched Dr. Phil after a lengthy period of not viewing his shows. I stopped watching because, to me, he seemed to bully his guests quite a bit by the way he treated them. I got the same feeling this time. After reading this article I am more convince than ever that my instincts are correct and Dr. Phil is a good example of an adult bully. We see more examples all the time just listening to judges put contestants down on shows like Idol etc.
A.T.September 7th, 2016 at 9:34 AM
This article continues to provide a place to air bully victims’ stories… that in
itself is reason to praise its author. While the article gives needed attention and a good explanation to why people bully, In my experience as a victim as well as observation, there are many situations where bullies don’t respond well to calm, non-emotional dialogue… Yes, sometimes that can work, especially if the person doing the bullying seems to be a somewhat reasonable person. But in many cases, bullies are control junkies who only back down if they perceive the other person as being stronger than they are. This is tricky. The question is, is (verbal) aggression ever appropriate? If you’ve been a victim of terrible bullying, I believe you’re more likely to answer “yes.” If you understand the difference between finding the place where the bully can hear you vs. becoming a bully yourself, you can tell the person clearly and with appropriate verbal force that you will no longer allow them to violate you without consequences. I don’t mean hysteria, I mean laying down the law–your law. It’s a lot like martial arts: if someone comes at you, you must show strength. My only problem with this article is that I think it gives the impression that you shouldn’t show anger when confronting a bully. My problem with that is that a bully perceives people as either strong or weak. We on the receiving end of a bully aren’t going to change the way the bully thinks or behaves in most cases. It takes a lot of counseling to do that. As a receiver of bullying I believe my goal is to stop the bully from perceiving me as their victim.
The other reason I believe anger is appropriate is because as a victim you are angry, and it’s false and pretentious to let a bully think that their behavior doesn’t elicit anger. Personally I see myself as verbally shutting the door in their face with force. So, that means to me that through eye contact, tone of voice, physical stance, and brevity of words, I tell them: No More. This will stop Now. If not, then (consequences). I make it clear where the boundaries are and do not attempt to discuss anything else that would dilute the message.
It’s taken 20 years of being with my husband to fully recognize and get him to recognize the bullying in his family and its consequences to both of us. I had been a victim of gang childhood bullying, but it took that long for me to fully “encircle” in my mind how much damage this family had done to both of us and be ready to stand up to it. He was so used it he no longer noticed or had the awareness until I wrote, with his permission, what I saw in his family history and how it had affected him, as well as the behavior of some of his family toward me over the years. We are in the process of confronting each of the siblings / participating spouses. Some participate in passive ways, by not correcting the lies that have been spread around. The instigators are getting the very firm approach; the kinder but more timid are hearing how they have participate by not speaking up. When it comes to bullying, there are only two groups: those who participate by instigating or allowing, and those who are whistle blowers. You are either one or the other. Thanks to the author and to those who have commented. To those who ask for help here and receive no answers, I am hoping that you continue to look for the help you deserve.
ClaireFebruary 16th, 2013 at 8:11 AM
How does one find help against bullying and sexual harassment not related to an ex-husband or job?
I need help and I need it fast! I do not know what to do! I feel helpless and right now hopeless!
Anyone with any information, please please help!
Patricia RAugust 8th, 2016 at 7:43 AM
My ex-husband bullies me on a regular basis and it makes me feel scared and frightened. He recently involved two of my friends with his bulling over the Internet. His bullying me also impacts our sons behavior. I live in the state of Texas, what measures do I have where I can stop him from bulling me.?
The GoodTherapy.org TeamAugust 8th, 2016 at 12:34 PM
Thank you for your comment. We want to provide you with some resources to help in your situation. If you are experiencing emotional, physical, sexual, or other kinds of abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (TTY: 1-800-787-3224). They provide free confidential support at any time, day or night. Call for resources about safety within an abusive relationship or while trying to leave one.
In addition, you can search for a therapist in your area by using the GoodTherapy.org directory, here: http://goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html.
