Sadly, hate is too easy for bullying targets to get sucked into. When people have treated you so horrifically for long enough, you lose faith in humanity and begin believing that all people are self-serving lowlifes who enjoy seeing other human beings suffer. You soon become the very people you’re suspicious of. I’ve been there.
Targets of bullying often feel that their hate is justified. However, does this intense loathing serve any purpose or have benefits? No!
No matter how you were wronged by a person, never give in to hate. No matter how severely that person may have transgressed against you, do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to hate them because hate is poisonous! Not to the other person but to YOU!
Hate burns you up inside. It eats down into your very soul and prolongs feelings of hurt, depression, and downright misery.
Hate doesn’t hurt the person being hated. It hurts you because nine times out of ten, the person you hate either doesn’t know about it, or they don’t care.
Anytime you hold hate in your heart against anyone, you unwittingly give up any blessings and forego any opportunities, which would otherwise come your way. You instead invite negativity and evil into your world. You end up forfeiting your own happiness, and life is too short to be anything but happy.
While you are sitting around stewing over some idiot who has wronged you in the past, that same idiot is going about their merry way and not giving you so much as a thought.
While you are holding grudges and plotting ways to get back at them, that person is just getting on with life. They are not worried about you. They are not thinking about you. So why do you think about them? They are a complete waste of brain activity!
Hate, insecurity, grudges, anger- they are all garbage in your life that needs to be disposed of. It’s time to take out the trash and take back the peace and happiness that you not only deserve but have a divine right to.
You deserve to be happy, and the only way you will find happiness is to let go of any grudges and hate and replace them with love and acceptance. It is what I had to do before I could be happy.
In the previous segments of this post, I discussed how you should never let it push you to take your own life despite how beat down by bullying you may feel. For this last segment, I’d like to give you advice on how to overcome those feelings.
First, be positive and take charge!
Make their bullying your motivator and become that much more determined to live—to live a happier, more peaceful, and more successful life. Spend as much time as possible doing the things you enjoy and being around the people who love you the most- positive people who lift you up and make you feel awesome. Caring people. Loving people. The happier you are, the less the ignorant actions and words of any bully will affect you.
Always look your best—for yourself, not for anyone else. Always do your best at any task—so you know, no matter how it turns out, that it represents all you can do—excel in your studies and pursue your interests and talents, whether art, music, sports or anything else that you do well. Do what makes you feel good about yourself, just as long as it causes no harm to another person.
It’s okay to feel emotion when someone hurts you, but don’t get wrapped up in self-pity, no matter how bad things get. Be angry. Be sad. Cry, beat a pillow—do whatever you need to let those emotions out because you certainly don’t want to hold them in. But never dwell on them. Get out of that hurtful place as soon as you can to protect your confidence and self-worth.
Be a positive person! Be kind (without being a pushover, of course). Meet new people. Interest yourself in others and what’s going on in their lives—folks love you if you are genuinely interested in them. Let them talk about themselves, their hobbies and interests and listen to them. While they are talking, listen with your eyes focused on them. People love someone excited about them.
Show genuine interest in what they tell you about and get excited about their dreams. Be happy for them when they achieve those dreams and wish them well. Smile and greet people, calling them by name. Doing this will eventually make you lots of friends and live down any bad reputation caused by bullies.
That’s how I did it. I no longer have the horrible reputation I once had. I have such an awesome little circle of friends today and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’ve also won over a few of my former bullies from school. That’s right. Some of the people who once bullied me in school are now some of my closest friends!
I did it by taking my focus off of myself and acquiring a genuine interest in others. I did it by replacing hate, contempt, and bitterness with love, acceptance, and forgiveness. I did it by loving myself and seeing my own worth as a person. I quit worrying about what others thought of me, and I made my goal to do the right thing always.
Did that make everybody like me? Of course not. But instead of concerning myself with what others think or do, I focus on how good I make others feel about themselves. Did I put a smile on someone’s face, someone who would otherwise be sad? Did I make a difference in the life of at least one person today? Did I restore someone’s hope? Was I the difference in someone deciding against taking his or her own life?
I hope so!
None of this will be easy by any stretch. But build yourself up by building up others. Meet new and interesting people and connect with them. You’ll be surprised how having those people in your life will push aside your experiences with the bad and turn things around for you. You have too much to experience and too much good to offer. So get out there, do your best, make a difference, and enjoy each and every day for the gift it is!
If a certain student’s bullying is allowed to continue over a certain amount of time, even for as short as a few weeks, it will likely become the status quo with his/her peers at school. Once it becomes the status quo, it’s virtually impossible to assert your rights without encountering a ton of resistance and reprisals.
The trick is to assert yourself immediately before the bully or bullies grow(s) accustomed to tormenting you because once they do, in most cases, it’s too late. Once it is too late, anytime you are brave and refuse to bow down to a bully, expect retaliation…expect to be severely punished for undermining the bully’s perceived authority or power over you.
