Ever! Why? Because it’s a trap and you set yourself up to be that person’s prisoner and to be discarded once you’ve served your purpose to them. You will put yourself at the other’s mercy. Anytime you allow your world to revolve around someone because you’re afraid that you won’t find another partner, you’re afraid that you won’t find other friends, or you seek attention because you feel deprived of it, you make yourself a slave to others. As a result, you lose your value in the eyes of others. In short, you make yourself expendable and replaceable.
Understand that people have a tendency not to place much value, if any at all, on someone who’s always readily available, who’s always around, and (gasp!) who’s always chasing after approval and human connection. On the other hand, a person who’s rare, scarce, mysterious, and allusive is usually the one who’s sought after.
Hey! I get it, I understand the overwhelming feeling of loneliness and despair when you’re being bullied and being thrown under the bus by others who’ve turned on you. And my heart goes out to you. However, the last thing you want is to give away what dignity you have left and to give these people the satisfaction of seeing your desperation. They may disparage you; they may judge you, they may gossip about you, but let them misunderstand you and let them look down their nose at you. Just don’t let them know that their bullying is ruining your life.
Nine time out of ten, the people who do these things to you want to know how it hurts you. They want to see your wounds. They want to see you beg and plead. They want to see you hurt- and hurt badly, because people who want to hurt you want confirmation that their abuse is working and that they have power over you. They want proof that they can determine how you feel about yourself. Most of all, they want you dependent on their say so.
Don’t give them the satisfaction!
I’ve known women with abusive husbands, who let their abusers talk them into quitting their jobs or dropping out of college. And, in doing that, she gave up her independence and became totally dependent on him. After that, he had free reign to do with her whatever he wanted.
My very narcissistic grandfather did the same to my grandmother when she worked for a T.V. manufacturing plant during the mid-sixties. She allowed him to sweet talk her into quitting her job, promising her that he would provide for all her needs and that he’d be a good husband to her if she’d only quit her job. And less than a month after she quit, he sold her candy apple red, ’66 Ford Mustang she had just paid off- behind her back! Right out from under her!
He wanted her to need him more than he needed her. Thankfully, my grandmother eventually ended the marriage.
My grandfather was the same to his oldest daughter, my aunt. He tried to keep her from marrying the love of her life when she was eighteen years old because he wanted to keep her under his roof and therefore, under his thumb. And when she married him, with my grandmother’s permission, but behind my grandfather’s back, he showed up at her new house and physically attacked her.
Why am I telling you this story? Because there’s a point to it and the point is that bullies, whether at home, in the workplace, in any form of government, or at school, want the same thing- they want their targets to need them more than the bullies need their targets.
Bullies in the home want their targets totally dependent on their approval to live in peace.
Bullies in the workplace want their targets to need their approval to keep and enjoy their jobs and to provide for themselves and their families.
Bullies in government, better known as tyrants, want their constituents to think they need permission from them for freedom and to enjoy human rights.
Bullies at school want their targets to depend on their say so not only to enjoy having friends and a good social life, but also for psychological and physical safety.
So, how do we ensure that we never become dependent on another person?
1. If you’re an abused wife, you keep your job, no matter how he may sweet talk you into quitting, no matter how he promises you that he’ll fulfill all your financial needs, and no matter how tough he makes life for you at home, or, if he wants you to drop out of college, don’t.
2. You quietly keep a private stash of money hidden away and keep saving until you can afford to bail out of the abusive marriage.
3. If you’re under the rule of a bully official, realize that the people outnumber this tyrant by the thousands and there is strength in numbers. Find a way to use that against them.
4. If you’re a target of bullying in the workplace, quietly update your resume and begin looking for another job. And whatever you do, find a way not to put the bully down as a reference. And when you find another job, quit!
5. You make friends outside the bullying workplace or school. Just because your bullies and others at work don’t value you doesn’t mean that people outside of the toxic workplace won’t.
6. You may want to take a self-defense class to keep physically violent bullies at bay.
7. You keep your sense of self- continue to value and love yourself no matter how your bullies may mistreat you and degrade you.
Although you can never control how others see you or how they behave toward you, you can control how you see and treat yourself and you do have a choice of whether to keep them in your life or kick them out of it. Remember that your thoughts are free, and you choose the way you think of yourself. You control how you see yourself.
No one deserves to live, work, or learn in an unsafe environment. You’re well within your rights to walk away and never look back, or to at least, make changes that benefit you until you can walk away.