Please know we are thinking of you, and wishing the very best for you and your well-being. ♥
The GoodTherapy.org Team
DaveJuly 1st, 2013 at 8:37 PM
I am presently being bullied by an “organization” related to a rare but important fact about myself. Anytime I find someone like me in this regard, this corruptly run group eventually also finds this person and then turns them against me.
I’m looking to find or form a support group for people a victim of similar misconduct.
judi van emmerikOctober 21st, 2013 at 9:33 AM
Hello, I was intimidated into having a hysterectomy that I did not need; because of a relatively minor incontinence problem I had. And I have found that I cannot complain about that to friends or family, they are not in the least even sympathetic about it. I am 58 years old and experience has taught me that even what I wrote above would be denied by those few in my personal circle. I do have some legal help out of state right now, and I do not talk about it to anyone around me. Sorry to have used the term “I” so much in this post.
JimFebruary 6th, 2015 at 9:43 AM
I have never met a bully who was not a coward. When they are confronted by anyone equal in size and strength or bigger and stronger they show their true colors-SPINELESS. I have witnessed this more times than I can remember. I have no sympathy for bullies and when they choose the wrong “victim.”
MareeSeptember 7th, 2016 at 2:49 PM
I agree with your statement Jim.
I do prefer the word target rather than victim. For many years I have belonged to Alanon Family Groups. A wonderful program to support Family and Friends and persons living, working or even prior associated with persons who have Alcoholism/addiction issues. I have often noticed the link between Active addiction and bullying Jeckyl and Hyde behaviours. The tools of this program along with my faith have been a major assistance in maintaining serenity and sanity and moving forward when experiencing being a target of bullying.
To note bullying by a psychopathic/sociopathic personality differs as usually these personalities are hard wired and don’t change.
With Alcoholism/addiction in the absence of psychopathy/sociopathy the bullying can be changed with the right interventions and abstinence from alcohol and drugs.
The Alanon program when integrated into ones life along with a spiritual faith can restore Joy love hope and self esteem for the targets.
I hope this will help those who are targets of bullying with another option for support.
EddieFebruary 6th, 2015 at 9:59 AM
This is where the article fails the real-world litmus test: “If you stand up to them calmly and confront their behavior rationally while asserting your rights, they will back down. If you call them out on their actions, they usually have no place to go–especially if others are witness to these actions.” In the real world, this is where bullies either double-down with their insults, get physical, or their friends jump in and gang-up on you.
There are several different strategies and tactics for dealing with bullies, however the reality is that few things will make a bully stop. YOU are one of them. Facing them head-on (online it’s metaphorically)and letting them know their behavior will not make you blink no matter how much they escalate usually deflates them. Usually when they realize they will not “win”, or will not be able to “defeat” you, they seek out another target.
JennFebruary 7th, 2015 at 9:21 AM
A bully is irrational. They cannot and will not listen to reason.
The best way is to get out before it affects your health or mind. Why? Because the bully (or mob) is toxic and they will spread their toxicity all around them. Bystanders/witnesses will become quiet because they don’t want to be the next target. People will shift their focus from their work to avoiding pulled into the conflict or becoming the next target. Productivity goes down. Morale goes down. Customer service/satisfaction goes down. Revenues goes down.
The only alternative is to get out of that environment before it affects your health and confidence. While you plan your escape, you need to stay on your toes. Document every encounter with the bully or mob – that is write all that was said. Paraphrase what was said, how it was said, who said it, where it was said, time and date – as well as any witnesses as possible. It will be a you said versus they said and the bully (and or mob) will lie. They have a goal and that goal is the elimination of you.
To stay sane, read up on bullying and mobbing. Find articles online. Google Kenneth westhues, Anton hout, Tim fields, the Namies (Gary & ruth – founders of the workplace bullying institute)…these people have done a lot of work in the workplace bullying and mobbing field.
Use your health benefits while you have it – talk to a therapist who has dealt with workplace bullying/mobbing.
Go for walks. Get exercise. Meet friends. Take care of yourself and your mind. Do n
JennFebruary 7th, 2015 at 9:34 AM
Sorry, I accidentally clicked submit!