This is a warning that you absolutely must heed. Any time one certain student is repeatedly bullied over a certain period of time, it becomes a habit…a ritual for any and everyone at the school.
And when you muster up the spunk to say and/or do anything to assert, defend, or stand up for yourself, you are going against a status quo or perceived norm. And once you dare to go against any status quo, you had better prepare yourself for an all-out war!
You are a target! And bullies see you as anything but. As much as it may suck, when a person becomes a target of bullying, people- bullies, bystanders, and yes, sometimes even teachers and staff, consciously or subconsciously expect the person to stay a target.
They expect you to put your head down and take it…to just accept it, and if you even attempt to grow a spine, they will do everything in their power to break it.
Anytime a person, who has been a target of bullies over a long period of time, takes steps to take back their power, the unspoken message of the bully is this:
“No! Wait a minute! You’ve been a lowlife loser all this time, and NOW you decide to better yourself?” or “Whoa! You’ve been a doormat this long, so why NOW do you get uppity and decide to grow a spine?”
All of which translates to an even deeper message that says:
“Holy Crap! We’re not used to him/her being so outspoken! This scares us! We’ve tried A, now we have to do B, and if B doesn’t work, then we will have to resort to C to put this person back in his/her place and do it quickly before we lose our foothold on her and therefore, lose the benefits that we have enjoyed at her expense!”
This is because bullies are extremely frightened by change, especially a change in the power dynamic which has long been set. They and others want you to stay a victim because “it’s just the way things are done at this school.”. Also, bullies benefit from your victimization, and they do not want to lose those benefits (social status, gratification, satisfaction, etc.)
Your bullies’ degradation of you has become a habit…a ritual…a tradition, so to speak. And your defending your right to be safe from harm poses the threat of change, and most people cannot easily accept change, bullies especially.
Furthermore, bullies believe that it is their right to abuse their target. Yes! They honestly believe that they have a right to mistreat the person because they assume that they have absolute authority over their victim and are entitled to inflict misery on him/her.
In the mind of a bully, you as the target do not have the right to undermine nor question their perceived authority over you. Others believe that you deserve the ill-treatment and that you owe it to them to put your head down and “just shut up and take it.”
If this does not tick you off enough to make you want to snatch your power back, I do not know what will. But before you can do so, you must know the inner workings of these types of individuals. You must be wise to what it is that makes this type of person tick.
You must get abreast on the psychology of the typical school bully, his/her background, motives, how and why the bully seems to escape accountability and a host of other important and possibly life-saving information.
You absolutely MUST address it early on, as soon as you begin to see a pattern forming. Do not make the same mistake I did and let it get so bad that you either fear for or want to end your own life.
It all comes down to you. You are responsible for your successes and your happiness. Happiness is a choice, not something that magically happens to only certain people.
It’s okay to cry when someone hurts you. It’s okay to be hurt, angry, and sad. In fact, you need to allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to get angry. Permit yourself to cry it out. Just don’t unpack your things and live in that dark place.
Never let the cruel words and actions of a bully alter your outlook on the world around you, humanity, and especially yourself! Know that bullies’ behavior does not reflect on you! It reflects on the bullies themselves and their issues. Although I realize that this is not always easy.
Understand that your bullies are cowards and fighting demons of their own, albeit the wrong way, and their mistreatment of you is only proof of it.
In most cases, the reason why bullies point out your shortcomings is to distract people’s attention from their own. They’re so afraid that somebody will find out what their weaknesses are. Bullies are notorious for projecting their flaws onto their targets to keep other people from seeing theirs. It’s pathetic when you think real hard about it.
And trust me, we all have imperfections. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. Distraction and projection are how bullies operate. They would be the top two tactics in the “How To Bully” handbook if there ever were such a guide. Understand that bullies bully out of only, fear and insecurity!
Child abuse with the eye of a young boy or girl with a single tear crying due to the fear of violence or depression caused by hunger and poverty and being afraid of bullying at school.
So, never let your tormentors decide how you should feel about yourself. And never allow them to cause you to feel sorry for yourself because self-pity is so unattractive and socially repelling! I’m telling you this because there were times when I made the same mistake, and the only thing it did was bring more misery and repel people. So I tried something different. I began countering everything with comebacks, affirmations, and positive thoughts.
Only when you begin to counter your bullies’ statements will their words not have as significant of an effect on your self-esteem. In other words, your new, positive self-talk will become a buffer to the bullies’ insults and name-calling, and you won’t be nearly as hurt or saddened by it.
Remember that no matter what anyone says about you, you must look in the mirror every single day and convince yourself that you are the best thing God created. That you are the best, and sometimes, the best are the ones who get mistreated. If you must have this self-talk every minute of every day, then do it because any positive internal dialogue has to be consistent to sink in.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, try positive self-talk and praising yourself for all your good qualities and know in your heart the good you bring to this world and the blessing you are to the people who love you. Because the more you love yourself and the less self-pity you live in, the easier it will be to find solutions.
