9 Ways to Buffer Your Confidence Against Bullying

If they destroy your confidence, they’ll destroy your life.

It’s a fact! If your confidence goes, your performance in school, or on the job, your social abilities, everything else will go too!

Think about it. Most bullied children and teens do not do well in school if others do not treat them fairly and respect and give them space, opportunity, and freedom to learn and grow.

Anytime someone is bombarded with consistent put-downs, nitpicking, and abuse, their grades suffer because they eventually stop believing in themselves.

Although we hear of bullied kids who get mad, dive into schoolwork, and make exceptional grades and honors to compensate for their social failures, these kids are often the exception to the rule.

So, if you ever encounter bullying, you must guard your confidence and self-esteem with everything you have in you. Because your life truly does depend on it!

Here’s how you protect your self-esteem and confidence:

• Do things you enjoy most.

• Display your talents and gifts.

• Keep company only with people who encourage, respect, and love you the most.

• Be there for others who are suffering.

• Take pride in your appearance and look your best. Because if you look great, you feel great!

• Make affirmations- “I AM” statements to yourself every day. “I AM beautiful,” “I AM smart,” “I AM better than what they say,” etc.

• Find a therapist to talk to.

• Tell the people who love you about what you’re going through.

• Whatever you do, Don’t be silent about it!

Don’t you think you’re worth it? I do!

Rattling Your Bullies May Be The Only Way to Expose Them

Sometimes, to expose your bullies, you must rattle them. If you’re not sure how to do it, think Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam!

Getting a bully rattled is as easy as smiling. Say nothing to them; only look at them and smile like you know something they don’t. I promise you. It’ll drive them nuts!

They’ll ask you what the hell you’re smiling at. Don’t get defensive. Don’t say anything. Just walk away, snickering.

Your bullies will be madly bewildered. They’ll look at each other, wondering why you seem so smug, then wonder what it is you’re up to, and curiosity will get the best of them. You’ll throw them off! Trust me. Bullies always think their victims are up to something when they see them act this way, and they go on the hunt to find answers like hounds sniffing a trail.

Even better, your bullies will most likely think you’re making fun of them and get super angry — all the better for you.

Here’s why:

• When someone is really pissed off, they lose the ability to think straight and control their emotions.

• When you stir someone up, you throw them off balance. When this happens, they usually screw up and do something stupid.

If they challenge you to a fight, don’t fight unless it’s necessary. You want to get the bully in front of a crowd of people and get them so mad they start yelling and throwing a hissy fit in front of everyone. Your goal is to get them to expose themselves in front of bystanders and those in authority!

Oops! BUSTED!

Sadly, this is the only way you can expose a bully. But before you employ this tactic, be sure that the bully isn’t one who carries a deadly weapon or isn’t criminally violent or insane.

Targets of Bullying and Social Anxiety

After being bullied for so long, targets can develop social anxiety. They withdraw from people because they fear future attacks. The target’s spirit has been beaten down and broken and the person has been abused to the point of losing faith in humanity. Also, they’re reprogrammed to believe the bullies’ lies that they aren’t worthy of love and friendship. They are under the presumption that it’s much safer not to engage in any social interaction.

But what the target doesn’t realize is that in closing himself off from the rest of the world, he unknowingly limits himself in all aspects of life.

Humans were created to socialize and to have relationships. When targets create this invisible fortress around them, it doesn’t ensure their safety but only brings about more bullying. Bullies get their power from our fear. They are like ferocious animals who can smell fear from a mile away and believe me. They take full advantage.

Moreover, targets miss out on relationships that, otherwise, could be and would be fulfilling and rewarding. They unwittingly forego opportunities for friendship, dating, even good jobs that can produce personal success and financial well-being. Because if a person doesn’t believe in themselves, no one else will- that includes potential friends, dates, and company managers and supervisors. No one wants to be friends with, date, or hire someone who isn’t sure of himself unless they have low self-esteem themselves.

