Many targets of bullying don’t speak about the bullying they suffer and for many reasons. They may feel a degree of shame and fear that if they talk about it, others, including their parents, will think that they’re weak. Another reason is that if they speak up about or report the bullying, they might suffer retaliation from the bullies. Or they may fear that no one will believe them. Some targets worry they might be blamed for the abuse they suffer.
1. Writing about the bullying and abuse you suffer helps you to detox.
It’s very important to use writing or other healthy approaches to detoxing some of the negative and painful experiences out of the body. Otherwise it festers and can lead to negative thinking, bad habits, and even lead us to abuse ourselves.
2. Writing about it gives you a voice.
It gives you a chance to be heard. When people target you for bullying, your abusers will use everything in their arsenal to silence you. Understand and by silencing you, they get to bully you freely and with impunity.
3. Writing about the bullying allows you to keep a record of the bullying you suffer.
It gives you evidence ahead of time should you ever have to take the matter to court. When you document the bullying you suffer, using the 5-W (what, who, when, where, why), you are able to establish a clear pattern. Therefore, you will more likely present your case in a more understandable way, rather than if you verbally presented it.
I realize that writing can be tedious at times. It takes a lot of patience to write it down, especially if it’s painful to think about. However, anything worthwhile requires some discomfort and yes, even a little pain.
But the benefits outweigh the sacrifice because writing about it puts you in control!
Mobbing at work concept, sketch of boss kicking his employee with red heels from behind on chalkboard
Many teachers and school staff often stick targets of mobbing and bullying with labels. They brand them with labels, such as, “trouble,” “difficult,” or “problem child.” This sets the targeted child up to be discriminated against by their school. Therefore, it creates a very hostile and dangerous environment when adults are prejudiced against the poor, kid.
In these types of situations, the target is only bullied worse. Why? Because he/she isn’t afforded the same due process that their classmates get. As a result, the school staff ends up empowering the bullies. Even worse, they end up supporting the bullies, even encouraging them to bully that child.
We must realized that targets may act out due to prolonged bullying and resulting stress.
Let’s face it, no one can withstand the intense pressure of bullying and mobbing for long. A person can only be pushed so far. If you kick a dog long enough, you’ll get bit eventually.
When a target is bullied and mobbed by their classmates, they are forced to submit to horrendous and downright grotesque abuse. And this kind of bullying is unfathomable to most adults. The message targets receive from others is just to “shut up and take it.”
In fact, when you’re a target of school bullying and mobbing, your world becomes quite Kafkaesque. Even you have a hard time believing what you’re experiencing. So, is it any wonder that no one else can believe it either? The questions, “What the hell?” and “Is this really happening?” come to mind. You feel as if you’ve stepped into the twilight zone.
This is because being mobbed is the feeling of being crushed by nonsensical, bizarre, and blind abuse.
Even worse, you’re powerless to understand or control what is happening.
The target suffers mistreatment, isolation, exclusion, and yes- even brutal physical beatings. Therefore, he’ll be too afraid to plead for help because he knows that the school staff will ignore his cries. And what’s more frightening is that his bullies will take retribution on him for daring to open his mouth.
Eventually the target snaps and acts inappropriately due to long-lasting and extreme stress. The bullying and abuse she suffers will be ignored but the target’s reactions to it won’t be ignored. Therefore, the target becomes re-victimized by the very adults, school, and system which is supposed to protect her.
Here’s an example:
A girl is bullied by everyone in her class. The teacher either doesn’t see it or thinks the girl deserves it. And maybe, the teacher thinks that bullying is only a right of passage that builds character. During one occasion, the bully sitting behind the targeted girl pulls her hair. The target then gets fed up with being mistreated. Unable to tolerate any more abuse, she turns around and punches the bully who pulled her hair.
Now the teacher, very conveniently, doesn’t see the other girl pull the target’s hair. However, she does see the target turn around and punch her in the nose. Therefore, the teacher punishes the target without even considering what the other girl did to prompt her to punch her.
The message the teacher sends is crystal clear: The target has no recourse, and the bully now has carte blanche to continue bullying her in the future. So, this same scenario repeats itself a few times. And, the next thing you know, the target gets a bad name with the school staff. That’s when everyone becomes very suspicious of her.
