It’s because they feel dirty. That’s right! Any time bullies and abusers must face the reality of any past abuse they may have inflicted on someone else, deep down inside, though they would never admit it to themselves much less you or anyone else, they feel like a piece of scum. And in order to not feel dirty, they must live in denial of what they did. It’s the only way they can bury their sins and still feel good about themselves.
My former classmates who bullied me, are no different. Denial is a useful psychological defense, and it does have benefits.
Many bullies deny their abuse because of their hatred for the victim, and they wish to reduce sympathy and support for the victim. They will claim that the violence a victim speaks of is either invented or exaggerated to either get attention or to make others feel sorry for him/her.
Sometimes, even bystanders and witnesses will side with the bullies and deny the abuse to keep from being bullied themselves or because they too have a secret hatred for the victim. Bystanders and witnesses may also want the bullying of the victim to continue for entertainment purposes. Believe it or not, many witnesses to the abuse enjoy seeing the victim get bullied because, to them, it is a source of entertainment and makes them feel superior to somebody.
Also, bystanders may feel dirty as well because they know they didn’t speak out for the victim when they should have, or the bullying may be something they would like to have done to the victim themselves but didn’t have the guts.
Understand that the psyches and egos of humans are very fragile, even those of bullies. So, any time your abuser denies any abuse they know they dished out to you in the past, you don’t have to feel angry or insulted. You don’t have to try and force them to fess up. Because just knowing why they deny it and the nastiness they feel inside when they see you should be enough satisfaction.
So, if you’re a survivor of bullying and anytime you’re out shopping, and see one of the people who bullied you in the past; and you immediately notice how they turn and walk away or avoid looking at you. Know why they do that and feel good about it.
I can tell you that most of my classmates can’t face me today. They cannot bear to look at me because they know what they did, and they feel so dirty. I am a reminder of what they never want to see in themselves, and I always provoke feelings of shame in them. Therefore, I can’t get angry at them, nor feel insulted. There’s no need for revenge, nor to hate them because, in the end, they are the ones who must live with what they did.
Always remember that!
“Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, ‘Oh, crap! She’s up!’”
~ Unknown ~
As we know, targets are often silent about the torment they face at work or school and in most cases. This is due to shame and embarrassment. Also, Most family members and friends are not even aware that there is a problem. Those who do know about it are often at a loss as to how to help them. If you are a family member and are wondering whether or not your loved one is a target of bullying, here are the signs that she’s being bullied:
1. Withdrawal from family and friends – being the target of bullying can slowly chip away at 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.
Therefore, they put up their guard and close themselves off, resulting in missed opportunities for closeness with family members, friendships, or romantic relationships.
Or it could be that they don’t want to bother others with their problems and prefer to handle them independently. Still, lovingly ask questions and be prepared to listen attentively if they open up.
2. Underachievement – Most 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.” After being told that they are a “loser,” “no good,” and/or that they “can’t do anything right” for so long, they tend to believe it themselves. This can hurt grades, class participation, and performance.
They must also focus all their mental energy on ways to avoid bullies and be safe, which can affect performance.
3. Overachievement – Although bullying can cause underachievement, it can go either way. Some bullying targets dive into work projects or 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 work, studies, talents, or any other area.
4. Bruises, scrapes, and or cuts on their physical body – many victims of school bullying are targets of physical bullying (being punched, kicked, knocked down, dragged, etc.), which occurs mostly in boys. Still, 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 targets are afraid of going to work or school because they know that bullies will be waiting for them as soon as they arrive or step onto the bus. So, they avoid going by either skipping, feigning illness, or calling in sick.
7. They may become bullies themselves – Often, bullied people 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 bully others who are even more powerless 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.
8. Suicidal thoughts and attempts – sadly, suicides resulting from bullying are at an all-time high! Most people who are bullied are powerless to stop it. Most have tried reporting it to authority or handling it themselves to no avail.
Targets often feel alone and have no one in their corner. They feel that there is something wrong with them. They’re made to feel as if it is their fault and that somehow, they deserve the shabby treatment they get.
Sadly, some targets break under pressure and conclude that suicide is the only way to make it stop. If you even think that your loved one might be suicidal, Get help now!
