Arrival of “Townies, Cronies and Hayseeds”

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I’m very excited to announce that my second novel and first fiction is here! Writing has always been a passion of mine and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love! I’m forever grateful to those whom believed in me, encouraged me and helped make this possible! Thank you, Mom, Mike, Dustin, Aunt Becky, Brian, Bud, Treyton and everyone who has made a huge difference in my life!

If I’ve overlooked anyone, please allow me to apologize. There are just so many!

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Why Bullies Often Bully in Large Groups

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As the old proverb goes, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups”. This has been true since the dawn of time, as there’s strength in numbers and groups of bullies do often use their numbers to intimidate and disempower their victims. However, there’s another reason I’m sure most haven’t thought about…a reason much deeper than strength or power.

Social science has proved that comradeship is born when two or more people can find something (or someone)they dislike…a common enemy they can all share a passionate dislike for. And if members of the group do not feel they can get solidarity any other way, they will find and/or create an enemy who they can all unite against. Simply put, bullies often bully in groups- singling out and harassing a certain person for purposes of group cohesion…to facilitate comradarie among the other bullies in the group.

Put another way, they use their victim as a vehicle for interaction, ingratiation, bonding among the other members, ensuring group solidarity. Each member takes turns bullying the victim because they know it’s what’s expected of them by the rest of the pack, therefore committing the harassment to ‘fit in’ and getting the reward of group unity at the victim’s expense.

Today, we call this “pack mentality” or “herd mentality”. And sadly, most people will do anything, right or wrong, to follow the rest of the herd.

One Sneaky Way to Conquer Your Bullies

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“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. So says the age-old proverb and it has certainly rang true for many a century. If you are the target of any bully, rest assured that you haven’t been the first nor the only poor soul who has fallen victim to him/her. Therefore, it’s safe to say that your bullies have enemies, lots of them. Only you don’t know it because bullies naturally put up the facade that they are the greatest things since sliced bread and that everyone adores them. But every bit of it is a lie.
Although what I’m about to advise may seem a little underhanded, it isn’t and it will certainly help you in getting the bullies off your back. Social science has long proved that comradeship is born when two or more people can find something (or someone) they dislike…a common enemy that they all share a passionate distaste for.

Find out who your bullies’ enemies are, connect with them, and befriend them; making sure to have their backs, then you and your bullies’ enemies can unite as allies. I guarantee that the enemies, whoever they are will be more than happy to oblige as you instantly become comrades in the fight against the bullies!

There’s strength in numbers. Always. And rarely do lone wolves survive in the social world. Thank evolution for that one. The more of your bullies’ enemies you can make friends and allies, the more protection and support you will garner in order to keep the bullies at bay.

Remember that bullies are cowards and they almost always pursue either the weakest link or the lone wolf. So, if you can become friends with as many of your bullies’ enemies as possible, the bullying will stop. Why? Because bullies never attack anyone who is surrounded and liked by others. Also, you will have friends whom will protect and look out for you. Then your bullies will go find another victim and leave you alone. How I wish I thought of this back when I was in school! Things definitely would have been a lot different!

You are worth fighting for! Don’t give up! There are always options and this is only one!

Telltale Signs of a Target of Bullying

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As we know, bullied teens are often silent about the torment they face in school and in most cases. This is due to shame and embarrassment. Also, Most parents are not even aware that there is a problem and those who are aware are often at a loss as to how to deal with it. If you are a parent and are wondering whether or not your son or daughter is a target of bullying, here are the signs of a bullied teen:

1. Withdrawal from family and friends- as we know, being the target of a bully can slowly chip away at the victim’s self esteem. And people with low self esteem have a tendency to withdraw. It is a defense mechanism to protect oneself against further attacks because bully targets, after being victimized for so long, begin to think that ALL people are vicious and cannot be trusted. So therefore, they put up their guard and close themselves off, which can result in missed opportunities for closeness with family members, friendships, or romantic relationships.

2. Underachievement- Most bully targets are underachievers. Their self esteem has been so badly beaten that they no longer believe in themselves, which can cause a condition known as “Learned Helplessness”. A bully target, after being told that they are a “loser”, “no good” and/or that they “can’t do anything right” so often for so long, they tend to believe it themselves. This can have a negative impact on grades, class participation, and performance.

3. Over achievement- I mentioned in number 2 about underachievement and with most targets of bullying, this is usually the case. However, this can go either way. Some targets of bullying dive into schoolwork and achieve exceptional grades and class performance to compensate for their low social status among their peers. They feel that they are socially inept somehow, so these kids try to make up for this by excelling in their studies, talents, or any other area.

