The Difference Between Bullied Girls and Bullied Boys

students gossiping behind classmate back at school

education, bullying, social relations and people concept – students gossiping behind classmate back at school

Although I’m female and have discussed bullying mainly from a female perspective, I would like to help you distinguish between the plights of bullied girls and bullied boys. Wishing everyone peace, health, love and happiness!

In the case of the female target, after having been bullied by her peers and reporting it to school staff and even members of her own family; only to be rebuffed, ignored or blamed, she feels alone in the world and that no one understands her.

Bullied girls are shamed in their looks, femininity and virtues. They are called names like “hoe,””whore,” “slut”, and often shamed about their weight and their appearance. Even sadder is the reality that if their self-esteem is low enough, some live up to the names they’re called.

Consequently, as a result of not feeling loved by family and or her peers, she uses the only thing she feels she has left to offer- her sex appeal. She turns to sexual/dating partners to get the love and approval that she is missing out on and craves so badly. This usually does not end well.

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For boys, however, it can be much worse. In most cases, boys don’t have the option to use the opposite sex as a Band-Aid for their emotional needs. Boys are expected to be strong and tough…to display manhood. All too often, the bullied boy has been emasculated and he sees no way to reclaim his manhood.

In essence, he has been “feminized” by his bullies. Male targets are often called “sissy”, “pussy”, “bitch” and other names which attack the masculinity and cause them to feel less like men.

Also, it’s considered taboo for a boy to report being bullied. Oftentimes, young men who complain of being bullied are referred to by others as a “whiner” and told to “toughen up”, “suck it up” or “man up” because they’re going against what is perceived as “man-code”. This can also erode the male self-esteem.

Once a young man is stripped of his manhood, it’s next to impossible for him to get a date and find love. Although the suicide rate among females has skyrocketed, It remains to be much higher in males.

No matter what, we much encourage bullied males to speak out and report bullies who torment them. We must also encourage them to seek therapy. Males must also have older males in their lives who remind them of their worth as men and re-enforce it.

Females must be encouraged to speak out and get help as well. And they must also have older female roll models who instill in them that they are just as good, just as whole, and just as beautiful without a boyfriend and that it’s okay to be alone.

“TOWNIES, CRONIES, AND HAYSEEDS (Thrust into the Underbelly of Small-Town Politics)”

Townies, Cronies and Hayseeds

Shannon Crooke McGregor is a widowed mother of four children, living just outside of Tucson, Arizona, and has the life others only dream of having. She is a best-selling author and can make a great living doing what she loves most- writing novels. Every area in her life is close to perfect. Her writing career could not be better; she enjoys closeness with her family and lots of friends who adore her.

However, her life hasn’t always been rosy. Shannon is an adult survivor of vicious and relentless school bullying. How had Shannon risen above it? By moving to a new area to start a new life.

When her grandmother back in Thomasville, Tennessee suddenly dies, and Shannon inherits her grandmother’s two-story Victorian home and property, she must return to the home of her youth and a lot of terrible memories to make the necessary renovations and sell the house.

However, upon returning to Thomasville, Tennessee, she learns that the people who run the town are the bullies who had tormented her in school.

Spending the entire summer there, Shannon notices that most of the people in the town have regressed. And having acquired powerful positions in town, her ex-bullies have only grown more emboldened and evil. She also discovers a secret, illegal operation, and cover-ups. A long-buried memory of the brutal murder of Shannon’s only friend in school resurfaces as a result of a confrontation.

Even worse, Shannon has been carrying a horrible and devastating secret inside of her- a secret not even her children know but are about to find out. And because the townies continue to hold a decades-long grudge against Shannon and fear the possibility that she knows too much, they watch her and the children closely before upgrading to harassment. These unpleasant and frightening circumstances eventually snowball into a cumulative but explosive climax which puts Shannon, her children and her few new Tennessee friends in a race to save their own lives!

