Psychology of Internet Bullies

Because of my former assistant, Darlene’s mistake on July 1, 2019, I was personally victimized by internet bullies, and malicious haters and trolls across all of my social media account but especially Twitter and Goodreads. Ironically, Darlene had not even mentioned this main cyberbullying, troll, hater by name (CM), so I’m not even sure why CM immediately took ownership of Darlene’s anonymous post.

But, because I usually choose to walk the high-road, once I saw the Twitter exchange, I privately emailed CM and apologized for Darlene’s post (which I haven’t even seen), and informed CM that I terminated Darlene (which I did).

Literally, CM and her equally-malicious followers spent hours of their day with nothing better to do than to berate me for something I literally had no knowledge of. It may have been different if we shared an office. But we both work from home and she lives across the United States from me.

It is my fault however, that I didn’t micromanage Darlene. Proof of my error is that I had absolutely no knowledge of what Darlene was doing on social media (which may be why she mentioned me in her seemingly-offensive post but did not tag me (so I wasn’t flagged). Had she tagged me, I would have demanded she take it down. I only found out about it after a couple of my collaborating authors in the GBF series alerted me.

However, I’m sure I’m not the only employer who had a very trusted employee in which we felt micromanaging was not necessary. Afterall, she had been with me for 9 years and I never had a problem other than a couple reports about her being a bit sarcastic. But a couple reports in 9 years is hardly enough to warrant police patrol. However, at the time of those reports, I did handle the complaints immediately and, to my knowledge, she had gotten better because I did not receive any more complaints. 

Anyway, what all this cyberbullying did was cause my volunteer-writers-only Girl Behind the Fence (GBF) series to be cancelled (and authors are very sad), my social media accounts to be shut down, and I physically and emotionally withdrew. I shut off the phone, emails, put on my pajamas, and spent 13 hours nursing symptoms such as a horrendous migraine. Yet during that time, I was able to repeatedly reassess everything that had gone on. When I turned my phone back on, I received a notice that Darlene had called and left an apology message.

((I once wrote a blog post about how “professional badmouthing says more about the talker” than it does about the talker’s target but I can’t locate the post anymore. If I can find a copy of it, I’ll republish it. However, it’s true)).

Anyway, in the process of reassessing things, I decided to do some research on the mentality behind online bullies, malicious trolls, and professional haters such as CM and her sidekicks.

This is what I found… 

A research team from the School of Health and Life Sciences at Federation University in Australia carried out a study to analyze the personality traits of these kinds of people. They discovered they actually scored much higher than others in two important personality traits: psychopathy and cognitive empathy. 

What does that mean?

Psychologist Dr. Robert Hare has been researching psychopathy for more than 30 years and he stated: psychopaths are easily bored, need constant stimulation, and are unable to set long-term goals. They’re manipulative and need to feel like they have power and control over others. Psychopaths also have narcissistic traitsSure seems to sum-up CM and her sidekicks the 1st week of July. Who else would spend nearly a full 24-hours wasting time trying to sabotage little ole’ me for trying to help our readers heal from destructive attitudes, beliefs, emotions, thoughts, etc?

According to Dr. Hare and the study, these people have serious impulse control problems and react with anger. Individuals with this disorder have problems with social and moral norms (abnormal). However, they’re often superficially charming (fake) and seem well-adjusted (keyword: seem).

Psychopaths think highly of themselves. Inflicting pain on others gives them pleasure. It’s often said that psychopaths lack empathy”, but that’s not exactly true and here’s why… 

The study also reveals the “dark side of empathy”…

Emotional empathy and cognitive empathy are both cognitive processes. However, there are significant differences between them involving the activation of different parts of the brain. 

You can read the complete study / article HERE but let me first share this about the “dark side of empathy” per the article.

