Never Ask a Bully Why

Understand that keeping you guessing is half the power bullies have over you. They will never tell you why they bully you also because, in many cases, they don’t know themselves.

To keep you confused and bewildered is a power all its own. Because when you’re confused, you can’t think clearly. And if you can’t think clearly, the less likely you are to figure out what to do to escape the bullies and their abuse. Or worse- how to defend yourself, conquer your bullies, and win your power back.

Understand that bullies will never relinquish their power. Never! And to be truthful as to why they bully you would be like giving secrets to the enemy. To be honest and tell you what they hate about you would be like giving their power away to you, and they’ll be damned if they ever!

I want you to know that there’s nothing wrong with you. You must know in your heart that you never did anything to deserve the brutal treatment your bullies continuously dish out to you. They are the crazy ones. They are the ones with the problem, and they are the ones who will have to answer for what they’re doing one day, either in this life or the next.

Instead of focusing your attention on finding out why your bullies are giving you problems, focus on self-care.

Instead of asking, “Why me?” ask, “What can I do to take care of myself?” or “What can I do to remove myself from the situation and the toxic environment?” Think about what options you have and weigh each of them carefully. Then quietly begin making plans to get out of there as soon and as safely as possible.

My Story- Enduring Bullying and Abuse

I didn’t experience bullying, nothing beyond normal teasing, until I moved to a small Tennessee town after having been an Army Brat and lived in several different areas. Until then, bullying had always been something that happened to kids in the movies.

When I became a target of severe and chronic bullying as a sixth-grader at the age of twelve, I began a long lesson in the human predator/prey dynamic and a battle for my dignity, safety, and my very soul.

During the sixth grade, I never fought back. I’d been taught that decent young ladies didn’t fight. So, I took the physical beatings, name-calling, and abuse.

When I entered seventh grade at the age of thirteen, the harassment by my classmates reached a fever pitch. I was a target of what is called “poly-victimization.” I was name called, slandered, humiliated, threatened, physically beaten, the whole nine. And after enough of it, I learned the hard way that I had two choices, either take a stand and fight back or get eaten alive.

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The more I tried to set boundaries, the worse the bullying became.

The physical bullying was brutal. I suffered horrible beatings, and it escalated to the point of having a box cutter pulled on me and my life threatened.

Every morning before going to school, I would feel a huge lump in my throat and swallow hard. It took everything I had in me to step onto that school bus, knowing what would be waiting for me as soon as I walked through the school entrance.

During P.E., I was good at some sports, but not so good in others. I loved volleyball and kickball but basketball and baseball weren’t my strong suits. Music and writing stories were my gifts, not sports.

However, students and a few teachers judged me because I wasn’t an athlete or a sorority girl. I was the musically talented and creative type. So, what they were doing was akin to judging a fish on its ability to fly.

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In just two short years, I went from being a confident and outgoing kid who always made the honor roll, to a sad, withdrawn, angry and bitter girl who made C’s and D’s.

Schoolwork had always been so easy for me. I had been one of those lucky kids who didn’t have to pick up a book. All I had to do was to listen in class and do my homework (which I could get done in minutes), and I’d ace every test. But in a matter of two years, the schoolwork went from being a piece of cake to being difficult and overwhelming.

Who can concentrate on schoolwork when they’re busy looking over their shoulder and dodging bullies. Who can learn effectively when they’re constantly in survival mode?

The torment became next to unbearable, and I attempted suicide at the age of fourteen, which landed me in ICU for a week. I almost didn’t make it.

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Having my power stripped away was a hell I would not wish on anybody, not even my worst enemy. The trying to keep a calm demeanor amid so much toxicity and the desperately hanging onto my dignity with everything I had was exhausting! I felt as if I were emotionally held hostage by my classmates and yes, even a few school staff as a few of them joined in the bullying as well.

Because I felt powerless, I began to bully those who were even weaker than me in attempts to grab back some of my power, and it is something I’m not proud to confess today.

I had no one to turn to as bullying was considered a normal rite of passage in those days and something I had to deal with on my own. Anytime I spoke out about or reported the mistreatment, I was shouted down by the other classmates and told to “shut up”, blamed for my own suffering, or perceived as a whiner, thought of as weak, and ridiculed. There was no help nor relief.

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I was not allowed to be a human being. There was no margin for error.

They would minimize or ignore any good deed, any accomplishments, and any successes. And they would maximize any mistakes.