Targets need a support system! Be that support system! Be there for them! If you see any of these signs in a loved one, don’t ignore or minimize it! Ask questions!!!
Try to get them to open up. It won’t be easy, as people are ashamed to admit being bullied, even their own families. However, if you want to help them, you have to address it, and you have to do it gently and lovingly.
Self-confidence is THE key ingredient that everyone must have to succeed in life. When you have it,
1. you have better and more fulfilling relationships
2. you are more successful in school and in your career.
3. You have more dates, friends, are more likely to have a great marriage and raise confident and successful children.
But a Perfectionist, on the other hand, is not a confident person and has to work so much harder just to go through life. A perfectionist is insecure with herself and others. She focuses more on herself than others and is always worried about what others may think and say about her. This is why she tries so hard to be, well, perfect.
A perfectionist is both critical of herself and others and tends to have strained relationships because of her obsessive need to be right- all the time- about EVERYTHING!
She thinks that she must be perfect for others to like her and covertly seeks validation from others rather than looking within herself for it. And the outcome is usually adverse.
A confident person realizes that no one is perfect and that they will make mistakes. When that person does make a mistake, she doesn’t make a big deal about it and beat herself up.
Sure, she may be disappointed for a short while but she always gets over it very quickly and “bounces back”.
She may even have a few people who do not like her. But being the confident person she is, she doesn’t concern herself with how she’s perceived because she knows that she is awesome and that there are plenty of others who DO love her.
A confident person is a “proud to be me” kind of individual and always takes care of herself and the people she loves. She always surrounds herself with positive and uplifting people who love her and steers clear of the negative people who want to bring her down.
A confident person sees beauty where a perfectionist only sees flaws. She sees opportunity where a perfectionist sees strife and hard luck.
When I was young, I was a perfectionist. Why? Because I was a beaten down and very negative person who couldn’t see the forest for the trees and I felt I had to be A-1 best before people would like me. I had yet to realize that all I ever needed to be was my natural, authentic self.
When I began to love myself, flaws, quirks, and all, things began to change, and for the better. Now I am at peace and comfortable in my own skin.
Everywhere I look there is opportunity. Everywhere I look, there is beauty because I look for it. I love myself and the people around me.
There’s no benefit to being a perfectionist, you only end up working too hard to meet standards that are more than likely impossible to meet, spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
Also, you end up failing miserably and in the process, looking like a try-hard.
Confidence, on the other hand, is FREEING and it allows you to be you without fear.
It also brings patience, faith, and positive self-awareness. Instead of spinning your wheels, you move slowly, steadily, and PATIENTLY toward your goals, step by step, until you eventually reach them, therefore reaching success!
“Be you. The world will adjust.”
~ Unknown ~
Sadly, targets of bullying often make poor life choices because of bullying. Years ago, I was targeted and yes, I made some really bad decisions, some of which continue to affect my life today.
At the time, I didn’t really know why I made those decisions. However, today, there is no doubt in my mind that the reason I allowed myself to get into smoking marijuana and having sex during high school was that I was lonely from being bullied.
You see? Most targets have been bullied for so many years that they will do anything- anything, to be accepted and make friends. After so long, the loneliness, the despair, and the sadness becomes too much to bear and desperation begins to creep in.
Young Targets may do one or more of the following:
1. Try drugs
2. Have unsafe sex/promiscuity
3. Join gangs
4. Participate in crime
5. Commit high-risk behaviors (like drag-racing and dangerous daredevil stunts)
They will sometimes do these things just to feel like they belong.
Girls may begin “dating down”. They settle for either a partner they don’t really love, or an abusive partner just for validation that they too can attain romance and they are worthy of love just like everyone else. Boys may do the same.
They may also get into drinking, drugs, and hard partying.
Girls may also deliberately become pregnant because they want so bad to have someone (the baby) to love them.
If you are a target of bullying, I can’t emphasize enough that you don’t have to do these things to be accepted or to feel loved. There are better options.
Instead of making unwise choices, practice your talents, and do the things you enjoy. Spend time with the people who DO love you. Give a little of yourself to help others every day and I promise you, it will pay off sooner or later.
Know that there will come a day when you attract genuine friends into your life. IT’s true. Believe it with every fiber of your being!