The principal catches the target in the hall between classes. He tells her, aloud, in front of the other students, that he is watching her. The other kids, especially the bullies, overhear the principal. As a result, they take it as a green light to continue their abuse because they know they won’t be held accountable.
After all, if the target reports the bullying, who’s going to believe the “problem child?”
So, the school staff continue to harangue the target, making her situation much worse than what it needs to be. And their justification for their treatment of the target is to protect the other students who fit into what is “normal” and who obey the rules. Therefore, they use that to defend their emotional abuse of the target. It’s all an excuse for their singling her out for humiliation in front of God and everyone.
Understand that, when this occurs, the school is willingly participating in destroying another human being.
Therefore, it’s imperative that targeted students and teens hold on to their sense of self, pride, and confidence. They must hold on to those treasures with everything they have.
It’s also crucial that parents and grandparents teach them how- they must teach these children to believe in themselves even when it seems that no one else believes in them. They must teach them to know their worth even when others don’t.
They must teach them to love and respect themselves even as others hate and disrespect them. Why? Because it is during the most difficult times that they’re need these virtues the most.
Understand that bullies thrive on power and control. If they can’t control you, they’ll control how others view you. Also, they’ll use redundancy and repetition to make you believe their lies too. Here’s what they’re most likely to try and get you to think of yourself and what you should believe:
1.What bullies want you to believe
Apart from us, you can do nothing, you are nothing, and you never will be.
What you should believe
Apart from you, I’m better off. I can do anything I set my mind to do, I’m somebody, and later down the line, I’m going to be great and do great things.
2. What bullies want you to believe
You’ll never find happiness without our permission.
What you should believe
I don’t need your permission to be happy. I’m much happier without losers like you in my life.
3. What bullies want you to believe
Nobody will ever like or love you.
What you should believe
Maybe you never will, but I don’t mind because you don’t matter. There will be others who’ll love me for me. I’ll find my tribe.
4. What bullies want you to believe
You’re nothing without our approval.
What you should believe
I’m nothing with it because you are nothing. I don’t need your “approval” because it will never define me. Your opinion matters not because, for something to matter, you must first value it.
Therefore, always counter the statements, including the unspoken ones. You’ll be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem and your spirit!
What is the environment that conditions and shapes you the most when you’re in school or working? I’ll give you a hint: It isn’t the home!
Our environments determine our mental health.
They have ways of molding and shaping us, especially during our formative years. For example, a child who grows up in an abusive environment is, more than likely, going to either grow up to be an abusive adult. Or worse, they will grow up to be weakened and powerless. Remember that a person’s formative years (childhood) is the most impressionable and it determines their future!
Yes, there are exceptions to this rule. There are a few kids who develop a strong sense of self, either through dogged determination or an outside mentor. Those are the kids who make it out and create successful lives from themselves. However, most do not, and it’s sad.
You have three types of environments:
Nourishing Environment (Very Healthy)
Neutral Environment (Somewhat Healthy)
Toxic Environment (Unhealthy)
Understand that the environment you spend most of your day in, will the one that will likely condition you. And if you spend most of your day-to-day life in a bullying environment, your mental health will suffer!
For example, a certain school kid lives in a loving and healthy home. But his classmates at school bully him mercilessly and without fail.
Now, let’s do the math:
A child or teen who is growing must have around 10 hours of sleep per day. So, subtract 10 hours for 24 hours and you’re left with a total of 14 waking hours. The average young student then spends about 8 hours per day in school. Subtract 8 hours from 14 waking hours and you have only six waking hours away from school.
Then we must figure in school bus time, or commuting time, which, for the average schoolkid, is 30 minutes to 1 hour, one way. Therefore, that’s 1-2 hours roundtrip (Keep in mind that most kids who are bullied at school are also bullied on the school bus).
Subtract that from 6 waking hours and the schoolkid in this scenario has only 4-5 waking hours at home in her loving and nourishing environment.
24 Hours (One Day)
-10 hours (Sleep)
-8 hours (School)
-1 or 2 hours (School bus)
= only 4 to 5 hours awake at home
So, that bullied child, although living in a loving and nourishing home environment, spends twice as many waking hours in a toxic school environment. Therefore, the bullying he suffers at school is likely to nullify the love and acceptance he gets at home. And he will be conditioned either to hate himself, or not to think much of himself. Because he spends more time with his bullying peers than he spends with his loving and accepting family, he’s still more likely to have self-esteem issues and lack confidence.