If I wore a dress and went to school all dolled up (which I often did in high school), I was trying to either impress the opposite sex or get a date and/or laid. If I wore my jeans the slightest bit tight, I looked like a whore.

If I cried, I was too sensitive. If I laughed, I was trying to get attention. If I got angry, I was crazy. If I was friendly, I was either flirting or trying to kiss up. If I smiled, I was secretly plotting something devious.

I was not allowed to be myself and it was exhausting. It felt as if I were suffering a slow and agonizing social murder.

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The last straw finally came when I was four months pregnant with my first child. I was attacked from behind, thrown over a teacher’s desk, then kicked as I lay balled in a fetal position on the floor, guarding my growing belly and trying to protect my unborn baby. Luckily, my unborn child survived and was born healthy later that year.

After the last attack, I was done with Oakley High. I changed schools, and the bullying stopped. Words cannot tell you what a relief it was to finally have the opportunity to transfer to a new school! To a safer environment! One which would be much less stressful!

I loved my new school and felt like a bird out of a cage! The feeling was of being released from a nearly six-year-long prison sentence. I had done my time in hell and now I could put it behind me.

While riding along the highway toward the new school I would enroll in, I sat in the passenger seat with my then-husband (I got married while still in high school) behind the wheel and cried tears of joy.

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It was hard to believe that it was over! The persecution! The pain that was so great I couldn’t even cry! It was all finally over! and I could start a new and better chapter in my life. Sure enough, I went on to make friends out of my new classmates, but, more importantly, my grades skyrocketed! The transformation of my grades seemed to happen suddenly and like magic!

After five years, I made honor roll again, then finally, graduation!

I now lead a successful life and use what I went through to help bullied kids today. Anytime I hear of an innocent child bullied into suicide, it truly breaks my heart.

What’s even more heartbreaking is the attitudes and remarks I hear from others around me when a tragedy like this happens! I often hear statements such as:

“But that boy was so quiet!”

“Really??? Still waters run deep!”

“But that girl always kept to herself!”

“No joke! Just as an AIDS patient keeps his diagnosis to himself!”

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“Shame on him! He was such a coward!”

“Right! Anyone running through the woods from a wild boar would look like a coward to someone sitting safely in a tree! You spend a few years being bullied by everyone you know and see how mighty and brave you are! You’ll find out how quickly your life can go to crap!”

If you haven’t experienced it, you’ll never know what it is to be a target of bullying. I was fortunate in that I survived and moved on to happiness and success. But many victims don’t, which is why writing about bullying and advocating for victims is my passion.

Although being bullied is never a good thing, I did get a few positive takeaways:

1.) Having been bullied has made me appreciate the great friends I have today. It also gave me empathy and compassion for others and a desire to help those who endure the same!

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2.) Having been bullied made a strong woman out of me. It made me more determined never to quit until I reach a goal! Knowing that bullies often bully out of jealousy and fear is the motivation for me.’

3.) Being bullied gave me the determination to love myself, put myself first, and the willingness to say “no” anytime I am asked or told to do something which does not feel right!

4.) Having been bullied gave me the determination to follow my dreams, to do things I most enjoy, and to reach success!

5.) Having been bullied has given me hope. Because I know that if I can go through bullying and survive, then I can rise above anything!

6.) It gave me a soft spot and a great willingness to fight for the underdog.

7.) And lastly, it sharpened my BS detector, giving me the ability to read people, spot a bully instantly and avoid being targeted!

Being a target of bullying almost broke me, yes! But in the end, it made me! And if you’re a target of bullying and you don’t give up, you too can survive and emerge a winner!!!

How I Knew I Had Healed from Bullying

When I could talk about and better yet, write about the bullying I had suffered and be open and honest about how it made me feel without feeling ashamed or embarrassed, that’s when I knew I had healed.

I also discovered some positive takeaways, such as wisdom, a sharper people sense, and an ability to detect lies and sense bad intentions. I also developed a determination to put my needs first and to say no. In short, I discovered the value of self-care.

I now realize that the bullying I suffered back then was only ensuring that I wouldn’t be a target later because it was teaching me exactly what to watch out for in other people. But even better, it was setting me on the path I was meant to be on. It was paving the way for me to help others!

Anytime we haven’t healed from trauma, we tend to bury it and deny it ever happened. We pretend we’re stronger than what we are, and we act as if we’re someone we aren’t. We run from it rather than admit what happened to us and how it changed our lives.