Will they make it out of Thomasville alive?

8 Ways to Help with Healing from Bullying Once You’ve Left a Toxic Environment

Chess board and text "Strategic plan" Business planning concept

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

Bullying is very traumatic and makes such an impact on the self-esteem; it often takes many years to heal. People who’ve never endured bullying cannot comprehend how it can change your life. The good thing about leaving a toxic environment is that once you’re gone, you can begin healing and rebuilding your life. However, in many cases, it’s easier said than done.

Here are eight things you can do that can help you heal quicker:

1. Seek Therapy. Though I realize that there’s a certain amount of stigma that goes with it, getting therapy is the best and most important thing you can do for yourself. You must do what you must do to take care of yourself. Don’t concern yourself with the opinions of others about your care. Right now, you must do what’s best for you.

2. Rest. When you’re fresh out of a bullying environment, you’re more than likely to be exhausted. Get plenty of sleep. Take some quiet time for yourself. Go on a walk in the park on a beautiful day, or take a pajama day. Get all the rest you can get for a few days.

3. Music. Music is therapy in itself. Once you’ve got plenty of rest, put in some easy listening for relaxation, maybe some slow jams like TLC, or Keith Sweat? Or pop in some dance grooves and rock and roll to make you feel upbeat and like dancing.

There’s nothing that lifts the mood like shaking your booty around the house to some Janet Jackson or Paula Abdul hits or rocking out to some Van Halen, Judas Priest or Def Leppard. Whatever your taste in music, you’ll feel much better when you do. So get out those CD’s or stream some music on your computer.

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Group of happy friends cheering with wine and beers at boat party. Diverse men and women having drinks at sunset yacht party.

4. Lean on the people who love you. When you’re recovering from bullying and a toxic environment, one of the most important things you need is a network of love and support to balance the positive with the negative. Keep company with the people who uplift you, love you and make you feel good. It’ll help you salvage the confidence you’ve lost.

5. Do things you enjoy most. Indulge in your hobbies and favorite activities.

6. Exercise. Exercise is a major stress-buster. And you can get rid of all that negative energy like anger and depression by sweating it out either in the gym or, if you don’t feel like going anywhere, a workout DVD.

The girl with a suitcase

The girl with a suitcase

7. Take a trip. After being in a toxic environment for so long, sometimes, we need to get away for a while. Visit a family member in another state. Embark on a camping trip in the mountains or hit the beach and relax in the sun as you listen to the sounds of crashing waves. I guarantee that you’ll return home feeling much, much better!

8. Treat yourself to a day or night out with the guys or gals. You and your pals could go to a concert or out to lunch or dinner. Maybe go window shopping or to a bar and listen to a live band. The key is not to isolate yourself. Get out and have fun. Because sometimes it pays to go out and paint the town red!

Just go easy on the drinks, as alcohol is a depressant!!!!!!

Bullying and the Innate Fight or Flight Response

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Any time a person has been the object of relentless bullying at work or school, over an extended period of time, that person comes to be in a constant state of high alert. Although useful in short, immediate circumstances, this hyper-vigilance can be unhealthy if the person remains in this state for too long, causing stomach issues, headaches, and fatigue among other many other ailments. Still worse, such a continuous feeling of being under threat can also cause the person to overreact in response to certain occurrences.

Here’s an except from “From Victim to Victor (A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying).”

From Victim to Victor

“…Every living creature has an innate and perfectly natural physiological reaction in the event of a threat or attack. Called the Fight or Flight Response, it protects us from harm in dangerous situations in part through the release of adrenaline. When adrenaline is released into the blood, it becomes next to impossible not to do either of two things- fight or flee.

When I was being bullied and abused during school, escape was not an option for me. Usually, I was cornered or surrounded, either backed into a wall or some large object. With flight cut off to me as an option, what did I have left? Fight! I lived on this adrenaline every day, all day long. Just being around my classmates put my body and mind on constant alert. It was a horrible way to live.

