A fellow blogger once wrote, “If you care too much about what others think, you care less about yourself.”
How right she was!
When you care too much about what other people think, you become a slave to not only opinions but to others as well. The person whose opinions you place too much value on owns you.
Any time you care too much about the thoughts and opinions of others, you’ll bend over backward to prove your worth. You’ll be a yes-person because you won’t have the guts to say no when you really should and when you truly want to say it.
You’ll do things you’d rather not do and agree with things that go against your beliefs and convictions. You’ll sacrifice your time, your resources, and yourself for people who don’t deserve it and let them take you for granted.
You’ll fall for other people’s BS and accept crappy behavior from them to avoid conflict. And they’ll see you as a pushover and an approval-seeker. You’ll be a doormat, and no one will have any respect for you. They’ll only think you’re pathetic!
To put it bluntly, you’ll kiss butt and eat sh** all for the sake of approval. Yuck!
You’ll only attract users, abusers, and losers, who’ll only deplete you of time, energy, and worst of all, self-esteem!
Even worse, your submissiveness will come to be expected after a while, and once you do finally get tired of being walked on and grow a spine, people won’t respect you for it but be offended by it.
‘You see, here’s the thing. If you truly know your value, you don’t have to prove it because you know it’s there. Even better, others see it too because they not only sense that others’ opinions don’t phase you, but they can see it in your demeanor as well.
So, stop caring what bullies and abusers think of you because they don’t deserve to even matter to you.
The more you know, the more bully-proof you become!
Many targets of bullying get into the habit of comparing themselves to others. For example, a bullied kid sitting in the lunchroom at school may look a few tables over and see the very kids who bully him surrounded by friends, yucking it up and having a good time. They seem to be enjoying friendships while the bullied kid is left in the cold. And watching causes an ache in the poor kid’s chest. He thinks to himself:
“I wish I were like him because if I were, I’d have friends too. I hate him because he’s a creep and doesn’t deserve to be so lucky! Why him? I deserve it more than he does? It’s not fair!”
But when is life ever fair?
Here’s another example:
A coworker at a company sees another coworker who hasn’t put in as much time getting a promotion. He immediately gets angry and thinks that the only way the other guy must’ve gotten that promotion is by sucking up to the boss. He then begins to wish the other coworker all kinds of bad luck.
The root of this is thinking that someone else is just luckier or better off than you.
Comparing yourself to others is a real self-esteem killer. But sadly, people do it all the time. When you compare your life to someone else’s, it only breeds all kinds of toxic emotions, two of which are anger and jealousy.
Understand that you cannot judge a person’s outward appearance or the appearances they keep up and accurately judge what their life is like. Because people are notorious for showing only the best parts of their lives and keeping the less-than-desirable parts hidden.
Also realize that some people, bullies especially, making it a point to flash the positive aspects of their lives to those around them for the sole purpose of provoking envy. Because knowing that others are jealous of them is a huge boost to their egos, giving them a sense of power and that they’re better. Realize that the appearances these people keep up are only a show.
An example of this would be:
You see someone decked out in fancy clothes and drives a hot sports car. They have a six-bedroom house in the ritzy part of town. But! Although they look like they’re rolling in money, they’re more than likely only living beyond their means. Chances are that they’re in debt up to their eyeballs and feeling terrified inside because they know that if the slightest setback happens, they’ll lose it all!
Here are a few more examples:
You see a seemingly happy couple in a shopping mall and you’re still single. They look so happy and so in love, and they have friends around them. But you don’t know what goes on in their house. The husband might be abusing his wife behind closed doors (or vise versa) and they’re only putting on airs. They might be on the brink of divorce.
You may look on social media and see pictures of one of your someone you know lying on the beach in the tropics. But what you don’t know is that they had to clean out their savings just to take that trip.
Here’s my point. Never judge anyone who seems a little luckier than you, because, in private, they could be fighting battles you know nothing about.