Healing isn’t easy because to heal requires that we feel the pain. We must allow ourselves to go through emotions that aren’t comfortable and that make us feel vulnerable and out of control. That’s the most difficult part. We must admit to ourselves that our bullies and abusers made us feel weak. Understand that this process will take time. It will not happen quickly. It may even take years.

But in the end, it will be worth it because once the pain and feelings of vulnerability are dealt with and begin to subside, we can move on and get our lives back. We can finally attain the happiness we deserve.

In fact, we can use what we endured to help someone else who is currently suffering the same scourge and there’s nothing more rewarding!

This is what makes us not only survivors, but overcomers, winners, conquerors!

So, know that you can escape bullying. You can heal, and you can overcome! You too can become a conqueror! Please hold on to hope!

It’s Not Only in Your Head. You Know When Something Doesn’t Feel Good

One of the saddest things about bullying is the confusion it often brings. Many bullying targets are confused and mislead as to whether or not they are legitimately being bullied or only being paranoid.

Oftentimes, when an individual is bullied, and they defend themselves, others may trivialize the bullying or dismiss it. They tell the target that “it’s only in your mind” or “you’re just paranoid.” Half the time, people convince the target of the above statements, which only forces him to endure the torment in silence. Bullying cannot thrive without silence.

Therefore, the bully is let off the hook and is free to target the same individual again in the future. The bully gets the message loud and clear that it’s okay to target this person simply because they can – and with impunity.

After so long, the target feels as if it is somehow wrong to report and stand up to bullies. He then questions his own sanity, thinking, “Maybe it really is only in my mind.” and often grows silent for fear of being gaslighted and seen as “paranoid,” “crazy,” “overly sensitive,” or other labels that undermine and steal his voice.

Let me enlighten you: It’s not only in your imagination. You are not overly sensitive. You are not a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy, or whatever else unsavory people may call you.

Always remember that bullies are very skilled and convincing liars. You always know when something does not feel good because your brain and gut will alert you!

You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you.
You can see and hear them talking through their teeth.
You can hear the short and cold tone in their voices.
You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude.


This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people, pronto!

Anyone who causes you to feel bad does not deserve the time of day from you. It does not matter if they are rich, smart, good-looking, popular, successful, cool, or tough.

If they cause you to feel less than, ditch them! Weed. Them. Out! They are not worthy of even being in your presence. Never allow anyone to violate your boundaries, whether physical or psychological.

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Self-awareness is key, as is awareness of everyone and everything around you. You must get to know yourself. You must get absolutely clear on what you will and will not accept. Only then will you be able to tell the difference and send your bullies packing.

You’re Not Only Imagining Things: You Know When Something Doesn’t Feel Good

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One of the saddest things about bullying is the confusion it often brings. Many targets of bullying are confused and misled as to whether or not they are legitimately being bullied or only being paranoid.

Oftentimes, when an individual is bullied and they defend themselves, others may gaslight the person by either trivializing the bullying or dismissing it. They tell the target that “it’s only in your mind” or “you’re just being paranoid”. Half the time, people convince the target of the above statements, which only forces him to endure the torment in silence. Bullying cannot thrive without silence.

Therefore, the bully is let off the hook and is free to target the same individual again in the future. The bully gets the message loud and clear that it’s okay to target this person simply because they can – and with impunity.

After so long, the victim begins to feel as if it is somehow wrong to report and stand up to bullies. The victim then questions their own sanity, thinking, “Maybe it really is only in my mind.” and often grows silent for fear of being gaslighted and seen as “paranoid”, “crazy”, “overly sensitive” or other labels that undermine and steal their voice.

If you’re a target of these mind games, let me assure you: It’s NOT only in your imagination. You are not being overly sensitive. You are not being a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy or whatever else unsavory people may call you.

Always remember that bullies are very skilled and convincing liars. You always know when something does not feel good. Your brain and your gut always let you know when something isn’t right!

You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you.

You can see and hear them talking through their teeth.

You can hear the short and cold tone in their voices.

You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude.

This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people, pronto!

Defending their rights concept

Anyone who causes you to feel bad does not deserve the time of day from you. It does not matter if they are rich, smart, good looking, popular, successful, cool or tough.

If they cause you to feel less than, ditch them! Weed. Them. Out! They are not worthy of even being in your presence. Never allow anyone to violate your boundaries, whether physical or psychological.

Self awareness is key, as is awareness of everyone and everything around you. You must get to know yourself. Listen to your body and the sensations you feel.

It is imperative that you get absolutely clear on what you will and will not accept. Only then will you be able to tell the difference and send your bullies packing.