Getting on the school bus and walking through the entrance to the school felt like a death march. In the afternoons, I had horrible headaches that triggered violent nausea. For so long, I had managed to keep from vomiting, but eventually my luck ran out. I recall an afternoon in English class when my mouth and eyes began to water. I swallowed hard to control my gag reflexes as I approached the teacher’s desk to ask to be excused to the bathroom.

‘What do you want?’ Mrs. Caraway asked rudely.
‘I don’t feel good.’ I replied.

Without a word, she gave me the hall pass and I scurried my way to the girls’ room, barely making it to the first stall before launching a stream of the bitterest, most horrible tasting green liquid into the toilet.

This was followed by a long series of dry heaves which were quite painful. Instead of making me feel better, the vomiting made me feel worse and my headache became next to unbearable.

I’ll never forget the sound of the bathroom door as it flung open and the teacher stormed in, demanding to know why I was taking so long. I began to cry and in between gags and wretches, pleaded with her to let me go to the office and call my grandmother….”

She accused me of making myself vomit so I could go home early.

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When you’re a bullied kid, even a few teachers, having heard the rumors and falsehoods being spread about you, begin to bully you too. It’s a very lonely and heartbreaking position to be in.

As time went on, the fear of going to school and having to face my classmates grew in me. It was like an infected tumor getting bigger and bigger with each passing day. My stomach would draw up every morning when I set foot on that school bus. The next eight hours was like walking through a minefield, never knowing when my next step could mean BOOM! and I would be hit, shoved, kicked, or bombarded with a torrent of taunts, insults and names. It was a situation I saw no end to, and to say that I was afraid would be an understatement. I was petrified.

Most never think of the magnitude of fear the victim must live with or the health consequences of living in that perpetual state of fight or flight. And sadly, although the impact to the physical health of the victim may not show up right away, it may rear its ugly head later in life.

But this doesn’t only happen in school, it happens in the workplace also. What was believed to only happen to school-aged people also happens to adults in the workplace. Bullying knows no age group.

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Many bullied victims get into serious trouble when the bullying finally escalates and becomes physical. Everyday, innocent targets are unjustly suspended and expelled from school or fired from work because they were forced into fight mode to defend themselves. Bullies have a real flair for charming and seducing supervisors, managers, teachers and staff, lying very convincingly and making the target look like the aggressor and victims are often severely punished for nothing more than trying to protect themselves, while the bullies are either given a slap on the wrist or escape with complete impunity.

However, school staff and workplace management should know well that, just like all God’s creatures, targets of bullying have this fight or flight instinct.

It’s only natural that if you corner a dog and kick it enough times, sooner or later, you’ll get bit!

Targets of Bullying, Here’s Why You Have So Many Reasons to Live!

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If you are a person being bullied and are considering suicide, this message is for you! Please hold on. Stay strong. Continue the fight.

Know that you deserve love and friendship just as everyone else does. Know that you are just as good as everyone else. Above all, rest assured that life will get much better! Instead of thinking of reasons why you should take your own life, think of reasons why you shouldn’t. There are so many reasons to keep living.

Let me put this another way. If you resort to suicide, you will cheat yourself out of the possibility of one day overcoming your present circumstances and out of so many exciting firsts. You will cheat yourself out of so many wonderful years that lie ahead.

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If you’re under 16, you will cheat yourself out of driving a car for the very first time and let me tell you! That feeling of sliding in the driver’s seat, behind the wheel of a car and your hands on the steering wheel? There’s nothing like it! It’s one of the most liberating experiences!

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You will also miss out on prom and high school graduation, another one of the most exciting and hopeful times of life.

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You will also forfeit the magic of falling in love and the joy of marrying your soulmate.

And I can tell you that love is one of the most intoxicating and fulfilling experiences life has to offer!

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And lastly, you’ll forgo the beautiful experience of having your first baby!