People recognize, if only subconsciously, social anxiety when they see it and not only through the more obvious signs, such as quietness, avoidance, trembling, blushing, stuttering or sweaty palms.

Social anxiety can also be more covert, showing itself in less obvious ways:

  1. Excessive laughing and giggling
  2. Appearing normal on the outside but nervous and shaky on the inside
  3. Excessive humor and being overly funny or no sense of humor at all
  4. Excessive sarcasm/having a smart-alicky attitude
  5. Being overly friendly/too nice
  6. Shutting down/freezing up- unable to talk or move
  7. Meanness/rudeness
  8. Fidgeting/can’t sit still
  9. Lack of or too much eye contact
  10. Poor posture/looking down all the time
  11. Having a hard time keeping up with a conversation
  12. Talking too loudly, too fast, too soft, too slow, or not at all
  13. Indifference
  14. Excessive use of foul language
  15. Promiscuity/raciness
  16. Wearing attire that is provocative or super-revealing
  17. A style that is “perceived” as separatist or out of the ordinary (goth, punk-rock, etc.)

The difficult thing is that those covert signs don’t always mean that the person has social anxiety. Many people just have their own sense of style or they may be naturally introverted. They may also have a boisterous personality. If you do not know the person or aren’t close to them, it’s hard to tell.

But one thing that is noticeable is if the person never exhibited this kind of behavior or look before and suddenly, or within a short amount of time transitions into it. And these kinds of changes can only be noticeable to those who are close to the person or have been around the person for years.

Therefore, if you know a person who is showing these signs, instead of pointing a finger and judging them cruelly, ask questions and find out why. You may not realize that person could be a target of bullying or another form of abuse.

And if you are a target of bullying and struggling with social anxiety, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in that invisible prison forever. Bullies do not deserve value and you shouldn’t place any worth to their opinions of you. Understand that you are enough and that your bullies haven’t earned your respect nor your attention.

Only value the opinions or thoughts of the people who love you and whose opinions deserve your consideration, attention, and acknowledgement.

Start loving yourself and practicing self-care. Relax and be yourself. Embrace your flaws and quirks because we all have them whether we admit it or not. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. I promise you that you’ll be much happier and have more peace of mind when you do.

You Don’t Need to Explain Yourself to a Bully

Why? Because bullies don’t care what your reasons are. The only reason they blame you for something and try to bait you into explaining yourself is the psychological payoff they get from it. The psychological payoffs, being satisfaction, gratification, and a massive rush of power.

While you’re standing there wasting your breath, trying to convince the bully that you aren’t guilty of whatever it is that they’re accusing you or attacking you for, the bullies are mentally smirking and patting themselves (and each other) on the backs over how easily they’ve got you to react, how easily they can scare you and make you nervous, and get you all up in arms. Some things don’t need an explanation.

Here are more reasons why you shouldn’t explain yourself to a bully:

1. No matter what you say, how calm you are when you say it, how convincing you may sound, or how much evidence you may have to support you, bullies will never believe you anyway.

2. Understand that bullies only believe whatever feels right, useful, and convenient for them.

3. They aren’t interested in evidence or facts. Any facts may only deter them for the time being, but believe me when I tell you. Your bullies will only get angrier at you for having the gall to prove them wrong. Then, they’ll regroup, reorganize, then come back at you with a whole new accusation and demand yet another explanation later.

Understand that anytime bullies accuse you of wrongdoing that you neither committed nor know anything about, deep inside, they already know you’re innocent.

They are fully aware that you had nothing to do with the transgression. Realize that it’s only a trap to get you to react and give them that rush of power that you’ve been giving them all along and that they crave and can’t seem to get enough of.

Even when you produce evidence to prove your point, you must work to gather that evidence.

Just knowing they have you jumping through hoops to prove yourself is enough to give them the thrills they’re looking for.

So, instead of letting them bait you into a defense, you should be asking yourself,

1. “Who are these morons?

