The Mistake of Turning to Romance to Get the Acceptance I Wasn’t Getting at School

sad girl has problem of mockery and bullying at school.

Females are hardwired to nurture, maintain, and enjoy relationships, whether they be friendships, family, or romantic relationships. With teenagers, although family relationships are still meaningful, it is mostly about having close relationships with friends and romantic relationships.

Therefore, if a young girl is not getting those wants and needs met through her peers at school or family at home, she may try a different route to meet her needs.

Sadly, some girls, particularly those who are targets of bullies, think that having a dating partner makes up for the lack of friends and positive relationships at school. I say this because, unfortunately, I was one of those girls with the same mindset. I leaned on dating and romance for comfort.

At the time, being in a romantic relationship felt like such a welcome change, like a soft pillow to land on during a fall. It seemed to buffer my self-esteem from the attacks and take the sting out of the torment I endured.

Having dating partners and suitors gave me a much-needed rebuttal to the daily degradation and humiliation brought on by classmates and a few sadistic teachers. It assured me that I was a great person and worthy of being loved. Male attention was a testament to my beauty and confirmation of my value as a young woman.

I looked to these guys to rescue me. They were my refuge from a cold, cruel world that hated me. Looking back now, I realize how needy I was back then. Around young guys who didn’t know me from school, I acted like a totally different person. I smiled, batted my eyelashes, and flirted my behind off to get their attention.

During school, because I had no real friends, I turned to grown men of late teens and early twenties to get the acceptance I wasn’t getting at school, from people my age. Although I was a gorgeous girl to look upon, bullies and their followers had destroyed my once-good name and with it, any prospects for dating and love among peers my age.

But by dating guys who were already out of high school, I was able to get around my trashed reputation and have opportunities for romance. These college-aged men had never met me, nor were they aware of the falsehoods and labels tied to my name.

I’m ashamed to say that, back then, I felt that my good looks and feminine wiles were the only things I had going for me, and often used them to get what I wanted. I thought I had to use trickery and charm to attain what most others seemed to come by easily and effortlessly. And thirty years ago, underage dating was more accepted than it is today.

I want you to understand that when a person is beaten down for so long, they grow afraid to ask for or pursue their wants and needs the right way. As a result, manipulation and deceit become a way of survival. Realize that this is a person who doesn’t need judgment; they get enough of that already. What they need is help.

For bullied victims, partners are a proverbial band-aid to their feelings of hurt and inadequacy that come with the onslaught of bullies. Sexual partners and activity are a means to feel loved, wanted, sexy, and beautiful. And it works, if only temporarily.

However, this is dangerous because it can easily lead to co-dependency. Relying on a dating partner for confirmation of worth is never good because the person eventually comes to believe that if he/she is not half of a couple, they are nothing and this kind of thinking is wrong.

encouragement

This mindset only sprouts desperation, and there is no dignity in being desperate for a partner. No one should ever see a romantic relationship as the end all be all. They should never look outside of themselves for happiness. Men and women come and go, and if the person continues to depend solely on them for their fulfillment, they’ll be in for a huge disappointment.

When someone looks solely to a partner to validate them, it’s a sign that the person doesn’t know their worth as a young lady or young man. Potential dates can sense this, and are either repelled or see them as someone they can use and degrade.

The person risks attracting a predatory partner of low integrity, one who will hang around as long as it takes to get what they want before dumping them and leaving them devastated. Also, people of quality and integrity do not want a partner they have to fix or rescue, and if they sniff out the slightest bit of neediness, they will disappear, and fast!

If you are a bullied girl or boy, I can’t stress enough how important it is to fall in love with yourself and with life before you fall in love with anyone else. Love should come from within and never from the outside. A relationship doesn’t complete you, and just because a person has sex with you doesn’t mean that they love you.

You are just as beautiful and whole without a partner as you are with one. Just because you’re dateless doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Single doesn’t mean defective.

