The Importance of Overcoming Shyness

Many targets of bullying, after people bully them so severely for so long, become painfully shy. I did. So, I understand entirely.

When a target has personal attacks hurled at them from every direction, and others scrutinize everything they say and do down to the tiniest detail, it’s easy for that person to withdraw, shut out the rest of humanity, and hide in plain sight. It seems to be the safest thing to do.

However, it’s a terrible way to live. Shyness is like a prison without walls. It stops you from being your true, authentic self, and you end up missing out on so much. Shyness keeps you from having fun and enjoying life.

When you’re shy, you don’t properly connect with others because you’re too busy thinking about yourself rather than others.

There. I said it.

You’re too busy thinking instead of connecting- thinking of what to say next, wondering what others are thinking of you and of how they can benefit you, and self-conscious of how you’re coming across. You’re too busy thinking about you!

But what if I said that there was a way to get rid of shyness? What if I told you there’s one- just one ingredient?

It’s true! Are you ready for it? Here it is.

How you get rid of shyness is to take the focus off yourself and become interested in others. And when you do that, you put yourself out there and take risks.

That’s it.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” How right she was.

When you’re so shy that you can’t bear social situations, it’s a sign that you’ve already given your power over to other people. Not good! You owe it to yourself to take that power back.

It won’t be easy. It may feel awkward at first. But put yourself out there and take risks. Greet people- even total strangers, with a smile and a “Hi. How are you?” You’ll be surprised at the positive outcomes you get and how your confidence begins to soar.

I know what some of you are thinking.

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“What if they reject me?”

Rejection is a part of life. You just have to deal with that. Better yet, embrace it. It’s a risk you must take. Life is full of risks.

But if you don’t take risks, you don’t really live, you only exist.

Realize that human beings love it when you’re genuinely interested in them. Let them tell you about themselves and listen not only with your ears and eyes but with your whole heart. Do it long enough, and soon, it will no longer feel awkward. You won’t even need to think about it. It will feel like second nature.

Only when you develop a genuine interest in other people will your shyness disappear. The key is to focus outside yourself.

So, get out there and schmooze it up! I guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised not only at the results you get but how confident you feel!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Brainwashing and Conditioning: Types of Beliefs Bullying Instills in Targets

“Nobody will ever love me.”
“Nothing good can ever happen for me.”
“Human beings are predators and love drama.”
”It sucks to be me!”

Those were once my beliefs.

Bullying is a form of brainwashing. When a person has been an object of bullying for an extended length of time, they become fearful and unwitting hold themselves back. After people tell the target for so long that they aren’t good enough, the tormented person comes to believe it themselves. Even worse, those negative thoughts, which have, for several years, been drummed into their heads by bullies, become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Because bullying is so repetitive, it causes the target to think that they don’t deserve to be happy or prosperous. This person stops taking risks and plays everything safe. They settle for far less than what he/she deserves. And they don’t trust themselves to make good decisions and to say or do the right thing.

Targets of chronic bullying have the mindset that good fortune happens to anyone but them. Also, they lose faith in humanity and come to think that all people are rotten and take pleasure in harming others. As a result, targets lose their trust in humans in general, which only causes them to lose out on what could be genuinely remarkable friendships and relationships and re-enforce loneliness and isolation.

This is what bullying does to people. It reprograms their minds and smashes their self-esteem to pieces, which can sometimes take years to put back together again. It causes them to do things that they usually would never do. I say this because it happened to me.

During the years my classmates bullied me, I did not trust anyone. I selected friends I didn’t want to be friends with and dated a few guys whom I wasn’t even remotely attracted to- all because I believed I couldn’t do any better. I did this to avoid being alone.

As long as there was a warm body around, it was “good enough.” I didn’t realize that not only was I being unfair to myself but also the people I selected. I deserved to be with people whom I wanted to be with and who were upstanding and positive, and they deserved to be with people who were with them because they chose to be, not because they were the only option. I was doing what Zig Zigler termed as “stinkin’ thinkin.'”

Here is another thing targets do as a result of bullying, they never permit themselves to be selfish, not realizing that a little bit of selfishness is okay, even imperative at times! In the past, people have repeatedly accused these targets of being selfish when they are only caring for themselves and also shamed them into believing that anything they do for themselves is wrong. Therefore, targets put themselves on the back burner and everyone else comes first, often at their own expense!

It happened to me. I became shy and shut people out for fear of being harmed. I was afraid to say “no” to people because, in the past, I had been retaliated against and hurt for daring to set a boundary. I was forbidden to set boundaries and expected to, even forced to “let” others violate me. It was a terrible situation, which eventually caused me not to value myself as a person.

And when I finally got mad at the direction my life was headed. I decided, “No more!” I deserved to be happy just as much as the next person and I got proactive. I became hungry from any knowledge that would help me change my inside so that I could change my outside!