4. Bruises, scrapes, and or cuts on their physical body- most victims of bullying are victims of physical bullying (being punched, kicked, knocked down, dragged, etc), which occurs mostly in boys, but thanks partially to feminism and the moral decline in today’s young girls and women, physical assaults perpetrated by females are increasing at an alarming rate.

5. Sadness and Depression- symptoms are crying, withdrawal, loss of interest in activities one normally enjoys, and fatigue.

6. Excessive absences from school- Most bully-targets are afraid of going to school because they know that as soon as they step onto that school bus or get to school, bullies will be waiting for them. So they avoid going to school by either skipping, or feigning an illness as an excuse to stay home.

7. They may become bullies themselves- Often, bullied children and teens feel helpless. They feel that they have absolutely no control over anything. So they too become bullies in an attempt to feel some sense of power and control over something…ANYTHING. They often bully others who are even more powerless than they are to make themselves feel better about themselves and to feel that they are a rung or two up from the bottom of the social hierarchy. Crap always rolls downhill. An example of this would be: A child gets yelled at by parents, then goes outside and kicks the dog. It’s the same with most bully targets. And as much as I hate to admit it, I was guilty of the same thing in school. I simply call this “Kicking the Dog”.

8.Suicidal thoughts and attempts- sadly, suicides resulting from bullying are at an all-time high! Most children and teens who are bullied do not know what to do about it. Most have tried reporting it to an adult or handling it themselves to no avail. Bully targets often feel alone and have no one in their corner. They feel that there is something wrong with them. They feel like they have some major defect either physical or social, that causes them to be mistreated by others. They often feel as is it is their fault and that somehow, they deserve the shabby treatment they get. Sadly, some targets break under the pressure and suicide may seem to them to be the only way out….the only way to make the bullying and the pain stop. If you even THINK that your child or grandchild might be suicidal, GET HELP NOW! And be there for them. Bully-targets need a support system! Be that support system!

If you see any of these signs in your child or grandchild, DO NOT IGNORE IT OR MINIMIZE IT! Ask questions!!!

Try to get them to open up. It won’t be easy, as children, especially teens do not like to admit being bullied, even to their own families. However, if you want to help them, you have to address it and you have to do it gently and lovingly.

Your Gut Instinct: Why You Should Listen to It

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At different times in my life, I have either met, or been around certain people whom my inner alarm tried to warn me about. I cannot explain the feeling I got. The only way I can describe this gut feeling is to say that something seemed to be “off” about these people and I would get a sinking, creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I could literally feel the bad vibes that seemed to pour fourth from these people.

When I was young, I would often mistake this feeling for “just being paranoid” and ignore the feeling, which is something that a whopping majority of bully victims do. And it proved to be to my disappointment…every time! I have since learned that had I listened to my gut and avoided these people, I could have saved myself a truckload of heartache.

God gave us all that “sixth sense” or as it is more commonly called, the “gut feeling” or “instinct”, for a reason. Anytime you get a bad feeling in your gut about someone, you are not being paranoid, you are not over-reacting. It is only your inner alarm trying to warn you about a person or situation and keep you safe.

Here are a couple of excerpts from my book, “From Victim to Victor” that explains this even further:

“…My gut feeling warned me many times about my classmate’s personalities or that someone was about to harm me in some way, shape or form. I did not listen to my innate alarm because the faith in my own intuitive abilities had been shattered. As a result, I often mistook it for being overly suspicious.

Another example of poor decision making was that I became a very MEAN and VICIOUS person. As a result, I often repelled the people who had my best interests at heart, who were genuine and would have otherwise been true friends. I missed out on a lot of opportunities for friendship because I had very quickly come to a place where I did not trust anyone.

It was much safer to put up a barrier and keep everyone, including my own family out than it was to take risks and learn how to trust the right people.

Being bullied and being stuck with unnecessary labels can very easily do this to a person. It cannot only cause you not to believe in yourself and your own abilities, but it can also enable you to trust your own innate intuition if you let it. It blinds you to people who are true as it completely zaps your senses of who is for real and who is fake, thus causing the loss of your ability to avoid dangerous people.”

“…You are not stupid. It is not only in your imagination. You are not being overly sensitive. You are not being a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy or whatever else unsavory people call you. You always know when something does not feel good. You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you and talk through their teeth. You can hear the short and cold tone in their voices. You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude. This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people pronto!”

Please don’t ignore this instinct. Never overlook that sinking feeling in your stomach because it could save you from so much trouble. It could even save your life!

