Those with ASD: Easy Targets for Discrimination and Hate

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Sadly, being stigmatized and labeled as mentally ill is a normal part of life with ASD. Too many people are ignorant of the fact that ASD is a neurological difference, not a mental illness, and positively not a negative trait. What most do not know is that ASD can be an asset. Take it from someone who knows someone who is on the spectrum.

When I read the negative tweets about Greta Thunberg, I shake my head. On the flip side, when I see the possibility that perhaps her ASD is being used to further some agenda, I’m also dismayed. I believe that she’s being insulted by some and used by others because she has come out of the closet with her neuro-difference from the NT majority, and it sickens me.

She is a teenager, for crying out loud! And the people who are insulting and using her are supposed to be adults who should be setting a positive example for the rest of society! But sadly, being a child doesn’t shield anyone on the spectrum from being stereotyped.

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Every day, people with Autism continue to be mistaken for being “crazy” or “retarded” (God, I despise the R-word!). Because of this stigma and ongoing unfair treatment, many can eventually become mentally ill because a person can only take so much hatred and adversity before it begins to take a toll on the psyche.

This only re-enforces the stigma! It serves as confirmation to others who are clueless of ASD that they are mentally ill. With that said. It only goes to show that we have a long way to go before we reach the goal of neurodiversity and that, even in 2019, people on the spectrum continue to experience discrimination, prejudice, and hate.

Greta Thunberg is a brilliant child, and I believe that it will be people like her who will break the stigma and pave the way for people on the spectrum to one day be accepted and allowed to live happier and more productive lives.

Why Targets Can Become Bullies Themselves

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I wasn’t only a target. I also became a bully after being hurt for so long and made to feel powerless. I admit this today with the greatest sadness and remorse. I didn’t like myself very much in those days.

Like attracts like. Good produces more good and evil begets evil. Reactive bullying is a defense mechanism used by victims of bullying- bullying in response to the abuse they face every day. Targets of bullying feel that they have power over nothing, and it’s a feeling that’s the equivalent to a slow death. Some victims learn very quickly to become bullies themselves to reclaim some of the power their tormentors have taken from them. Because their classmates torment them, victims often get the impression that to stay off the bottom of the pecking order, they must find a target of their own to degrade and humiliate.

People need to have control over something. It’s a natural human need. Bully-victims, as we call them, often bully others who are more powerless to make themselves feel better about themselves. Crap always rolls downhill and no one wants to be at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Just as there are people who fight to stay on top, there are others who struggle just as hard to keep off the bottom. An example of this would be: A child gets yelled at by parents, then goes outside and kicks the dog. It is the same with most bully targets.

I was guilty of the same thing. I am ashamed to admit how cruelly judgmental I had become in high school. I consistently pointed a finger, I scoffed and laughed at people, and I scapegoated those I thought were weak and pieces of scum. I thumbed my nose, looked down on, talked down to, and lorded over particular kids. And I did it in front of an audience. All because I felt powerless!

At the time, it was the only way I knew to survive.

The bullying I dished out to these kids served as a temporary fix to my brokenness. It was only a salve and a Band-Aid. It was akin to being a drug addict and getting a hit to keep painful withdrawals away. It took away the symptoms but not the cause. It was the same when I would bully and look down on people less fortunate than I was. The self-esteem high I would get from looking upon these types with scorn and loftiness was always short-lived.

And so, anytime I would start to come down from my self-esteem high, I would have to, once again, look for someone else weaker than me, to pick apart and degrade by pointing out their bad qualities to feel good again. I constantly probed others, looking for shortcomings that I could use against them. If I could not find any flaws, I would simply make them up and then convince my target of it. It was a cycle that would continue for a few more years, and today, I hate that I resorted to that.

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I am telling you this because I have been on both sides of the fence. I have been both a target and a bully. Understand that there is something seriously wrong with anyone who has to resort to bullying to feel good about themselves. If you have to look down on someone and mistreat them by pointing out their misfortunes or less than desirable qualities, the real problem is within yourself. You’re only trying to hide your own imperfections by highlighting the flaws of another person.

One doesn’t achieve real confidence by resorting to these harmful and temporary fixes. Real security flows continuously and is steady. It oozes from every fiber of your being naturally and effortlessly. Authentic confidence is unshakeable!

