Bullies are killers by Lisa Ann Catano

“At the heart of every relentless (and remorseless) bully is the certain (subconscious) knowledge that if they do it enough and for long enough they can actually kill their target. Just because someone isn’t using a fist, a gun or a knife doesn’t make it any less an act of violence. We need to educate society to understand this. Bullies are killers – they’re just doing it a little slower than we currently recognise” ~ Islandmoonrise (WordPress)

One of the most unconsciously accepted predators throughout history are commonly known as “bullies”. There are many versions of this kind of injustice however I’d like to draw your attention towards psychic and emotional bulling.

Whether you beat someone physically or badger them emotionally the end result is still the same. Metaphorically, the bully aims to kill their target.  For the bully, control is their primary weapon; they use it to gain power and momentum. When a person is being controlled they lose their ability to think for them self. They lose initiative and the capacity to rationalise effectively. The more control that is applied, the perpetrator has incremental access to taunt and manipulate the psyche of their victim. There are a number of strategies leveraged by the bully; as s/he continuously changes their mind, they thrive on making you feel as though you are going mentally crazy and then put you down for not keeping up with them. They also negate their words and expect you to read their minds for the sake of more blame and shame. The process is subtle, cunning and baffling – you don’t even realise the monster that is in progress. For the victim, evidence of this kind of humiliation is in their diminishing confidence; you feel low in self-worth and sad most of the time and the perpetrators abuse that was originally covert, becomes more and more overt.


It starts with a surreptitious comment that catches you by surprise. You question yourself (if you interpreted what was said correctly) and then sublimate the remark belittlingly, because it was too random to measure. Naturally, this happens again due to your initial response of not standing up for yourself, dampening your spirit and spirals from then onwards.

Bullies choose their victims wisely since they cannot perform the role that they play efficaciously, without a person who is vulnerable for attack. Basically, victims already have emotionally charged buttons that can be pressed from their own lack of self-belief, so the two become a match. This predisposition encourages the victim to easily believe the perpetrators scorn and sarcasm, allowing their self-esteem to fall shorter and shorter until they cannot cope with simple life challenges that are due on a daily basis. The perpetrator uses this as more ammunition to degrade and humiliate the victim in the way of blaming them for their incompetence. The bully does not take any responsibility for their abusive words and actions. Being none the wiser, at times the victim allows the cycle to perpetuate to the point of an explosion, where belligerent behaviour is forced to come to a halt. Regardless, the victim’s spirit is shattered whether the relationship ends or continues; and due to their vulnerability they are more susceptible to attract other bullies into their life.

The consequences of being emotionally traumatised causes sufferers to become oversensitive and suspicious towards other people; and start to undermine their ability to perform optimally. Broken bones can be repaired but it is difficult to heal a broken mind.

Another symptom of being bullied is trying to be the person that the perpetrator implies you should be, that is, to be more like them or other people. So you try and change to be anything but yourself, and do this not only because s/he suggests it; but also to gain their approval. It is funny how this works; as s/he brings you down you wait in hope that they will miraculously pull you back up again! You rely on their approval as your only source of esteem even after the way they disparaged and treated you? It’s strange how the “visceral response system” often causes people to react to their emotions rather than pause, and allow for mindfulness action.  This is why emotionally charged individuals can sometimes appear to be mentally challenged or lacking in intelligence. Indicatively the assumption is often unstudied and therefore invalid.   

It is a repetitious dance that you do yet the audience never seems to clap and you eventually become exhausted. The intention of the bully is not to change you but rather drain you until there is nothing left i.e.  You become mentally and emotionally deadened.

In greater detail, on course to being bullied you experience the consequences of not being your authentic self. When a person is denied of their unique expressions and passions, they lose their ability to think and do; and then start portraying signs of incompetence. At this stage the perpetrator becomes more and more frustrated at how useless you become and then blames you for it! In some instances s/he leaves the relationship in search of their next victim, since you have nothing left to offer apart from having become a walking corpse. It is a psychically dishonest game being played that is in need of conscious interruption.  

In domestically violent situations, vulnerable partners tend to walk on egg shells so as not to disturb the peace. These people also alter or minimise aspects of themselves in order to depress their abusers. Yet, the start of psychic bulling came long before any violence had begun. The beatings are merely a promotion of the same kind of practice. A victim of physical abuse often infers that s/he is somehow “bad” and deserves to get beaten; and then awaits the on turn of reward stimulus as a means of redemption.

