Target Quotes
“The narcissist is never the person he appears to be in the public sphere.”
The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists
by Eleanor D. Payson, MSW

“Honey, if you’re one of these types that wants a man to ‘take care of you’ I can guarantee there’s a big red flag and T for target written all over you. You’ll have no trouble finding them or, them finding you.”

When he met me he had “never felt that way about anyone before” which translated into he had never stumbled onto such a rich NS before. I worshipped the ground he walked on. He was like a kid in a candy store. Manipulating her had been hard work and with me all it took was a little wink and a few sweet words and the answer was always yes, yes, yes. Once he “had me” and I began to expect some responsibility from him things became very different. There is nothing wrong with your emotions, that is what makes you human, but letting the N see your emotional side only fuels the fire. Getting away from my xN saved my sanity and now any interaction is “all business”. In fact the only communication now is done through lawyers. Distance and time is what brought clarity for me.”

“Martha Stout who wrote the Sociopath Next Door, says her main favorite clue to psychopathy is what she calls the “Pity Plea”. They tell us some sad tale, they gain our sympathy, and make us feel sorry for them. If they can get us to the stage where we feel sorry for them, they’ve succeeded and they know we’re pushovers from then onwards.”

“I agree, we need to teach our daughters to be particularly careful about people who we instinctively feel sorry for or want to help. If they have 2 good arms and 2 good legs – it’s likely the manipulation of a psychopath.”

“I’m constantly amazed at just how easy targets are to find. If we tend to see them under every bush, imagine how easy it is for the NP to spot targets. There’s 99 targets for every NP. It’s downright scary.”

“He was the most charming, romantic, witty, charismatic and handsome man I had ever met. I had never before been so attracted to someone. He made my knees go weak; I was completely in his thrall. He called me all the time, texted me continuously, declared his love for me perpetually. We walked in rhythm, we fit together like jigsaw pieces. The sex was a spiritual experience. I suddenly knew what Hollywood was all about; I felt that my new romance was like something from the silver screen, a veritable fairytale. Then the hell happened. It has taken me ages to recover ”

“I firmly believe that an N will tell huge lies, a whopper of a story, make himself out to be a victim despite pretty obvious evidence to the contrary and, if he can get somebody to believe him – BINGO – HE’S FOUND A TARGET.”

“There are a lot of very lonely dependent women out there.”
“I think the N’s in our life constantly test us to see if they are still in control.”

“When we met he was the most wonderful person I had ever known. He was funny, charming, independent, and fulfilled all of my emotional and physical needs, but after a few months things began to change. I could not figure out what was going on. It was like he was a totally different person. I did everything to make things work.”

Why me?

There are many reasons how and why bullies target others, and the reasons are consistent between cases. There are many myths and stereotypes such as “victims are weak” which I deconstruct on my myths page. Bullying often repeats because the reasons that bullies target their victims don’t change, hence this section also answers the questions “Why do I keep getting bullied” and “Why do bullies continue to bully me?”.

1) How do bullies select their targets?

The bully selects their target using the following criteria:

* bullies are predatory and opportunistic – you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; this is always the main reason – investigation will reveal a string of predecessors, and you will have a string of successors
* being good at your job, often excelling
* being popular with people (colleagues, customers, clients, pupils, parents, patients, etc)
* more than anything else, the bully fears exposure of his/her inadequacy and incompetence; your presence, popularity and competence unknowingly and unwittingly fuel that fear
* being the expert and the person to whom others come for advice, either personal or professional (ie you get more attention than the bully)
* having a well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise
* having a strong sense of integrity (bullies despise integrity, for they have none, and seem compelled to destroy anyone who has integrity)
* having at least one vulnerability that can be exploited
* being too old or too expensive (usually both)
* refusing to join an established clique
* showing independence of thought or deed
* refusing to become a corporate clone and drone

Jealousy (of relationships and perceived exclusion therefrom) and envy (of talents, abilities, circumstances or possessions) are strong motivators of bullying.

