Today’s Quote

“If you find yourself constantly trying to prove yourself to someone, you have already forgotten your value.”

– Unknown –

Why First Impressions Are So Important

friends

I cannot tell you how important first impressions are. Down through the ages, many have said that first impressions last forever and that you never get a second chance at it. They were right!

When I moved to *Oakley, Tennessee, after having been an Army brat and lived in many different places, I began attending school there during the sixth grade. During that first year, I made a terrible first impression on my classmates, and I did it without even realizing it. Unfortunately, I paid for it for six long years.

In no way am I doing what so many young victims do, blaming myself for all the pain and humiliation they put me through. I’m well aware that regardless of the impression I made, I was just an innocent twelve-year-old child who never deserved to be bullied.

However, looking back, I now realize what I could’ve done differently to keep the target off my back. Oh, the things we realize when we’re older!

My first mistake was that I didn’t stand up for myself when my classmates began bullying me. Being new at the time, I was afraid of getting in trouble with school staff and was taught that “decent young ladies didn’t fight.” Instead, I tried talking my way out of confrontations or lying my way out. ‘Bet you can guess where that got me.

Another mistake was that I was also overly friendly, which was easily mistaken for being a fool, being weak, and approval-seeking.

My third mistake was that during the sixth grade, I cried easily, which my hardened and sadistic classmates took for weakness or manipulation. It didn’t take me long to change these behaviors.

By the seventh grade, I had toughened up considerably, but by then, the dynamic was already firmly in place.

First impressions are everything! They set a precedent- a pattern for the future. If bullies get away with bad behavior once, you can be sure they will repeat it again and again. When they get a particular reaction, they will come back for more of the same later. Without realizing it, we teach people how to treat us.

Understand that it doesn’t take long for impressions to take root and became expected. And when they do, it’s tough to change. That isn’t to say that it’s impossible, but it won’t be easy.

It takes a truckload of patience and consistency. It also requires pointing out your good qualities, hard work, and successes to others, which can backfire if you aren’t careful because people will only naturally take you for bragging and being pompous.

You have no control over people’s perceptions and opinions of you, nor their behavior and actions toward you, which is why it’s so essential to get it right the first time around. I had to learn this the hard way and by the time I realized it, it was too late.

However, during my last year of high school, I got the opportunity to change schools and make a new start at *Roseburg School. I put my best foot forward at my new school and the results were amazing!

I made many friends and was well accepted and liked by both students and staff. I saw a complete 180! But sadly, many kids don’t get that opportunity.

Even now, the classmates from *Oakley still, to this day, hold a lot of unnecessary anger, resentment, and bitterness and it’s been thirty years. I can tell you that had I known what I know now- had I made a better impression early on, things would have been much different.

Not that what they think matters because I’m older and with age comes wisdom, confidence, and self-acceptance. Also priorities change.

However, I would’ve saved myself six years of pain and a lot of wasted time. Also, I’d feel better about joining them at the thirty-year reunion.

I can only pity them because you’d think people would be over that stuff by now. I forgive them because forgiveness sets me free. However, I could never trust them because I will never feel safe around them. And the sad part is, a lot of this was avoidable in the early stages.

Today, I make giving a great first impression a goal each and every time I meet new people. The next time you meet someone new, be sure to make the best impact possible.

Brad Pitt, Robert Downey, Jr. & Mel Gibson Claim Hollywood is an ‘Institutionalized Pedophile Ring’ — Clever Journeys

Reblogged from Cleaver Journeys:

Child sex trafficking and pedophilia are two of the most vile and diabolical forms of bullying . No matter how you slice it, to any abuser, it’s about exerting power over those who are unable to protect themselves. Hence the power-imbalance that must exist in any form of bullying.

Here, Texans Jack and Dodie (Jack, a retired journalist, and Dodie, a retired nurse) address the evils of the child sex trade, the people, industries, and corporations involved; and give recognition to the brave celebrities and other whistleblowers who risk it all to speak out about against these evildoers.