I want you to imagine yourself, five or ten years into the future: You’re married to your spouse and you’ve become a new parent. You’re holding that precious little life in your arms for the first time and gazing into that precious, tiny face! You’re now able to have a life beyond your own! You’re holding that soft, tiny body against your chest and watching it sleep against you! I can’t explain what that feels like or the love and joy that goes with it!

You have so many firsts…so many magical and beautiful moments yet to experience and enjoy, so much beauty yet to behold and so many awesome people, potential friends and family yet to meet!

However, if you die by your own hand, you’ll cheat yourself out of all of it! On the other hand, if you’re patient and you keep fighting, life will reward you with such beautiful moments!

Another thing I want you to consider is that if you give up, the bullies will automatically win! That’s right! Your bullies will win and you will lose! Do you really want to let them win? Do you really want to give them such an easy victory? Think about it for a minute. Really think!

As long as you are alive, there’s always a chance that things will improve…and improve drastically! But once you’re dead, that chance dies with you and there’s no coming back! Death is final and there are no do-overs! So, if you ever consider suicide, I beg you! Talk to a close family member and if you can’t talk to a family member, talk to someone! A loved teacher, a trusted friend, a stranger- someone!

And give yourself a chance! Give the people who love you a chance! Give love a chance! You won’t be disappointed!

I promise you that you’re worth it! If you continue to fight for yourself, I can guarantee that there will come a day when you will look back on this moment and thank yourself. You will look back and be glad that you fought the good fight and stayed alive. I’m living proof!

You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!

Would You Prefer to Be BOSS or a LEADER?

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There is a huge difference in a boss and a leader. I have had several bosses but not that many true leaders. Here is the difference between the two.

A boss is a demanding blowhard. He/She is bent on power and loves to lord it over the subordinates. He expects them to bow down. He is a bully and uses intimidation, threats and force to get his employees to do what he wants.

She has to literally make her subordinates carry out her wishes because although they would never tell her, the subordinates secretly do not respect her and naturally resist her demands.

A Leader is sincere and is a team player. He works with subordinates in order to get the job done and get it done correctly. He is never a show off and doesn’t toot his/her own horn.

She treats her subordinates with respect because she knows that in order to get people to do what she needs, she must treat them with respect and kindness.

A Boss browbeats and degrades his workers when they make a mistake. He’s arrogant and lets his position go to his head.

A Leader is down to earth. He addresses the employee who made the error, yet gives that person positive reinforcement or constructive criticism.

A Boss gets his point across by yelling, cursing, and abuse of his employees and often refers to them as “underlings”, “peons” or “‘his’ people”.

A leader gets his point across simply by having a great attitude toward his workers and being calm and level-headed. A leader refers to his subordinates as “people I work with”. Notice the word “with”

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A leader will work with you. A boss will make sure the whole company knows that he is “over” you.

A Leader is strong, competent and has impeccable people skills.

A Boss is a weak windbag and bumbling idiot who has to trumpet his own importance and authority to get others to notice and it often has an undesired outcome.

A leader will roll up his sleeves and help his people when a task is overwhelming. He doesn’t mind hard work. He will help you out when you’re having difficulty completing a task and he will work just as hard as you to help you finish the job.

A boss is useless and lazy. He will only stand over you, barking orders and watching you struggle. And he will do it complete with arms folded across the chest, legs wide apart and sour look or smirk on the face.

A boss may even secretly take pleasure in seeing the subordinates struggle.

People are drawn to leaders, enjoy working with them and love them.

On the other hand, people despise bosses and will cross a busy street if necessary to avoid them.

People are also more than happy to do what the leader wants because the leader always makes them feel valued. The leader naturally has others eating out of his hand with very little effort, whereas the boss only gets resistance from others and people will do the exact opposite of what he wants because the boss makes people feel low and taken advantage of.

A boss isn’t even an afterthought to others but a leader is unforgettable. A boss is a schmuck! A leader is a champion!