Now, do you see how this works?
Even sadder, the self-esteem and confidence of kids who are bullied at school and abused or neglected at home will take an even bigger hit to their mental health! Why? Because they never get a reprieve from bullying, as abuse at home is a form of bullying in and of itself.
In conclusion, how a student is treated at school has a huge impact on their mental health. It doesn’t matter how loving and nurturing their home life is. Granted, having a positive home life certainly helps, the bullying a child or teen suffers at school will likely negate any love and acceptance she receives at home.
So, how do we reverse the damage school bullies have caused a child?
We simple create opportunities for the child to make friends outside of their school. This will create more positive social experiences for them. It will help to create a more even balance between the bullying and negativity they suffer and the friendships and positivity they enjoy. Even better, it might even tip the scales and create more positive experiences and social interactions than negative!
Therefore, the resulting rise in positive experiences and interactions outside the school environment will serve to buffer person’s self-esteem and mental health from the blows of negativity they get at school.
You can help the youngster create these positive connections and experiences by sending them to summer camp. Also, you can do it by enrolling them in a martial arts class or attending neighborhood family get-togethers where there are other kids present. Attending church and church functions is another great idea.
approved not rejected concept with checkbox
There are many, many opportunities available for the seizing! So, go for it! Give your bullied child these wonderful experiences! They will turn into awesome memories that will last a lifetime!
Sexual abuse in schools with a warning sign of a sex predator abusing and attacking young innocent student victims represented by a yellow hazard sign with the criminal act illustrated as a symbol.
Often, when a girl is a target of bullying, the torment she suffers leaves her wide open for sexual harassment.
And this isn’t discussed enough. The harassment can range from inappropriate and embarrassing comments to unwanted physical touching. Though I’m female and am writing this post from a female perspective, I do realize that this can happen to bullied young men as well.
I cannot tell you how many stories I’ve heard from other female victims and survivors of bullying. And I can relate because, numerous times, my bullies subjected me to this type of behavior when I was in junior high and high school. Young creeps on the bus, in the halls or the lunch line, would sneakily run a hand up my skirt, put their hands on my behind and other such disgusting acts.
As any woman or girl knows, when people hurl sexual comments at you, grope, and feel you up, it leaves you feeling cheap and violated. And your first thought is to blame yourself. You wonder what you did to bring it about.
“Was my dress too short?” “Were my jeans too tight?” “Did I have on too much makeup?”
Even worse is when other girls blame you.
Yes! This happens all the time but most girls are silent about it. Other girls only assume that you “must have done something to make him do it”- that somehow, you “asked for it.”
Such incidences can attract the ire of the guys’ jealous girlfriends. Therefore, these girlfriends will accuse you of trying to steal their boyfriends. All the while, the pig who violated you walks away free as a bird. This only doubles the victimization. It’s no different from what a rape victim goes through!
Bullied girls can also be sexually harassed by other girls as well, only in different ways.
Girls harass other girls by verbal means, making statements such as,
“Nobody will $%#! you.”
“I’ll bet you’re still a virgin, aren’t you?”
”You’d $%&# anything that moves!”
These are only a few. I’ve heard worse. Sometimes, the other girls will encourage the boys to harass the victim sexually, then turn it around on her, calling her a whore, slut, floozy- take your pick.
In school, I knew another bullied girl who others referred to as “Tuna Fish.” I’ll say no more.
Sexual harassment at work and workplace. Touch knee. Movement against sexual harassment
Understand that any time a female is the object of bullying, she has comments and remarks directed at her which are unspeakable. They’re so horrible and explicit that you don’t dare repeat them by mouth, much less write it in a book or article.
There is no limit to the low that bullies won’t sink.
They can be inventive to the raunchiest, raciest, dirtiest, most vile, hurtful and demeaning comments and actions. And anyone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of such would be shocked if they heard or saw some of the things a bullied girl has.
Understand that bullies show a side to their targets they would never in a million years show to anyone else.
Objects of bullying witness firsthand the shocking evil and cruelty of which people are capable, and they see the absolute darkest sides of the human character.