Actor Mel Gibson explained to a BBC television audience in July 2020 how he had been blacklisted by Hollywood’s controlling monarchs in 2006. Gibson in The Patriot What he was about to reveal would at first bring a barrage of media fury labeling him a conspiratorist. Over time, much of what he said has been […]

Brad Pitt, Robert Downey, Jr. & Mel Gibson Claim Hollywood is an ‘Institutionalized Pedophile Ring’ — Clever Journeys

The More Bullies Tighten Their Fists, The More Like Water You Become

Like I did, you will only run through their fingers and out of their hands. My classmates couldn’t hold me. I flowed over and around them. Understand that sometimes, in their efforts to tighten their grip, bullies only create defiant and sneaky targets who find their way around them.

Because some targets refuse to be controlled. I was one of them.

When your bullies try to silence you and prevent you from speaking against the abuse, you can find another way to communicate. I chose to write about it instead, being sure to keep a backup journal at home in case my primary journal came up missing. You can also do this, or you can speak out through music and song, artwork, such as drawings and paintings. There are so many vehicles through which you can speak out.

I took advantage of the fact that my bullies were flawed humans just like I was- and that they couldn’t read my mind nor control my thoughts.

When your bullies trash your reputation at school, make friends outside that toxic environment– out of kids who don’t attend your school. It’s what I did. I also dated guys who were of college-age and were past high school.

If you’re old enough to have a driver’s license or work after school,  opportunities for an after school job in your community may be nil, but your attempts to get one in the next town will more than likely be successful and you can make many friends there.

And here’s the miracle that happened twenty years lately when I endured horrible rashes of cyberbullying (keep in mind that some of the attackers online were former schoolmates), I handled it with smarts and class, which only brought me many allies who defended me– people from all over the country! And I’m still friends with those people today.

Yes, sometimes, things may look hopeless, but they can turn out for the best.

I want you to realize that if you think hard, there’s always a way around the stigma if you’re bullied. So, do what you must do for self-preservation. Dig those heels in, double down, and become like water that only runs through your bullies’ hands.

Don’t give up! There’s always hope!

Never Isolate Yourself if You’re a Target of Bullying

bullied girl sad

Many targets are bullied so viciously that they become terrified, withdraw, and isolate themselves. They grew leery of social situations and lose trust in all people. Once they lose faith in humanity, they can sometimes become hermits.

Some solitude is healthy, but too much of it isn’t good. Although staying away from people may seem to be the safest way to deal with being bullied, it isn’t.

Understand that when you withdraw from people, you not only close yourself off to bullies, you cut yourself off from people who can help you and from information that could be important.

You’ll cut yourself off from any talk that your bullies might be planning something harmful and you must always pay attention to what’s going on around you. Also, when you isolate yourself, you draw too much attention to yourself and make yourself an easier target. When you’re alone, you’re ripe for attack.

Realize that we humans are social creatures and to have any power requires connection, interaction, and being out and about.

It’s much better to mix and mingle with people and find friends and allies. What you should do is hide in the crowd from your bullies. Find others your bullies have bullied and use what you have in common to win them over to your side.

Making friends and allies both in and out of the bullying environment helps to counterbalance your bullies and give you protection.

When you refuse to isolate yourself, you’re more likely to receive news of what your bullies are doing and secrets they’re hiding, then use it to your advantage or for your defense. You can also better predict what they’ll do next.

Besides, the more sociable you are, the more at ease you’ll be, and the more attractive you’ll become.

Too much isolation, on the other hand, will also make you awkward around people and they will begin to avoid you.

So, remember. Isolation should only be temporary and in small doses. Only then is it good because it allows you time to think and evaluate things.

But too much of it can leave you exposed for attack because bullies always attack when the target is alone.

Think about it. In the animal kingdom, predators like tigers and wolves always attack in packs and when the prey is separated from the herd. Bullies are the same!

1 Truth All Targets Should Consider

“If you’re a target of bullying, they don’t bully you because there’s anything wrong with you. They don’t bully you because of anything you’ve done wrong. No. They bully you because they perceive you to be the person who has the least power and, therefore, the least likely to be able to defend yourself. That’s why they bully you. It’s not about who’s defective and needs to be fixed. It’s not about who’s evil and needs to be punished. It’s about who has the least power. Always.”