It is quiet, and there is no need to boast. There is no need to cause psychological, physical, emotional or spiritual harm to another human being to achieve it. It is still there but obscured- hidden because some creep from the past has wounded you so severely that you have suppressed it out of fear. I believe that each one of us is born with confidence and a heart of gold. Yet over time, our environments, circumstances, and sadly, the people in our lives can slowly chip away and erode the natural confidence and goodness we were born with.

After being hurt for so long, we withdraw from others and put up a barrier. We turn cold and begin to harden ourselves to numb feelings of rejection and the pain that comes with it. Before long, we regard the feelings and suffering of others with indifference. We don’t give a crap about anyone, how they feel or what they think, sometimes even the people who love us. We no longer have any respect for others, much less ourselves. Lastly, we come to that evil place where schadenfreude takes hold, and we secretly or openly, take pleasure in seeing others, especially those we despise, suffer.

I can say this because I was there. I allowed my bullies to change me from a caring, loving child to an evil, spiteful teenager. I had become this person my parents never taught me to be. I was angry, full of bitterness and spite because of the horrible way others had treated me. I went from being friendly and accepting of everyone, regardless of what they had, to this cruel, cold, heartless human being who picked out the imperfections of others and used them to degrade them.

How had I learned to be so cold, calculating and heartless? My bullies had taught me. From my cruel and narcissistic classmates, I learned how to bully and degrade with stealth and precision. They had taught me by doing the same to me. I learned from them how to be meticulous and cunning with my taunts.

I used to get my kicks out of seeing others’ friendships and relationships end. At different times in high school, I would instigate fights between other people, then stand back and watch proudly what I, at the time, referred to as my handiwork. I enjoyed watching the two girls that I had very stealthily turned against one another, duke it out between themselves, laughing inside while making sure to cover up my bursting gratification with a false look of concern.

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And why did I do this? Because I had no real friendships myself and was jealous of other girls’ friendships. I wanted to destroy those friendships to feel like I was not the only one. I tried to inflict pain on them because I was suffering. And it would feel so much better to have someone else suffering along with me than to suffer alone. Because I was miserable, I wanted someone else to be unhappy too.

I was in a very dark place then, but I am happy to say that I have managed to dig myself out of that hole, and now that I am wiser, no one will ever again put me back in that place, EVER! Also, I now enjoy seeing others happy and fulfilled.

You do not have to do what I did and change your personality to survive. You don’t need to become evil and spiteful like your bullies. It’s not necessary to inflict chaos in the lives of others to feel better about yourself. There are better ways to feel good and to be happy.

Instead of bullying the bully, continue to be yourself. Kill them with kindness or come back at them with something funny to throw him off-kilter. It will take the wind out of their sales because they cannot shake you. Even better, you will feel better about yourself in the long run, just knowing that you did not have to turn into some venomous snake to survive, and the confidence that you get from this will be authentic and long-lasting. Whereas, the power you get from bullying others will always be superficial and short-lived. As a result, you will be on a constant search for flaws and fodder to use against people to feel better. You will also search for a backup victim in case your usual target is not available. Take it from someone who has lived it, this is exhausting and is certainly no way to live.

Better yet, befriend the kids who are more powerless than you because it’s a sure bet that your classmates or coworkers bully them too. Befriend every bullied person in your school or workplace, make them your allies, and be an ally to them because there’s strength in numbers! Bullies will seldom approach people in groups because they’re nothing but cowards. Bullies are like wild animals and prefer to target the person who is separate from the herd because it makes the person vulnerable.

I want you to know that being bullied does not give you the right to become a bully. Think about how you feel when someone mistreats you. Now think about how your target must feel. Any satisfaction you get from bullying another person is temporary. Whereas, the power that you get from showing kindness and love is infinite!

The Power of Saying “No!”

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Saying “no” can be difficult and at times, even downright scary. Like when bullies are trying to force you to do something you don’t want to do and threatening either physical harm or worse social exclusion if you don’t do what they want you to do? I know the feeling because I’ve been there.

Nobody wants to get hurt, and the natural human response is to submit to make the pain and torment, or the threat of, stop. In your mind, you’re thinking, “Alright, alright! I’ll do it if you’ll go away and leave me alone!” I get that because it’s what I did. I submitted to my bullies many times, too many times, falling for the false promises that they would let me be and stop hurting me. But-

They never made good on those promises. The harassment didn’t stop. If anything, it only got worse! Anytime I did say no, I got threatened and yes, even physically attacked.

