How to Know You’re Being Gaslighted

Bullies are notorious for gaslighting their targets. As we know, when a target speaks out about the abuse and begins defending themselves, bullies are quick to paint the targets as crazy, try to reverse the roles to make the target look like the bully, or try to convince the target that what happened didn’t really happen- that it was all in the target’s imagination, or they’re being overly sensitive, overreacting, etc.

If you’re a target, understand that bullies will gaslight you to shut you up, so that they can keep their moral high ground. They do it to make you doubt your sanity because they know that if you doubt your own sanity, it’s a sure bet that others will doubt it too.

It’s tough to know when someone is gaslighting you because when others agree with them, you’ll feel even more compelled to just shut up and go along with it. The reason for this compulsion is fear. You know that, more than likely, if you don’t just clam up and go along, you’ll only suffer more abuse as punishment for daring to open your mouth.

So, how do you know that someone is gaslighting you?

Simple. You know just by how it makes you feel. Here are the symptoms:

1. You’ll constantly second guess yourself – It’s a brutal cycle. You say something, make a judgement call, maybe a decision, and then you turn right around and begin wondering if you said or did the right thing. This is bad because second-guessing ourselves can cause us to feel stuck in life, and there are few worse things than feeling stuck.

 You’re hyper-self-aware, self-conscious, and always on guard to make sure you do and say the right thing all the time. Also, too much second guessing can cause us to do and say the wrong things out of nervousness and that is no way to live life!

How you solve this problem is to stop worrying about what others think and to realize that your first instinct will usually be the correct one.

 2. You wonder if you’re imagining things or being too sensitive and you do it several times a day- They don’t call it “crazy-making” for nothing because it can drive you crazy. When people are constantly taking pot shots at you, you hesitate to make any comebacks because, again, you’re too busy doubting yourself and putting too much value on the opinions of others.

Again, the best way to solve this problem is to trust what you feel and go with it. You may get bullied harder for it, but wouldn’t you feel better about yourself later, knowing that you stood up to those creeps?

3. You over-apologize- You apologize for trivial stuff that anyone else could do and probably get away with. You apologize for other people’s behavior. You even apologize for having to go to the bathroom! In short, you apologize for everything!

4. You’re confused all the time- Should you do this or that, say this or that? You live in constant confusion.

5. You’re never happy but you feel you should be- that’s a dead ringer that you’re being gaslighted. Because when people gaslight you even for feeling a certain way, this is what happens. And your feelings are right. You should be happier. Only you have a bullying gaslighter in your life holding you back from the happiness you so richly deserve.

6. You make excuses for other people’s behavior- this especially happens when you have fake friends who only use and abuse you. You don’t want others to know what they’re doing to you because you already know, and you’re riddled with shame over it. And it can be embarrassing when the people you call friends disrespect you because you end up looking pathetic to others. Therefore, you make excuses for them not only to hide the shame of being abused, but to keep your abusers from being angry and making you pay for it later.

But the only way to stop this is to face the truth and, even better, ditching these fakers. Because if you must make excuses for someone who’s bullying and abusing you, they can’t be a friend.

7. You lie to avoid being ridiculed or put down, even about things you should have nothing to worry about- when you feel you must lie about things that are not a big deal, that’s definitely a red flag!

Here are a few more symptoms to be aware of:

8. You feel that you’ve changed- that you’re no longer the confident and outgoing person you used to be.

9. You feel like you can’t do anything right.

10.  You feel hopeless.

11. You wonder if you’re good enough.

 12. You know something’s wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it.

Realize that being gaslighted day in and day out causes you to eventually lose yourself- to lose sight of who you are and once that happens, bullies and abusers will have you exactly where they want you.

Understand that some things are not so clear and that there are situations that we won’t get direct and easy answers to. That is why it’s so important to go with how you feel. Listen to your body- listen to your gut.

“Trust your feelings, Luke.” – Yoda (Star Wars)

There are times when the way you feel will be all the answers you need.

