The Evil Wordsmith

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If you’re a target of bullying, do you ever wonder how some bullies are able to lie so convincingly and turn everyone against you?

It’s because these bullies are master wordsmiths. But let’s delve a little deeper. What makes them so good at wordsmithing? How is it that their words seem to have a hypnotic effect on your friends, associates, teachers, and supervisors?

Here are your answers:

1. They use loaded words and language. Good or bad, loaded language appeals to or triggers other’s emotions. And when emotions are high, the logic goes right out the window! Sadly, most people are ruled by their emotions and bullies instinctively know this. They may have learned by watching and listening to others at home or a maybe they’ve done a lot of reading you don’t know about

2. They make off-hand comments. Offhand comments can be taken in many different ways and are interpreted based on the perception of the person you’re talking to. These types of remarks often sound innocent but are meant to be highly insulting, which makes them so easily deniable.

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3. They are good at taking your words out of context. And they do this deliberately to use them against you. The intended meaning behind your words won’t matter because these bullies will twist and spin them any and every which way to fit their narratives.

4. They ask “gotcha questions.” Many times, bullies will get you in front of bystanders and people in authority. They’ll then ask you questions that are designed to trap you into giving answers that may damage your credibility and reputation.

It’s these types of bullies you should avoid at all costs. And if you can’t avoid them, find a way to learn how to counter these monsters because they can do real damage if you don’t defend yourself against them.

Should the Opinions of Bullies Matter? (In-Depth)

Indifferent.

Recently, I wrote a blog post entitled, “Should the Opinions of Bullies Matter?” In it, I stated the reasons why they shouldn’t and that the only opinions that should were those of the people who love us and want the best for us.

And it’s true. Bullies’ opinions shouldn’t concern us and for some targets, they don’t. but the more I thought about it, the clearer it became that maybe I should’ve added more to the post.

So, here goes!

Though bullies’ thoughts and feelings of you shouldn’t matter, it doesn’t mean they can’t affect us, or even hinder us.

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The reality is that the bullies’ opinions of their target can have a huge impact on the target’s life. Their thoughts and feelings of the target can determine whether other people outside the bully/target conflict feel comfortable associating with the target.

Although we don’t want to admit it and, no, it isn’t fair, the personal opinions of other people often are the deciding factor or whether we’re well-liked or lonely and hated.

Bullies influence the attitudes of others who otherwise either wouldn’t have an issue with us or would be great friends under different circumstances. The opinions of bullies have a way of spreading far and wide- making bullies out of those who, under normal circumstances, would never resort to mistreating another human being.

It’s amazing what a contagion effect bullying has on schools, companies, organizations, and communities.

We must learn about bullying from all angles. Because the more we know, the better we will be able to salvage our good names and counter some of the effects it may have on our lives.

A Deeper Reason Why Self-Acceptance is A Must

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Today, we live in a world that consistently judges us. It seems that people feel they have carte blanche to point a finger at someone else and announce their flaws and weaknesses. Sadly, this seems to be the norm.

Everyone is trying to be (or look) better than the next person and lord it over them. You see it in the media, you see celebrities calling out other celebrities in the Twitterverse and you see everyday people doing it on the street, in the supermarket, workplace, and at school.

What bullies don’t realize is that in pointing a finger at someone else, they only reverse it back on themselves. Because they’ve got to be pretty darned insecure with their own life to feel the need to disparage another person.

Anytime you come at another person without provocation, it either shows that you’re trying to hide or distract attention from your own shortcomings by trying to redirect the negative attention to someone else. In short, it’s only proof of your own lack of self-acceptance.

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Self-acceptance has always been a must-have but nowadays, it’s even more essential than ever before.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t be self-aware because we should. But too much self-awareness isn’t good because, when we’re hyper-aware, we focus too much on our weaknesses and not enough on our strengths. Sadly, this is what targets of bullying are conditioned to do after so long.

There are two extremes to everything but there’s also that happy middle that we should stay in.