Saying no to a bully is never an easy option. It’s often risky, especially with bullies, because they don’t take no for an answer, least of all from their targets! However, not only is it necessary and imperative, but it feels darn good sometimes!
If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve said the word “no” a lot more than I did, regardless of the retaliation I would have faced, unless one of my bullies had done something drastic, like pulled a gun. That would’ve been an entirely different story.

In no way would I advice anyone to risk their life. If someone pulls a gun on me, I will do what I must do to stay alive! I’ll do what he wants and tell him what he wants to hear. I’ll dance a jig wearing fluorescent orange and white polka-dotted bell bottoms if it keeps me from dying!

But if they only threaten me with the business end of their fists and I know I’m only going to come out of it with a shiner and a fat lip, then it’s much safer to say no. Those wounds will heal. But the psychological injury of wishing I hadn’t let myself down will last for years.

However, if you do choose physical safety first, I want you to know that you’re not wrong for that. In no way will I ever think less of you if you submit to your bullies’ demands. As I mentioned earlier, a natural reaction is to obey to keep from being harmed.

And the winner is...

Today, I say that little two-letter word a lot more and will continue to say it in the future, no matter what people say, how they feel about it or what they do. I would much rather get the crap kicked out of me and still feel good about myself for taking a stand than to spare myself a beating because I caved under pressure and let myself down by doing something I didn’t want to do. To me, that’s worse than getting my butt kicked! But that’s just me.

My physical wounds healed, but knowing I let someone else force me to do something I neither wanted to nor agreed to, left a psychological injury that took a long time to recover from. I ended up asking myself, “Now, why didn’t I tell those creeps to take a flying leap off the highest cliff head first?” That feeling of powerlessness was worse than the physical pain I would have suffered.

So, permit yourself to say that tiny little word because it can be so empowering! You may indeed get your tail kicked, but at least you’ll feel good knowing you got hurt because you stood for something! Those psychological benefits will significantly outweigh the embarrassment of any beat down! Besides, you forced a bully to do something foolish and which will likely get him in trouble with an adult or the law! So, I ask you! Who’s the real winner here?

Victims of Bullying: Why it’s So Important to Set Boundaries

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You must have the courage to love yourself, even when it angers the people around you. That means setting boundaries, being clear on what you will and will not tolerate.

During grade 6, my first year at Oakley* Schools, I lacked boundaries because I didn’t know how to enforce them. Without those limits, I gave away my friendship, time, energy and power to people who never deserved it and left nothing for myself. I was bending over backward to please others, treading lightly, being careful not to rock the boat, and make other people angry. I had been conditioned to think that I wasn’t enough, and I should be anything other than myself. And I thought that being friendly, being accommodating, and being available would win me love and friendship. It didn’t. It got me the exact opposite- walked over, bullied, and mistaken for a fool because the people I was overly friendly to never extended the same to me in return. Without meaning to, I gave the impression that I was desperate to fit in.

A year or so later, during the seventh grade, I began setting boundaries because I was tired of being a doormat. However, first impressions are powerful and it was too late. The power dynamic and others’ expectations of me had already been set. What I should’ve done was drew the line from day one.

In junior high, although my boundaries were clear, many others violated them every chance they got for no other reason than to demonstrate their power and show who was boss. Anytime I said ‘no’ to any of my classmates at school, I would face retaliation of some kind- guilt trips, threats, or physical beatings because they had grown too used to me being a pushover. They were afraid that if I developed a spine, the benefits they were getting at my expense would stop. Therefore, the retaliation was their way of reinforcing their power and dominance and keeping me subdued.

But now that we’re all adults, let any of them try that today, and they will be very disappointed. Back then, I often wondered why nothing ever seemed to work out. Understand that timing is everything. And that you do have power, but for it to work, you must know how to use it and you must stand up for yourself the very first time bullies come for you. Otherwise, your place in the pecking order will become iron clad and once that happens, you might as well not have any power at all.

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I didn’t realize it then, but during those early years in Oakley*, I was going about it all wrong. ‘You see? You must put yourself and your needs first. Never lower your standards or your boundaries! It’s okay to be kind, but never be nice! The difference between kind and being nice is that kindness is genuine. People are kind because it’s the right thing to do, not because it can win friendships or favors. Also, kind people never give at their own expense.