And once you go with your feelings, find a way to rid yourself of the life-leeches in your life (if possible). It’s the only way you’ll be able to heal, get yourself back, and live a peaceful, happy, and purposeful life.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Phindela’s Muses Blog post, “Reality Check”

A fellow blogger recommended me to read one of his posts about the song, “Coward of the County” and he makes such a great point in his writings! So, I’m reposting it with his permission.

You can find the original post here (and it’s dated February 5, 2012 if you go to the archives. For some reason, the direct post link doesn’t work):

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“I happen to have been hearing Kenny Rodgers’ song ‘Coward of the county ’so many times of late such that it rings in my mind even when it’s no longer playing. In the song, Rodgers sings about a man (boy?) called Yellow whose dad died in prison and he (Rodgers) had to take care of the boy (the dad was his brother). He sings of what the dad told the boy before dying:

Promise me son not to do the things I have done

Walk away from trouble if you can

It won’t mean you weak if you turn the other cheek

I hope you old enough to understand

Sometimes you don’t have to fight to prove that you are a man

The boy lived under this adage, labeled a county coward by all, he never sought to dispute this as long as he had the love and heart of a girl called Becky. In her, according to Rodgers, he did not have to prove that he was a man. All was sublime and bliss until the county bullies came. The song says the Gatling boys came to his girl when Tommy (Yellow’s real name) was at work and had a violent go at her and defiled her.

When Tommy came and found his love bruised by the hood bullies, he took his old man’s portrait, remembered his father’s words:

Promise me son not to do the things I have done

Walk away from trouble if you can

It won’t mean you weak if you turn the other cheek

I hope you old enough to understand

Sometimes you don’t have to fight to prove that you are a man

After this he walked into the bar wherein he found the bullies who had just ravished his girl, midway into the bar he was taunted and called yellow, he turned and walked toward the door and the laughter increased, but he did not leave, he locked the door, summoned all the strength (holy anger?) and never stopped until all the members of the famous gang were leveled and he made it clear as he floored the last one that he was doing all this for his Becky. Then he turned his dad’s words and did his own refrain.

I promised you dad not to do the things you’ve done

I’ll walk away from trouble if I can

Now please don’t think I am weak I didn’t turn the other cheek

And papa I sure hope you’ll understand

Sometimes you have to fight to prove you’re a man.

The words left a dimensional thrust me. It made me understand that we are comfortable with the pain society gives us until it touches a raw nerve. We are content with being misunderstood as long as it does not cause us to be removed from the feeding trough. We are happy to walk with hunched shoulders against a world that thumbs its nose at us and we deign from taking a stand.

Our  failure to take a stand against the libels , wrongs etc. might look uncostly as they happen across the road but the problem is that the more unchallenged the wrongs go, the more braver and louder the bullies become, soon they will snoop and walk into your territory also and defile your perimeter.

Our false comfort in running away from confronting ills under the pretext that they do not directly affect us is actually blatant COWARDICE that would cause pain to our close kin. How many of us have observed a taxi man pick under- age children with his taxi with the lure of sweet nothings to sexually abuse them? What has been our response? Have we not shrugged our shoulders and muttered that it is not our concern? Has it ever occurred to us that the pedophile will seek more scalps and might eventually pounce closer home?

The soccer aces say the best method of defence is attack. We cannot sit in the comfort of our perimeters and say as long as the ills are not in our circle we are safe because such safety is but false like a single reed against a swollen river.

Reality check. What did you overlook today? A child mouthing a wrong word and left un-cautioned will be the street gang leader who will take your watch at knife point tomorrow. A misguided adult who believes in their wrong being right might be the one to spread that libelous unfounded story about you. A subordinate who smells beer during working hours who goes unsanctioned might drive that company car carrying your children into oncoming traffic tomorrow.

We can’t afford to be yellow. We can’t afford to only fight when the bullies are at our doorstep because then it will be too late.

As the sun rises tomorrow, take a reality check. Stem the abuse, stop the bad mouthing, and stop the run-away ignorance. Then we will all be safe.”

Be Careful What You Put Up With. Bullying Always Escalates. ALWAYS!