I am writing this article to raise awareness on a subject that is destructively overlooked. Bullies are pervasive; they are our teachers, parents, siblings, age mates, colleagues, bosses, capitalists, politicians, economists, religious figures, and the works. You see this quandary in the animal kingdom known as “survival of the fittest”; children also display repertoires of this nature, and when a woman feels threatened by another woman, she bullies her by sizing her up and down in an effort to make her feel small. It’s animalistic!  Narcissistic abuse is so concentrated that victims lose their complete will and enthusiasm for life. This power struggle is the driving force and sustaining ingredient for street gangs, hazing and ritual abuse. Considering the above mentioned, I am wondering whether we still need to entertain or accept this level of chosen ignorance, especially amidst our present information age? Imagine the impact it has on a fraternity; perhaps it is time to look out for these tell-telling signs at the genesis and bring them to light?

There is little challenge for a bully to meet with a victim. If the bully were man or woman enough to find a real match for their size, that is, a man or woman with abundant knowledge and self-belief; I’d be the first to appraise their nerve. But it’s always someone bigger picking on someone smaller, isn’t it? I’d like to assert that there is little bravery and determination in cowardice. (Please note: I am in no way encouraging or condoning the initiation of any sort of struggle or attack between two people, on a mental, emotional, Spiritual level, or in a physical capacity. The above sentences letter sarcasm in the context of the article which intends to further insight with purpose to transformation. It is not a recommendation for experiment.)

Bullies and victims are both in need of psychological cleansing to avoid inducing such associations. Victims ought to men or women up and take responsibility for their emotional states, as opposed to hide behind their abusers for exemption from conquering their fears and confronting life; which in actual fact makes abusers their victims. For the pitiful reward to please others in exchange for acceptance; most victims blame other people out of fear of being the bad guy or girl, which is complete spinelessness. If you weren’t so self-pitying you wouldn’t have attracted the bully in the first place. Having said that, when the victim finds them self in a more assertive role, what usually happens is they themselves become the bully! Therefore it is imperative to heal within your own reality to avoid replicating these kinds of patterns where “hurt people hurt people”.       

Bullies are not to be feared; the victim lies within the bully and the bully in the victim. Bullies or abusers are people who are inferior to life and are constantly on the defence. They are insecure and emotionally not strong enough to allow matters to unfold naturally. As already mentioned bullies are armed with control, as they do not allow themselves to appear vulnerable or even to receive. Working against nature they try to push and shove sagacious people and things into tiny little boxes, in a desperate attempt to protect their illusion of reality.  But you need to stand up to them or they will also infect your truth. It makes it easier though for someone who has transcended the process of being bullied, because they are better equipped to spot the behaviour outright as a symptom of an illness, rather than as a personal attack. From this perspective you can ignore any attempts made by a bully and not give their behaviour too much attention, as one would approach a child that is throwing a tantrum. The simple observation is enough to disarm the power imbalance.

There are various forms of emotional bullying so the below list is certainly not exhaustive:

Consistency in ~
Ignoring and excluding
silent treatment
verbal abuse and clear signs of exclusion in their body language
gang up upon
sarcasm in response to genuine questions
derogatoriness and condescending tones
degrading and humiliation
spreading of rumours
talking behind others’ backs
ritual abuse

The effects of emotional bullying at long lengths can result in:

Stockholm syndrome and traumatic bonding
mental illness
anxiety disorder
vulnerability to the disease of addiction
vulnerability to the disease of eating disorders
obsessive and compulsive behaviour
obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
chronic depression and sadness
panic disorder
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
bi polar disorder
schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder
threatened or attempted suicide
shame, guilt, embarrassment and fear
feel very alone
lack of assertiveness
aggression, anger and rage
difficulty controlling anger
inability to think rationally
poor academic or job performance
lack of confidence to be independent and autonomous

The trickster that sometimes holds victims hostage to this kind of psychological warfare is they sometimes identify with their abuser as a way to self-defend. If the victim and abuser share the same values, the ego no longer feels threatened.   This is why a battered wife often returns to her husband even after he has beaten her for several times; and then defends him each time. Subsequently, latent abuse is also internalised as an act of kindness.

Creating an emotional tie with the perpetrator is not only insane – it is also an unconscious trap that reinforces itself after each cycle of punishment and reward impetus. Thus, when does the cycle reach its end? This kind of traumatic bonding is known as “Stockholm Syndrome”. Statistically, approximately eight percent of victims show blatant signs of Stockholm Syndrome according to the FBI’s hostage system.

A democratic revolution of consciousness awaits us. We ought to raise the standard of exchange to a higher vibration, letting go of fear that vindicates these patterns. The climax in our evolutionary process highlights the need for a way forward from psychic offences (whether subtle or severe), in need of our attention.  Critical thinking purports the fierce nature of these crimes and that as a species, we are too evolved to retain them.     

If you want change, be brave enough to face your inner demons, eviscerate the ego, and change yourself.






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