2. “Who are they that I should have to explain anything?”

3. “Since when do I have to explain anything to these jackholes? They don’t pay my bills!”

Understand that you don’t owe these people a damn thing!

I understand that bullies can be intimidating and threatening. It’s hard to resist an explanation when you’re scared to death and not began rattling off an excuse in nervousness, hoping that a reasonable explanation will make the harassment go away. But trust me, it won’t!

It certainly didn’t make things better for me. If anything, it only got worse because my reaction only made me look like an easy target.

But once I realized what they were doing, I began to get bored with them and walk away because their games no longer affected me. The same will be for you too, and you’ll feel much better. And the icing on the cake will be that you’ll take the wind out of the bullies’ sails, and they’ll finally leave you alone.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Why You Should Never Believe nor Internalize the Labels Bullies Give You

We’ve all heard of self-fulfilling prophecies or the Pygmalion Effect. It’s a phenomenon in which our thoughts become things. People also call it the power of expectation.

” What we believe we also become.”

When people (adults at work AND kids at school) are told they are smart and will do well, they usually end up doing just that. Whereas, if a person is told he is stupid and will never amount to anything, he will also live up to what he hears.

Bullying and life – pictured as a word Bullying and a wrecking ball to symbolize that Bullying can have a bad effect and can destroy life, 3d illustration

High expectations= high performance= high outcomes.

Low expectations= low performance= low outcomes.

Understand that bullies are brain-washers. They are repetitious in their verbal attacks, and if you aren’t careful after they have repeatedly suggested that you’re stupid, ugly, or no good long enough, they will force you to believe it too. You won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late.

‘You see? A bully knows that if you tell a person something enough times for long enough, that person is more likely to believe it.

Understand that bullies do this on purpose. Their goal is to derail you, your goals, and your future by manipulation, to turn you against yourself.

Because bullies know that once they make you believe you’re worthless and can’t do anything right, you will unwittingly and ultimately live up to their expectations.

You must realize that any name a bully calls you, they want you to be. Anytime a bully tells you that you will never be loved, never be successful, etc., the goal is to crush your self-esteem and any prospect for the future.

Law of Attraction on Blackboard with Words

And people want to be right! Bullies want so badly to be right about you so that they can eventually point at you and tell others,

“See? What did I tell you? I told you he was a jackass!”

“I told you she would (screw up, fly off the handle, get into trouble, etc.).

“Uh-huh! What did I tell you? Huh?”

Therefore, should it be any wonder why bullies continuously bombard you with horrible names and accusations? If a person calls you a lowlife, they want you to be a lowlife because they want you to prove them right!

There is a reason why cycles repeat themselves over again! Everything becomes a cycle. What you expect is what you will end up getting. Even worse, it’s what you’ll eventually live up to. Always! It’s only the Law of Attraction at work, and it never fails.

It won’t be easy to do. It’s challenging to think positively and to keep loving yourself when you’re continually having horrible names and negative comments hurled at you from every direction. It’s tough to keep your heart open when the hearts of people around you are closed and locked tight. It feels impossible to love yourself when it seems that everyone hates you. I feel your pain because I’ve been right where you are now.

 

However, you can only break the cycle of abuse and negativity by continuing to love yourself even when it seems that nobody else does, by finding a reason to live when life seems hopeless, and by refusing to lose sight of your goals, your dreams, and most of all, your value as a human being.

Be mindful of your thoughts and always replace any negative thinking with thoughts that are positive.

If a bully calls you stupid, counter his statement by saying something as simple as,

“No! I’m smart! You’re the stupid one!”

You may have to work hard at it, but you can do it.

Reactive Bullying, What is It?

Reactive bullying happens when a target has taken so much abuse for so long that when the pressure builds to the boiling point, the targeted person blows up or
‘snaps,’ lashing out at their tormentors.