One last point. Donor stay quiet. Talk to friends or a therapist. A bully wants you to stay quiet so that you become isolated. The bully wants to make you feel small.
FaiezaFebruary 17th, 2015 at 5:40 PM
I’m a mother of two adult kids who bullies me and my husband specially my 25 year old daughter never knew until I came across a article on youtube describing my daughter and I was shocked angry confused all the years I blamed myself and confused I do whatever for her but nothing is good enough very sad to see nothing I do pleases her.I migrated from one place to the other butto be with her when we find out she’s pregnant but nothing is good where I’m concern.She humiliates me speak behind my back so sad how can a child do this.my son recently copies her and they got no concern for my 10 year old who’s emotionally a wreck because of all this.we now moving back as many articles tell you to get far away from such people as she really emotionally drained me
PatMarch 4th, 2015 at 12:38 PM
I am being bullied by my landlord. If I defend myself she throws a temper tantrum and starts messing with my lease and deposits and raises the rent. I can’t move because of money issues and pets. She feeds her sick ego with her ability to scream at me while I have to listen to her verbal abuse and take it, or end up homeless. Her comment to me is, “you don’t know who you’re messing with.” I already had a meeting with the state housing reps. They told me to move and wondered why I’m staying there, but as I said, not many places accept dogs, cats and a horse at an affordable price. If she’s outside, I go in. I stay away from her, but she always is lurking on my rental property with her animals and friends and then finds some fathom thing to literally scream and threaten me and my husband for. She found a perfect unbeknownst victim as I am quiet and soft-spoken.
DarleneMarch 5th, 2015 at 10:34 AM
I am a victim of gang stalking as the result of a viscious neighbor who lied and said I didn’t smething to her and now my good name is blacklisted. I am on some type of registry as a potentially voleent and ow I am montiroed 24/7. I have no privacy.As soon as I leav emy home and email or text message is sent out to a network of people and I am followed everywhere I go–in my vehicle and on foot. I have never done anything to this woman but she has been trying to run me out of the neighborhood for years. Now she has taken her harassment to a different level. Anyone aware of a registry like this, what it mght be called and how can I clear my good name. She apparently issued a false complaint against me and I was not contacted to get my side of the story. My life is a living nightmare if you can imagine. Prayer is the one thing that helps live through this but I would like my life and peace of mind back. Thank you or any thoughts you might have on this matter. There is alot of information on the Web about gang stalking. It is real.
MeApril 9th, 2015 at 1:48 PM
Male family member has been bullying us for years. Now realizing he is not must a “jerk” but a bully who intimidates, criticizes, he is always right etc. Recently has hwon more signs of physic al intimidation – moving close to person, “Cornering” at times, very ugly mean grimace on face. Family is now talkingtogether about this. Some ignore, some having difficulty not taking personally wanting to “help” him. Should we be concerned about physical violence that now seems to be mounting? I feel this is possible. What to do to protect selves?
NMay 14th, 2015 at 8:34 AM
My Sister In Law is a Bully. My Mother & Father lets her Bully me in front of them. I tell my Sisters they won’t Lison too a word I say they tell me too be nice too Lori witch I have been doing so! Lori all those years before my Brother was Marryed too Lori & after he had pass on now she talks very bad about him. I even over Hurd bad things comeing out of Lori & her Aunt Rafina s mouth very bad about my Brother who is gone now my Family takes her side Lori smiles when I get in too troble by my Family. I can’t take it no more.
NMay 14th, 2015 at 8:38 AM
One time I told her off my Mother told me too Applagize too her she fakes cry too my Mother my Family takes her side she’s been very evil for her bad ways.
EvetteMay 30th, 2015 at 1:11 AM
My brother is a bully. He loves to bully my when my mum and dad are not looking. One Saturday, we were looking for some newspapers to read as it was in the timetable of ours. He told me to find some Chinese newspapers but I was to busy finding mine that I didn’t hear him. He then kicked me in the stomach. It was too pain that I had to kick him back. He continued to pull my hair,kick me, punch me. Please help me get rid of him. Please….