Bullies are experts at fooling bystanders and authority.
They are highly skilled at manipulating a social infrastructure. Bullies are also very aware that if the victim reports such abuse, others will not believe her. Why? Because the same bullies have meticulously ruined her once good reputation. And who’s going to take the word of someone with a notoriously bad name?
Understand that bullies will only show the worst sides of their characters to their victims and no one else. And why not? To bullies, the victim is both inferior and powerless.
When a person believes that you are inferior and powerless, they could care less about what you think of them.
As far as they’re concerned, any opinions you have are irrelevant. Whereas, anyone the bullies see as equals or superiors will only see the best sides of their character.
With that said, if you are a bullied female, I want you to know with every fiber of your being that it isn’t your fault. Know that you never asked for that kind of behavior, nor brought any of it on yourself.
And if you are bullied and endure sexual harassment, do not take any blame for it. And for goodness sake, don’t be afraid to report it! Know that bullying will not last forever. When I became an adult, the bullying stopped, and I am now very well-liked, loved, and respected.
I want you to know that this is only one chapter in your life, not the entire book. You too can overcome and move on to love, happiness, and success. Just don’t give up! You are beautiful! You are a great person despite what others may tell you or how they may treat you. And there are people who love you and care for you!
You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!
After you’ve been a target of bullying for any length of time, the world becomes a terrifying place.
You begin avoiding people and social situations like the plague because you’ve become afraid of people- all people. In short, you’ve lost all faith in humanity. Everything becomes threatening. You’re stuck in defense mode and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The ability to think becomes blurry. You drown in self-doubt and lose the ability to distinguish fact from opinion and truth from lies. Therefore, you lose the ability to make smart decisions. You’re always on guard and trust no one. Again, everyone becomes a threat. Even total strangers become threatening.
You can’t give anyone a chance because you’ve become so afraid of being hurt again. And why not? Your classmates or coworkers have done extensive and deliberate harm for so many months or even years. So, who’s to say that others won’t do the same.
Knowing that anyone could bully you at any time, you must always watch your back and cover your behind. And you must continually look over your shoulder and observe those around you for signs of hostility.
You come to believe you have a mark on you that everyone but you can see, and it’s why others always seem to come after you. As much as you want to get rid of that mark, you’re not sure how to do it.
You don’t think you’ll ever stop being a target.
There’s the feeling that there’s no possibility of ever overcoming it. Other victims might rise above it, but you never will because you think that love, success, and anything good is for anyone who isn’t you.
You’ll never be the same person you were before bullies began targeting you. When you’ve been a target of bullying and continue to be, jokes stop being funny because you automatically feel they are somehow aimed at you. Bullying makes a person paranoid. And with good reason.
You lose all confidence, and your self-esteem hits rock bottom. Therefore, your mind is poisoned with the belief that you can never do anything right. You see yourself as a failure. You think that anything you touch, you’ll only screw up.
There’s the expectation that you’ll fail in social situations and that everyone will see all your flaws, real or perceived. You start having unexpected and uncontrollable emotional meltdowns and outbursts. Why? Because you’re in constant fight or flight mode. Your mind is in overdrive, and you’re hyper-vigilant. Your physical body suffers splitting headaches and violent bouts of nausea.
You don’t know who you are anymore. You’ve become a stranger to yourself- this person you don’t even recognize.
You’re shaky inside. You feel tired and run down all the time now. Even worse, you pass out from panic attacks, and you can no longer sleep at night. Your weight drops and your hair falls out due to the overwhelming stress. You feel as if people are torturing you.
In essence, you turn against yourself because you feel the entire world has turned against you.
I was there at one point. Then, I got mad! I didn’t only get angry at them for driving me into that dark pit of hopelessness, but I got mad at myself for allowing it! And when I got mad at myself and started working on changing my self-perception, that’s when things began to change!
The good thing is that I wasn’t down for long. Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, and this describes how you feel now, I want to give you a big hug.
I also want to tell you that regardless of how things are looking now, there’s hope. You will see the sun again.
‘You see? It’s one thing to have people look down on you, but it’s another when you allow them to cause you to look down on yourself. If nothing else, hang on to your self-love and your strong sense of self. Please don’t allow your bullies to force you to see yourself through their eyes. Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. Never ever give up.
