Bullying by the mass is when a group of people treats you with arrogance, intimidation and disrespect. What prompts such behavior is multi-layered but most of the time, the redirection of their negative attention to an easy target is usually the situation.  An example of mass bullying is when your belief is polar opposites of a group and physical or mental intimidation is introduced as a tactic to intimidate. Bullying can even be in the form of passive-aggressive. For instance when you are given the silent treatment when they ostracize you or in a relational aggression way-harm caused by damage to someone’s social status.

Typically, these types of people work in groups because of various social impacts or desires. Some of the influences and desires are respect for authority, a fear of being different, fear of rejection, or a need for approval. Once they are in the group, they will usually conform to or comply with whatever the group decides, in order to fuel their need to be liked or feel like we belong.

It is not easy to deal with this type of bully because they seek the spotlight to feed their behavior and as long as someone is willing to watch, these types of bullies will continue to flourish. Rarely will they take responsibility for their action but instead blame others for why they act that way. What seems to be common is that most seem to feel safe to bully in these situations because the anonymity that being in a crowd provides people cover. If it is a one on one situation, the person bullying always runs the risk of being shunned and chastised by others. But if there is a group that is also is against the intended victim, that single person can lash out while believing that his/her actions are anonymous. His/her actions cease being the actions of an individual and become the actions of the group. So the belief upon the person is that everyone will believe that the acting out is the will of the group.

出る杭は打たれる - The nail that sticks out gets hammered down

Social landscapes typically have their own standards by which the people will judge and label others as “good” and “undesirable”. Right or wrong, if you do not meet the “good” standard you are quickly shown the door. Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Black, White, Tall, Short, Smart, Favored, Woman, Man… I could go on forever. As much as we do not want to admit, this is normal primal behavior. In the natural wild kingdom, animals who are sick, injured, look different and if you cannot keep up with the herd, you are left for the predators. Animals that are social do this, and maybe somewhere in our DNA, this tendency remains… we just don’t acknowledge it.

Your primal fight or flight instinct will kick on and then you lash out at your tormentors. You use every profanity in the book, you stand your ground, you deflect a barrage of hateful messages, phone calls, you getting into screaming/shouting match but at the end of the day, you are no closer to resolving than when it first started. What you did was just “Ape” the behavior.

So how do I respond?

There is no manual to follow for every situation of bullying because every instance has its own uniqueness. What is important is to understand all the segments that built the situation. Just like a clock, all the gears have to work in sync to move the hand, if one gear fails, the hand stops moving. Understanding how something works is critical, you can’t fix it if you don’t know how it works, or in a situation like this, how it got started.

Your first and foremost thoughts when you take steps to resolving should be to understand is the dangers of these types of people. Sometimes they really think that what they are doing is acceptable, reasonable and necessary for the greater good and will justify their actions. So find a way to immediately distance yourself (physically and mentally) from the harmful actions you face. Then take apart the situation, confide in loved ones, friends or helpful figures. Together, figure out where the root cause is, not the/a symptom of the issue. Once you have a clear picture of what is happening and how it started, then (if needed with the help of trained professionals), you will know which direction to take.

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