Is Low Self-Esteem Something We’re Born With?

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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.

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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.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

A Deeper Explanation of Power

Everyone wants to have power. You, me, everyone. It’s human nature to seek power. Because to be completely powerless is hell on earth. That’s why I say, everyone wants power, if only a little of it.

When a person is totally powerless, they live their life on autopilot. In essence, they are as a leaf being blown around in the wind. They’re a sailboat without a sail- being blown on whatever course life dictates for them. And it’s a terrible way to live because, without power, you don’t live. You only exist!

Really stop and think about it for a moment. To have power over nothing! Can you imagine it? It’s hard to, isn’t it? It would be the worst thing that could ever happen to you!

Normal people do not have to hurt others to achieve power. They feel powerful through making accomplishments and achievements. They get power from being able to control their own lives, not someone else’s.

People who aren’t bullies get their sense of power through having success in their jobs, their family life, their talents, their finances, and their physical health.  Therefore, people start their own businesses or do strenuous workouts every day. It’s also why they display their talents and gifts. And it’s why they take pride in their families.

For instance, a mother gets her sense of power from her ability to create a good home for her babies. A comedian gets his sense of power from doing stand-up comedy and his ability to make people laugh. A singer gets her sense of power from her ability to entertain people with her beautiful voice, through song. An athlete gets his sense of power through competing in and winning at a sport, and a student gets her sense of power through making exceptional grades, getting diplomas/degrees, and winning titles, such as Honor Roll, Summa Cum Laude, or Magna Cum Laude. And they all do it without stepping on others.

Understand that getting power this way doesn’t require hurting others and there are no winners and losers. There’s equality, cooperation, and mutual respect. This kind of power is known as personal power.

In her book, “The Abusive Relationship,” Patricia Evans puts power in two categories- personal power and power over.

Personal power is power over your life’s trajectory. It’s the power to direct your own path- to choose your own wants, having the autonomy to make choices and decisions for yourself, and to do your own thing. There’s no need to harm another person because you are already the director of your own life-movie. Having personal power puts you in the driver’s seat of your life and you are the one who chooses your destination and which route you want to take to get there.

You are the captain of your own ship. The winds may change and blow you off course, but with personal power, you have a rudder to steer your ship back on course. You may have to take detours, and yes, you may have to take the long way to your destination, but you know where you’re going, and you eventually get to where you want to go.

Sadly, bullies cannot achieve personal power. Why? Because bullies are incompetent fools who have no intelligence (social or otherwise). They also have no sense of responsibility, no talent- no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The only way bullies can achieve satisfaction, happiness, success, or self-actualization (power) is to inflict harm on others. The only way they can achieve power in their jobs, families, finances, etc. is by steamrolling people. Bullies are so inept they can’t even survive in this world without hurting others. This kind of power is called power over.

Power over is lording it over another person through force, coercion, and trickery. Power over violates boundaries. It shows no respect or regard, and it seeks to oppress and block the target from all the good things in life- love, peace, success, happiness- freedom. In power over there is a winner (the bully) and a loser (the target). Power over is a zero-sum game. Always!

Power over is against personal power and it only takes it away.

If you’re a target of bullying, it’s so important that you begin taking steps to take back your personal power. Only then will you be free. You will finally begin living instead of existing.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

A Zero-Sum Game

That’s what bullying is, a zero-sum game- where the bullies have all the power, and the target has their personal power stolen from them. Bullies believe that in order for them to attain happiness, their targets mustn’t have it- for them to have joy, their targets must suffer. It’s an unhealthy balance not only for the target, but for the bullies too.

To inflict pain on the target makes the bullies feel like kings and queens, like they’re superior to and better than another person. To rule over someone gives bullies a rush of power and control and to keep getting that rush- that power-high, bullies must keep up the torment and even worst, escalate it. In other words, they must continue to expend effort to keep the target from attaining happiness.

Bullies use the target as their scapegoat to blame all their troubles in life on and unleash all their pinned-up hostilities and aggressions on.

If the bully loses out on an award, the target is suddenly to blame.

If the bullies lose a ballgame, it’s the target’s fault.

If one of the bullies has a falling out with another family member, it’s because of the target.

If the bullies couldn’t get laid the night before, the target gets the blame.

If it rained when the bullies wanted sunshine, blame the target.

If the bully made an F on his report card, or didn’t finish a project in time, it’s the target’s fault because the target didn’t let the bully cheat off him or take credit for his work.