In the meantime, do plenty of deep soul searching and make positive affirmations daily. Count all your good qualities, talents, and gifts. Continuously remind yourself that you have value, and soon, you’ll start to believe it with your whole heart.

Be patient. Know that the right person will come into your life when you least expect it, and you aren’t looking for them. And when they do, they’ll be well worth the wait.

How to Get Solid Proof of Bullying

Though we know bullying exists, it’s one of the hardest things to prove. I’ve preached about documentation and the 5W Rule (What, Who, When, Where, and Why) in past posts. It’s still THE best way to get your evidence.

However, there are other ways of getting evidence that I haven’t mentioned- proof that, when coupled with documentation, can give you a solid case against your bullies and the facility that allows the bullying to go on. And, the more evidence you have, the better.

You can also use recording devices, hidden body cameras, and spy cameras. Unfortunately, this is tricky depending on what state or jurisdiction you live in. Some states and jurisdictions have a Two-Party Consent Rule, and others have a One Party Consent Rule.

Two-Party Consent Rule – is when two parties must know about the recording and consent to it- those two parties are you and the person or persons you’re recording.

One-Party Consent Rule – is when only one party has to know about the recording- that party being YOU.

So, in a One-Party state, you can wear a hidden camera or recording device or have one on you, make all the recordings you want, secretly, and the evidence would be admissible in court. You could still make a secret recording in a Two-Party state, but it would be best if no one catches you with it, and it wouldn’t be admissible in court. You could still keep it for your records.

gavel and sound block of justice law and lawyer working on wooden desk background

Yes. I feel the frustration of those who live in a Two-Party state, and I agree with you; it’s a bogus law. Nevertheless, it’s still the law. As I said earlier, you could always record evidence of the bullying, but you’d be doing it at your own risk, and there might be legal consequences if someone catches you with it at school or work.

You could record it, and if nobody catches you, you could take it home and plaster it all over social media. However, this isn’t advisable either because bullies watch their target’s social media pages like hawks. If you go this route, it’s best to join a few private anti-bullying groups and only share the video with them. Only then will your bullies not be able to see what you’re doing.

There are loopholes in any law, but the trick is to find them. And, if you don’t know whether you live in a one-party or two-party area, look up the laws in your state or jurisdiction.

Those of you who may be thinking of gathering video and audio evidence of bullying know that I’m with you, and I support you. Gather your evidence any way you can. Document the bullying and secretly record it with a body cam. These two sources of evidence together can be powerful! If you’re being bullied at work, my advice would be to hide a spy cam in your office because workplace bullies will snoop through your office, desk, and computer after you leave for the day.

Again, document incidences of bullying and record them if possible. You do these things, and you’ll have an open and shut case should you take legal action against your bullies and their enablers. There are plenty of discreet products available to help you gather your evidence.

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“Who Do You Think You Are!”

Have you ever had people seemingly mistake your confidence for conceit? Or worse, get offended by it? And you knew it but never understood why? Heaven forbid you actually have even a minuscule amount of self-esteem and take pride in your accomplishments.

 

Sadly, we live in a world that’s insecure, self-conscious, and unhappy and there will be people who resent your spirit and your happiness. There are environments that are very toxic and the toxic people within them have an intense hatred of those who are cheerful and have a strong sense of self.

Bullies are such people. But realize that, though they’d tell you differently, bullies aren’t happy people. They can’t be because anyone who’s truly happy wouldn’t try to make others feel lousy.

Moreover, they wouldn’t resent the happiness, confidence, or successes of others.

I’ve dealt with these types of people- people who resented my confidence, which was confidence that I’d worked hard to rebuild. I saw it written all over their faces- the scowls, how their eyes would narrow and turn into slits and brows would furrow anytime they saw a smile on mine or anyone else’s face. I can just imagine what they were thinking: “The nerve!”

I’ve even heard the disdainful remarks:

“She thinks too highly of herself and needs to be brought down a notch or two!”