I took my first step toward empowerment by reading as many personal development books I could get my hands on, then putting their advice into practice. And believe me! Spiritual and psychological reprogramming isn’t easy!

Anytime you set out to change destructive thoughts and habits you’ve had for several years, it’s the hardest thing to do. It takes a lot of grunt-work and, most of all, patience because the change doesn’t happen overnight.

Your mind will fight you every step of the way. It took several years for me to notice a significant difference in my thought patterns and attitude.

Thankfully, it finally paid off in a big way, and things are much different today! I want you to know that when you are a target, placing worth on yourself and doing the work to bring positive changes in your life is the most important thing you can ever do for yourself.

Don’t do like me. For a time, I let my bullies win by caving in under a mountain of pressure and giving them carte blanche to brainwash me with their abuse. However, it was a lesson learned.

Always, value yourself, even when it seems that others don’t because it will work wonders for your self-esteem and save you a lot of work later. Keep fighting even when it appears that you’re losing the battle because oftentimes when things look the bleakest, your breakthrough or relief is just around the corner.

Love yourself and put yourself first, then reach out to only those who reciprocate love and positive feelings to you. Turn a deaf ear to the harmful talk bullies may attempt to fill your head with. Better yet, send those toxic parasites packing! Because you’re worth it! I promise you!

Why It’s So Important for Targets to Meet New People Outside the Bullying Environment

If you’ve ever been a target of relentless and excessive bullying, meeting people, especially new ones, can be paralyzing. I can relate because I’ve been there. It’s easy to withdraw from social situations because you’re afraid the new person you meet will reject you. After all, it seems that everyone else you know already has, and you just can’t take another chance of it happening again.

But never be afraid to meet new people because they are opportunities for you to make friends and allies. Total strangers are the best people to meet and establish connections with. They make the best potentials because you have no history with them. They don’t know you from the bullying environment, so, you aren’t a target to them and likely will never be one.

With total strangers, you can begin with a clean slate and have opportunities to put your best foot forward and get a fresh start.

Therefore, when you meet someone new, don’t be shy or nervous. Find out what you have in common with the person to establish common ground. Be genuinely interested in the person because people love the one who’s interested in them and their lives. Make small talk and show them the awesome, one in a million you.

I promise you that you’ll be glad you did, and your confidence and self-esteem will shoot up tenfold!

With knowledge comes empowerment.

20 Things You Must Always Remember If You’re a Target of Bullying

1.None of the bullying you suffer is your fault.

2. There is nothing wrong with you.

3. You don’t have the issue. Your bullies do.

4. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

5. You are enough.

6. You matter.

7. You have value.

8. You are worthy of love and friendship.

9. You are beautiful.

10. You are awesome.

11. You are stronger and braver than your bullies ever will be.

12. The things your bullies ridicule now will be the things people will love you for later.

13. You can do a lot more than you think you can.

14. Much bullying comes from either jealousy, fear, or insecurity.

15. You’re much smarter than they give you credit for.

16. You are here for a great purpose.

17. You still have people who love you and who believe in you.

18. The best are always treated the worst.

19. You are more powerful than you realize.

20. It may not seem like it at present, but life will eventually get better.

Why Self-Love Doesn’t Mean Self-Centered

Some people get the two confused. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you’re self-centered. But you can bet that bullies will accuse their target of it when they realize she’s growing a backbone.

Understand that when you start loving yourself enough not to take your bullies’ opinions of you seriously, the bullies will take notice of it right away. They’ll realize that they no longer have power over you. To get that power back, they will try like the devil to guilt you by accusing you of either selfishness or self-centeredness.

Don’t fall for that con game! When bullies lose the benefits they’ve grown accustomed to getting at your expense, they always get irate. Right or wrong, whenever someone has had power over another person for a long time and has gotten used to having that power, then suddenly loses it, of course, they’re going to be upset- and intensely so.

But don’t concern yourself with how your bullies feel. After all, they never gave a thought to your feelings the entire time they jerked you around.

Ditch these people! The sooner, the better! You’re not being selfish by choosing to put yourself first. What you’re doing is having the courage to love yourself and treat yourself better.

Realize that the bullies are the self-centered ones, in expecting you to go on being their doormat. No one has the right to expect you to put up with something they wouldn’t tolerate if it were happening to them.

To expect any differently from another person than what they’d do shows a complete lack of respect for people other than themselves and is sheer arrogance, self-entitlement, and stupidity.

There’s a name for this- double-standard!

Remember that we teach others how to treat us. And how we teach them to treat us is by how well we treat ourselves- by the boundaries we set, our ability to say “no,” and whether we continue to allow them to be in our lives.

So, treat yourself well! You’re worth it!

Reasons Bullies Hate Those Who Prefer to Be Themselves

Bullies are fake. They have to be to instill fear in those around them. And they resent anyone content with themselves and comfortable in their own skin.