Conditioning happens when others brainwash and train you to believe something. Therefore, evil and terrible abuses get “normalized.” When you’re a target of bullying, bullies will try to condition you to roll over and take their abuse.
Conditioning doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow, incremental, bit-by-tiny-bit process that can also be soft and subtle. So, how do you know your bullies have conditioned you?
You know by the feelings you have.
1. If you feel guilty for speaking out and reporting bullying to authority, your bullies have conditioned you.
2. When you feel that the bullying is your fault, your bullies have conditioned you.
3. Anytime you feel like a mean and cruel person for standing up for yourself, your bullies have conditioned you.
4. If you feel guilty about saying no to anyone, your bullies have conditioned you.
Are you angry yet?
What are the statements bullies use to condition you? And what do those statements condition you to think and feel? Let’s find out:
1.“Bullying is a rite of passage that everyone goes through.”
This statement conditions you to believe that bullying is normal. But it’s anything but! Bullying is sick, perverse, and damaging to the target. So, say, “Oh no, it’s not!” And be very firm when you say it.
2.“You ‘made me’ hit you!”
This statement conditions you to believe that bully’s despicable behavior is your fault- that you somehow caused the bully to get out of line and that you deserved what you got. Again, this is a blatant lie!
No one deserves bullying and abuse. You have a right to feel and be safe. Therefore, you counter the bully’s statement by saying, “No, I did not!” And say it with full conviction!
3.“You had it coming!”
“You asked for it!”
“You bring it all on yourself!”
Again, these statements condition you to believe that you’re to blame for the bullies’ horrid behavior.
They hoodwink you into thinking their evil actions are your fault, and that you deserved it. NOT true! Remember that bullying is abuse, and no one deserves it. Say, “No, I didn’t!” or “No, I don’t, and you know it!” Be stern!
4. “You’re always trying to start something!”
“You’re always making waves.”
“Don’t rock the boat!”
“You’re always making trouble!”
“You just keep pushing it!”
“Don’t push it!”
Again, these are lies and ways to deceive you into silence.
Don’t’ fall for it. Counter the bully’s claims and always, always do it with a tone of conviction.
5. You’ll also be accused of:
“Making a mountain out of a molehill!”
“Making something out of nothing!”
“Acting like a crybaby!”
“Being a liar!”
“Not knowing what you’re talking about!”
All lies. Counter with “No, I’m not!” or “I know exactly what I’m talking about! I know what you’re trying to do, and I won’t accept it!”
Understand that you’ll hear these statements anytime you attempt to set boundaries and stand up to bullying and abuse. Realize that bullies hate it when you stand against them. Most would cut off their right arm before they’d ever admit to any wrongdoing.
Don’t let it deter you. Keep standing up. Continue defending yourself. Don’t stop taking care of yourself. Because, if you don’t, no one else will either. Therefore, all you have is you. In a situation of bullying, all you have is your voice. Use it! Don’t lose it!
But realize that if the bullies resist (and they more than likely will). If they don’t respect your commands for them to stop the abuse, it isn’t your fault nor your responsibility.
It isn’t because you weren’t firm enough. And don’t think it was because you aren’t any good at standing up for or defending yourself. It’s because your bullies are a bunch of pathetic, self-entitled turds. Realize that bullies are abusers. Therefore, abusers expect the rest of the world should bow down and kiss their asses. Nothing more.
Don’t fall for their power plays. Stand up, stand tall, and stand firm no matter what.
Saying “no” can be difficult and at times, even downright scary. Like when bullies are trying to force you to do something you don’t want to do. You know the feeling when they threaten either physical harm or worse social exclusion if you don’t do what they want you to do. I know the feeling because I’ve been there.
Nobody wants to get hurt. The natural human response is to submit and make the pain, torment, or the threat of, stop. In your mind, you’re thinking, “Alright, alright! I’ll do it if you’ll go away and leave me alone!” I get that because it’s what I did. I submitted to my bullies many times, too many times. I fell for the false promises that they would let me be and stop hurting me. But-
Saying yes to them meant saying no to myself.
They never made good on those promises. The harassment didn’t stop. If anything, it only got worse! Anytime I did say no, I got threatened and yes, even physically attacked.