It’s best to begin standing up for yourself in the early stages or you’ll come across as a doormat to others and teach them how to treat you based on what they see. Sadly, many targets of bullying do not realize this until the bullying gets so bad and so out of control that their lives are in danger. By then, it’s usually too late to change anything and the only option left is for target to remove him/herself from the environment.

Understand that bullying always escalates and the more you ignore it, deny it, and tolerate it, the more emboldened, brazen, and full of themselves the bullies become until they become drunk on their own power. That’s when the abuse will get out of control and you’re most likely to end of getting severely hurt or worse.

Bullying is like a drug. As we know, it takes one smoke, one drink, or one snort or two for a person to become hooked and once he/she gets that first high, they always want more. It’s the same with bullying. All it takes is one backhanded compliment, one offhand comment, or one insult or two to get the target to react and give the bullies that first rush- that first power high, then they always come back for more.

Also, drug addicts slowly build a tolerance to the drug, and, as time goes on, they need a bigger dose, then an even bigger dose to catch that high. First, they need one milligram, then two, then four, then eight, and so on! It’s no different with bullies. With time they escalate the bullying, then escalate it further to keep getting that rush of power.

First, they start with offhand comments, backhanded compliments, and petty insults. Also, they may smear you to others and give you the silent treatment. When these lose their thrill, the insults become more blatant and hurtful, escalating to yelling, cursing, and severe name-calling. When that loses its luster, the bullying progresses to borderline physical abuse- accidentally on purpose running into the target in the hall, light shoves, and tripping.

When bullies can no longer get their power rush from light physical bullying, they take it up, yet, another notch and progress to more obvious physical beatings- slapping, punching, choking, kicking, etc. Next, they use weapons like textbooks, slamming heads against lockers or the sides of vehicles, then sticks, bottles, pipes…and so on.

boundaries, respect yourself

boundaries, respect yourself

So, understand that bullying and abuse always- always…escalates! In other words, it always gets worse and more severe. It also becomes more frequent!

I’ve said it before, bullying is best countered and quashed in the earliest stages of it. The best time to stand up for yourself is during the “testing phrase”- when bullies are testing you to see what how you will react and what you’ll allow them to get away with.

Treat yourself better by not allowing others to abuse you, because how you treat yourself shows in how you allow others to treat you. Remember that you deserve better and you don’t have to put up with abuse from anyone.

Phrases Gaslighters Use to Make You Question Your Reality


It’s funny how protecting yourself from bullies can be twisted into over-sensitivity, paranoia, vindictiveness, or vengefulness. But that’s exactly what bullies, or, in this case, gaslighters are good for.

When bullying progresses to a point when you feel like you have to wear a body camera to work or school to get evidence of what bullies are putting you through, that’s when you know without a doubt, you’re being gaslighted. So, it’s most important that you trust those feelings.

And sometimes, things may get so out of control that you may need to wear a body camera to work or school. And when you do, make sure you catch it raw and unfiltered. Also, be sure no one, not even your best friend knows you’re wearing it. That way, you risk less of a chance of retaliation, or your evidence being tampered with or destroyed.

But realize that once the evidence is out, whether it comes out in court, and your bullies realize they’ve been busted, they will then continue to gaslight you, especially to others. They’ll accuse you of being sneaky, shady, scandalous, paranoid, or crazy.

But to catch gaslighting early on, before you ever have to wear a body camera, here are a few common things gaslighters tell their targets:

  1. “You’re too sensitive.”
  2. “You’re make something out of nothing.”
  3. “I never said that.”
  4. “I don’t remember saying that.”
  5. “I’m not angry. If I was angry, you’d know it.”
  6. “It’s all your fault.”
  7. “You bring it all on yourself.”
  8. “Well, if you hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have done that.”
  9. “You made me do it.”
  10. “You’re crazy.”
  11. “You’re mentally unstable.”
  12. “Nobody’s ever going to love you.”
  13. “You’re lucky I put up with you.”
  14. “This is why nobody likes you.”
  15. “You’re being petty.”
  16. “You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”
  17. “You can’t take a joke!”
  18. “You’re insecure.”
  19. “You’re jealous.”
  20. “It’s all in your mind.”
  21. “It’s all a figment of your imagination.”
  22. “If you love me, you’ll do this.”