Nice people, on the other hand, want friendship and approval. Also, people who are nice give at their own peril and stick their neck out for others to step on, thinking others will come around when they realize how much they care. “Nicies” are under the impression that the more you suffer, the more it shows you care. Um- Wrong!

It gives the impression that you’re a pushover, a kiss butt, a bootlicker! Being nice never awards you any respect because there’s usually an ulterior motive and the reason for your niceness is to avoid conflict! Being kind, on the other hand, is genuine and others can sense the genuineness. Being kind is much more respectful. Being ‘nice’ is for wimps.

Understand that anytime you set boundaries, there will always be those who will hate you for it and retaliate. And they will fight you for a while to wear you down. That’s what bullies do! However, stick to your guns. Keep fighting for your right to be treated with respect. Show them that you will stand up to them no matter what they do, and eventually, they’ll get tired and realize that you aren’t worth the effort. They’ll go find an easier target.

So, always set limits and be prepared to fight to protect them. Be kind, yes! But if people start taking your kindness for being a fool and treating you like crap, don’t be afraid to tell these people to kiss off!

Being kind to others means being kind to yourself first.

*Not the real name of the town

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

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Beautiful cloudscape over the sea, sunrise shot

I have been chosen for a Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination. I am so grateful to Mr. James A. Best at James A. Best- Author for this nomination. I would highly recommend that you follow him because his blogs are so good and so down to earth. I admire his authenticity!

Here are the Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:

Thank the blogger (s) who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog.
List the rules and display an award logo on your blog.
Answer the 11 questions the blogger (s) asked you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers to receive the award and notify them by commenting on any of their posts.
ask the nominees 11 new questions.

Questions Mr. Best Asked

1. What is dream life about? It’s about spending time with and enjoying family and friends. It’s about appreciating them and loving them.
2. Have you ever got stuck in a rain storm any where? Yes. I was in my car. What did you during this? I pulled over and waited until the worst of the storm passed.
3. If, you could pick one author you wish you could be. Who would that be and why? Stephen King. I love his writing style and how he captures the imagination and instills fear in you.
4. Would you rather watch the waves of the ocean come in and out or watch a valley from high above? I’d rather watch the waves of the ocean. I’ve always loved the beach!
5. What is most desired movie to watch? And explain why? Steel Magnolias. Because it’s a story of strength and friendship of women with different problems and walks of life.
6. If, you could live in any century which one would you choose? The 20th Century most definitely! Sometimes I miss the 1980s and 1990s! They were the best times!
7. What would you rather have for a pet: a talking parrot or a ferret? A ferret. I love furry things.
8. What is your favorite food that you can not live with out? Pizza
9. Do you believe in God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost? And do they play a large part in your life? I believe in all three- the trinity. Yes.
10. What makes you keep dreaming up new ideas for writing? Everything really. I seem to get writing prompts from everything I hear, see and feel.
11. What is number one sport to play? Volleyball

I am looking forward to reading your posts if you choose to participate.

My 11 Nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award:

1. Moi
2. MommyMe
3.G.W.- His Eye Is On The Sparrow
4. Lighthouse Survivors
5. All In a Day’s Breath
6. James A. Best- Author
7. The Lonely Author
8. MG Wells
9. myplace3187
10. Holly
11. meenawalia

These were really difficult decisions because everyone on my follow list has such great blogs with awesome content! This is why it took me so long to write this post!

My 11 Questions For My Nominees:

1. Comedies or Horror Flicks?
2. If time machines were a reality, which decade would you most want to revisit?
3. Stephen King or Dean Koontz?
4. Which genre of music do you like most? Hair Metal, Techno or Country?
5. Have you ever been through a bad tornado?
6. Have you ever had a close brush with death?
7. What was your favorite subject in school?
8. What would be your ideal vacation? A tropical island or camping in the woods?
9. Which would be your favorite pet? A dog or cat?
10. If you took a trip across the country, would you prefer to fly or drive?
11. What type of fragrance would you prefer- floral scent or citrus?

Good Luck, everyone!

Like Versus Respect

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There can be respect without like. However, there can never be like without respect. Put simpler, a person doesn’t have to like you to respect you, but they do have to respect you to like you.