There’s a kind of “cold” empathy that is not as well known but online evil-doers have high levels of it. In other words, these online bullies, trolls, and haters can identify someone else’s suffering, but they don’t feel it. In fact, they are able to predict and recognize their victim’s emotional suffering. They then deliberately use their knowledge to cause the most damage possible. 

They often don’t even read people’s posts or they just skim them and reinterpret them to fit their motives. (This is exactly what CM and her sidekicks did). 

Again, it sure seems to sum-up CM and her sidekicks, and what they attempted and somewhat succeeded in doing to me last week. However, if you pay attention to her page, that’s all she seems to do & enjoy. Here is an example. She likes to “name and shame” without knowing the full story so I decided to “name” her in this post.

How in the world does she have time to write books if she’s always cyberbullying someone or starting shit online? And the genre she writes is romance. That’s very surprising because her personality sure seems far from warm and fuzzy. Perhaps she’d be a more successful author if she wrote murder mysteries, lol.

Now, check this post out!

Oh, and she tried to claim (via Darlen’e post) that I expect professionals to work for free. That’s not true. However, I did ask women who were friends and family members of mine if they would like to write a story to contribute to the GBF series, which was a passion project for me.

In my opinion, there is a big difference between the intention of all people who do things to help others and those who do things to make money. The GBF series was about helping people fulfill goals. For example, the series allowed many women to realize their dream of becoming a published author and, on the flipside, it allowed readers to realize their dream of shifting their mindset so they can break free from things that may be holding them back (ie: anger, anxiety, codependency, loneliness, etc.)

Update as of 7/18/19:

At first, I was emotional and had become so tired of fighting against jerks, bullies, and downright a-holes all of my life, that it’s just easier now that I’m older to just quit. But I have never been a “quitter”. I mean, Jesus was tortured and he kept going, so my “pain” seemed a whole lot more bearable.

So, after my much-needed break to think everything through, I realized that CM et al (those who caused all of the above) are just mere, tiny specks in a world of billions of specks. I never heard of them before this “situation”, so why should I let them put a stop to my passion project that could help millions of women across the world? They judgement upon me should not reflect my judgement upon myself so…

I have decided to be like a Phoenix once again and rise-up from the ashes. Therefore, the GBF series is once again “on” and it will continue until all of the series books are published as originally scheduled. I will see this project through to the end because it’s what I want to do. Ladies, if you’d like to participate in the GBF series, check this out.

Now my only question is… since Darlene wants her position back, do I rehire her ? Did I terminate her due to my emotional upheaval? I do know that, had this “online harrassment” with CM and her groupies not occurred, Darlene would’ve never been terminated.

What are your thoughts?

still-i-rise-you-may-shoot-me-with-your-words-22858715

In closing, while there aren’t any studies on how to stop trolls, ignoring their attacks seems to be the best way to avoid giving them more power.

So from this point forward, that’s what I’m going to do. 

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Is Our Society Doomed?

To avoid my 1st Amendment rights being squashed again on Facebook, I figured I’d jump over here to WordPress and hope that it stays. You see, just yesterday someone “flagged” several of my posts on Facebook as being “inappropriate”. I call them REAL LIFE. But, instead of getting irritated, I said, “That’s okay. Let me sum them ALL up for you….”, so I did.

That summary is below

I am often beyond saddened & disgusted over the state of our society, here in the USA and across the world. Many could argue that the cruel, insensitive, unkind, murderous, savage-minded people deserve what they have coming to them (karma?), however most people I know would agree that animals really never deserve the way they are treated. Is it just me or does China lead the world in cruelty to animals and people? Or is are all Asian countries ruthlessly heartless?

To my sensitive readers… this post is 100% MY personal opinion. If you don’t like it, don’t bother to comment because I really don’t care if you like my opinions or not. Bottom line is that I may have a lot of people remove themselves from my friends list, and that’s OK too. It’s one way to see who my true friends are, lol.

On the other hand, I may gain more followers since I am often told by others, “Wow, you have the courage to actually speak what I only think yet am too afraid to actually say”.