Bosses come a dime a dozen but Leaders are very few and far between.

Anybody can be a boss but it takes a very special individual to be a leader.

So, which would you prefer to work for? A boss or a leader? Better yet, which would you rather be? A boss or a leader?

Let Them Talk

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Gossips are everywhere! Too many people worry needlessly about what people are saying about them. But here’s the thing, people talk. They’re going to have something to say about you until the day you die. Get used to it. Better, yet embrace it! Love it!

Here’s Why:

1. When people talk about you, they make you relevant! Good or bad, it means you’re an exciting topic- you’re not dull. Remember that it’s much better to be good or bad then to be boring.

2. When people engage in petty gossip about you, it means that they can’t get you off their minds. Somehow, someway, positive or negative, you’ve made an impact on them. You’ve stirred emotions up in them.

3. When people talk about you, it means they don’t have lives of their own and are obsessed with yours, which means your life must be more exciting than theirs.

4. When people talk behind your back, they reveal much more about themselves than they do you. Remember the old proverb, “Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, and Small minds discuss people.”

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Persuasion concept. Man and woman whispering in girls ear. Copy space on yellow background.

5. When people can’t shut up about you, you’re the one who’s in control of them. Because you occupy a large amount of space in their minds, you’ve affected them profoundly and with little or no effort.

6. The people who blab about you expend a lot of their energy on you while you get to save yours. They’re thinking of you without getting so much as a thought from you.

7. When you’re the topic of others’ discussions, it means that they’re your fans, only they don’t know it.

8. In a nutshell, when people can’t stop running their mouths about you, it only means that you have a tremendous amount of power over them and you didn’t have to make an effort to get that power! Yay, you!

So don’t give their talk any validation by reacting. Just sit back and be amused by the talkers, provided it’s just petty gossip and not defamation. I’ll distinguish between the two in a future post.

10 Reasons Why People Make Excuses for Bullies

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Down through the ages, either at school, the workplace, or the community, people have made excuses for the behavior of bullies and it can be downright sickening to targets of such evil acts. Often, the bully has gotten away with it for so long that they get too comfortable and no longer try to hide it. It leaves targets feeling not only a sense of injustice and resentment but downright furious! Unfortunately, this happens all the time, and it’s nothing new.

If you’re a target of such brutality and find yourself wondering why people make excuses for bullies, here are your answers below:

1. They’re afraid of becoming the next target. Nobody wants a bully on their back, so they make excuses for the bullies to protect themselves from being ostracized and to keep from arousing the bullies’ anger. These people often “don’t want to make waves” or “rock the boat.”

2. They’re loyal followers of the bullies. Many people are under the impression that being friends or followers of the bullies will give them status, popularity, favors, and most of all, protection. And in many cases, it does. But in others, the followers are only being used and will be quickly dismissed as soon as they’ve “served their purpose.”

3. They hate the target worse than they hate the bullies. They take the lesser of two evils route. If people hate the target worse than they do the bullies, they’re naturally going to side with the bullies and help demonize the target all for the satisfaction of seeing the victim suffer.

4. It’s expected of them. And people will often do what’s expected of them to do in an environment. Many times, the bullying of a particular individual has become the status quo in that specific environment, whether it be a school, workplace or community. And no one wants to challenge that for fear of being marginalized and forced to join the target at the bottom of the heap.

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5. They prefer to “cheer for the winning team.” Many people will side with the person who wields the most power. When people are on the side of the winners or ones with the most power, they get a share in being one of the big dogs. Many times, there’s a certain amount of social status and prestige that goes with rooting for a particular clique, team or group who seems to be in charge and run the school, place of employment, or community.

6. They want to be a part of the in-crowd. (See number 5)

7. They think it will keep down the drama and allow some peace in that particular environment. Let’s face it. Bullying is stressful for bystanders and witnesses too. You don’t have to be a target for it to suck the energy out of you. All it takes for bullying to take the oxygen out of the room is for you to see it. So, people make excuses for the bully, often in their presence, to appease them and calm them down.

