Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Bullying by Proxy - A Narcissist Will Pull Others In
It's not unusual for multiple bullies to go after one target. That's because female narcissists are amazingly clever. (If only they could use their innate intelligence for good, instead of for destruction.) What happens is little different than the dynamics that once played out in the school yard. One girl (or adult woman) manages to rally others to turn against someone she dislikes. Some of her cohorts will then do a lot of the heavy lifting, while she stands off to the sidelines, enjoying the show.
The formal name for this is bullying by proxy. When others are dragged in, to act out the main bully's wishes, it creates a lot of drama and confusion. It can even appear as if the main bully is supportive of your situation, because everyone else is doing her bidding. The last thing you expect is that someone who appears so nice to be orchestrating these acts.
This is how bullies and malignant narcissists operate. It's hard to for someone who's never been a target to understand that certain people really are capable of causing so much damage.
In a work environment, bullying by proxy also makes it extremely difficult to lodge a formal complaint. If multiple parties are involved, each incident of abuse in isolation may be trivial. But, taken together, it adds up to a serious problem. However, if you try to describe what is happening, you'll come across as crazy.
Flickr photo by magnetbox