Whether you stay or go, if you don’t know why I have a strong opinion on these types of topics, you obviously don’t know me very well at all, so let me enlighten you in a nutshell…

Although I have forgiven everyone in my past, and haven’t been “triggered” in decades, that does not mean that I did not experience decades of trauma starting at birth (adoption), or that I was bullied so badly as a kid and had my first serious suicide attempt at age 9. Or that, when I was 11, I was almost gang raped and tied naked to a tombstone overnight. Then, throughout my childhood and teen years, I was abused in pretty much every way from those closest to me as well as peers, and sooo much more. 

Then, as a young adult, I escaped a very abusive marriage, out-smarted a hired gun, and raised my two kids alone while running from a 10-year stalker who was also a convicted child predator. This predator also posed as a cop and followed me & my kids to several states.

Even with two Master’s degrees and a doctorate, I was then reverse-discriminated against and completely blackballed from working in mainstream mental health throughout Maricopa County where I live because (quote), “Your ethics are just too strong” (WHAT?!). Plus people who interview me usually have much less education and experience and one has even told me that she wouldn’t hire me because I should be her supervisor. Apparently brains intimidate many people! I could go on and on about that, and bring forth others treated the exact same way by the exact same agencies but that serves no purpose than to chain myself to the past.

steve jobs quote

On the flipside, I always preferred paramilitary settings and despite the black-balling in the mental health “gen pop”, I was able to consistently work in jails and prisons as a Forensic Mental Health Professional and currently work in a maximum security men’s prison. So, as an international forensic handwriting and body language expert, I have spent over 30 years total in the forensics and criminology fields.

Although I was not a “people person” per se, I have always felt absolute empathy for anyone who has experienced any kind of trauma as a child or adult. That’s why I have been passionate for my entire life about helping others heal and find light in their darkest moments. Of course, I can’t take all the credit – I had enormous assistance from God, the individual’s own spirituality, and my Clinical Graphology program.

Yet during my 30+ years in forensics, I also experienced and saw things that most of the public has only seen on TV or in movies. In other words, I have seen the RAW TRUTH of the unbelievable, pure unimaginable and beyond-incomprehensible things people have done – and continue to do – to animals and each other. Often this is done so in the name of ego, politics, greed, religion, money, “bad genes”, and just plain selfishness.

I also feel that a LOT of the problems in our world started with music that is full of disrespectful (& often gruesome) lyrics, violent video games, drugs, the wimpy schools who look the other way when those who are bullied seek help, the mental health system full of coddling social workers who allow the mentally ill person to blame everyone else for their unhappiness (I am talking about those who abuse the systems, not those who truly seek help), and other “community” programs who allow people to be enabled by disability / food stamps / unemployment. ADD TO THAT… the DUMMYING DOWN (allowing kids with a 4th grade reading level to graduate!) in public schools (Carlos Mencia has it 100% correct), and the criminal justice system who often slaps people on the wrists without ever truly holding them accountable. ADD TO THAT…those professionals we were once able to trust – like that of police, teachers, clergy – who are now raping our youth, beating their spouse, and in other ways hiding behind the badge. This makes it difficult for GOOD, ETHICAL professionals to survive (could this be related to the once-again, recent upswing in law enforcement officer suicides?).

ADD TO THAT… the parents who have stopped parenting as soon as kids threatened to call “child protective services” whenever they did try to parent… and then those seeming “deaf, dumb and blind” parents / grandparents who truly believe “my kid would never do that”

ADD TO THAT… Netflix is starting to remove Christian movies, and cater to what others call “anti-christian” movies, and that may be the exact thing that led to the creation of Pureflix. Who knows…

ADD TO THAT… we seem to be regressing back into the “racial segregation”, yet we are all of mixed ethnicities and every female alive has African DNA (which means so does everyone else since a woman gave birth to them). ADD TO THAT… people can no longer look inside of their pants and tell what gender they are, and ADD TO THAT… the recent upswing of Christian villagers who are being killed and their Churches and Bibles destroyed.