8. They’re bullies themselves. Birds of a feather flock together. People have a nose for and take care of their own.

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guilt concept – unhappy young sporty man showing his throat with gun-like hands for sign of low self-esteem, textured effects

9. For purposes of self-interest. The bullies benefit them somehow. If the bullies are stars on the school football team, star performers in a corporation, or successful business people in a community, they boost the image of that school, corporation, or district and often bring or attract money into the coffers of these entities.

The prevailing thought is this, “If someone makes me look good and is bringing in the money, I’d be a fool to do anything to jeopardize it!”

Also, in return for keeping their mouths shut or justifying their wrongdoings, bullies will often reward bystanders and witnesses with social status, perks, favors, and protection. Or the reward may be the feeling of importance in knowing that that they’re on the team that holds the most power and prestige.

10. They want to impress the bullies and be admired by them. Many people have a desire to run with the “cool crowd.” Therefore, they make excuses for them to impress them and win favor. They feel that if the bullies, who already have an overinflated sense of their own importance, think well of them too, then they must be hot items themselves. And it’s a huge self-esteem boost.

However, these people are only letting the approval of these bullies define who they are, which is dangerous. Because once the bullies decide they don’t need them anymore, it’s going to be devastating for them.

You must understand that there is a payoff in it somewhere. Human Nature dictates that none of us do anything unless it somehow, someway, appeals to our self-interests, even a little bit. If people are making excuses for bullies, you can be sure that those people are somehow benefiting from it, whether it be psychological, social, or material gain.

How Bullying of a Particular Person Can Become Status Quo and Why You Must Assert Yourself When it First Begins (Part 2)

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If the bullying is allowed to continue over a certain amount of time, even for as short as a few weeks, it will likely become the status quo with peers. Once it becomes the status quo, it’s virtually impossible to assert your rights without encountering a ton of resistance and reprisals.

The trick is to assert yourself immediately before the bully or bullies grow(s) accustomed to tormenting you because once they do, in most cases, it’s too late. Once it is too late, anytime you are brave and refuse to bow down to a bully, expect retaliation…expect to be severely punished for undermining the bully’s perceived authority or power over you.

This is a warning that you absolutely must heed. Anytime, one is repeatedly bullied over a certain period of time, it becomes a habit…a ritual for any and every one at the school or corporation. Anytime you muster up the spunk to say and/or do anything to assert, defend, or stand up for yourself, you are going against a status quo or perceived norm. And once you dare to go against any status quo, you had better prepare yourself for an all-out war!

You are a target! And bullies refuse to see you as anything but. As much as it may suck, when a person becomes a target of bullying, people- bullies, bystanders, and yes; sometimes even members of staff, consciously or subconsciously expect the person to stay a target. They expect you to put your head down and take it- and if you even attempt to grow a spine, they will do everything in their power to break it.

Anytime a person, who has been a target of bullies over a long period of time, takes steps to take back their power, the unspoken message of the bully is this:

“Whoa! You’ve been a doormat this long, so why NOW do you get uppity and decide to grow some sack?”

…all of which translates to an even deeper message that says:

“Holy Crap! We’re not used to him/her being so outspoken! This scares us! We’ve tried A, now we have to do B and if B doesn’t work, then we will have to resort to C to put this person back in his/her place and do it quick before we lose our foothold on her and therefore, lose the benefits that we have enjoyed at her expense!”

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This is because bullies are extremely frightened by change, especially a change in the power dynamic which has long been set. They and others want you to stay a victim because “it’s just the way things are done at this school or company.”

Also, bullies are benefiting from your victimization and they do not want to lose those benefits (social status, gratification, satisfaction, etc.)

Your bullies’ degradation of you has become habit- a ritual- a tradition. And your defending your right to be safe from harm poses the threat of change and most people cannot easily accept change, bullies especially.

