Bullies will often bully a specific victim for so long that the victim eventually expects maltreatment from all people. Although I no longer get bullied and have long since regained my confidence and self-esteem, I do remember that feeling all too well.
After being bullied for so long, you become fearful. Around people, you clam up, keep your eyes to yourself and go about your business. However, it seldom works because bullies are like pit bulldogs; they can smell fear from a mile away, so being reserved and staying out of the way tends to bring about more bullying.
You can always tell when a person is a victim of bullying because they continuously apologize for everything. Overapologizing is the surefire sign of bullying and abuse, as is being reserved and afraid to look people in the eye.
Understand that the person who does that is scared to death. They’ve lost all sense of their worth and are afraid to make decisions because they might make the wrong one and be ridiculed, shamed, or harmed for it.
Many targets are also afraid to talk to people because they’re afraid of saying something stupid or offensive and again getting persecuted for it. They’re fearful of going out or being seen in public because they might run into the wrong people (bullies).
They’re scared to greet people because they fear that they’ll be seen as too friendly. So, they’re often mistaken for being stuck up or standoffish.
If you are a victim of bullying and you do any of the above, STOP!
Living your life in fear is no way to live! It sucks! It’s a downright miserable existence, and I refuse to keep my head down and clam up to avoid the pettiness of other people!
I want you to realize that you don’t need permission to be yourself or to exist! The day you say, “Screw it! Who cares what those idiots think!” will be the day you get your life back. Things may indeed get worse before they get better. But it’ll be worth it in the long run. I guarantee it.