And the list goes on and on.

Realize that no matter how you do it, you absolutely must protect yourself against these psychos, and doing so requires that you know gaslighting when you hear it or see it. It also requires that you maintain your sense of self and if you did not do anything to provoke these bullies, stand strong and never let them twist the facts and accuse you otherwise.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How to Use Your Bullies’ Attacks Against Them

You drag them out.

What do I mean by this?

When they attack you with insults, you simply say, “That’s your opinion,” or “Opinions vary.” When you do this, you will only force the bullies to repeat the attacks over and over again- drag them out until they become boring and redundant.

I won’t kid you; this technique won’t be an easy thing to do. Any time we are attacked, our first instinct is to jab back with attacks of our own. But sadly, this usually proves ineffective as it only pulls us down to the bully’s level.

Also, although this method can be effective in the workplace, it’s much harder and usually takes much longer to have an effect as adults are more tenacious and stealthier with their bullying. This strategy works much better in the school environment.

Respond, yes. But react, no.

And how you respond is with short comebacks like those above, then walk away and leave the bullies standing there, running their mouths and looking stupid. Because, when you don’t give them the response they want (which is for you to attack them back by name-calling, yelling, screaming, or cursing), their natural reactions will be to repeat, repeat, repeat like a broken record.

In other words, you force the bullies to repeat the same attacks until it gets so old and stale that others outside the bully/target dynamic get thoroughly sick of hearing the bullies that they no longer pay attention to it.

In deploying this neat little method, you expose the bullies’ fakery and the childishness of their attacks. You also expose the weakness of the bullies’ position, which they thought was their strength. Instead of turning their “audience” against you, they end up alienating them because bystanders become bored after a while.

Sadly, I didn’t know this at the time I was a target.

When Your Bullies Label You “Mentally Imbalanced” or “Crazy”

Unfortunately, the label of mental instability is the easiest and most effective label to stick to a person. Sadly, a label like this tends to have loads of staying power because it’s the hardest to disprove- especially when the object of it is being bullied and mobbed.

Also, there’s a good chance that any target of bullying will be an emotional wreck because of the chronic abuse they suffer. So, there’s another reason the crazy label would be a clever label to pin to them.

When bullies label you as crazy, it doesn’t mean they actually think you are. Allow me to explain further:

Remember that bullies are big cowards and if they really and truly thought you were crazy, they wouldn’t mess with you at all. In, fact, they wouldn’t come near you. Instead, they would do everything they could to stay out of your way and avoid poking the bear.

They’d go out of their way to be on their best behavior around you because they know that if a person is, in fact, crazy, that person could rip their heads off and poop down their necks! That person could go postal and wipe them all out, then go eat ice cream!

If a person with any common sense knows someone who is factually and utterly batshit crazy, their first instinct is to walk lightly around them and do their due diligence to keep from setting that person off!

So, if your bullies don’t really think you’re crazy, why then do they label you as such?

The reason your bullies label you crazy is to discredit you in case you get fed up with their crap and decide to either report them or stand up to them. And if everyone thinks you’re crazy and you report that you’re being bullied, who’s going to take you seriously?

Labeling the target mentally imbalanced is also a way to silence and subdue the target to keep them from reporting the abuse or standing up to it. If you know that people think you’re crazy you’re going to be too afraid to open your mouth about it because you know that people probably won’t believe you. They will only say that, because of your “mental instability,” you’re probably just being paranoid.

You’ll also be too afraid to fight back because if you do, you know that the bullies will only convincingly reverse roles and play victim. Then, others will only assume that you went postal and either hurt those poor, innocent bullies, or you just threw a temper tantrum and began shouting and cursing people out for no reason. All because you’re just “crazy.”