We must work on changing the way we see ourselves and begin loving ourselves more because only then will we be able to love others.

If you can’t accept yourself, you won’t be able to accept others either. Being a bully doesn’t score any points and it doesn’t make you feel any better in the long run. It only makes you look like an insecure little coward.

As the old saying goes, “You do you and let me do me.”

What Happens When You Care Too Much About the Opinions of Others

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!

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!

Never Compare Yourself to Someone Else

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.

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 more examples:

Jealousy

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 is.

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.

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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 you 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.

Common Responses Targets Get When They Speak Out

If you’re a target of bullying, people will naturally expect you not to open your mouth about the harassment. Not only your bullies themselves but often bystanders and authority will automatically side with the bullies.

But, it still doesn’t mean that you stay silent because standing up for yourself shows bravery and strength and you’re well within your rights to do so.

However, I want you to be prepared for the following hurtful responses you’re likely to get when you finally do begin speaking against the mistreatment.

Here they are:

1. “You’re being too sensitive.” Understand that when people respond this way, they’re only shifting the blame to you and trying to shame you into keeping quiet about it. People who tell you this might be friends or followers of the bullies or have a personal interest in keeping you quiet, such as the reputation of the school or company, the bullies may be kin to them somehow, or the bullies may be perceived as “good for the school’s or company’s reputation.” But don’t be ashamed to speak out. You must keep the pressure on even if the bullying gets worse. Understand that things usually get worse before they get better. But they will get better.

2. “Just Ignore Them.” This never works, as bullies only become angry at being ignored and escalate the bullying. Or, they may mistake ignoring for fear. And if a bully gets in your face, how do you ignore that? It’s impossible. You might think that the best way to handle it is to put your hand up and walk around the bully and it IS a good response. But how do you know the bully won’t come after you and attack you from behind once you’ve walked past them?

Understand that when people tell you to ignore the bully, what this means is that they either don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to deal with it, or don’t have any answers themselves.

3. “Toughen up.” Again. The people who could help you don’t want to get involved. So they put it all on you. By telling you to toughen up, they’re shifting the blame onto you and trying to shame you into staying silent. Also, when you tell a target to toughen up, you’re only asking for things between the target and bully to escalate because the target will take it as a green light to tell the bully to shove it up his you-know-where or haul off and knock the idiot’s block off. Not that it’s a bad thing because, in my opinion, bullies deserve a good whack in the nose.

But those in authority have no right to tell the target to toughen up, then turn around and punish him when he finally does.

Respond to this by saying, “No. It’s not about toughing up. It’s about asserting my right to be treated with decency and I don’t have to take that mess.” And when you say it, say it with conviction.

4. “Get over it.”

5. “Don’t be a crybaby.”

6. “Stop whining.”

7. “Don’t be a tattletale.”

All of the above nuggets of advice are only meant to shame and silence you. Bullying is no different from any other form of abuse. It thrives on secrecy. If you don’t speak out about it, the bullying and abuse will only continue, even escalate.

Defending their rights concept. Silhouette of hands pointing, denouncing the hand that defends their rights

I realize that getting these kinds of responses makes you feel even worse and there’s a temptation to clam up and burrow back into your hole. But don’t! You must refuse to keep quiet about it!

Keep speaking out about it. When people give you any of the above responses, that’s when you should only double down, dig your heels in and speak louder! Because only when a problem is addressed does it have the potential to be solved.

It may get worse before it gets better, but there’s always a chance that it will get better when you verbally protest the bullying. And no matter the outcome, you’ll feel so much better about yourself knowing you took a stand.

Like Versus Respect

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

There can be respect without like. However, there can never be like without respect. Put simpler, 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 simply based on commonalities and good feelings shared between people. When someone likes you, they enjoy your company and the positivity you bring to their life.

Respect, on the other hand, is regard for another person’s safety, space, freedom, privacy, property, and individuality. When someone respects you, they may not necessarily like you, but see you as having the same rights and considerations as they and everyone else. That’s perfectly okay because not everybody is alike and shares the same beliefs, feelings, ideas, or backgrounds. Like is subjective.