The target let’s them have it! Many would say that the victim  “bullies them back” and I have made the same statement. However, the more I think about that statement, the more it sounds like an oxymoron.

Be that as it may, is blowing up and going off on bullies the wisest thing for targets to do?

Believe me. I get that people can only take so much. I understand that when you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough, and I’m with you. However, make no mistake. An explosive reaction is precisely what the bullies want.

They want you to snap.

They want you to blow up on them so they can then claim victimhood and make you look like the bully.

Understand that bullies are experts at baiting a target into a reaction, then using the justified (and perfectly normal) response as proof that the targeted person is “mentally unstable,” “crazy,” “a dangerous person,” “too sensitive,” or a “drama queen”!

Bullies also use the target’s normal reaction to guilt and convince him/her that it’s all their fault.

Bullies will make statements such as:

“Well? Maybe if you wouldn’t get so overly emotional, you’d have friends!”

“If you didn’t overreact to everything, people would want to be around you more!”

In short, bullies gaslight their targets with statements like these to make excuses for the behavior and deflect the blame back onto the victims. And sadly, it works like a charm, and bystanders and witnesses believe the target is unstable.

Note: A perfect example is a scene in one of the “Home Alone” movies, when the main character, Kevin McAllister’s older brother Buzz makes a fake apology to his family, then sneakily calls Kevin a trout-sniffer during a family meeting after the fiasco at the choir concert. Notice how Buzz baits his younger brother Kevin into a reaction!

If you are a target, I want you to understand that there is a name for this. It’s called gaslighting, and it’s a trick to throw you off balance.

Understand that, if you blow a gasket and tear into your bullies, in no way will your harsh reaction undercut the fact that they initiated it- that your bullies are the ones who asked for it and drove you to get out of character.

Realize that every single human one of us is capable of losing our cool when we’re under that kind of pressure after we’re attacked and subjected to vile treatment for so long.

However, there are many people who do think otherwise and will punish you because they feel you overreacted. There will be those who feel that the punishment outweighed the crime.

This is why teachers, supervisors, and others in authority must learn to distinguish between provocation and a reaction so that they will be able to identify the real bully and victim. And you must also learn to tell the difference between the two so that you can call it out when it happens to you.

Luckily, there are a few sure-fire ways of identifying the real victim who is only reacting to a provocation by a bully.

1. A victim who has only reacted always feels terrible about how they acted once they’ve calmed down and is usually the first to apologize for it. A real victim will also not be afraid to admit they’ve made a mistake.

On the other hand, a bully must always be right and will never admit they’ve done anything wrong. A bully will still blame the victim and be overly critical of the victim and the reaction. Bullies will also use the tiniest screw-up or imperfection and make it bigger than it is. They are also excessively dramatic.

2. A victim will also apologize, sometimes nervously and excessively.

A bully will never apologize. Because a bully is never wrong, even feels that it is their right to mistreat their targets.

Please note that if the bully is a smooth talker, he might even admit to a few minor mistakes or wrongdoings. However, they will always follow that with the claim that the victim is at fault.

So, always look for these signs, and you’ll be able to peel the mask off the bully, layer by layer! Moreover, you’ll be able to protect and care for the victim!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullying and Relational Aggression- “Don’t Associate With Her!”

It’s bad enough when bullies mistreat you themselves. But when they set out to prevent you from becoming friends with people besides them, that’s even worse.

Social and relational bullies are like obsessive exes who won’t allow you to move on from the hurt. You know the type- an ex who claims they don’t want you but doesn’t want anyone else to have you either.

They deliberately try to isolate you to wield power over you and make you believe that you need them- that you need their approval to live a happy life.

Another goal is to instill shame in you and make you believe you somehow deserve to be bullied. Bullies also do this to isolate you so that they can more safely continue, even escalate their attacks. If the bullies can turn everyone else against you, then you’re least likely to get support, and they’re least likely to be held responsible for their behavior.