Frenemies: Why They Are Worse Than Enemies

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Victims often pick “friends” who only tolerate them or those who wish them ill will because they’re often lonely and desperate. For so long, they have been wrongly alienated from others due to rumors and lies that bullies have spread about them to keep them from making friends. Because the target is so hungry for a connection…any connection, he/she will befriend anyone…and I mean anyone! They are not selective with who they call “friend” and end up latching on to people who are not even worth knowing…predators, who only take advantage.

Also, young victims often assume that to be “cool”, they have to have a big circle of friends. This is not true.

With that being said, I want you to know that if you are a victim of bullying, you do not need a whole slew of people in your life to be happy nor to feel like or be a whole person. You only need your family and a few true friends. It’s safer this way. Wouldn’t you much rather have just a handful of true friends then to have an abundance of frenemies? I know I would.

In fact, you should prefer to have enemies over ‘frenemies’ because with an enemy, you know exactly where they stand without having to do any guesswork. However, with frenemies, you will always be the last to know after being played for a sucker.

If at any time you wonder about a person…if your intuition is telling you that something is “off”, put some distance between yourself and that individual and do it fast! Instinct is trying to warn you.

If your so-called friends are only tolerating you, stabbing you in the back, or sabotaging you in any way, it’s time to eighty-six these leaches to your self-esteem. And the sooner you do, the better!

This entry was posted on November 17, 2017. 1 Comment

Suicide is Never the Solution! (Part 4)

Rebecca Sedwick

FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 file photo, pallbearers wearing anti-bullying T-shirts carry the casket of Rebecca Sedwick,12, to a waiting hearse as they exit the Whidden-McLean Funeral Home in Bartow, Fla. One of two teenage girls charged with stalking Rebecca Sedwick, a Florida classmate who complained of being bullied before her suicide no longer faces any criminal counts, her attorney said Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco, File)

In the previous segments of this post, I discussed how despite how beat down by bullying you may feel, you should never let it push you to taking your own life. For this last segment, I’d like to give you advice on how to overcome those feelings.

First, be positive and take charge!

Make their bullying your motivator and become that much more determined to live—to live a happier, more peaceful, and more successful life. Spend as much time as possible doing the things you enjoy and being around the people who love you the most, especially the positive people who lift you up and make you feel awesome. The caring people. The loving people. The happier you are, the less the ignorant actions and words of any bully will affect you.

Always look your best—for yourself, not for anyone else. Always do your best at any task—so you know, no matter how it turns out, that it represents all you can do—excel in your studies and pursue your interests and talents, whether art or music or sports or anything else that you do. Do what makes you feel good about yourself, just as long as it causes no harm to another person.

It’s okay to feel emotion when someone hurts you, but don’t get wrapped up in self-pity, no matter how bad things get. Be angry. Be sad. Cry, beat a pillow—do whatever you need to let those emotions out because you certainly don’t want to hold them in. And never dwell on them. Get out of that hurtful place as soon as you can to protect your confidence and self-worth.

Be a positive person! Be kind (without being a pushover of course). Meet new people. Interest yourself in others and what’s going on in their lives—folks love you if you are genuinely interested in them. Let them talk about themselves, their hobbies and interests and listen to them. While they are talking, listen with your eyes focused on them. People love someone who is excited about them. Show genuine interest in what they tell you about and get excited about their dreams. Be happy for them when they achieve those dreams and wish them well. Smile and greet people, calling them by name. Doing this, you will eventually make lots of friends and live down any bad any reputation caused by bullies.

That’s how I did it. I no longer have the horrible reputation I once had. I have so many friends today that it’s hard for me to keep up with all of them. I’ve also won over many of my former bullies from school. That’s right. Several of the people who once bullied me in school are now some of my closest friends!

I did it by taking my focus off of me and acquiring a genuine interest in others. I did it by replacing hate, contempt, and bitterness with love, acceptance, and forgiveness. I did it by loving myself and seeing my own worth as a person. I quit worrying about what others thought of me and I made my goal to do the right thing always.

Did that make everybody like me? Of course not. But instead of concerning myself with what others think or do, I focus on how good I make others feel about themselves. Did I put a smile on someone’s face, someone who would otherwise be sad? Did I make a difference in the life of at least one person today? Did I restore someone’s hope? Was I the difference in someone deciding against taking his or her own life?

I always hope so!

Build yourself up by building up others. Meet new and interesting people and connect with them. You’ll be surprised how having those people in your life will push aside your experiences with the bad and turn things around for you. You have too much to experience and too much to offer. So get out there, do your best, make a difference, and enjoy each and every day for the gift it is!