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Put another way, someone may dislike you, but if you were lying badly injured on the sidewalk, they would more than likely stop and help you, even stay beside you and hold your hand until the ambulance arrived.

On the other hand, when a person does not respect you, they have no regard for your safety, space, freedom, privacy, property, or individuality. They don’t see you as having the same human rights and considerations as they and everyone else.

That person will think it’s perfectly okay to violate you because, in their mind, you somehow deserve to be violated. They will also be much less likely to stop and help you if they see you lying injured on the sidewalk because they most likely wouldn’t care if you ever got to a hospital.

They would simply act like they didn’t see you lying there, or worse, step over you with a look of contempt and keep going.

Someone can dislike you and at the same time, respect your right not to have your boundaries crossed. When they disrespect you, they won’t acknowledge your personal boundaries and are likely to trample your dignity and human rights. In their mind, you either don’t or shouldn’t have the same human rights or dignity as them and everyone else. The person will more than likely wish you harm or ill will and probably dread breathing the same air as you.

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 can’t stand the fact that the person even exists.

Signs of Dislike

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

If you are a victim of bullying, you must be able to distinguish between the two and take the appropriate steps to take care of yourself.

Disrespect is mush 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 will act neutral around you. They might even greet you and say a few words to you just to be polite, but won’t buddy up to you.

The people who disrespect you will have absolutely nothing to say to you, or they will talk terrible to you, shame you, humiliate you, try to sabotage you, or physically assault you.

The more you know.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Alone

I won’t kid you. Being alone can sometimes make a person vulnerable. However, being surrounded by negative people makes you just as vulnerable if not more so. Therefore, being alone can be much better than keeping company with spiteful people who only bring you down.

As difficult as it may be, sometimes you must weed out all these ungrateful souls who don’t see your worth to make room for more positive, caring, and loving people to come in.

Get rid of anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself and only keep company with those who love and respect you. Keep the people in your life who value your opinions, even when those opinions are strong.

If someone is not treating you like you deserve to be treated, never be afraid to let them go, even if it seems that they’re your only options at the moment.

Remember that we must do things that don’t feel comfortable and that are downright scary for any positive change to happen.

Positive change requires that we take risks!

What Happens When You’re “Too Nice?”

bullied victim too nice sappy too much sugar

Too much sugar is never good because it doesn’t only eat away at your teeth, it eats away at your self-esteem and your life. In a world with so many evil people, it isn’t wise to be a pushover because too nice equals no backbone and no boundaries.

And there will be many people who’ll take your kindness for being a fool. And don’t think they won’t take advantage of you.

Here are signs that you’re too danged nice:

1. You tolerate crappy behavior from people. And because of it, others think you’re pathetic.

2. You over apologize. You apologize for things that aren’t your fault and that you have nothing to do with. Keep this up and others will find it too easy to lay guilt trips on you whenever it is that you can’t give them what they want. They will blame you for the tiniest of things because they know that you’ll bow down and take the blame.

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3. You end up a slave to the whims of others. You bend over backward to take care of everyone else and often, they don’t appreciate it. They only demand more of you. You always feel tired and exhausted because you’re so busy pleasing others that you don’t have time to take care of yourself.

4. You say yes when you really want to say no. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or piss anyone off, so against your better judgment, you say yes rather than no. You may be dog tired and want to go to bed, then someone shows up at your door at eleven o’clock at night with a problem! You agree to help them with or solve their problem when you should tell them to take a walk and never to darken your doorstep at such a ridiculous hour! You’ll also rescue people from bad situations that are self-inflicted. You’re an enabler.

5. You take on others’ moods. Instead of refusing to let some Negative Nancy get you down, you let their funky moods rub off on you. Not good!

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Understand that the reason some people are too nice is that they feel they’re not enough. They feel they have no right to say no to anything- that they don’t deserve to take care of themselves. And it’s because they’re terrified of conflict.