May 30th, 2015 at
Thank you for your comment, Evette. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
dandelionJune 23rd, 2015 at 8:08 AM
I’ve been living with my family friends for 3 years now, 2 years back from now the daughter in law for this family has been hating on me, then liked me, then hated me, and now its been a year since, the thing is she thinks I’m dating “her husband”, which I’m not. And now she keeps swearing at me and she keeps threatening me in everyway she possibly can. I’m tired of this I really am, I tried talking to her husband but he told me to do what ever I can to act on that that’s how she is and he’s also tired of her… The thing is I need to do something that’s gonna hurt her for the rest of her life, something that’s gonna put her in her place… Please help me
GoodTherapy AdminJune 23rd, 2015 at 8:25 AM
Thank you for your comment, Dandelion. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about emotional abuse at http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-emotional-abuse.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
SuzanneAugust 11th, 2015 at 6:35 PM
I have a new sister in law that is apparently intimidated by me. She went bridezilla on me at their wedding for no reason and then proceeded to yell at my mother in law, calling her a liar. There are 2 sons and I would never do anything to hurt their brotherly relationship. This girl is using her new husband to fight all her battles. I publicly apologized for my so-called wrong doing accusation at the wedding (I still don’t know what I did…) via email and sent it to my brother in law (because that was the email address I had.) I was then in trouble for not sending it to her. I can’t win. And yet she has admitted no wrong doing or inappropriateness. She is an only child and spends most of her time with her parents. My brother in law came to see me and my husband by himself, when we were in town. She will only see my in laws if they’re going out to dinner and, of course, if I’m not there. This target on my back needs to come off. I hate what it’s doing to my husbands family but I feel like I’ve done everything I possibly can yet she hasn’t accepted any responsibility for her actions. I’m tired of her bullying….
LauraDecember 2nd, 2015 at 2:44 AM
This sounds so similar to my situation. My brother’s partner hates me and accuses me of all kinds of things. I have no idea where it comes from. My brother is fiercely defensive of her. It’s difficult when all the advice is to walk away from a bully- it’s difficult and seems impossible to walk away when they’re in your own family. I’m now heavily pregnant and she’s still doing it.
HannahSeptember 4th, 2015 at 2:55 PM
I started being teased at a young age. Two girls started to bully me through middle school all the way into High School. I was followed everywhere I went, down hallways, followed into the bathroom, constantly being tormented. I had no friends, everyone was taken from me by the bullies or due to rumors. I spent most of my high school years in isolation to hide from this. It only stopped after the two girls left school in my late junior year. After High School, I slept for two weeks straight. I had no friends when I graduated, and started to try to change that. I thought now that I was out of school that it would stop. It didn’t. My sister started to bully me. She was so horrible that it was worse than anything I had ever gone through. It is still happening. It started out of hate or jealously, or something. She had always been an attention grabber. Now I know that the term for her is a “Serial Bully”. She began to do small things like stomping past my room everytime she walked by, constantly ignoring me, taking over areas in the house, glaring at me everytime she saw me, and much more. As small as those things were, they effected me the most. I couldn’t live in my home comfortably, these occurrences happened everyday. The thought of me being happy or succeeding made her be worse or devise more plans to get to me. It got to the point where she started to whisper things near me, and harass me when no one else was around. So only I knew what was happening. One day I was fed up with no one believing me. One day her Facebook was logged on and I used the search bar in the message box to search for my name, cuss words, the word she, and many others to find out any proof that I could of her talking bad about me. What I found out was more disturbing than I thought. She said to her fiancé “let’s hang up on her”. Yeah did. Living in a house where two people are being serial bullies is like living in a bottom of a small dark hole. I was hopeless. So I printed it out and showed my parents. They confronted her about it as well as her fiancé. They denied it. Yet I had it on paper. It’s been three years now. They moved out, and it’s still continuing. I am constantly paranoid, I can’t live a normal life, I’ve been ripped of growing as a person, and the worst part is my family knows and they still don’t do anything. I stood up to them once, and all I got was smirked at and talked down to. They’re sick people. And it’s mental, not physical. I don’t know what to do and I can’t live like this anymore. I’ve explained the truth and fought for myself and nothing has changed. It’s hopeless. I don’t know why I’m writing this here, I’ve never done with this before. I guess I still am not ready to give up. I’d like to think something can be done about this and I can start living again.
