“Nobody will ever love me.”
“Nothing good can ever happen for me.”
“Human beings are predators and love drama.”
”It sucks to be me!”
Those were once my beliefs.
Bullying is a form of brainwashing. When a person has been an object of bullying for an extended length of time, they become fearful and unwitting hold themselves back. After people tell the target for so long that they aren’t good enough, the tormented person comes to believe it themselves. Even worse, those negative thoughts, which have been re-inforced by bullies, sometimes for several years, become a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Because bullying is so repetitive, it causes the target to think that they don’t deserve to be happy or prosperous. This person stops taking risks and plays everything safe. They settle for far less than what he/she deserves. And they don’t trust themselves to make good decisions and to say or do the right thing.
Targets of chronic bullying have the mindset that good fortune happens to anyone but them. Also, victims lose faith in humanity and come to think that all people are rotten and take pleasure in harming others. As a result, they lose their trust in humans in general, which only causes them to lose out on what could be genuinely remarkable friendships and relationships and re-enforce loneliness and isolation.
This is what bullying does to victims. It reprograms their minds and smashes their self-esteem to pieces, which can sometimes take years to put back together again. It causes them to do things that they usually would never do. I say this because it happened to me.
During the years my classmates bullied me, I did not trust anyone. I selected friends I didn’t want to be friends with and dated a few guys whom I wasn’t even remotely attracted to- all because I believed I couldn’t do any better. I did this to avoid being alone. As long as there was a warm body around, it was “good enough.” I didn’t realize that not only was I being unfair to myself but also the people I selected. I deserved to be with people whom I wanted to be with and who were upstanding and positive, and they deserved to be with people who were with them because they chose to be, not because they were the only option. I was doing what Zig Zigler termed as “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
Here is another thing victims do as a result of bullying, they never permit themselves to be selfish, not knowing that sometimes a little bit of selfishness is okay, even imperative at times! In the past, people have repeatedly accused these targets of being selfish when they are only caring for themselves and also shamed them into believing that anything they do for themselves is wrong. Therefore, they put themselves on the back burner and everyone else comes first, often at the victim’s own expense!
It happened to me. I became shy and shut people out for fear of being harmed. I was afraid to say “no” to people because, in the past, I had been retaliated against and hurt for daring to set a boundary. I was forbidden to set boundaries and expected to, even forced to “let” others violate me. It was a terrible situation, which eventually caused me not to value myself as a person.
And when I finally got mad at the direction my life was headed. I decided, “No more!” I deserved to be happy just as much as the next person and I got proactive. I became hungry from any knowledge that would help me change my inside, so that I could change my outside!
I took my first step toward empowerment by reading as many personal development books I could get my hands on, then putting their advice into practice. And believe me! Spiritual and psychological reprogramming isn’t easy!
Anytime you set out to change destructive thoughts and habits you’ve had for several years, it’s the hardest thing to do. It takes a lot of grunt-work and, most of all, patience because the change doesn’t happen overnight. Because your mind will fight you every step of the way. It took several years for me to notice a significant difference in my thought patterns and attitude.
Thankfully, it finally paid off in a big way, and things are much different today! I want you to know that when you are a target, placing worth on yourself and doing the work to bring positive changes in your life is the most important thing you can ever do for yourself.
Don’t do like me. For a time, I let my bullies win by caving in under a mountain of pressure and giving them carte blanche to brainwash me with their abuse. However, it was a lesson learned.
Always, value yourself, even when it seems that others don’t because it will work wonders for your self-esteem and save you a lot of work later. Keep fighting even when it appears that you’re losing the battle because oftentimes, when things look the bleakest, your breakthrough or relief is just around the corner.
Love yourself and put yourself first, then reach out to only those who reciprocate love and positive feelings to you. Turn a deaf ear to the harmful talk bullies may attempt to fill your head with. Better yet, send those toxic parasites packing! Because you’re worth it! I promise you!