ADD TO THAT… a selfish younger generation who often seem to have ZERO ethics, integrity, or respect for older generations or authority. ADD TO THAT… customer service where I rarely get quality service anywhere, meaning that most food is not the way I ordered, representatives on the phone and in person are rude, etc…. and ADD TO THAT… the fact that when KIDS / TEENS kill animals they are “future serial killers”, yet when ADULTS kill animals, they are “sportsmen”. Yes, I too am a sometimes meat-eater and I struggle with this a lot (so to help, I thank the animals during prayer for giving its life to help sustain mine). I understand the “over-population” of wild animals, but we can end an animal’s life humanely, and that is largely not being done!!

ADD TO THAT… sports professionals (ie: NFL) get paid ridiculous amounts of money to throw balls around and run across fake grass, while people literally living down the street from them are starving to death. I feel sports are just one of the many distractions to keep us all “ignorant”. ADD TO THAT… that we are all victims in some way of “repression” (use of force to subdue something or someone), “oppression” (a prolonged period of maltreatment), and “suppression” (putting a stop to something like standing up and speaking about these things).

Anyway… admittedly, none of us are perfect but as you know… THE LIST GOES ON & ON

And YES, I know much of this cruelty occurred since the beginning of time and has only been outed by the internet, news, and social media.

However I’m glad they are…

People used to say to me, “I don’t understand why you don’t trust people”.

So I am glad that the truth is finally out here and in our faces. Because hiding behind all “fluffy” posts is not real, it’s not genuine. So, I vote for NO MORE blind ignorance because ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance allows the things we hate to continue.

It is anger, irritation, and frustration combined with passion that create change.

So, is it really so difficult to see why I feel so passionately about these things?

I’ve always considered myself very apolitical but now, after rereading this I’m beginning to think I should run for politics, lol. Then again, because of my satirical and often blunt comments, and strong personality, I’d probably be killed by my opponent or POTUS, lol.

Finally, as for Facebook – I hate it and always have. If I could figure out viable options (and I have tried several times) other than Facebook for the only 2 reasons I am on there, I would not be on there at all.  So until Facebook is wiped out like MySpace was (which I hope is very soon!), I’m stuck there.

hatred fear love

NOW READ THIS

Here is something I found online that someone I do not know shared on July 11th… 

In your opinion, do comments like this help or hurt society? Are they true or offensive? Are we losing control as a society? I’d really like to know your thoughts. 

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Disconnecting from Toxic Family Members

A common goal of my clients at the beginning of every new year is “Disconnecting from Toxic Family Members”.

Here is my advice for them:

TOXIC PEOPLE ARE NOT FIXABLE SO DON’T TRY. The way toxic people act is because of an internal struggle they bear inside of themselves but is taken out on those around them, or their target.

It is not your place to “fix” them, and they often have no idea why they feel the way they do, do the things they do, and hurt the people they hurt. Yet, they continue to do it; this in no way makes what they do justifiable.

There are also those toxic people with personality disorders who understand what their heinous words and actions do to others, but find their behavior defensible. Of course, it never really is, but in their minds they will always find a way to justify the means.

Toxic individuals are aware of the chaos they create around them. Some do so intentionally, others may be good people who do not know how to exist in the world without forcing others (you) to compromise their (your) happiness to their infliction.

Toxic people create drama and live in a world of negativity. They are essentially addicted to the drama – the negativity – the toxicity. When life is calm, it is disorienting so it doesn’t last long. Creating an argument, or turning a tiny issue into a huge verbal battle, is sure to bring their unhappy world and mindset right back. SO, take a hard look and decide for yourself if you can tolerate their behavior for a lifetime – because it will likely never go away… OR if its time to make your own well-being a priority.