JaneSeptember 29th, 2015 at 6:48 PM
This is great information but I’m wondering what should we do when the fake profiles and blogs these cyber bullies have created in our names starts showing up in google search results. Is there a non-profit organization that helps you drive those profiles and help you to promote positive sites regarding oneself until you can have said profiles and blogs removed? Also, I think there should be a cyber bully registry, especially for these serial cyber bullies.
NancyOctober 2nd, 2015 at 11:16 PM
I could not agree more with these sentiments! It’s cowardly and hypocritical. Judging others constantly is a sad way to live.
J. AnitaOctober 23rd, 2015 at 6:55 PM
I am a woman, age 59. My brother bullied me in every way possible while growing up. Nobody did anything to stop it. He tried again after I turned 18. I pulled a knife on him with full intentions to use it. My life, past present and future flashed before my eyes but it didn’t stop me from protecting myself. When he took a step toward me, I stabbed at him but he jumped out of the way. He left me alone after that. That was 40 years ago and if he ever messes with me again I won’t miss.
ClaudiaDecember 21st, 2015 at 3:14 AM
ChandraFebruary 18th, 2016 at 4:49 AM
Ignoring Adult Bullies is not always an option.
For the better part of a year I have been dealing with the ramifications of a campaign of relational aggression instigated by a former contractor. They have damaged my social standing and business reputation with their lies and actions – to the point that I have had to close down my brick and mortar business (a small dance studio) all together. When this bully (and their associates / cohorts) felt they were not making enough of an impact on ME – they set about targeting those associated with me, and my business (blacklisting students and teachers contracted with me from performance opportunities and events).
I am currently reworking my business model into something that will (hopefully) make it harder for these Bullies to affect our ability to earn a living with our art. I just had to let all of you know that ignoring bullying doesn’t make it go away… Evil / malicious people will still do evil / malicious things because it is in their nature to do so.
Liam S.March 5th, 2016 at 1:30 PM
I was a target of workplace bullying for four years, which my parents were orchestrating. It has now progressed to gang stalking and has taken on a life of its own. I’ve lost nearly everything, and may now have no way out. My advice is to deal with these situations early before they get out of hand. If you’re in a toxic workplace then do whatever it takes to get out. Unfortunately, there are truly evil people out there who will stop at nothing to destroy others. Please see my blog below where I am documenting my experiences: organisedstalkinguk.wordpress.com
LauraMarch 8th, 2016 at 3:36 AM
I have been the victim of social adult bullying for about 2 years now. I am quiet and shy and borderline anorexic. I am scholarly and a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. I have never had a lot of friends and always focused on family and work. But about 3 years ago my husband and I found this band we liked, the lead took a liking to us and we ended up helping out. At first I became wildly popular, I had some parties with this band, and all of a sudden everyone wanted to be my friend. It was very strange. I never asked for it, it was not real comfortable but it was kinda fun and different. Then everything changed. His crew got jealous and so did a group of toxic fans. The crew pushed us out and blocked us and many so called friends started to move away. But we stilled so loved the band and his music so we stayed to support. But things got worse. This group of so call friends started taunted me psychologically. I don’t drink or eat much due to my eating disorder and they constantly posted pictures of themselves eating and drinking and saying how they were the best friends. One started at me. She got in with a phony promoter and stared acting like a VIP. Giving silly VIP and backstage passes, excluding me. Asking what was wrong, I told her, nicely and calmly. It didn’t work at all. It got worse. I tried to distance myself at shows and socially. She stared emailing and texting me. Implying I was neurotic and passive aggressive. I did not want to turn tail and run from the band scene, but it continued so it could not be proved. I blocked her on Facebook and stopped talking to her. It got worse. The texts, the emails, the accusations. I continued to ignore her so she started verbally attacking a friend of mine she barely knew. It got really ugly. My husband tried to