Respect and like are different in that like is simply based on commonalities and good feelings shared between people. When someone likes you, they enjoy your company and the positivity you bring to their life. Respect, on the other hand, is regard for another person’s safety, space, freedom, privacy, property and individuality. When someone respects you, they may not necessarily like you, but see you as having the same rights and considerations as they and everyone else. That’s perfectly okay because not everybody is alike and shares the same beliefs, feelings, ideas or backgrounds. Like is subjective.

Put another way, someone may dislike you, but if you were lying badly injured on the sidewalk, they would more than likely stop and help you, even stay beside you and hold your hand until the ambulance arrived.

On the other hand, when a person does not respect you, they have no regard for your safety, space, freedom, privacy, property or individuality. They don’t see you as having the same human rights and considerations as they and everyone else. That person will think it’s perfectly okay to violate you because in their mind, you somehow deserve to be violated. They will also be much less likely to stop and help you if they see you lying injured on the sidewalk because they’d most likely wouldn’t care if you ever got to a hospital. They would simply act like they didn’t see you lying there, or worse, step over you with a look of contempt and keep going.

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Someone can dislike you and at the same time, respect your right not to have your boundaries crossed. When they disrespect you, they won’t acknowledge your personal boundaries and are likely to trample your dignity and human rights. In their mind, you either don’t or shouldn’t have the same human rights or dignity as them and everyone else. The person will more than likely wish you harm or ill will and probably dread breathing the same air as you.

Signs of Disrespect

1. Lack of regard for the person’s freedom- this could include, belittling their opinions and ideas, taking away their freedom to speak by talking over them when they are speaking, getting angry with them if they would rather spend time with family than with you or the group.

2. Lack of regard for the person’s safety- you bully them or put them in danger of being physically hurt. You can’t stand the fact that the person even exists.

Signs of Dislike

1. Nothing in common with the person. You wish them well, but you’d prefer not to be around them. You have no problem coexisting.

If you are a victim of bullying, you must be able to distinguish between the two and take the appropriate steps to take care of yourself.

Disrespect is mush worse than dislike. Dislike is a part of life and mush easier to deal with. Disrespect, on the other hand, is harmful. The people who dislike you won’t necessarily try to hurt you but will act neutral around you. They might even greet you and say a few words to you just to be polite, but won’t buddy up to you.

The people who disrespect you will have absolute nothing to say to you, or they will talk terrible to you, shame you, humiliate you, try to sabotage you or physically assault you.

The more you know.

The art of subtle bullying – how to identify it and how to deal with it

Mommy Me is a blog about parenting and as we know, if you’re a parent, there may come a time when your child becomes the object of bullying in school. I enjoyed reading this post and it has a lot of great insights. Please feel free to follow Mommy Me’s blog!

Mommy Me

Bullies don’t always act directly. Some bullies want to make sure no body knows that they have such intent. They can bully you in a way that no one notices but inside they may be tearing you apart. Such bullies torture you subtly but constantly and so powerfully that it might affect you emotionally and lower your productivity at workplace, school or even at home.

How to identify it ?

Isolating you :

Subtle bullying can happen almost anywhere. If you are in a group, say group of friends or at workplace, you might be isolated from that group, you might not be invited for parties or events. And the bullies make sure you get to know that you are not invited in the most subtle way after the event and you end up thinking about the reasons for not getting the invite the whole day.

Criticizing your talent :

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A Rant: Bullies, Boys, Girls, and Crowds

First, I’d like to apologize for the mix-up earlier when I accidentally credited a reblogged post to a different blogger. So, Benny, please accept my sincerest apologies.

With that said, this is a blog post from “The Written Addiction” blog. Benny has some very heart-touching posts about bullying and as bloggers, we can all learn from each other and share our stories. Please feel free to follow Benny’s blog as he shares his own experiences with bullying.

The Written Addiction

I know where it all started but I never understood why or how things change so quick and drastically. We all started out as kids in a play pen. We were all friends once. There was no judgement. There was no separation or divisions of cool. We were just kids, nothing more, nothing less, and then one day we learned about status. We learned about popularity and somehow

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Why Former Bullies Always Deny the Abuse They Inflicted

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Man scolding himself in a mirror, his reflection feeling guilty

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.

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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!