Sure. Mental instability is one of the hardest to prove. It’s true that your bullies can never prove you’re crazy, but there’s also no way that you can prove for certain that you aren’t. And it’s why this label is just too easy to pen on someone and make stick. In fact, it shouldn’t be this easy and be so successful. But it is.

Do you see how this works?

So, no. Your bullies don’t think you’re crazy, they think you’re weak. They only push the crazy label because weakness or helplessness in a person does have a certain allure and appeal and others may feel compelled to come to that person’s aid. Helplessness sparks a natural tendency in people to want to take care of the person who is helpless, but people are less likely to help the person who is deemed crazy. Bullies instinctively know this. So, they label the target crazy to strip him/her of that allure and appeal.

In labeling you crazy and making it stick, bullies are better able to avoid being held accountable and if they can successfully dodge responsibility for their abuse of another human being, then they get to continue hurting and abusing that person freely and with impunity.

Understand that there’s a method behind the label of mental instability, crazy, unhinged, or whatever name you prefer. If you’re aware of the motives behind that label, the better you’ll be able to catch it and counter your bullies with it.

Your Mind Is Your Own. Keep It That Way.

Bullies don’t only want to hurt you or destroy your good name. More than anything, they want to get into your head and alter your mind.

The worst thing about bullying isn’t the physical assaults. Cuts and bruises heal easily. It isn’t even the name-calling, the smears, the rumors, or the marginalization. It’s what it can do to the mind if we aren’t careful.

The worst thing that can happen to a target of bullying is when he begins to believe what he’s being told. The worst thing that happens is when she begins to see herself through the eyes of the very people who hate her and who want nothing more from her than her complete destruction and ruination.

Anytime a target begins to believe he is nothing, he does himself a huge disservice because he discards his own definition of him and replaces it with that of his bullies. He values the bullies’ opinions over his own.

I cannot stress enough the importance of loving yourself even when it looks as if others don’t love you back. You must continue to believe in yourself even when it seems that no one else does. You must also continue to stand your ground even when people want to bury you in it.’

That’s how you keep your confidence and self-esteem from tanking. It’s how you keep even a little bit of your dignity and it’s how you protect your spirit from being broken.

Yes, your confidence may take many blows, but it doesn’t have to die. Your self-esteem may be pummeled, but you can keep it for hitting rock bottom. Bullies may break off pieces of your dignity, but you don’t have to give them the piece of it you still hold for yourself. Your spirit may take a hard beating, but only you decide whether to let them break it.

In short, you don’t have to surrender everything that matters to your bullies.’

You have more power than you know. Your thoughts are the freest commodity you have. No matter what they take from you, they can never take your mind if you don’t let them.

“Power is not what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” ~ Saul D. Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)

Think about that quote for a moment and realize that it’s what all bullies live by.

Bullies Actually Fear Losing Power and Control over Their Targets

I look back now and realize that my bullies were in constant fear of losing control and dominance over anyone they deemed inferior. I say this because I remember that anytime I or any other target at Oakley High, countered their insults, or had our own opinion about anything, the bullies and their followers would be quick to shout us down.

They would demand that we “shut up,” or “sit down and be quiet.” They would also threaten bodily harm or instigate violent arguments to intimidate and shut down anyone who dared to exercise their rights to speak freely, therefore, asserting their dominance.

Targets were highly discouraged from having their own thoughts, opinions, or views. I also remember during a class discussion, when a teacher asked me what my thoughts were on the subject we were discussing, I only had time to get the words, “I think…” out of my mouth when another girl shouted, “You think nothing! Shut up!”

Naturally, the teacher reamed her out for the outburst. However, the others only laughed at the teacher, the teacher went silent, then continued on with the discussion and allowed me to finish my answer.

There was nothing a target could speak about that one of the bullies wouldn’t shout down and attack them with. For example:

Target: “I don’t feel so good. I think I need to call home.”

Bullies and classmates: “You ‘ain’t’ sick! You’re just trying to get out of coming to school when your dumb ass needs to learn something useful!”