This may mean that you distance yourself from this person by spending less time with them, not sharing personal information, or disconnecting entirely – temporarily or permanently.

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO CREATE A HEALTHY (& HAPPY) LIFE FOR YOURSELF and there will come a time when you say, “enough is enough.” You are a person who deserves to be treated with love and respect. You cannot possibly grow if the sunshine is always being snuffed out by a raging storm.

You will not love yourself or live a positive, flourishing life – a life you absolutely deserve – in the wake of a toxic person who purposefully hurts you and keeps you from true happiness.

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT YOU ALLOW: these toxic individuals often manipulate, lie, are passive-aggressive, hurtful, or physically abusive, yet continue to act this way because you allow it in your life.

What are you doing to stand up for yourself and to stop the way they treat you? How do you react when they disrespect and hurt you? What is the toxic person’s reaction when you choose to stand up to them? When you confront a toxic person, do not expect it to go smoothly. 

Because they often take your distance as a personal attack, an insult if you will, or rejection, you will often see manipulation at it’s finest. A family member will often play the victim and try to corral other family members against you because they feel you have hurt them. They may use their emotions to influence other family members and isolate you, and they may treat you harshly in return. It is common to expect lies, victim stories with you being the “bad guy”.

Toxic people will often flat out lie about what you have gone through and why you are disconnecting from them. They will usually make up new stories to disarm your interpretation of the truth and will seek to redirect the indictments they feel you are accusing them of. Again, to make them appear to be the victim.

The things the toxic person says, what those around her will say to you and accuse you of may make you feel like the crazy person. Know that the redirection is just another manipulation to make you question the validity of your claims, recollection of your account of events, and even question your own emotions. You may even feel that you are crazy, overreacting, or dramatic.

Do not question yourself. You have every right to stand up for your well-being, for your emotions, and for your sanity. It does not matter if it’s a family member or a friend, you do not have to tolerate toxic behavior when it affects your well being.

NO KIND OF ABUSE IS EVER TOLERABLE. Anyone who physically hurts another is likely breaking the law and there are consequences for their actions. If someone if emotionally manipulating, bullying and abusing you, know that you deserve better and that it’s OK to let go and walk away – whether from your parents, siblings, adult children, or another family member

No amount of love, forgiveness, guilt, grief or prayer will fix a person who is broken and purposefully hurting another (you) because of the rush they get from inflicting chaos and pain. The person you need to save is yourself.

Practicing self-love and self-care every day will feel like a new concept, but over time, you week see and feel it was the right step towards a new and fulfilling life.

The time it takes to heal from walking away from a toxic person may be swift but other times, it can take years and cycles of anger, grief, sadness, relief and finally contentment. The human mind likes to know “why” but trying to find the ‘why’ to the actions of a toxic person is usually a fruitless journey. It is one you will inevitably try to figure out for yourself, but in order to let go, you must be okay in likely never knowing those answers. Don’t give your personal power to trying to figure it out, that only serves to prevent the healing of your “scars”.

They have no justification for the way they are and the things they do and cope with the fact you aren’t like them. Are you prepared to let go – temporarily or permanently – and are you prepared for the fallout from potentially other family members or friends? How do you know when to walk away from family? Are you ready to start letting go of family?

Will you be able to continue to remind yourself that YOU are valuable when you are cycling through the stages of letting go? When you feel like giving in and picking up (or answering) your phone, can you be strong enough to know that the journey is long and hard, and each time you want to give in, it WILL get easier?

The way you feel is important and, if this is the journey you choose to take and in all the loneliness and heartbreak of it, know that you are not alone – there is support. More importantly, there are so many people like you who have chosen to be incredibly brave and embark on the path of their own happiness, just like you.

TOP 7 REASONS PEOPLE TERMINATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS:

1). When the relationship is based in any kind of abuse, mentally, physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally. When the relationship is based in manipulation, overt or covert, you can be sure you are being used and abused. When you are living in constant anxiety never knowing or being able to predict how any engagement is going to turn out, it is time to love yourself enough to let go.