Here’s Why:

1. Most bullies are highly insecure– more insecure than others; people who are themselves are usually more charming, seductive, and graceful. An authentic person will captivate others without trying. Because of his openness and fluidity, he draws people to him like a magnet. And bullies are jealous of anyone who enjoys good relations with others.

Understand that not only are bullies insecure, but they’re also vain. Authentic people outshine them without even trying and just their presence alone makes the bullies appear less alluring and charismatic to others.

Avoid these vanity bullies like the plague because they will find a way to destroy you if you stay around them. These people will only force you to suppress your natural charm and goodness, so you won’t look like you’re better than them.

be yourself

2. People who are themselves don’t have to make any effort because they are their natural selves. On the other hand, being fake requires a lot of work. There are also a lot of worries that go with it- worries that you might slip up and get your lies twisted, that you may accidentally expose yourself through your actions, and that your true personality will somehow seep through.

Bullies resent the fact that authentic people don’t have to work and worry as they do.

But no matter what these bullies may throw at you, never be afraid to be yourself. Never hide anything about you. Because if you do, you’ll only lose a bit of yourself each time you put on an act until you lose yourself entirely.

To be fake, you have to work too hard. I’m too lazy for that. And so is anyone who prefers to be themselves.

Getting Older Does Have It’s Benefits

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No one enjoys the thought of getting older, I’m no exception. However, if we’re lucky to live long enough, it is an unavoidable reality we’ll all face eventually. And it sure as hell beats the alternative.

The reasons we fear the advancement of age is the loss of our youthful good looks, decline of physical strength and endurance and the rising possibility of illness and death…all very legitimate concerns.

I have often heard Judge Judy tell young litigants whom stood before her, “Beauty fades but dumb is forever”.

She’s right. And I believe her definition of “dumb” is not level of intelligence per se, but the refusal to learn anything new and hold on to beliefs and values which may never benefit us. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing and being from a small town, I’ve met countless people my age whom haven’t learned much and continue to hold prejudices which should have long been done away with, while lamenting about and dreading getting older.

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But getting older is certain. Why not be grateful for each day given you? And continue to learn and grow? As the old saying goes, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”.

Intelligence and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years always trumps beauty, strength, health, or anything physical because once we’ve lost all the physical blessings we once had, smarts and a good heart are the only things we’ll have left before we finally leave this world.

There are many positives to getting older. Here are my takeaways:

1. I feel very blessed to have lived this long. A lot of people never make it to be this age.

2. Being older has made me confident and comfy in my own skin, giving me the freedom to be myself without fear.

free happy confidence confident self-esteem peace

3. I have become choosy of the people I keep in my life, preferring family and a few of my closest friends. I prioritize the people I love, who love me and who mean the most.

4. I don’t waste time with people who are fake or who don’t have my back. I love myself enough to walk away from toxic people who would otherwise bring me down and I can do it free of guilt.

5. It’s much easier to say, “NO”.

6. I have gained a truckload of knowledge and wisdom!

I wouldn’t trade any of these benefits for all the beauty or money in the world, which is why I don’t toil over my age nor do I hide it because I consider it an asset and a testament to how far I’ve come.

Mary Kay Ashe once said, “A woman who tells her age will tell anything.”
I disagree.

Because, a woman who tells her weight? Now there’s a woman who will tell anything!

Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin: What It Means

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To become comfortable in your own skin, it takes several years and plenty of life lessons and experiences. It takes being knocked down enough times by enough people before you can finally say, enough is enough and choose to be happy.

And when we choose to be happy, despite our imperfections and what others think or say of us, we choose to be truly free! Free from the constraints of longing to fit in- free from the constraints of conformity!

To be comfortable in your own skin means loving and accepting all parts of you- the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

It means doing what fulfills you and makes you happy.

It means living life on your own terms.

It means refusing to apologize for who you are.

It means allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.

It means refusing to live up to standards and expectations other than your own.

It means making time for hobbies and interests.

It means making time for your family and closest friends.

It means not being afraid to say no or to set boundaries.

It means not being afraid to ask for what you want.

It means following your dreams.

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It means working toward your goals.

It means celebrating your successes and accomplishments.

It means not being afraid to ask for help when you need it.

It means being selective of friends and who you spend time with.

It means accepting and embracing differences in people.

It means having empathy and compassion for others.

It means putting yourself and your health first.

It means being realistic with goals and patient with the time it takes to reach them.

It means being present in the moment.

It means knowing your limitations.

It means knowing what you want in life and going after it.

It means being clear on what you will and will not tolerate.

It means loving yourself enough to know when it’s time to walk away.

It means knowing that you’re worthy of respect, love, compassion, friendship, and peace.

Most of all, it means the freedom to be.

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.