2) Events that trigger bullying

Bullying starts after one of these events:

* the previous target leaves
* there’s a reorganization
* a new manager is appointed
* your performance unwittingly highlights, draws attention to, exposes or invites unfavorable comparison with the bully’s lack of performance (the harder you work to address the bully’s claims of under performance, the more insecure and unstable the bully becomes)
* you may have unwittingly become the focus of attention whereas before the bully was the center of attention (this often occurs with female bullies) – most bullies are emotionally immature and thus crave attention
* obvious displays of affection, respect or trust from co-workers
* refusing to obey an order which violates rules, regulations, procedures, or is illegal
* standing up for a colleague who is being bullied – this ensures you will be next; sometimes the bully drops their current target and turns their attention to you immediately
* blowing the whistle on incompetence, malpractice, fraud, illegality, breaches of procedure, breaches of health & safety regulations etc
* undertaking trade union duties
* suffering illness or injury, whether work related or not
* challenging the status quo, especially unwittingly
* gaining recognition for your achievements, eg winning an award or being publicly recognised
* gaining promotion

3) Personal qualities that bullies find irresistible

Targets of bullying usually have these qualities:

* popularity (this stimulates jealousy in the less-than-popular bully)
* competence (this stimulates envy in the less-than-competent bully)
* intelligence and intellect
* honesty and integrity (which bullies despise)
* you’re trustworthy, trusting, conscientious, loyal and dependable
* a well-developed integrity which you’re unwilling to compromise
* you’re always willing to go that extra mile and expect others to do the same
* successful, tenacious, determined, courageous, having fortitude
* a sense of humor, including displays of quick-wittiness
* imaginative, creative, innovative
* idealistic, optimistic, always working for improvement and betterment of self, family, the employer, and the world
* ability to master new skills
* ability to think long term and to see the bigger picture
* sensitivity (this is a constellation of values to be cherished including empathy, concern for others, respect, tolerance etc)
* slow to anger
* helpful, always willing to share knowledge and experience
* giving and selfless
* difficulty saying no
* diligent, industrious
* tolerant
* strong sense of honor
* irrepressible, wanting to tackle and correct injustice wherever you see it
* an inability to value oneself whilst attributing greater importance and validity to other people’s opinions of oneself (eg through tests, exams, appraisals, manager’s feedback, etc)
* low propensity to violence (ie you prefer to resolve conflict through dialogue rather than through violence or legal action)
* a strong forgiving streak (which the bully exploits and manipulates to dissuade you from taking grievance and legal action)
* a desire to always think well of others
* being incorruptible, having high moral standards which you are unwilling to compromise
* being unwilling to lower standards
* a strong well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise or abandon
* high expectations of those in authority and a dislike of incompetent people in positions of power who abuse power
* a tendency to self-deprecation, indecisiveness, deference and approval seeking
* low assertiveness
* a need to feel valued
* quick to apologies when accused, even if not guilty (this is a useful technique for defusing an aggressive customer or potential road rage incident)
* perfectionism
* higher-than-average levels of dependency, naivety and guilt
* a strong sense of fair play and a desire to always be reasonable
* high coping skills under stress, especially when the injury to health becomes apparent
* a tendency to internalize anger rather than express it

The typical sequence of events is:

* the target is selected using the criteria above, then bullied for months, perhaps years
* eventually, the target asserts their right not to be bullied, perhaps by filing a complaint with personnel
* personnel interview the bully, who uses their Jekyll and Hyde nature, compulsive lying, and charm to tell the opposite story (charm has a motive – deception)
* it’s one word against another with no witnesses and no evidence, so personnel take the word of the senior employee – serial bullies excel at deception and evasion of accountability
* the personnel department are hoodwinked by the bully into getting rid of the target – serial bullies are adept at encouraging conflict between people who might otherwise pool negative information about them
* once the target is gone, there’s a period of between 2-14 days, then a new target is selected and the process starts again (bullying is an obsessive compulsive behavior and serial bullies seem unable to survive without a target on to whom they can project their inadequacy and incompetence whilst blaming them for the bully’s own failings)
* even if the employer realizes that they might have sided with the wrong person in the past, they are unlikely to admit that because to do so may incur liability
* if legal action is taken, employers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep targets quiet, usually by offering a small out-of-court settlement with a comprehensive gagging clause
* employers are often more frightened of the bully than the target and will go to enormous lengths to avoid having to deal with bully (promotion for the bully is the most common outcome)


