Bullies don’t only lurk in school hallways and playgrounds… They grow up and become parents, co-workers, and bosses. They work in offices, businesses, for governments, in police departments, law offices, and charitable organizations.
Studies show that cyber-bullies really are sadistic and have narcissistic/psychopathic personality disorders. This is true of many garden-variety bullies as well.
Isn’t it wrong to expose someone by name—even if they did cause harm?
If you are asking this question, you should also ask yourself if it is right for an abuser to get away with hurting people. Concealing an abuser’s identity is protecting them from consequences for their actions and enables them to continue preying on unsuspecting victims.
Isn’t it against the law to publish the name of an abuser?
No, it isn’t. The rule is simple: just stick to the truth. You may also publish their picture on the Internet as long as you own the copyright. Still, caution is advisable. You should be able to verify all of your statements that even remotely could be construed as defamatory. Refrain completely from insults and name-calling.
A bully may threaten to sue you for libel to intimidate you, but in reality, a defamation lawsuit would not be in their interests because their own actions would then be fully exposed and scrutinized in court. Also, the burden of proof is on the party claiming libel. They don’t have a case unless they can prove that what you published is both defamatory and false. A lawsuit can take many years and become very costly, too.
You are not at fault if the truth about an abuser’s behavior damages their reputation. From a bully’s egocentrically warped point of view and sense of entitlement; everything is your fault. Count on being accused of slander, libel, and probably all sorts of other crimes if you speak up. They may be scary in their denial; playing the victim role and acting out indignation, hurling accusations, and vilifying you while manipulating other people to turn against you and support their vengeful schemes. It’s all a game to them. A self-righteous, hateful, and remorseless schemer can cause you a lot of harm—but they don’t have the law on their side.
No one has the right to abuse you, and you are always entitled to defend yourself and to speak about what was done to you. However, it is up to you to decide what to do. You’ll need to examine all aspects of your situation and weigh your values against an estimated cost in personal suffering for asserting them. Read about cases similar to your own for valuable insights and warnings to heed, and educate yourself about psychopathy and libel laws to gain confidence and make a better informed decision. Most importantly, consider all possible consequences of ‘going public,’ especially danger to the life and well being of yourself and your loved ones.
More info: Exposing an Abuser
Published on Apr 28, 2014
Sandra L. Brown, M.A., is the founder of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education. She is a former psychotherapist, community educator on pathological love relationships, clinical lecturer and trainer, TV and radio guest, and an author. Her books include the highly popular How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved, the award-winning Women Who Love Psychopaths: Inside the Relationships of Inevitable Harm With Psychopaths, Sociopaths & Narcissists, as well as the clinically relevant Counseling Victims of Violence: A Handbook for Helping Professionals.
Sandra is recognized for her pioneering work in women’s issues related to relational harm from dangerous and pathological partners. She specializes in the development of Pathological Love Relationship training for other professionals and the development of survivor-based support services.
“Often these monstrous individuals are initially charming, displaying false empathy to the point that even when their victims instinct senses danger they ignore this feeling as irrational. These people have a natural talent for manipulation and are self-absorbed individuals with no conscience or feeling for others and for whom rules have no meaning. These depraved manipulators can appear unstoppable. Their non physical violence against innocent victims appears to be planned, purposeful and emotionless. Any attempt at reason will fail as these people appear to operate outside the code that governs normal, rational behaviour towards others.”
Bullying isn’t a problem isolated to kids and teenagers. It’s an issue that spans every age demographic, but as the population ages, it’s becoming an increasingly common problem among senior citizens—particularly those living in communal living settings such as assisted living or independent living.
“Everyone is told the fairytale that we are all brothers and sisters under the skin. But what if that is not so?”
“Are you lonely, popular, caring, confident, laid back, anxious, adventurous, bored, traumatised, naïve, competitive, depressed, sentimental, accepting, argumentative, compassionate, impulsive or shy?”
“If so, then boy have I got just the trick for you! Get your very own custom-made psychopath experience, with guaranteed success rate, for one of us at least. Order now, and get free emotional trauma to take with you when we’re done. While stocks last.”