Saying no to a bully is never an easy option. Bullies don’t take no for an answer, least of all from their targets! However, not only is it necessary, but it feels darn good sometimes!
If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve said the word “no” a lot more than I did. I wouldn’t have cared about the retaliation I might have faced. Unless one of my bullies had done something drastic, like pulled a gun, I’d have stood firm.
In no way would I advice anyone to risk their life. If someone pulls a gun on me, I will do what I must do to stay alive! I’ll do what he wants and tell him what he wants to hear. I’ll dance a jig wearing fluorescent orange and white polka-dotted bell bottoms if it keeps me from dying!
I’ll grant you, saying no is risky.
But if they only threaten me with the business end of their fists, I know I’m only going to come out of it with a shiner and a fat lip. In a situation like that, it’s much safer to say no. Those wounds will heal. But the psychological injury of wishing I hadn’t let myself down will last for years.
However, if you do choose physical safety first, I want you to know that you’re not wrong for that. In no way will I ever think less of you if you submit to your bullies’ demands. As I mentioned earlier, a natural reaction is to obey to keep from being harmed.
Today, I say that little two-letter word a lot more and will continue to say it in the future. It doesn’t matter what people say, how they feel about it or what they do. I would much rather get the crap kicked out of me and still feel good about myself for taking a stand. Today, I’d rather take a beating than to cave under pressure. I’m funny about letting myself down by doing something I didn’t want to do. To me, that’s worse than getting my butt kicked! But that’s just me.
My physical wounds healed. But knowing I let someone else force me to do something I neither wanted to nor agreed to, left a psychological injury that took a long time to recover from. I ended up asking myself, “Now, why didn’t I tell those creeps to take a flying leap off the highest cliff head first?” That feeling of powerlessness was worse than the physical pain I would have suffered.
So, permit yourself to say that tiny little word because it can be so empowering! You may indeed get your tail kicked, but at least you’ll feel good knowing you got hurt because you stood for something! Those psychological benefits will significantly outweigh the embarrassment of any beat down! Besides, you forced a bully to do something foolish and which will likely get him in trouble with an adult or the law! So, I ask you! Who’s the real winner here?
All too often, targets of bullying have a hard time setting boundaries. Many just keep their mouths shut, grin and bear it while others wipe their feet all over them. They suffer in silence and obscurity, which only further damages their mental health. If being used as a rug hurts so much, why do they allow it to continue?
There are several reasons:
1. They don’t have the confidence.
Many targets of bullying feel helpless and simply think it wouldn’t do them any good. So, they see no point in speaking up because they know that they’ll likely get bullied worse for it. It takes confidence to set boundaries, which, sadly, is something a few bullying targets have.
Also, as we know, bullies don’t respect boundaries because they don’t acknowledge them. In their minds, you’re a target and, to them, a target has no rights and deserves no human dignity. Bullies don’t see targets as human beings deserving of the same human rights as everyone else. That’s a fact.
2. They feel powerless to stop the abuse.
Again, setting boundaries is anything but easy- it’s one of the hardest things to do after people bully you for so long and brainwash you into thinking you’re to blame for their horrid behavior.
Many targets have been abused for so long that they’ve “gotten used to it.” In other words, bullies and their sycophants have conditioned the targets to take the abuse and allow them to ride roughshod over them. Many times, targets have been fooled into believing that setting boundaries is selfish.
This is why many targets cave in to the bullies’ demands. They feel it’s safer just to give them what they want and pacify them.
3. They fear the bullies will retaliate.
If you’re a target of bullying, you may badly want to tell your abusers to knock it off. You may want to tell them to get the hell away from you and stay away. You may even want to fight back, but you don’t know how they may react.
Another thing you don’t know is whether they’ll accept your boundaries, nor if they’ll want to accept them. You know that there’s a chance the bullies may act violently toward you for having the chutzpah to speak against their abuse.
Bullies despise even a hint of opposition because they see it as your challenging their power and perceived authority. And they’ll do whatever they can to tighten their grip if they suspect you’re defying them. And sometimes, things get dangerous, and you must do it scared.
But what they don’t realize is this. When you set boundaries, you enact your autonomy and speak from a place of self-care and self-love. You decide what you will and won’t tolerate. You take your power back.