3 Responses to WHY AM I A TARGET?

  1. Bridgett says:

    Hello. I have been targeted for about three years now by a group of bullies. I move from one organization to another within a 20 mile radius and the Queen Bee and her accomplices manage to tell as many people as they can that I am whacko, crazy, psycho etc. because they are threatened by me because I raise the bar!! They have written threatening notes and put them in my work mail box and put stuck sticky notes on my car. They have even flattened my tires (twice in one month the same tire was flattened). I am caucasion and the “Queen Bee” who began the bullying is black. She doesn’t work while she is at work and mischarges her time. She started targeting me because I worked in a cubicle with her for about three months and was friends with everyone and worked very hard, always going above and beyond and working extra hours without compensation. I am retired military and had a connection with many of the team members who were also retired. I was medically discharged after 13 years for having an eating disorder (which is considered a psychiatric disorder, but certainly doesn’t categorize me as being insane — otherwise, there are a lot of insane people in the world). The bullies use this a basis to spread horrible rumors about me which people listen to without even knowing me and then treat me with contempt and disrespect without ever even speaking to me. It’s like a chain reaction, when people see others treating you like a punching bag, they join the crowd. I try to stay to myself and even limit the times I have to get up to go the bathroom to avoid opportunities for people to give me nasty looks or start whispering or giggling/laughing when I walk by. I was teased a lot growing up for being very tall and skinny and I was not very attractive. I was poor and didn’t have nice clothes that fit me. I am very sensitive and compassionate and never say unkind things and I certainly do not target or tease others. I don’t gossip and I am almost always the most dedicated worked wherever I am employed besides being very ethical, honest and principled. I have never been one to join in the politics which is one main reason for the attacks, but it seems to be getting very much worse as I age in the workforce. I have women 20 years younger than me plotting against me and acting very unprofessional. Mind you, I might be a “granny” but I challenge any of the cowards who continually defame me to talk their crap to my face. Ultimately, I would welcome the challenge for a physical sparring match, as I would have them eating their works so fast they would choke! I am so fed up with being terrorized and having everyone make me feel like I’m crazy when I recount what I experience on a continual basis. They are all COWARDS. I don’t play these childish games, I’m not good at it all. However, all terrorists come out of hiding at some point and since terrorists do not respond to reason, a show of force must take place. I won’t start a fight, but I certainly was in my share of fights to defend myself against bullies while walking to and from school — I haven’t lost my agility and street smarts yet!Whenever you bullies are ready to come out of hiding and will sign a release of liability against harm (basically acknowledging that you have no legal recourse when I rearrange your faces so you’re unrecognizable — without the use of any weapons) bring it on! Come on out to the “play” ground!!

  2. Sam says:

    I, too, am a target. Someday this association, with the purpose of playing god(a role no man or woman has the right to attain), will be taken down to an extent as harsh as the feelings and lifestyle they give us.

    I want to die every day of my life. I am a target because of about one year of my life on drugs, really really a LOT of drugs, to the extent of not being able to think straight or logically. I try to cope, but they try their best to make sure I have no coping methods, or even access to the ones I choose. I’ll never repeat the mistakes I made in that year, that year haunted me already to the point of complete depression. Apparently that isn’t good enough. If they didn’t push me and do what they do, I wouldnt need any coping mechanisms. But yet they punish me for the coping mechanisms they’ve caused.
    I didn’t use these methods at first, only to a honorable extent, and they got worse and worse the longer the targeters stuck w. me. They don’t see that though, it’s all my fault.

    Maybe if they tried going away long enough for me to recover from all they’ve done, they’d see how correct I am.

  3. Sam says:

    I am a target too, because one year of my life on drugs I hurt and betrayed those I loved(because that’s so clearly something I wanted to accomplish).
    One day they’ll be hurt to the extent they hurt us, in court hopefully.
    I’ll never repeat what i’ve done in the past, it makes me want to die every single day.
    I never needed coping mechanisms until they started harrassing me. If they stayed away long enough for me to recover, I wouldn’t need them. It’s like a push and pull situation, a never ending spiral only they have the opportunity to control.

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