They want to be approved of, liked, and loved and feel that the only way to do it is to bust ass for others. Sadly, the opposite usually results because people lose respect for you! No one respects a pushover!

Unfortunately, most don’t realize all of this until they reach your limit and get fed up! But you don’t have to waste years of your life being a doormat if you follow the guidelines below:

1. Never put up with shabby treatment. Life’s too short for that. You must stand up for yourself when someone violates a boundary, whether it be physical or psychological. Realize you deserve to be treated well and you deserve it just as much as the next person. Always speak up for yourself.

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2. Stop apologizing so much. Realize that some things don’t warrant an apology. And standing up for yourself and saying no are only two of those things.

3. It’s okay to put yourself first. Take care of yourself first. Only then will you have enough energy to take care of others.

4. Again. Say no if you don’t want to or don’t feel like fulfilling a request. Don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t want to do something or don’t feel like doing it.

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5. As difficult as it might be, don’t let the moods of others around you affect your mood. If you have a Debbie Downer who is always negative, there’s nothing wrong with calling them out on it or staying away from them. Whatever you do, don’t try to rescue them or argue with them. It won’t work.

Sometimes, taking care of yourself means facing conflict because some people will be selfish and demanding. They won’t be able to see past their own needs and desires.

Never be afraid to stand up for your rights. It’s okay to take care of others. But don’t forget to take a little back for yourself. Only then will people respect you and recognize that you also have feelings and rights.

Neediness is Unattractive and Repelling!

Closeup portrait unhappy woman giving loser sign on forehead, looking at you with anger and hatred on face isolated on gray background.

Neediness is not a good look on anyone. It’s unattractive and off-putting. To be blunt, it’s downright gross! It’s the equivalent of an overpowering stench one must hold their nose and run from to keep from getting sick.

When a target is bullied, they often become needy. Because they’re shunned and rejected for so long, they become ravenously hungry for any morsel of approval and will lap up anything that even looks like it. But they often see acceptance when it’s really only tolerance.

Anytime a target becomes needy, some people might include them in their groups, but not because they like them or want to be around them. They’ll only pretend to like the target because they feel sorry for him. And the last thing the target should want is someone’s pity. Yuck! Who in their right mind would want to settle for that?

But wait! It gets worse!

After a while, the pity that his (the target’s) so-called friends have for him may wear thin.

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Here are a few reasons why neediness is not only unattractive and humiliating but downright dangerous:

1. Any time you’re a target of bullying by everyone- the group of so-called friends who pretend to like you put themselves at risk of being made targets themselves. And they know it. In the minds of the bullies and others, they’re guilty by association. Instead of being an asset to the group, you become a liability!

2. The group is having to pretend to like having you around because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. But their real feelings about you will only seep out in ways that are not so obvious. It’ll be so subtle that you may not even know it’s happening. And you can bet that if you make the slightest mistake or they perceive the tiniest slight from you, the floodgates will open and their real feelings of dislike and hatred will come rushing out like a raging torrent. And they’ll look for any reason to make you go away even if they must treat you with blatant brutality.

3. Your so-called friends will never have your back. They’ll disappear at the first sign of trouble. When your bullies come calling, your fake friends will throw you under the bus, then get behind the wheel and run you over a few times. Understand that these people will not value you as a person.

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4. You’ll only draw people who are predators. Users and abusers are drawn to the needy like vultures to a carcass. They seek out people who are desperate to exploit their needs and weaknesses to get what they want from them. And once they’ve gotten all they want out of the person, they discard them like a dirty piece of toilet paper. You may not realize it, but you can do better than a bunch of scavengers!

Wouldn’t you rather be alone than to have friends like those? I wound hope you would.

Real courage and real self-worth sometimes require that you be alone for a while. But let me assure you that it won’t always be this way. Be patient and eventually, the right people will find you. It may not happen quickly, but it will happen. I guarantee it.

It happened for me and it will happen for you too!