If there is one question all victims of psychopaths have asked themselves at some point in the period after their psychopath has moved on, it has to be “why me?” Or more specifically; “what was it that made me a target?” Read more…
Hello, my name actually is James, no guessing required. I’m a twentysomething psychopath from the smallish island of Great Britain…
We had a few poor teachers, everyone does I think. There was one who was particularly bad, not at his subject I might add; he was very good at woodwork. You have to be good at a technical subject like that to get a job teaching it. No, his problem was classroom management; he was hopeless. If he told you to do something, you just wouldn’t do it. His classes were always chaotic and dangerous (we had saws and big electronic tools at our disposal). I was – am – the opposite of him: good at managing people, bad at woodwork. I was failing my project and had injured a few people in the process due to my general carelessness around the drills and soldering irons.
This hack of a teacher could see how bad I was and I knew he was going to fail me the year, but he had a weakness. Everyone does, you see, but his was a fun one. On top of this general incompetence, he had a nasty temper. When he didn’t get his way in controlling the class he would blow a fuse and have a kind of tantrum. He’d shout a lot, go very red and generally look quite ridiculous. And his body language promised the potential for violence, he just hadn’t yet been pushed enough.
To get rid of him, all I needed to do was to rile him up a bit more. Or rather get the idiots in my class to do it for me.
Expect to be on your own in your fight with a workplace bully, with no support from within the company. Co-workers are more likely to distance themselves from your problems, hoping to preserve their own positions and opportunities.
From: Fighting Workplace Bullies, Part 2: Preparing Yourself to Respond
See also: Why Workplace Bullies Thrive: The Bystander Effect
They are cowards who lack the ability to work out problems in a reasoned, adult manner.
They need a fan club of followers and admirers who support their evil deeds, “flying monkeys” to persecute their targets, and/or technology to hide behind.
The adult bully’s personality pathology is characterized by a lack of empathy, craving for power, manipulativeness, and deceptiveness. Bullies feel entitled to use others as they wish and they derive sadistic pleasure from the harm they cause.
Why is it so easy for an abuser to get away with it and so difficult for an abuse victim to be heard?
The typical serial bully is a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde personality type (male or female) who has put considerable effort into establishing and maintaining a respectable and credible public persona. Bystanders may believe they know him well, that he is a genuinely righteous person, and that he couldn’t possibly be capable of the malicious behavior he is accused of. Unable (and probably unwilling) to imagine that they have been deceived, their logical conclusion is that the accuser is the antagonist, acting out inexplicable malevolence. With derogatory implications about his target’s mental state, lack of character, or foul motives, the abuser fuels this role reversal. Feigning moral indignation and playing the part of the victim, he encourages supporters to see the real victim, who is attempting to be heard, as the abusive one.
Dr. Vaknin explains: “Even the victim’s relatives, friends, and colleagues are amenable to the considerable charm, persuasiveness, and manipulativeness of the abuser and to his impressive thespian skills. The abuser offers a plausible rendition of the events and interprets them to his favor. Others rarely have a chance to witness an abusive exchange first hand and at close quarters. In contrast, the victims are often on the verge of a nervous breakdown: harassed, unkempt, irritable, impatient, abrasive, and hysterical.”
“Confronted with this contrast between a polished, self-controlled, and suave abuser and his harried casualties, it is easy to reach the conclusion that the real victim is the abuser, or that both parties abuse each other equally. The prey’s acts of self-defense, assertiveness, or insistence on her rights are interpreted as aggression, lability, or a mental health problem.”
Dr. Sam Vaknin, Narcissism by Proxy
Three cognitive strategies have been identified for when people deny, discount, or dismiss occurrences of abuse and for turning away from effective steps to stop it and hold abusers accountable:
Reflexively dismissing all evidence as questionable, incomplete, misleading, false, or in some other way inadequate.
Using euphemism, abstraction, and other linguistic transformations to hide the abuse.
Turning away: ‘I’m not involved,’ ‘There is nothing I can do about it,’ ‘I have no authority, jurisdiction, power, or influence,’ ‘This is no concern of mine,’ etc.
Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
“A manipulative person … is a covertly aggressive personality.”
“You ask a manipulator a direct question, you rarely get a direct answer.”
See more on Dr. George Simon and related blog posts:
“One of the very difficult things to deal with after being the victim of a Narcissist is that most people will not want to believe what happened to you, even if they saw it with their own eyes!”