The bullies see the target as their sacrificial lamb. They force the target to take the rap for all their mistakes, screw-ups, flaws, and shortcomings. The target is a convenience to the bullies because he/she is a tool to help the bullies forget all about their insecurities, fears, inhibitions, flaws, and imperfections. In other words, the bullies get to unleash all their issues and feel light as a feather while the target must be weighed down with everyone else’s problems. Hence, the imbalance, or more appropriately, the zero-sum.

Even bullies find themselves in situations where they feel weak, indignant, wronged, and where they feel unimportant and unwanted. And the target is just the villain they need to place all their anger, bitterness, and frustrations on.

The target is forced to take all the blame, all the beatings of their soul and spirit, all the abuse while the bullies ride high on dominance and control.

When a target has their personal power taken from them, he then becomes powerless. The game then becomes zero-sum, because it’s the people with all the power against someone who is powerless.

If you’re that target, know that your true power resides within you and it’s something nobody can take away from you unless you unwillingly allow them to. And your power comes with the realization that you deserve to be treated with respect and that you don’t have to tolerate people or environments that are toxic or harmful.

Tap into that power and you’ll be able to tip the scales and restore balance to power. Even better, you’ll find peace and confidence you never thought possible.

The Difference between Dislike and Disrespect

There can be respect without like. However, there can never be like without respect. Put more straightforward, a person doesn’t have to like you to respect you, but they do have to respect you to like you.

Respect and like are different in that like is based on commonalities, and good feelings shared between people. When you like someone, you enjoy their company and the positivity they bring to your life. On the other hand, respect is regard for another person’s safety, space, freedom, privacy, property, and individuality.

When you respect someone, you may not necessarily like the person, but you see them as having the same rights and considerations as you and everyone else.

A conceptual look at respect, esteem, appreciation, recognition.

To not like somebody means you have nothing in common or just don’t want to be around the person. That’s perfectly okay because not everybody is alike and shares the same beliefs, feelings, ideas, or backgrounds. Like is subjective.

But to not respect someone means that you have no regard for their safety, space, freedom, privacy, property, or individuality. In other words, if you have no respect for a specific individual, you don’t see them as having the same human rights and considerations as you and everyone else. And when you don’t respect someone, you will think it’s perfectly okay to violate that person because they somehow deserve to be violated.

Therefore, you can dislike someone but respect their right not to have their boundaries crossed. When you disrespect someone, you won’t acknowledge that person’s boundaries, and you are more likely to trample their dignity and human rights.

In your mind, the person either doesn’t or shouldn’t have the same human rights or dignity as you and everyone else. You may wish the person harm or ill will. You may not want to breathe the same air as the person.

Signs of Dislike

1. Nothing in common with the person. You wish them well, but you’d prefer not to go on long trips with them. You have no problem coexisting.

2. You see them as having the same human rights and you and anyone else, and you won’t bully them nor place them in danger. You only don’t have anything in common with the person.

Signs of Disrespect

1. Lack of regard for the person’s freedom- this could include belittling their opinions and ideas, taking away their freedom to speak by talking over them when they are speaking, getting angry with them if they would rather spend time with family than with you or the group.

2. Lack of regard for the person’s safety- you bully them or put them in danger of being physically hurt. You don’t want to coexist.

If you are a victim of bullying, you must distinguish between the two and act appropriately. Disrespect is much worse than dislike. Dislike is a part of life and much easier to deal with. Disrespect, on the other hand, is harmful.

The people who dislike you won’t necessarily try to hurt you but act neutral around you. They might even say a few words to you to be polite. They just won’t be buddy-buddy with you.

On the other hand, people who disrespect you will violate you. They will shame you, humiliate you, try to sabotage you, and physically assault you.

If the people around you dislike you, it’s their loss, and you can still be around them if you must.

However, if they disrespect you, then it’s time to either walk away from them or send them packing, one of the two. People who regard you with disrespect don’t deserve a place in your life!

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Why Bullies Need Targets

They want you to think that you need them! You don’t. In fact, it’s just the opposite. They need you! Let me explain further:

Bullies need targets as guinea pigs on which, to demonstrate their perceived power and might.

They need victims to feel better about themselves.

Bullies need targets to blame their stupidity and bad behavior on.

Bullies need victims to scapegoat and to be a dumping ground for all their problems and shortcomings.

If you’re a target, Your bullies need you as a shield to cover their own cowardice.

They need you to entertain and get laughs from their audiences.

And they need you to look cool and in control in front of everyone else.

Understand that bullies need you more than you will ever need them!