2). When the only contact you have with them is negative. The contact you have with them serves to bring you down, put you down and/or make you feel you are not good enough, or you haven’t done enough for them.

3). When the relationship creates so much stress that it affects the important areas of your life at work, home or both. When your emotions are totally caught up in defending yourself and wanting to explain yourself, and the chaos of your relationships with these people is all you talk about, it is time to let go.

4). If you find yourself trying to right the wrong’s (gossip they told about you), and you are constantly being ostracized to the point you lose sleep over it, you have been poisoned with their toxicity. Gossip only serves one family member, the one telling it. Yet you can be left feeling defenseless against the false beliefs about yourself. There is usually a ring leader gathering the troops for the assault and because they are joined together, you begin to wonder whether it is you who has or is the problem.

5). When the relationship is completely all about the other person and there is no real reason why the other person cannot make any effort toward the health and maintenance of the relationship with you. One sided relationships are set up for your failure. When you realize there is never going to be an “enough” place for you to reach in the relationship, you need to let go and start to focus on your own healing. Remember you should never be more invested in someone’s life than they are.

6). When and whether the relationship is only about borrowing, or needing money.

7). When crazy-making, no-win games dominate the relationship (ie: silent treatment, blame-games, no-win arguments that spin around on you), there is no point in continuing in this battle. Verbal warfare is never the place you will convince them of anything and these kinds of verbal interactions are set up to be their way or the highway.

One CLASSIC sign of a conversation or piece of advice going nowhere is when your well-intended help is met with “Yeah, but…”. 

10 SIGNS YOU HAVE A TOXIC FAMILY MEMBER:

1). You Feel Sad And Down Around Them

2). You Feel Angry Around Them

3). You Don’t Want To Go See Them

4). You Find Yourself Having To Take Care Of Them

5). You Feel Drained Around Them

6). You Feel Numb Around Them

7). You Can’t Say Anything Right Around Them

8). You Feel Forced To Be Around Them

9). You Feel Unlike Yourself Around Them

10). You Feel Like They Control The Relationship

Unlike healthy relationships, which have highs and lows, and struggles now and then, a toxic relationship is poison to the people involved. The excuse of “being blood” or “being family” is no excuse. Families should be safe havens for the people within them, a shelter of love, hope, support, and affection in a vast world.

** BENEFITS OF LOW OR NO CONTACT? **

Aside from no longer putting yourself in the path of constant maltreatment, you will likely enjoy:

~~ A sense of peace (all the jitters of constantly expecting an emotional ambush will be gone.)
~~ A sense of empowerment (for the first time, you may be protecting yourself.)
~~ A sense of being a real grown-up (no longer having your life dictated by anyone else (ie: toxic parents)
~~ Freedom (to make your own choices)
~~ Holidays you can enjoy (without the drama, the demands, the painful interactions)
~~ A sense of being more authentically “you”
~~ A better use of time (in doing what you want)
~~ Growing more comfortable in your skin
~~ Discovering new facets of your personality which were buried under the toxicity.
~~ New fulfilling relationships with emotionally healthy people
~~ Joy in being untethered (emotionally)
~~ A voice that speaks the truth
~~ A voice that says what you don’t like, what you do, what hurts you, what gives you joy—all without fear of repercussions
~~ A better view of the world (and less feeling like the world is going to ambush you with its demands, pains, and abuse)

Some of these benefits will come immediately from putting a halt to the toxic relationships while other benefits, such as finding one’s voice and living without a notion of guilt, may take time and even therapy…

People who come out of deeply toxic relationships often have a form of PTSD, so the movement from feeling run over and emotionally exhausted to feeling happy can take time, patience, and support. Be sure not to rush it and to nuture yourself.

BOTTOM LINE? Choose You. Choose Happiness and Peace. Choose Your Emotional Well-Being.