Sociopathic abuse can be most insidious. The abuser takes precautions so that there are no witnesses or hard evidence. He’ll tell others that he is being victimized and that the real victim’s reactions to his abuse are unprovoked and malicious or “irrational.” Destroying his target while attracting the attention he craves is a game to the sociopath; one he enjoys and plays with confidence. A “normal” person is easy prey to a skilled and experienced manipulator lacking a moral conscience.
“[They] count on our shame to keep their secrets. They know that exposing them means exposing our own failings. That’s what makes them so powerful. They manipulate us into these situations then sit back and watch us squirm between protecting ourselves or blowing the whistle.”
The seasoned abuser is also highly selective. He will target people who are self-conscious and reluctant to draw attention to themselves. Like predators in the animal world who concentrate their efforts on prey that is separate from the herd, he is likely to choose someone who is a loner or with weak social connections; someone who is clearly vulnerable.
They’ve spent decades acquiring and refining a skill set they most likely first learned on the playground. Studies have shown that childhood bullies often grow up to become adult bullies.
These “adults” have developed ingenious ways to cover their tracks while making their victims look bad. The methods of tormenting their targets are also more sophisticated. The direct in-your-face approach won’t work in a professional or social setting, so they indulge in underhanded maneuvers and hit-and-run assaults.
Adult bullying is particularly insidious. It is often only the victim who knows it is happening, and if he tells someone else about it, he’s apt to be met with disbelief. The innocent target is easily labeled as the troublemaker. The sociopath has the whole scheme figured out and has it well rigged with virtual trip wires. The victim’s reactions to the abuse become additional ammunition for the abuser, who uses it to manipulate bystanders to side with him and to inflict more harm and distress onto his victim.
There are reasons for our failure to act when action is appropriate.
We don’t acknowledge, or even recognize, that evil exists. We’re told that “there’s good in everyone,” “deep down we’re all the same,” “everyone makes mistakes,” “everyone deserves a second chance,” or “we all just need to be loved.” We are not told that there are exceptions to these platitudes. As many as 12 percent of the population are sociopaths—social predators who live their lives exploiting others—and another chunk of the population are almost sociopaths. Typically, their aggression is covert and most of us don’t know anything about sociopaths until we are personally targeted.
Taking action against bad behavior usually requires confrontation. Confrontation is uncomfortable, at best, and at worst, dangerous. Most of us try to avoid confrontation. In fact, probably the only people who enjoy confrontation are sociopaths. They, of course, are the ones causing the problems.
There are other reasons why we don’t act. We may feel that the problem is too big, and we’re too small to change anything. We may believe that someone else ought to take action. We may fear—legitimately—repercussions or retaliation. We may believe that the problem will “go away” or not impact us if we ignore it and focus on the positive.
What is “The Bystander Effect”?
The “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of Conflict Resolution
Lazy Brain and the Narcissistic Sociopath (beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com)
Being with a Narcissistic Sociopath – Part 1 (beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com)
Confrontation or Communication
Corporate bullies may make spellbinding film leads but in real life, they wreak havoc on workers and businesses.
Though these office monsters are often portrayed on-screen as mostly harmless anti-heroes, there is growing anxiety over a large crossover between bullying in the workplace and what’s being termed corporate psychopathy.
|Stonewalling is a tactic commonly used by bullies wanting to control, humiliate, and frustrate a target who attempts to resolve a conflict through reasonable discussion or negotiation. Accusations of mental deficiency, harassment, and even bullying, are other typical methods of asserting dominance, intimidating the target, and discouraging objections to the abuse from both victim and bystanders. To the insightful observer, these behaviors reveal the bully’s true motivations.|
Also possibly of interest:
The serial Church bully…..sounds a lot like this.
Sociopaths Recruit Minions PsychopathResistance.com
Bullied to Death PsychopathResistance.com
Social aggression or indirect bullying is characterized by attempting to socially isolate the victim. This isolation is achieved through a wide variety of techniques, including spreading gossip, refusing to socialize with the victim, bullying other people who wish to socialize with the victim, and criticizing the victim in different ways. Other forms of indirect bullying are more subtle and more likely to be verbal, such as name calling, the silent treatment, arguing others into submission, manipulation, gossip/false gossip, lies, rumors/false rumors, laughing at the victim, saying certain words that trigger a reaction, and mocking.