The Body Language of Bullies: Dominance, Superiority, and Hostility

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portrait of concerned about the problems girl. Studio shot

Bullies always display these types of body language, especially around their targets.

Dominance and Superiority Body Language – Bullies take up lots of space to appear bigger. You will often see bullies place their hands on their hips and stand extra tall. They will often stand extra close to their targets- so close that they will sometimes touch them as they deliberately invade the target’s space. They do this to intimidate them. Bullies will also frown and purse their lips at the target while maintaining unblinking and unwavering eye contact (boring their eyes into their target like a dagger) without moving their heads.

Bullies will often freely touch their targets because they have no regard for their personal space. For example, a bully may give the target a hard slap on the back or grab the target by the arm and lead them where they want them to go. A bully may also physically move the target to the side or shove past him/her. Understand that the bully intends to show the target who’s in charge or to compete with him. The bully may also do these things to signal ownership of the target. Yes, in the bully’s mind, he owns the target. The message is, “You’re mine, I own you, and I can do what I want with you.”

If the target is sitting, the bully or bullies will often stand over him to look bigger and more intimidating. Bullies who are short in stature will often stand on something to appear taller than their victims. Some may stand on their tiptoes.
Bullies will also lay claim to a territory (desks, spaces, parking spaces) and expect others to obey rules when near the claimed area or object.

Other ways of Invading the target’s space and belongings – bullies may walk into the target’s room, office or home uninvited and without knocking. They may sit in the victim’s chair without asking permission. Other invasions include leaning on the target’s vehicle, parking in their parking spaces, cutting in front of them in line or propping their feet on the back of the target’s chair when sitting behind them (I had a group of girls do that to me in school, and it was unnerving). Understand that bullies are power-driven and do these things to take away the target’s power.
Bullies also put their hands on the target’s personal belongings with a carefree attitude. But know that the message the bully is sending the target is this. “I own you, so I own anything that is yours.”

Female Track Competitors Glaring at Each Other

Here is a classic often seen. Bullies may walk up to the target’s table during lunch, pick a French fry off their plate in front of them and pop it in their mouths. They may pick up the target’s fork and take a bite of their food. Bullies may also pick up the target’s phone and began scrolling through the contents. Bullies will even rummage through the target’s purse or pick up the target’s jacket and go through the pockets. The hidden message the bully is sending is, “I can take whatever I want, and what are you going to do about it?”

Other ways bullies invade territory is to walk in the center of a hallway or sit on a flight of stairs, expecting people to move and go around them. Bullies may also stand in the middle of a road and driveway or take their time crossing the street, forcing cars to stop and wait. They may also stand in the middle of a crowd or center of a room.

Bullies also show dominance by how they dress or the car they drive.

Do Not Ignore This. Always make yourself powerful as well.
If a bully violates your space or belongings, always call them out on it. Never let it happen without asserting yourself. If a bully stares you down, always return the stare. Either look them in the eye or look them between the eyes. If they look at you while standing feet apart and arms akimbo, reflect the exact same stance back to the bully. Mirror the bully to show that you’re not the least bit intimidated by them. If the bully is rushing you, slow down. Do not speed up! Remain calm.
Dress your best and look your best. This shows that you take pride in how you look and conveys confidence. It also helps you to feel better. When we look better, we also feel better!

Hostility Body Language – Bullies may look at their target while pinching their chin. The pinching of the jaw is used to release the hostile thoughts without acting on them- it is a way to hold back the urge to physically attack the target. Understand that when a bully looks at you and pinches any part of the face, this signals the bully’s secret wish to harm you.

Another sign of hostility as when a bully looks at their target, then pounds a fist into a tabletop, wall or the palm of his/her opposite hand. Any object the bully pounds is only a substitute for the victim’s physical body.

Girls and women will often bite their lip, suck on the inside of their jaw or chew the inside of the mouth while looking at their target.

Bullies also show hostility by sizing up their target. They size you up by directly facing you, clinching their fists and puffing out their chests. Male bullies will snarl at their victims, whereas female bullies will glare at their targets with dirty looks. Clenching a jaw where the jaw is protruding outward is another sign of hostile intentions.

Bullies often glare at their targets persistently and intensely without blinking. Their faces turn red, and they will often stretch. These are sure signs that a bully wants to physically attack you and they will do it soon. Again. Do not ignore this!