Furthermore, bullies believe that it is their right to abuse their target. Yes! They honestly believe that they have a right to mistreat the person because they assume that they have absolute authority over their victim and that they are entitled to inflict misery on him/her.

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In the mind of a bully, you as the target do not have the right to undermine, nor question their perceived authority over you. Others believe that you deserve the ill treatment and that you owe it to them to put your head down and “just shut up and take it”.

If this does not tick you off enough to make you want to snatch your power back, I do not know what will. But before you can do so, you must have knowledge of the inner workings of these types of individuals. You must be wise to what it is that makes this type of person tick.

It’s imperative that you get abreast on the psychology of the typical bully, his/her background, motives, how and why the bully seems to escape accountability, and a host of other important and possibly life-saving information.

You absolutely MUST address it early on, as soon as you begin to see a pattern forming. Do not let it get so bad that you either fear for, or want to end your own life.

A More In-Depth Explanation of Frenemies (Part 2)

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In Part 1, we discussed frenemies and the gradual but growing hot/cold, waxing and waning in their behavior, which snowballs into a terrible lashing of venom that leaves a target both shocked and hurt.

Again, if you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of a frenemy’s poison, rest assured that none of it was your fault and you were not the person with the issue. Understand that in using this hot/cold, nice/nasty cycle, the frenemy only used what is termed, “The Push/Pull Method” on you. This push and pull technique is exactly how it sounds: the frenemy pulls the target in, pushes him/her away, then pulls them in again. This back and forth cycle is specifically designed to hook you into the friendship and throw you off your game! Realize that the person was more than likely never your friend!

You may ask yourself these questions:

“If this person was never my friend and never liked me to begin with, why then did they exert such much effort to get close to me?”

“Why did this person latch on to me in the first place?”

Jealousy was most likely the culprit. Your frenemy (or frenemies) was intensely jealous of something you possessed and wanted a way to punish you for having something…anything they only wished they had. They wanted to bring you down a few notches…to put you in your place…to cut you down to size! Rather than a direct, frontal assault, they preferred to out-flank you by carefully cozying up to you, tricking you into dropping your defenses and winning your complete trust to get close to you!

Another reason could be that the frenemy somehow gets an ego-boost from being “friends” with you and the thought of being seen with you!

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Understand that this closeness is a way to hook you into the friendship, then gather intimate, personal details about your life and personality, to suss out any weaknesses or less-than-desirable qualities you have. Fake-friends are like police detectives who attempt to build a case against you. Once they gather the intel they need, they then exploit this information, using it as a weapon to harm you, ruining your reputation and sabotaging your personal relationships and associations.

When you finally get fed up, put your foot down and end the friendship, the frenemy then paints you as the mean, mentally-unbalanced, or selfish person and trumpets any dirt collected on you to anyone who will listen to them. I want you to understand that this is how frenemies operate. People such as these are very sneaky, meticulous, and worst of all, patient!

It is much better to have full-blown enemies than frenemies because, with an enemy, you always know where you stand and can more easily avoid contact. Frenemies, however, (especially those who are superiorly charming and persuasive) have ways of reeling you in and keeping you dependent on their approval and acceptance. And if you are a victim of bullying, the relationship is much harder to get out of because you’re afraid of going back to being friendless. But wouldn’t you rather be to yourself than to keep company with people who only wish to bring you down? I know I would!

Remember that a smiling face does not a friend make. Not everyone who heartily pats you on the back has your best interests at heart. There are red flags you can look for and speed in the progression of the friendship is a major red flag! Anytime someone is so quick to call you a friend, be alert! Alternating hot and cold (flip-flopping) and micro-flashes of contempt and hostility in their body language are also warnings you should be aware of!

In these scenarios, the best you can do is to step back and maintain plenty of distance between you and the person in question. Only then is it possible to observe them and figure out their true motivations and intentions!