The effects of bullying can be serious and even fatal.
Despite the large number of individuals that do not agree with bullying practices, there are very few that will intervene on behalf of the victim. These individuals are labeled bystanders and unfortunately usually tend to lean toward the bully’s side.
In most bullying incidents, bystanders do nothing. If the bully faces no obstruction from the people around, he has permission to continue behaving badly.
Bystanders to bullying activities are often unable to recognize the true cost that their silence has to both the individual and to the group. A certain inability to fully empathize is also usually present in the typical bystander, but to a lesser degree than in the bully.
It is the general unwillingness of bystanders to undertake any type of risks that bullies often rely upon in order to maintain their power.
An Ohio man who spent hours on a street corner with a sign declaring he’s a bully says that the punishment in a disorderly conduct case was unfair and that the judge who sentenced him has ruined his life.
Sixty-two-year-old Edmond Aviv mostly ignored honking horns and people who stopped by to talk with him in South Euclid, Ohio. “The judge destroyed me,” Aviv said. “This isn’t fair at all.”
The sentence stemmed from a neighborhood dispute in which a woman said Aviv had bullied her and her disabled children for years. Aviv pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, and the Municipal Court Judge ordered him to display the sign for five hours on a Sunday as part of his sentence.
Is public exposure a good way to punish bullies? What’s your opinion?
12-year-old Rebecca was terrorized by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months. The torment and social isolation became overwhelming, and seeing no other way out, she ended her young life. Two girls, the major culprits, have been arrested. One of them went to the same school as Rebecca and had been dating her former boyfriend. The 14-year-old bully went around to friends at school and tried to turn them against Rebecca. The girl’s Facebook comments were callous and hateful, expressing desire for the death of young Rebecca. The second girl arrested was a former best friend of the victim who was influenced by the other girl to turn on her.
Sociopaths come in many guises; they bring suffering and destruction upon us in all possible shapes and sizes, many times multiplying the damage by influencing others to join their evil missions, or at least to not interfere.
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.”
Martin Luther King Jr
In most bullying situations, the target finds himself isolated and alone. Work colleagues, who may have been friendly and supportive previously, melt away. The people he thought were “friends” turn out to be mere fair-weather friends and he is left feeling like a pariah and an outcast.
There are many reasons why people fail to come to the aid of someone who is being bullied. These include: Read more…
Someone who is being subject to narcissistic abuse may rarely leave the house, never go out with friends, or speak to strangers because he doesn’t know who’s been turned against him; he doesn’t know who he can trust. The experience is painful and can lead to mental and physical problems, including depression and anxiety. In some cases, feelings of despair lead to suicide.
is a control freak. He finds pleasure in causing pain to others and thrives on the sense of power it brings. If not also physically abusive, he is an emotional bully; manipulating, overpowering, and tormenting his victims. Children, having no escape, suffer lifelong consequences at the hands of a narcissistic parent.
As if it’s a choice. No one chooses to be a victim. It’s the psychopath who calls the shots. It’s the predator who chooses its prey. However, we can reduce the risk of becoming victims. By learning about psychopathic traits, we become better equipped to recognize abusive people so that we can keep a distance from them, if not stay away completely.
When friends and family remain neutral about abuse and say that both people are responsible in a conflict, or that both need to change, they are actually colluding with the abuser and making it harder for the victim to seek support.
What a dumb idea; that in every conflict both parties are always at fault. Another idiocy is the belief that it is morally wrong to ‘choose sides,’ even in abuser/victim situations. How can it be morally correct to watch someone being abused and do nothing? Abusers will use our misconceptions to their advantage.
Brain scans of teens with a history of aggressive bullying behavior suggest that they may actually get pleasure out of seeing someone else in pain. While this may come as little surprise to those who have been victimized by bullies, it is not what the researchers expected.
The reason they were surprised is because the prevailing view is that these kids are cold and unemotional in their aggression.
“It is entirely possible their brains are lighting in the way they are because they experience seeing pain in others as exciting and fun and pleasurable,” said one researcher.
“We need to test that hypothesis more, but that is what it looks like,” he added.