reason with her. All weekend one weekend till I could take it. It was ruining and consuming my life. It was not just her either. It was a group of them. One is a lawyer with some money actually who I feel is the silent instigator. When I reached out to her she told me she didn’t care and just wanted to go to shows and have fun with these bullies. I finally ended up having to refriend the one to make her stop hurting innocent people. It was calm for a while. But it hasn’t ended. They did something a couple of weeks ago against me. Hard to prove. They are show offs, and boastful and one has money and she has parties and buys people drinks and stuff. They are still taunting me. People stay away from me. I can stop going to shows but it will still be there. They have made me feel isolated, alone and depressed and worthless. I have emails and texts but no one wants to get involved. They have not physically threatened me so I can’t get at them legally. But they have mentally abused me for over a year now and they won’t let it go. I’m at my wits end. It has destroyed my nice peaceful life and I don’t know what to do any more. I have tried all the psychological tactics as noted in article but nothing works. I’m at my wits end.
TammyMarch 27th, 2016 at 4:56 PM
This is a very good article. It is also very true. Adults do have bullies. I have seen it more so in the workplace with those who are in authority – bullying/emotional abuse to the staff. Companies stipulate that they are anti-bullying. However, an employee points out the behaviour to the upper management, somehow the employee who brought it forth ends up getting punished. I would like to see companies talk the talk & walk the walk. Protect your employees from internal bullying. If the person in authority is bullying/causing emotional abuse to someone at work, what is he/she doing outside the office – does the behaviour extend.
EvieMay 19th, 2016 at 10:54 PM
This article does a great disservice to victims. To imply that we allow ourselves to be bullied is like saying we allow ourselves to be raped. The suggestion that a calm confrontation will stop every bully — or even a minority — presupposes that all are fundamentally rational and willing to project the consequences of their own behavior. Furthermore, it assumes the bully recognizes that the necessary evidence can be gathered to report to an authority figure — presumed to exist — who’s willing to take punitive action. This is laughable. To whom does one report, for example, when a person is spreading vicious rumors in a social circle? The police? The author not only clearly lacks imagination but experience as a victim. Most bullies outsize their victims in either strength or status, and even when they’re lateral to their prey, a lifetime of experience has taught bullies that they’re not likely to be made accountable. Furthermore, subterfuge is their stock in trade, and they know how not to make tracks. Many have poor impulse control. Others fly into violent rage. It is in their own self-interest to be charming and manipulative, and chances are if a victim speaks, he/she might not even be believed. However horrific the effects, most bullying is so subtle that it leaves no evidence trail. My advice? There is almost always some means of retaliation, even if it comes through a back door. Get creative. Because all bullies have one thing in common: They never believe you can screw them back. And in almost every case, you can. Otherwise, they’ll continue for a lifetime with impunity. Help prevent the next victim.
KathleenAugust 5th, 2016 at 9:20 AM
My problem is that I don’t think like a bully, so screwing them back is a problem for me. I have no problems getting my butt kicked, though.
A.T.September 10th, 2016 at 12:33 AM
Evie, I can relate very well to the work situations you describe. Sorry for the length of this and my other post. So cathartic! I have had to finally leave a few good positions over my work life in order to get away from bully behavior. The last time was a job I loved where I accomplished a great deal for the organization, and the bullying was from the top down. I believe there was jealousy and insecurity among most of other staff of eight women and they didn’t want to work as hard.
It’s too bad there aren’t better standards and training for management… The workplace seems to be a breeding ground for bully behavior. When I worked as a temp I saw it in many work places, and luckily I could then be more of an observer. It has made me more cynical of human nature, although I do know that most of it is really a statement about how many families are stuck in unhealthy patterns and then repeat these patterns in their careers.