Target: “I’m afraid that…”

Bullies and classmates: “Shut up! You don’t have nothin’ to be afraid of! You’re just a big chicken!”

Target to target: “I need the hall pass to go use the restroom.”

Bullies and classmates: “You ‘ain’t’ goin’ nowhere! Shut up and sit down!”

Or…

If a target put up their hand and walked away from a confrontation, one of the bullies would either physically step in front of him/her and block them from leaving, grab the target by the back of his shirt and pull him back, or follow close behind them while shoving them forward while screaming, “Don’t turn your back and walk away from me, (expletive),” or “Turn around and look at me when I talk to you!” And If a target ignored a group of bullies, those bullies would then want to fight him.

It was as if the bullies had grown desperate and were panicking. And now that I know better, I realize that that’s exactly what they were doing- feeling desperate and panicking. And they were doing it out of fear.

So, anytime bullies yell and scream at you because you spoke or because you showed any form of opposition to their abuse, realize that it’s because they fear losing their dominance. Bullies instinctively know that if they lose control over a target, they lose face and look weak in front of the others around them. They also realize that if their target has the guts to challenge their power, then it just might encourage others to follow suit and bullies can’t have that.

Bullies must have their targets, not only to get sick pleasure and entertainment from, or to wield dominance over. They must also have them as examples to show everyone else that there will be brutal consequences if they show any form of dissent. Targets are used to keep everyone else in line too.

So, always remember this, and look for a way to use the bullies’ fear to your advantage. You have more power than you know.

When Your Give-A-Dam Breaks

If you are a target of bullying, there are times when you get fed up with people’s crap. Then…BOOM! You snap on some creep who pushed you over your limit. Believe me, I understand and if this has happened with you, I cannot fault you for it. I empathize with you wholeheartedly.

It’s not that you want to fight. In fact, you hate fighting- intensely. However, if you’re a 5’4”, 120 lb. teenage girl with a target on her back, what do you do? Stand there and let them jump you?

Like most targets, I too hated to fight but there were times I didn’t have a choice. It was either fight or be beaten within an inch of my life. Not only the girls would try to jump me, but the guys would too and most of those redneck brutes had no qualms nor reservations about beating up on a female, even one who was little. Some of the bullies at Oakley High threatened with a knife or a box-cutter and it’s amazing I got out of there alive.

But that’s what bullying does to people if they don’t have the proper psychological tools, confidence, or know-how to deal with it. It makes them paranoid, makes them desperate! Puts them in survival mode! In other (and more scientific) words, it awakens their primal instincts. It rewires their brains in preparation for a hostile environment.

A target of bullying must live in constant vigil and adrenaline. They must always be on alert- they must grow eyes in the back of their heads and be prepared for danger every time they turn a corner. That gets both frustrating and exhausting after so long.

I cannot count the times in school I showed my booty to people after having taken all I could take. And there were times I didn’t just let off a little stream, I blew a gasket!

The longer you are bullied, the more it builds- the sense of injustice, the sadness, the rage! It all piles up! We are all human and no one can hold that crap inside forever it doesn’t matter how resilient they are. It’s humanly impossible.

You’re like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken up until it finally spews!

Like a dormant volcano that finally awakens, you erupt when that last (and unfortunate) creep sticks as much as a toe over your boundaries. Some people, you scare half to death, others, you piss off even more and make twice as determined to get you, and few see your tirade as personal entertainment.

I did that a few times back when I was being bullied and abused at school.

There were times I’d yell, curse the bullies out, throw stuff, and slam doors. I would tell people to get the eff away from me and not to come back around. I admit it. I showed the worst sides of myself on a few occasions.

I remember grabbing one girl by the hair and beating the living snot out of her in the library after she’d spent the last month getting in my face and taunting during the last class of the day.

Another bully received the business end of a fist after attempting to shove me down a flight of stairs. I remember running back up the stairs, whacking her upside the head with my purse and a textbook, then dragging her down the stairs. She seemed to hit and bounce off every step going down.