Bullies use socio-relational aggression for many reasons, a couple of which are to get back at you for a perceived slight or intense jealousy of your good relations with others.

Bullies reap other psychological benefits, as well. They get gratification and satisfaction in seeing you alienated from everyone else. Also, your isolation serves them as proof that you’re a terrible person. Bullies always have to be right about you.

Understand that these types of bullies observe you very carefully. They keep track of you to find out who you associate with, who you date, even who your family members are. They also dig up information about your life.

When they find out who your friends are, they then tell your friends lies about you or threaten to harm your friends if they catch them having any more to do with you. Bullies will also mistreat your partner and even go after your family. You must realize that bullies thrive on fear, and, as I’ve already mentioned, their goal is to isolate you and make you more vulnerable. They cut you off from any protection or assistance.

Once they have succeeded in alienating you, they can bully you at will and with impunity. Bullies can also keep you silent about the abuse. If you have no one to talk to-, if no one will listen to you, then there’s no way you can speak out about them or their abuse without getting rebuffed or ridiculed.

So, here’s the short list. Social and relational bullying reaps the following rewards for bullies:

• Silence of the target
• the freedom to abuse anytime they want
• protection
• confirmation of the target’s unworthiness
• favor with others
• immunity from accountability
• gratification, satisfaction, and, most of all, overall power and domination of the target!

Knowledge is power, so get wise to your bullies. It’s the first step in protecting yourself from them.

Never Pay a Bully a Compliment. Ever!

Trust me, bullies, especially the arrogant and puffed up type, get their boots licked enough.

They get false compliments and fake sympathy from their sycophants daily. How do you think they got so sickeningly full of themselves? Compliments should only be handed out only to people who deserve them.

I learned this the hard way when I was sixteen and a sophomore in high school.

I remember seeing a girl in the cafeteria at lunch, and she was wearing a lovely dress. Naturally, I told her that it was a beautiful dress and that I liked it. And I meant it from the bottom of my heart when I said it.

However, it only fueled her arrogance. She only sneered at me and said,

“I know. So what? Nobody likes you, and you think kissing up changes things?”

You can imagine how heartbroken I was.

guilt concept – unhappy young sporty man showing his throat with gun-like hands for sign of low self-esteem, textured effects

Although few things uplift a person like a sincere compliment, which comes from the heart, a bully will only take it as confirmation that they are better than you. A bully will also see it as the fulfillment of their expectation that you’re willing to suck up to them.

A compliment to a bully is nothing more than an ego boost and an opportunity to rake your dignity over the coals because they’re used to having the other classmates or coworkers bow down before them.

Instead, be the one who gives these life-suckers and happiness thieves a healthy dose of the real world. Be indifferent toward them- like you just don’t give a crap about them.

They may get angry because they may think people owe them allegiance, but you won’t give them the wrong impression, and you’ll walk away with your self-respect intact.

Relationship is the Determiner in Many Cases of Bullying

It’s not easy for people to distinguish between the real bully and the victim. Bullies are good at making victims look guilty, showing only the victim the worst, most brutal, and evil sides of themselves while showing everyone else their best, sweetest, and most loving halves of their personalities.

The bully may feign sympathy and compassion for her victim by making statements such as,

“I feel so terrible for (victim’s name). I sincerely hope she gets the help she needs before it’s too late.”

Bullies accuse their victims of attacking them when it’s the over way around, and people can quickly get confused and not know who did what to who. That’s one reason it’s so easy to blame the wrong person altogether.

Many times, if you’re a target of such torment, whether people believe you or not depends on their relationship with you and with the bully. If the bully is someone they either like or love, they will take the bully’s word over yours out of loyalty. It won’t matter that the bully is in the wrong. And in many cases, people may know the bully is wrong and even witness the bully’s bad behavior.

Again, they still may take the bully’s side because “that’s their friend” or “that’s their family.” Or maybe they dislike or may even hate the bullying person, but they dislike or hate you even more. So, they choose who they perceive to be the lesser of two evils.