More recently I’ve been wondering why I tend to be a target, and have come to believe it is for three reasons: first, because I have a sensitive nature, and second, because I was brought up to be polite. I have a strong set of values around being civilized. I also tend to think “out of the box.” So I often stand out, or apart from the “group.” I wonder if these qualities are common among targets of bullying?
For me, it got so bad that I finally decided I could only work in positions where I would work alone–sales. That worked for awhile; then I took a job again in my field and within a few months I was up against a thick wall of cronies to the ultra-rich boss. It was a disaster, and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.
After 40 years of workplace struggle, I gave up–and was very lucky to be able to stop the merry-go-round at that point, because I believe it was literally a disabling experience. I am a strong and aware person in many ways and know how to stand up to people when I need to, but having to play those games day in and out is NO way to live. A lot of what I still had to give was not accomplished.
ArtJune 2nd, 2016 at 8:55 AM
It’s very alarming that Donald Trump is a bully. His inability to not assassinate or belittle the character of apparently anyone who promotes an opposing perspective to his views is meet with an un-proportional response which is very dangerous because of his power.
MareeJune 6th, 2016 at 7:46 PM
Bullying is rampant in our society.
I have experienced bullying both in my family and the workplace. There is a way through. I am happy to assist others who experience this violence known as bullying.
debbieAugust 22nd, 2016 at 7:13 PM
I have been bullied for over one year now by the same person, my previous landlady. When I rented an apt from her in June 2015, I had a lease for 1 year there, which I fulfilled, & also left the apt immaculate. Backing up a little the 11st week I lived there, I knew it was a horrible mistake…there were mini spy cameras all over my apt. You could her them clicking. Her daughter lived above me & the landlady was always up there. They followed me around the apt from room to room & especially the bathroom during my most private moments & they would constantly talk about me & laugh at me. I couldn’t sleep in my bedroom after one episode when landlady husband was live filming me & taking still shots.I woke up they were talking while doing this & apparently thought I would not hear them talking & the noise of the cameras. It was so bad that I would stay gone for hours & even sleep in my car in the winter until I couldn’t take it anymore. I then stayed at a homeless shelter to get away from those creeps. It was January & I went back to my apt & felt better about it because I had a friend stay with me for about a month. After she left, the antics started again, only worse. I was sick with an upper respiratory illness, & the bulllies blew tons of cigarette smoke down through the hear vent & I developed Asthma. The smoke came from the vent where by where I slept on the couch. Every time I went to the bathroom they would beat on the ceiling with a stick. It gets even better. It was near Spring, & I was happy that I was going to be moving in June 2016..this year, & I figured I could tough it out til June & looked for a place to live. Well, come to find out, her husband put a GPS on my car & not only that, but put mini cameras in the car which are still in my car. So obviously they found out by the GPS where I moved to. This is so bizarre. , but they. ( landlady & hubby) befriended the woman above me or bribed her with cash or whatever & now my previous landlady stays above me doing the same things. There are cameras in my apt, she blows smoke down through the heat vent, bangs on ceiling & follows me all over my apt from upstairs. Watches me in the bathroom AGAIN. I have no privacy at home or in my car. I contacted the police and they said they couldn’t do anything & to call my present landlord which I did & she basically told me she thought I was crazy in so many words. I have no supportive family here & I still sleep in my car at times because I feel safer & I need to get away from her physical presence. She still talks about me while standing above me upstairs & I can hear her. She laughs at everything I do from cooking, applying make up, to going to the bathroom. She has gotten the neighbors involved & has allowed them to look in on my life & talks Crap about me to my new neighbors in my apt building. She is there all the time. I don’t get it. I texted her daughter once & pleaded with her to tell her mom to go home. And she was rude & defensive. I have taken a mental beating & it continues. The stress of it is making me physically sick. Please HELP!