Once I got her to the bottom, I beat and kicked her until a teacher and three other students pried me off her. These were only two of the many incidents that occurred during those years.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something I’m proud of. Each time, I remember feeling terrible about it after it was over, and everything had cooled off. No decent person wants to lose their cool and act a fool, but when you been pushed and pushed, there is an eventual breaking point.

Yes, I got into fist fights. I won some fights but lost a few too.

Sadly, it all seemed to be a cycle. After getting bullied and bullied for several months, I’d snap. Some of the tiredness bled over into my home life. Sadly, when bullies have worn you down, you’re too exhausted to even be there for the people you love when they have problems too. You’re fresh out of patience and energy, and yes, even love.

You can’t pour from an empty cup and as a result, you just don’t give a crap- about anything or anybody. All you want is to be left alone.

I look back now and realize that I didn’t handle the bullying the right way. Understand that if you don’t set healthy boundaries, this is what can happen.

Today, I’m a much calmer and happier person than I used to be. Why? Because I’m more assertive and I set boundaries. If I say no or ask someone to please stop doing something when they violate my boundaries, and if they insist on continuing the behavior, I either tell them to leave right then, or I walk away after telling the person exactly what I think of them. I then cut them out of my life.

I have learned that, although you cannot control another person’s behavior, you do have control over your own and whether to continue having them in your life. And if you refuse to associate with a person, they no longer have easy access to you. Therefore, it’s not nearly as easy for them to get to you and harm you.

So, never allow people to bully you and get out of control with their abuse. Speak out when people violate your boundaries. It’s the only way to keep the pressure from building and reaching a boiling point.

If this has been your experience, feel free to comment.

Bullying Will Diminish the Target’s Ability to Trust Him/Herself

Why? Because the target’s judgement, decisions, and feelings are constantly attacked, negated, and condemned by others. When a target is bullied, they’re taught that, although the abuse they suffer is painful, they either shouldn’t feel, or they have no right to feel that pain because they’re to blame for the abuse they suffer.

Targets are conditioned by bullies, bystanders, even people in authority, friends, and family to just suck it up and negate their own painful feelings. In that, they’re trained either not to understand or to deny their own suffering and that bullies and others are abusing them.

Targets are trained to believe that other people’s vile behavior is their fault and that something is wrong with them, otherwise the bullying wouldn’t be happening to them. Targets are also taught that everything that goes wrong is because of them. In short, they’re taught that the abuse they’re getting is somehow justified.

As a result, targets often withdraw because they become afraid that they’ll only attract bullies and bullying behavior from the people around them. As a result, targets are left feeling confused and inadequate.

Targets are made to think that:

They take things wrong.

They’re too sensitive.

They asked for it or had it coming.

There’s something wrong with the way they are.

There’s something wrong with the way they express themselves.

There’s something wrong with the way they come across to people.

Therefore, targets stop believing in themselves. Even worse, they lose trust in themselves, their abilities, and their capabilities. And once this happens, they become perfect victims for bullies.

Understand that targets suffer many attacks to not only their physical body, but also their psyche and their emotional being.

Even worse, their very souls are tired, their spirits broken, and they don’t understand their own pain nor why they feel it inside.

Being a target of bullying is a hell that no one who hasn’t been there can possibly comprehend. When you’re bullied, you’re in the fight of your life, and for your life. And when I say fight for your life, this doesn’t only means fighting to stay alive, although it can.

“The fight for your life” can mean fighting for your self- esteem. It can mean fighting for your personal power and dignity. It can mean fighting to keep your confidence up and self-esteem from being broken so that the abuse doesn’t affect your grades, performance (at school or work), or worse, your ability to make smart decisions and life-choices. You’re fighting to keep the abuse from effecting your entire future. Most importantly, you’re fighting to maintain your health and your sanity.

Because you’re very much aware that if you allow these people to cause you to lose any of the above, then you unwittingly give them power over your entire life and every aspect of it. You may not end up dead, but you won’t really live, you’ll only exist. And that’s no way to live!

No matter what happens, stay strong. Hold on to everything mentioned above, or as much of it as possible. And most of all, know that there are people out there who care.