Mobbing is exactly what it sounds like. It looks like this:

Whether physical or social, mobbing is the surrounding of a target with the goal of controlling their perspective or movement. As shown in the image above, even though a target is part of a larger world where there are nearly infinite others like themselves and without malicious intent, an illusion of bleakness can be projected on a target’s perception by placing negative operatives at strategic locations surrounding the target.

In street theater with themed conversation, the target may only be able to hear what all the red dots are saying, but if he/she walks away and keeps walking he/she is bound to run into blue dots, thus reaffirming the larger world, where not everyone is out to get them.

Since I mentioned street theater in the last example, I should point out that many street theater dramas are planned according to a target’s usual or likely path from one place to another, so as to give the illusion that everyone is in on it. This is still mobbing, but the targeted area includes the path likely to be taken by the target, not just the area where the target is currently positioned. I’ve seen stalking accomplices stand around in their staging area waiting for me to leave the video store (etc), knowing that I will have to walk along the storefronts on my way to the next place I go.

When mobbing is physical in that stalking perps position themselves in close physical proximity, this tends to boost the psychological effects. While on the light rail (public transportation) and once at a concert, I’ve experienced a group of people so close they were shoving and jeering while others were acting calm but repeating themed references. This can be very upsetting, but the same resolution is true, get away when you can, sit tight and smile or laugh if you can’t right away (or shove your way out if that feels more appropriate), and just keep walking until you find yourself in friendlier waters.

I made the image above to remind myself that no matter how seamless the illusion of menace seems to be at times, the friendly blue dots are always only a stroll away.