The GoodTherapy.org TeamAugust 23rd, 2016 at 7:46 AM
Thank you for sharing your experience. Please note that GoodTherapy.org is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, treatment, medical treatment, psychotherapy, counseling, or mental health services. A qualified therapist may be able to help you with the stress you mention. You can search for a therapist near you on the GoodTherapy.org directory here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html
The events and situations you describe seem extremely worrisome. If you feel you are in immediate danger, it is very important you seek help immediately. Please call 911 in the US or visit your local emergency room to get help and alert the necessary authorities.
Please know we are thinking of you, and we wish you the very best!
The GoodTherapy.org Team
Christina H.August 19th, 2016 at 1:39 PM
My sister is 26 years old and she bully’s me. My parent say just ignore her, but it’s hard because she keeps saying stuff over and over again and it’s the same thing. I have tried to stand up for myself but I sometimes stutter and can’t makes a sentence because I am in a state of shock because she keeps doing this and Everyone says it’ll pass or she’ll get over it. She abuse me verbally and sometimes physica but not enough to leave a mark and that’s a basic sister punch. We live under the same roof. I don’t know what to do. I’m getting to the point where I’m getting stuck because of the stress of it. Also when I do try and defend myself she mocks me. I’m at a loss. I am younger than her and she knows how to get inside my head. I just ignore it and I feel worse doing that than standing up for myself.
GigiAugust 25th, 2016 at 5:34 PM
I’ve been bullied many times in the workplace. I recently quit a job of three months as my supervisor was psychotic and didn’t respect me. I’m accountable for not being assertive until recently and the next day I resigned, via phone with no notice. Today I’m in a better place, financially secure, and I don’t need to stay in unhealthy work environments. I’ve read many adult bully articles over the past couple of days. Regardless of the reason your being bullied you have to assert your self and protect who you are..and still learning this, to be in an uncomfortable place, keeping my power and self.
I was bullied as a child and my parents enrolled me in tae kwon do for 4 years and I trained 5 days a week. It made me physically stronger, and mentally, I became more confident and felt part of a community at the karate class. It was one of the best things in life I received. Today, I’m usually bullied by heavy women that have a position over me. The last job was a 58 year old man, masters in psychology and undergrad in social work. Go figure!
AnonymousAugust 27th, 2016 at 2:57 PM
A big concern is bullies in the family or workplace who study psychology. I believe this knowledge increases the risk of the bully misusing this information to do more harm.
A.T.September 10th, 2016 at 12:42 AM
My comment should have been a response to Tammy, not Evie (Evie, you made some good points as well!
PamSeptember 10th, 2016 at 4:21 PM
Our community city & historic district is afraid of our abutting property owner related to his “powerful person status”. We truly live in an government “city” of good ole boy decision making. Allowing this person to erect a fence on my property not enforcing city code, emailing me to not touch a trench he excavated on my property because he started the property to be his. City then would not let us even apply for correcting this 6 on wide 6 in deep trench for the safety of Hallowern children but then let him build a fence on the property. I had to litigate to make him move the fence judge ordered through another correct survey to remove fence. This man , his wife, and 26 year old child & 2 dogs electronic watch us to come to property line bark, growl lunge at every opportunity constant bullying harassing . There are no recourses for us even to litigate would not be beneficial. So many comments on this site and mean people prevail. How can it be do difficult when there are civility , what would a judge and attorney prefer in their life a person like all the above or one that chooses to act responsibly with kindness & u
Dayne MSeptember 15th, 2016 at 1:52 AM
Its one thing for an adult to commit suicide over bullying usually from someone in their workplace, but it is really sad when you hear of a teenager committing suicide over being bullied at school, and it happens more than we like to admit it. I believe that we need to educate our kids at an early age about how to identify and deal with bullying. I also believe our schools should run programs showing kids how to deal with bullying. I have attached a couple of links for people to check out, especially young parents and teachers.
EmpathSeptember 19th, 2016 at 6:43 PM
What is the bully is a much older sibling and they are bullying you over the inheritance they think they should get – even if they only recently stepped up to help. Now dealing with a smear campaign, lying, and having the police called. I am not willing to go through the trauma that I endured as a child. Will never trust these people again and that is what makes me feel like an idiot – that I was halfway fooled.
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