They may have a mother at home dying of cancer, a father who went off to war and never came back, or be buried in legal issues.
And many times, you feel so content with your life until you spot these people. All of a sudden, you’re feeling less than. This should be a good indicator as to how useless envy and self-comparison really are.
How you fight this is to take your attention off these people and count your blessings. Because although they may be luckier than you in one aspect, you are most likely better off than them in other ways. Think about it.
Understand that anytime you feel jealous of another person, it only means that deep inside, you have a deep-seated spirit of lack and failure and you want to take the other person’s good fortune away from them and keep it for yourself.
It’s a sign that you don’t feel that you can ever reach those goals yourself. Stop it! Because if they can, you can too.
Stop comparing yourself to others because it’s a waste of time and energy. It also drains your of confidence.
Know that you are enough and your life is enough. And you never know what the future holds. You too may someday buy your dream home, find a loving partner, or get the opportunity to go on a tropical getaway.
For now, be happy for those who are presently getting those opportunities. Instead of provoking jealousy in you, these people should inspire you and give you hope for the future.
Sadly, targets of bullying often make poor life choices because of bullying. Years ago, I was targeted and yes, I made some really bad decisions, some of which continue to affect my life today.
At the time, I didn’t really know why I made those decisions. However, today, there is no doubt in my mind that the reason I allowed myself to get into smoking marijuana and having sex during high school was that I was lonely from being bullied.
You see? Most targets have been bullied for so many years that they will do anything- anything, to be accepted and make friends. After so long, the loneliness, the despair, and the sadness becomes too much to bear and desperation begins to creep in.
Young Targets may do one or more of the following:
1. Try drugs
2. Have unsafe sex/promiscuity
3. Join gangs
4. Participate in crime
5. Commit high-risk behaviors (like drag-racing and dangerous daredevil stunts)
They will sometimes do these things just to feel like they belong.
Girls may begin “dating down”. They settle for either a partner they don’t really love, or an abusive partner just for validation that they too can attain romance and they are worthy of love just like everyone else. Boys may do the same.
They may also get into drinking, drugs, and hard partying.
Girls may also deliberately become pregnant because they want so bad to have someone (the baby) to love them.
If you are a target of bullying, I can’t emphasize enough that you don’t have to do these things to be accepted or to feel loved. There are better options.
Instead of making unwise choices, practice your talents, and do the things you enjoy. Spend time with the people who DO love you. Give a little of yourself to help others every day and I promise you, it will pay off sooner or later.
Know that there will come a day when you attract genuine friends into your life. IT’s true. Believe it with every fiber of your being!
No! Insecurity and a lack of confidence are not characteristics that we’re born with. They are taught! Not only by bullies or abusive family members but can also unwittingly programmed into us by caring family members who call themselves trying to teach us humbleness and humility.
These characteristics are both good virtues to have, but only in moderation. Too much of it, however, can cause us to suppress a little too much of ourselves and hide our own awesome personalities, talents, and gifts, which can grow into insecurity and in worse cases, self-loathing.
I believe that each and every one of us is born with confidence and a heart of gold. Yet over time, our environments, circumstances, and sadly, the people in our lives can slowly erode the natural confidence and goodness we were born with.
After being hurt for so long, we withdraw from others and put up a barrier to protect ourselves. We turn cold and began to harden ourselves to numb feelings of rejection and the pain that comes with it.
Before long, we regard the feelings and suffering of others with indifference- we just don’t give a crap about anyone, how they feel, or what they think. Sometimes we even grow cold toward the people who love us because we have lost the ability to trust.
We no longer have any respect for others, much less ourselves. We end up doing and saying things that only further degrade ourselves and others. Lastly, we come to that evil place where schadenfreude takes hold of our personalities and we secretly or openly, take pleasure in seeing others, especially those we despise, suffer.
Just as we take steps to protect our health, finances, property, etc.; we must also take steps to protect our self-esteem. Self-esteem determines our life course. Therefore, we should guard it as we would our lives.