“Don’t let other people’s opinions define you or bring you down. Keep the faith and always trust yourself.”
~ Unknown ~
“Don’t let other people’s opinions define you or bring you down. Keep the faith and always trust yourself.”
~ Unknown ~
I’m in the mood for some good music and entertainment! Here are a few songs about the dark side of humanity as it relates to bullying. Being a music lover, I sometimes like to pick out great classics and newer songs that address the topic and put a smile on some faces. Enjoy!
“(What they doin’)They’re smilin’ in your face
All the time they wanna take your place
Them back stabbers (Back stabbers)”
– The O’Jays, “Backstabbers” (1972)
“Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes, they don’t tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces tell lies, and I got proof”
– The Undesputed Truth, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” (1971)
Bullies are notorious for violating others’ personal space. They make it a point to get too close. I want you to understand that bullies do this deliberately to intimidate and challenge targets.
If you are a target of bullying, bullies will get in your face or stand too close behind you, sometimes so close their bodies are touching yours. Bullies purposefully crowd you to either intimidate you, challenge you or provoke you into a reaction. These violations are too blatant!
Different zone distances are practiced based on the relationship we have with the people in the room around us. They are as follows:
Intimate Zone – (6-18 inches) This distance between people is reserved for lovers, family, close friends, and pets. However, unwelcome bullies will move into your intimate zone when they’re feeling hostile toward you and are about to attack.
Anytime someone we don’t know, don’t trust or don’t like moves into this area, they are too close, and our minds and bodies automatically go into fight, flight, or freeze mode. Some bullies may also invade the target’s intimate area only to toy with them and get them to react, then step back and laugh at the reaction. Do not ignore it! Call the bully out and let them know that they are in your personal space and that what they’re doing isn’t acceptable.
Personal Zone – (18-48 inches) We stand this far apart at parties and social gatherings. If bullies stand in the personal zone, they are still too close. Don’t be afraid to tell them in no uncertain terms to back the hell up!
Social Zone – (4-12 feet) These distances, we stand from strangers, clerks, and delivery people. Bullies will easily be able to get away with standing at these distances from their victims, so you might not want to react if you don’t want to look paranoid or unstable. But still, keep a close eye on your bully just in case they try to move closer!
Public Zone – (Over 12 feet) We stand at these distances when speaking publicly in front of an audience. Bullies can freely stand at these distances from their victims and not look conspicuous or threatening.
(Zone distances- “The Definitive Book of Body Language,” Allan and Barbara Pease – pp. 194-195; 2004)
Sitting in your chair, leaning on your car, etc. – Any chair we sit in or any object we lean on or touch, we nonverbally lay claim to. Just as a dog will mark his territory by peeing on the spot he claims as his, people mark theirs by sitting, leaning, or touching the place or object they claim as theirs.
Other ways bullies invade their victim’s territory are leaning on their car or in the doorway of their office, dorm room, or house. Bullies may also prop their feet on the target’s desk or table or even walk into the victim’s home without knocking or being invited inside!
However, here are some less-obvious ways of space violations:
Invasion of your privacy – Bullies will very carefully observe you. They will eavesdrop on your conversations and listen for intimate details so they can take the private info and spread it as juicy gossip and make you look bad. They may also read your diary to find out your deepest, darkest secrets so they can spread it around and damage your reputation. They will even follow you to see where you go and who you associate with.
If you are a victim of bullying, understand that bullies do this on purpose. They invade your territory to intimidate, challenge, or dominate you.
You must protect not only your physical and mental health from bullies but also your personal space and territory. Never be afraid to call the bully out if they violate either one!
The more you know, the better you can protect yourself against these personal space invaders.
“Bullies don’t have to have a reason to bully you because bullying defies all logic.”
~ Cherie White ~
As we all should know, bullying can have a devastating effect on grades and class performance. Here’s how:
Anytime you are a victim of bullying, you are forcibly put on constant alert for an attack. It feels as if you have a target on your back and you must grow eyes in the back of your head. You become hyper-vigilant, which breeds anxiety and leads to exhaustion. Not only is the body tired, but also the mind.
When so much focus must be placed on ways to protect yourself and maintain dignity, safety takes priority over studying lessons. How can one concentrate on schoolwork when they’re constantly bombarded with threats, taunts, name-calling, and physical violence? How can a student study and learn effectively when the mind is tired from being stuck in what seems to be a never-ending fight-or-flight mode? It’s almost impossible!
I can tell you this because it happened to me.
In my book, “From Victim to Victor”, I talk about having been on the honor roll before I began attending school in *Oakley (The school I was bullied in). I also talk about the transfer to *Roseburg High School during my senior year and how my grades skyrocketed overnight! After leaving that toxic learning environment and moving to a new school, my grades went from ‘C’s and ‘D’s to all ‘A’s with maybe one ‘B’. I made honor roll again for the first time in five long years!