Before you’re able to do that, you must be clear of what you will not accept.
It takes uber-confidence to stand up to a bully. It would be best if you also gave up your old self-protective behaviors – those you tried in the past that failed, which are ways your bullies and a few other abusers in your life probably conditioned you to respond.
2. You must stop trying to explain yourself to anyone.
3. You must stop trying to figure out what made the bullies so hostile.
4. You must stop wondering what you did wrong.
5. You must stop wondering if something’s wrong with you.
6. You must stop asking, “why me.”
Before you can stand up to abuse, you must squash the mentality that compels you to do any of the above mentioned.
You must understand that all the why me, why this, why that, gets you nowhere. And all the wracking your brains wondering and trying to figure out what’s wrong also serves no purpose. It’s a complete waste of time and only makes you feel worse.
Instead, be real with yourself and conclude that your bullies are just a bunch of ignorant, moronic jackasses who lack character and live fake existences. You must also learn to trust yourself, which includes trusting your body and how it feels. Trust everything you see, hear, feel, sense, and the vibes you pick up from the people around you. And finally, trust your decisions.
It also takes dogged determination:
1. Even if your bullies rationalize and justify their behavior, you won’t take their crap.
2. Even if they blame you for their despicable behavior, you won’t take it.
3. Even if they tell you that you’re crazy or mentally imbalanced, you won’t take it.
4. Even if they call you a bitch, an asshole, or any other degrading name, you won’t take it.
5. Even if you made a mistake and your bullies call it out in an abusive manner, you won’t take it.
6. And, for the love of Pete! If the bullies commit physical violence, you definitely won’t take that! Get the police involved, file charges, and sue for any damages! Or, put up those dukes and throw down if you need to!
And it’ll take calling your bullies out every single time they cross the line.
You can say:
“Cut it out!”
“Knock it off!”
“Get away from me!”
You get power just by loudly giving either one of these commands. And who knows? I’m not making any guarantees here, but you might shock your bullies back to reality and make them leave you alone. There were times when I was pleasantly surprised, and it worked for me.
You do not have to walk on eggshells around anyone! Know that you do have a choice and a voice. You can choose not to accept the bullies’ behavior. You have more power than you know.
As a survivor of bullying, people often ask me, “What’s the worst thing about being bullied?” Here are my answers:
1. It’s the pinned up fear and rage you feel but don’t dare show. It’s the paralyzing social fear that sets in. It shuts you down and leaves you withdrawn from the rest of the world. Once people have bullied you for so long, you become intensely paranoid and suspicious of every person you meet. Any laughter you hear, you automatically think, is directed at you.
2. It’s the confusion. You know that you should take a stand against the bullies. You know that you should speak out about it, only you don’t know how to do it, and you’re terrified that it will only make things worse.
3. It’s the unanswered questions that play in your mind a thousand times a day. “Why me?” “What have I done to these people” “How do I fix this?” are the questions you have in your head every time bullies surround you and harass you. You know what you want to say to the bullies. “Look! Leave me the &%$# alone!” you scream inside your head but don’t’ dare say it because you know what’s likely to come next.
4. It’s the feeling of loneliness and isolation. When we suffer bullying, not only do bullies smear us to keep us isolated and from making any new friends, but we- WE automatically put up walls of protection to keep other people out, which only reinforces the separation from others.
5. It’s the loss of your entire personhood. You forget how to smile, laugh, and have a good time and how to connect with and interact with others. You’re no longer that vibrant, happy, and healthy person you once were. And each insult, each back-biting rumor, each physical attack, each joke, and each prank cuts a little deeper, chips away at your self-esteem, and brings you lower. You feel trapped. You feel as if your bullies are holding you hostage!
Bullies can ruin a target’s life! And they can alter your entire life if you don’t make the changes needed to take your life back.
I won’t kid you. To get out of the hole that your bullies have forced you into, you will have to work hard.
You’ll first need to get out of that environment (if possible), then focus on healing, and lastly, change your entire mindset, which means altering your thought patterns, your attitude, and your whole demeanor. And this change won’t happen overnight but may take years.
However, you must be patient and put in the work and time to take back your confidence and happiness. But I promise you, it will be worth it in the long run, and you’ll be so glad you put in the time and effort!