Are Bullies Blind?

Sometimes when someone is bullying me I'm not altogether sure whether the problem is theirs or mine or both.

Any form of abuse is by definition the responsibility of the stronger party - that makes it the bully who's in the wrong, no matter how much they try to deny it.

But so often the one who is abused simply cannot be assertive - because of age, gender, or temperament. This can be taken by the bully or abuser as a "come on" signal.  How often do we hear this defence, even in court?  "They led me on."  How often have abusive people told me they didn't think they were abusing me? Even sometimes their adult kid has defended their parent this way.  Cold comfort!

Talking about adult interaction, I am learning to tell the bully that I'm having serious trouble with their attitude or behaviour, and that I won't get into the bull fight ring with them.

Because I am by nature gentle, shy, polite, hardly the life of the party, and not sharp or quick-tongued, some people assume I'm a wimp they can walk over.  Especially (talking about the adult world) some of those who have a business background, are fast thinkers and talkers, well-informed, and/or have come from a home background that's more akin to the jungle than a safe haven.

When someone bullies me, I withdraw but also become stubborn. I know that's not very sensible, but that was my defence from the time of my early conflicts with my Mum, and it's hard to change a response learnt early.  I'm still working at that.

What gets me most is that hardly anyone I have come to regard as a bully will acknowledge the fact. How blinkered can you be? I simply cannot stand up to a bully, but I can make them aware of the effect they have on me.

Groffy Groffy
66-70, M
7 Responses Nov 22, 2008

Do let me know how I may be of any further assistance.

Thanks for your comments and the lines you drew, AA. Also for the web links. Will take a look at them.<br />

Bullies are well known to take advantage of whatever they perceive as weakness and opportunity, including decency and restraint. Indeed, bullies even rely upon the target of bullying to keep things from getting completely out of control, and save them both from disgrace. So, where does responsibility lie for the target of bullying? Well for one thing, explaining to them the effect they have only encourages their Sadism! Worse, ignoring them may only anger them all the more. Bullies encourage one another. So it doesn't matter what lengths the target of bullying foes to in order to avoid giving bullies any satisfaction. In any case, I am sure that you have shown nothing but grace under fire. Do not accept sweet reason and victim blaming! <br />
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I recommend you begin keeping a log and even begin filing police complaints. You might even consider covert video surveillance to get the goods on the bullies. If the bullying is in school, my recommendation is to demand of the administration to exercise The Playground Pass System against bullies. If they refuse, hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit against your school board! <br />
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Check out my own anti-bullying page at:

In Australia there is good awareness among teachers of this problem. But it still happens a lot, esp. among older people, but also in schools where kids are taught to report it. Bullies are often jealous, I think, also often they have received bullying from others.

yep, fair enough.

Levin's comment is so right - but I and others have trouble sometimes doing this!<br />
So I may seem strong and do have some real benefits + advantages thru training, age, and experience, but i too have my battles...

Turn around and walk away. If they ask you why tell them you don't like being bullied.<br />
I am the opposite from you - I become enraged if a bully tries his/her tactic on me. I tell them to **** off. I guess to each his own.