Here is an excerpt from my book, “From Victim to Victor”, which explains things a little deeper:
“…when anyone, even the most logical and rational of anyone is under a large amount of stress over a long period of time, the glucocorticoids that have flooded the brain and body for so long will cause the atrophy of areas responsible for memory, emotional regulation and ability to maintain positive relationships…”
Therefore, should it be any wonder that the majority of victims of bullying have such poor grades and class performance?
Second, after being told repeatedly and for so long that they don’t and never will amount to anything, victims begin to believe it themselves. A condition, known as “Learned Helplessness” develops and victims simply stop trying altogether.
In conclusion, bullying can affect ALL areas of a victim’s life. Not just social, but academics and achievements as well.
(*Not the real name of the town.)
Here’s to not only my bullies from the past, but all bullies in the world today:
If only you had a clue. If only you knew what sniveling cowards you were and still are. If only you realized that some of us are smarter than you think and see right through your veils.
If only you could see what we see behind your pathetic attempts to look bigger, better, and brighter than what you really are. Because if you saw what we see when we look at you, you’d want to crawl in a hole somewhere and hide.
If only you knew that in your feeble attempts to instill fear in and control others through your yelling, screaming, and cursing tirades; or your passive-aggressive dirty looks, scowls, and eye-rolls, you don’t look all-powerful. You only look desperate.
If only you could see that your relentless jockeying for power and control only gives you the appearance of weakness and desperation, not strength and ambition.
Your attacks and threats toward anyone smaller or weaker only expose your own fear and timidity. We know you’d never risk going toe to toe with someone of your equal without being buried where you’d fall. And the sad truth is that you know it too.
You hide from the truth of your inadequacies behind empathetic, ethical, and good-hearted people like us as a baby would hide behind the skirt of its mother from the boogeyman.
Your pitiful attempts to use others as a shield to conceal your flaws and imperfections make you look exactly like what you are- fakes, frauds, and imposters.
Your incessant fakery and false bravado only mean that you’re not to be taken seriously and only evidences your pathetic self-loathing.
Just knowing that you must work so hard and expend so much energy to hide your true selves and keep others down only makes us scoff at you and laugh among ourselves behind your backs because we don’t have to work as you do.
We are quite comfortable at being ourselves, and we can save our energy for use to create our own happiness and success. It’s so sad that you can’t.
Bullies, you truly are pitiful because your hatred for people like us burns you up inside, eats away at your souls, and blocks you from any peace and happiness you might otherwise attain.
So, even as you unleash your vitriol on us, we don’t hate you. You’re simply not worth the energy it takes to hate.
We only pity you– feel sorry for you because we know that at your very core- you’re so miserable with your own existence. You’re hopeless to achieve growth and become wiser and better people. And you’re helpless to better your lives.
We’ve already figured out that behind your made-up faces and fancy clothes and hairdos, there’s no substance. There’s no authenticity or anything solid. The only thing behind your weak and shaky facades is only hot air- nothingness- dead space!
You paint yourselves as most valuable, yet you bring no value to the table, only fake humanness, euphemisms, and double-speak. You may glitter and sparkle, but not all that glitters is gold. It’s only fool’s gold.
You tear people down, undermine their creativity, and take credit for their ideas. But only because you aren’t smart enough to be original. I’ll bet you’ve never had an original thought in your entire lives!
You surround yourselves with people who are just like you- coattail hitchhikers who are unable to think for themselves, who’ll jump through a thousand hoops to make “the right people” like and favor them, and who are nothing but followers, drones, lackeys, and patsies. In a nutshell, you’re only losers disguised as winners.
You talk so much garbage, but instead of making us feel bad, you only give us free entertainment- because we know now that talk is cheap- and it’s all you can do.
But you’re right about one thing. We are different from you- absolutely we are. We’re nothing like any of you. And you know what else? We’re proud of it.
People like us don’t need lackeys and followers. We can improvise, adapt to, and overcome anything. And the best part is, we have you to thank for that.
You taught us how to be inventive. We’re creative because we had to be. You taught us how to get around any roadblock or barrier placed in our paths. How? You might ask? You gave us plenty of practice!
You gave us grit– the strength to weather the storms in life, to stay the course, and to gather the wherewithal to live a better and more rewarding life.
You made us more determined to have what we want out of life. In trying to break us down, you only set some of us on our paths to success – and without meaning to!
And now, while you stay in your comfort zones and live mediocre lives, we’re willing to endure a little discomfort to expand our horizons and live extraordinary lives. And it’s finally paying off.
While you followed the latest fads and trends, we were developing those of the future.
In a nutshell, you may have brought us down, but you couldn’t keep us down. In the end, some of us rose higher than any of you ever could’ve imagined we would. So, here’s another reason for you to hate us.
And the fun part is, we welcome, even embrace your hatred of us.
And we haven’t even begun yet, we’re only getting started. There’s a lot more to come.
Again. you may have brought us down, but you couldn’t keep us there. In the end, some of us rose higher than any of you ever could’ve imagined we would. And the best part is, we’re still rising!
Sorry- Oops! Not!
“Don’t make the assumption that she’s doing something to bring on the teasing. Teasing isn’t always logical and for your kid, it doesn’t matter why- it just matters that it’s happening.”