People tend to believe those they care about and disbelieve those they don’t care about or don’t know.

My advice for targets of bullying is this: It pays to have friends and connections. If you don’t have them, find ways of making them, even if you must establish those connections outside of the toxic workplace or learning environment.

They may not be able to help you with your situation in the bullying environment. But what they can do is help you feel so much better about yourself and not feel so alone. And self-care is a must when you’re a target of bullying.

Also, establishing connections and relationships now may pay off in the long run because if you’re a target of bullying at your job, chances are you won’t be working there for much longer. And maybe your outside friends and connections just may work at your next job, and life will be much easier.

“When Will People Stop Bullying Me?” Here’s the Answer.

The word Answer on a puzzle piece to symbolize the quest for understanding in answering questions and concerns

Bullies will stop bullying when you take away their power. But…how do you take away their power? You do it when you simply stop giving a damn what people think or what they say.

However, getting to the point of not caring takes several realizations. It takes understanding what is behind the bullying and accepting that some people just don’t matter and are not meant for you.

Hey. I know it’s easier said than done. We all want to be liked and approved of by others. To be accepted and a part of a group is a natural human need. However, some people are just no good for us. Toxic people do not deserve to be in your life, and bullies are toxic people. So why should their opinions matter?

When I finally stopped giving a crap what other people thought, that’s when people stopped bullying me. When their words and tricks no longer had any effect on me and the way I saw myself, it took the wind out of the bullies’ sails. They soon left me alone and moved on to someone else, and my life skyrocketed!

You must realize that there will always be those with something negative to say. Understand that everyone- EVERYONE gets talked about, not just you. Accept the fact that not everyone will like you and be okay with it. People are going to talk about you until the day you die, and even beyond. It’s just a part of life.

But know this, it says more about their own issues, not yours. I not only accept that people will talk about me, but I also embrace it! There are positive ways of looking at it ( https://cheriewhite.blog/2019/08/11/when-bullies-talk-bad-about-you-positive-ways-of-looking-at-it/ ).

You see, bullies love to brainwash you into thinking you need their approval. You don’t! I want you to realize that brainwashing someone and making that person believe that he/she is nothing without their approval is where bullies draw their power! They get their power from you!

I know this is hard to hear, but it’s the truth. Years ago, my bullies did the same to me, I hate to admit. They had me believing that I was nothing without their seal of approval, that everything was my fault, that I’d brought all the mistreatment on myself, and that if I would just do XYZ or change something about myself that they deemed undesirable, the harassment would stop.

Trust me. Because I didn’t know any better, I tried that repeatedly, and the bullying never stopped but got worse!

The truth is that I was always enough, and my value never depreciated. I never needed those morons nor their approval. Seriously! Who were they to begin with? They were nobody special, I can tell you that!

So, never change who you are to appease someone else! It will only make you a bigger target because others will then see you as a people pleaser! A suck-up! A boot-licker!

And once you’re seen as such, everyone will come from everywhere to take advantage of you because they will have zero respect for you! Believe it or not, when someone is a yes-person, word of it does spread! Like a brushfire!

But before you can get to the point where you could absolutely care less about how they see you, you must first realize that the bullies’ so-called coolness and badassery are just an illusion! Understand that bullies are not what they would have you believe. They’re not so tough. They aren’t the baddest mothers in the land. They’re only good at keeping up appearances and fooling others.

Once you ferret out your bullies’ weaknesses and see that they really aren’t all that, you will have confidence you never thought possible. You will easily be able to blow them off with a “whatever,” and nine times out of ten, they’ll move on to someone else because bullies can’t thrive without a victim.

Take the victim out of the equation, and they have nothing. Remove yourself from the equation, and you have everything! You can only do this when you stop caring what others think of you or say about you.

Reclaim your power and watch your life become more rewarding than you ever imagined!