“He’s an arrogant jerk!”

“She’s so uppity!”

“He loves himself too much!”

“She needs to bring herself down to earth with the rest of us!”

I could go on and on.

Many people act as if being confident and loving yourself is wrong. The message you get is that it’s “selfish,” and that you need to climb down off your high horse, or you’re too big for your britches. They try to make you think that having pride in yourself is something to be ashamed of. ”How dehhhhh you!”

Bullies tend to think that if a person has confidence and high self-esteem, he is pompous and sanctimonious- he’s the worst person in the world. In their minds, it’s horrible to have even a modicum of self-value and to believe in yourself. “Who do you think you are!”

As much as I hate to admit it, back when I was young and had self-esteem issues, I said the same thing about the same people. And do you know what else? I’ve since realized that I was wrong for it and that it was said out of pure stupidity.

So, I want you to know that, if you have the audacity to like yourself, there will be those who’ll try to tear you down for it. They will attempt to make you feel ashamed of it. Some will even punish you for it. But realize that these people aren’t happy, nor confident and they’re jealous of you because you are. Your bullies and others are bitter toward you because you have something they don’t have. And because they think they can’t have it, they want to take it from the people who do.

So, go for it! Be happy! Be confident! Believe in and love yourself! Treat yourself well whether anyone else likes it! And never let them take it away!

Don’t worry about the people around you. Know that how they act says nothing about you but everything about them. Their actions only expose them as the miserable, sorry pieces of crap they are. So, dig in those heels and double down on your positive sense of self.

Do everything you can to hold on to your joy and self-belief, and let the haters stew in their own juices.

Can Targets Protect Themselves Socially?

bullying ridicule

Yes, they can. There are many things targets can do to protect their social lives. Understand that social damage equals emotional pain. So, it’s essential that you do everything possible to protect your social life because when you do, you automatically protect your emotional health as well.

Here’s how:

  1. Establish relationships and make friends outside the bullying environment. If you’re being bullied at school, then make friends of kids that do not attend your school. If you’re bullies at work, make friends and forge relationships with people outside your place of work.
  2. Maintain distance from your classmates or coworkers. Get your social support elsewhere.

reputation name 

  1. Realize that your bullies, coworkers, and classmates aren’t the most important people in your life. They’re not the only people in the world who’ve ever known you or will know you in the future. They’re only one group of people who’s views of you are based on lies and false information. So, realize these people should matter the least to you. Your friends and positive relationships are outside that toxic environment and there will be more positive relationships to come. I promise you!

“But how do you forge new relationships and social networks elsewhere?” You ask.

  1. By joining interest groups, places of worship, clubs, communities, organizations, and taking classes. For instance, a kid is bullied in school. Although he may be intensely hated by his classmates, he could join a scout troop or a martial arts class and be very well-liked by all the kids there.

 An adult may be ostracized at his workplace but may join the American Legion, a Freemasonry group, or a church and find wonderful friends and a network of support in those places. The target may also advocate for a cause, take an art class, or join a music club.

Group of friends cheering with drinks at boat party

Group of happy friends cheering with wine and beers at boat party. Diverse men and women having drinks at sunset yacht party.

Just don’t tell anyone what you’re going through at school or at work. That stays where it belongs, in the bullying environment. Take time for them to get to know you. The only places that will be appropriate to bring up what’s happening at work are religious and therapy groups. But feel everyone out first. The goal is not to find a place to dump all your problems, but to find one where you’re valued and respected.

  1. Fake it. Appear calm and confident even when you feel like you’re about to fall apart.
  2. Don’t vent nor gossip. It will only make you look as bad as your bullies. You’ll also look unstable. Distance yourself from your bullies. It’s true that they’ll notice it and accuse you of being stuck up, anti-social, or standoffish. But what they think shouldn’t matter because your focus should be self-care. And self-care is of the utmost importance when you’re a target of bullying.