~ Peggy Moss ~
Being alone means being in solitude- being by yourself. When you’re alone, you’re without the company of others. Being lonely, on the other hand, means having feelings of abandonment- being sad due to being isolated and alienated from others.
Alone is a state of being. Whereas, loneliness is a state of mind. An emotion. You can be in a room full of people and though you may not be alone, you can be lonely. It’s not about the number of people around you, it’s about how you feel.
When you’re alone, you can be happy. When you’re lonely, you can’t.
Being alone is sometimes beneficial because it allows you to focus on a project without disruption and makes concentration so much easier. So, you can be alone without necessarily being lonely. And everyone needs a little bit of “me-time” every day!
Being alone is being at home by yourself and enjoying a good book.
Being lonely is that dull ache in your chest after you’ve lost a family member or been thrown under the bus by your friends.
Here’s how to beat that awful feeling of loneliness:
1. Concentrate on your hobbies. Do something you enjoy doing- preferably something that takes a little concentration and consumes some time.
2. Get up and move. Exercise works wonders and has a way of producing endorphins that make you feel good. Dancing to some good music is a great picker-upper!
3. Do a home-improvement project. Clean out your garage or declutter your closets.
As you know, I was bullied for six long years in school. But I also had hobbies that distracted me from some of the loneliness.
My writing and art projects at home were one of the ways I survived those lonely years. They made things a lot more bearable and when I’d finish a project, that feeling of accomplishment I’d get would always supersede any feeling of abandonment I felt!
Never fear being alone. Too many people think that because you’re alone, it means you’re lonely. It doesn’t!
It is with heartfelt gratitude that I announce reaching the 1000 mark! I want to thank all my fellow bloggers, followers, and readers for your support of this blog. I could never have made it this far without you. Through WordPress, I’ve found such an awesome community and made so many great friends. Words can never express what a huge blessing each and every one of you are to my life. I’m truly thankful, honored and humbled. And I look forward to many, many years with you and to forming new friendships.
Bullies come in different kinds. You can never assume how your bullies will react because different people react to different things in different ways. Speak out against and expose some bullies and they’ll go to the ends of the earth seeking to retaliate.
Taylor your defense strategies to the particular bully you’re dealing with. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the blowhards from the truly vindictive, the smart ones from the dumb, and the aggressive from the passive-aggressive.
Bullies should never be dealt with blindly. If you go into it blind, you’ll be at their mercy and they’ll toss you around like a tornado tosses debris.
To successfully combat bullying, you must be able to recognize different types of personalities if you expect to survive.
1. Narcissistic and Arrogant Bullies – Although they may hide it well, their excessive, touchy pride and self-importance makes them dangerous. If these types detect even a hint of slight, they will pay you back with excessive brutality. With these people, logic and rationality won’t apply. They overreact to what even looks like opposition and ridicule.
And you don’t have to do anything to them. All you have to do is be good at something or outdo them somehow and they’ll take offense to it. They’ll call you a showoff and take it as you’re trying to be better than them. And they’ll make you pay dearly. And if you get recognition for a project well-done, these people won’t tolerate it. They hate being in anyone’s shadow!
These bullies are usually in the popular crowd at school or in management at work.
Don’t bother trying to second guess them. Avoid them like the plague!
2. Insecure Bullies – These people are a close second to the Narcissistic bullies. These bullies are harder to spot and less violent. Their egos are extremely fragile, and their senses of self are insecure. If they dislike you, they’ll attack in small nibbles. And you won’t realize it until the swipes they take at you are big enough to be obvious.
These bullies are usually the groupies to the popular crowd at school or the suck-ups to management at work.
Avoid these people as well.
3. Suspicious Bullies – these bullies only see the worst in not only their targets but everyone. But in their targets, it’s all they want to see. They see them as threats and think they’re out to get them when it couldn’t be further from the truth. However, Suspicious bullies aren’t as dangerous as the previous two. These bullies are, in fact, easy for targets to trick and deceive. And sometimes targets must resort to trickery to protect themselves.
To counter these bullies is to use their suspicions and turn them against someone else. It will take their focus off you and toss it on the other person. Hey, I know it sounds shady but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to protect yourself. And if means someone else (preferably someone who is as mean as a snake) taking the heat for a while, so be it.
4. Bullies with photographic memories – These bullies never forget you. If you were to run into them again 30 years later, you can bet that they will target you again- only picking up where they left off.
If you’re a target of these bullies, they won’t show their hatred outwardly. But they will keep their eyes on you.
They’ll lie in wait as they plot. Then, when the time is right, they’ll exact their brutality with a frigid coldness. These bullies are usually unaffectionate and hard.
To protect yourself, you must damage these bullies or scare them so bad, they won’t even think of coming for you again.
5. Bullies who aren’t very bright – These people are easy to combat and won’t see your counterattack coming. These are the bullies you can most easily defend yourself against and expose.
Again, you must know your bullies- each of them, if you expect to overcome them. Knowing your bullies means knowing their personalities and being able to predict what they’ll do next. Only then will you be able to protect yourself against them to maximum effect.