If you are a target of bullying, never share anything with anyone- not even your best friend. Because, in a situation like this, you cannot afford to trust anyone. I don’t care how close you and your friends seem to be. It’s still not a smart move because you never know when your bullies will succeed in turning your friends against you and those friends become willing participants in bullying you. If you share intimate and private details about your life with anyone, it’s not a question of if but when they spread your business far and wide once the bullies win them over.
So, never divulge any info that’s private or personal- anything you wouldn’t want to be known.
Examples of things better kept private are as follows (Some of these are no-brainers):
1. Your sex life, or lack of.
2. A drug addict in your family.
3. Any medical conditions or diseases.
4. Any mental illnesses.
5. Any legal troubles- even as minor as traffic tickets.
6. Family issues- divorce, child custody, births, deaths, etc.
7. Your past (if you’re old enough to have one).
8. Past abuse you may have suffered.
9. Your personal info.
10. Email and passwords to social media accounts.
11. Names of your family members.
12. Never brag about your daughter’s beauty pageant or your son’s perfect grades.
13. Your views about the recent scandal at school or work.
14. Your hobbies and interests.
15. The TV show you watched last night, especially if it’s a slasher show or filled with hot-buttered sex.
16. Never talk about politics! Ever! That’s a no-no subject!
Bullies are already looking for dirty laundry. So, why air yours? When you’re a target of bullying, the less they know about you and your life, the better.
Most people who become targets of bullying are genuinely good-hearted, pure, and sweet-natured and would never dream of hurting another human being in any way.
On the other hand, bullies are consistently thinking up newer and more sophisticated ways to inflict harm on others. Their hunger for power is such that they have left a long line of victims in their wake and are always looking for new targets.
Most good-natured people become targets of bullying because bullies are notorious for taking kindness for weakness. Sadly, to protect yourself from becoming the next target requires that you adapt the bully mindset. You must think as they do to predict their next move, but NEVER act as they do.
I realize this can be difficult because a bully’s mind isn’t a pleasant place to be. It’s downright ugly!
Another sad truth is that to think as a bully takes a certain degree of identifying with the person- that’s what really sucks. And if you can figure out what their next move will be, you can stay a few steps ahead of the bully and protect yourself and others.
Though it won’t be easy, as the mind of a bully can be a real cesspool, sometimes you must wade through a ton of crap to keep yourself safe and your name and reputation clean.
Bullying and life – pictured as a word Bullying and a wrecking ball to symbolize that Bullying can have a bad effect and can destroy life, 3d illustration
As a survivor of bullying, people often ask me, “What’s the worst thing about being bullied?” Here are my answers:
It’s the pinned up fear and rage you feel but don’t dare show. It’s the paralyzing social fear that sets in. It shuts you down and leaves you withdrawn from the rest of the world. Once people have bullied you for so long, you become intensely paranoid and suspicious of every person you meet. Any laughter you hear, you automatically think, is directed at you.
It’s the confusion. You know that you should take a stand against the bullies. You know that you should speak out about it, only you don’t know how to do it, and you’re terrified that it will only make things worse.
It’s the unanswered questions that play in your mind a thousand times a day. “Why me?” “What have I done to these people” “How do I fix this?” are the questions you have in your head every time bullies surround you and harass you. You know what you want to say to the bullies. “Look! Leave me the &%$# alone!” you scream inside your head but don’t’ dare say it because you know what’s likely to come next.
It’s the feeling of loneliness and isolation. When we suffer bullying, not only do bullies smear us to keep us isolated and from making any new friends, but we- WE automatically put up walls of protection to keep other people out, which only reinforces the separation from others.
It’s the loss of your entire personhood. You forget how to smile, laugh, and have a good time and how to connect with and interact with others. You’re no longer that vibrant, happy, and healthy person you once were. And each insult, each back-biting rumor, each physical attack, each joke, and each prank cuts a little deeper, chips away at your self-esteem, and brings you lower. You feel trapped. You feel as if your bullies are holding you hostage!
Bullies can ruin a target’s life! And they can alter your entire life if you don’t make the changes needed to take your life back.
I won’t kid you. To get out of the hole that your bullies have forced you into, you will have to work hard.
You’ll first need to get out of that environment (if possible), then focus on healing, and lastly, change your entire mindset, which means altering your thought patterns, your attitude, and your whole demeanor. And this change won’t happen overnight but may take years.
However, you must be patient and put in the work and time to take back your confidence and happiness. But I promise you, it will be worth it in the long run, and you’ll be so glad you put in the time and effort!
Targets often pick “friends” who only tolerate them or those who wish them ill will because they’re often lonely and desperate. For so long, they have been wrongly alienated from others due to rumors and lies that bullies have spread about them to keep them from making friends.
Because the target is so hungry for a connection…any connection, he/she will befriend anyone…and I mean anyone! They are not selective with who they call “friend” and end up latching on to people who are not even worth knowing…predators, who only take advantage.
Also, young victims often assume that to be “cool,” they have to have a big circle of friends. This is not true.
With that being said, I want you to know that if you are a victim of bullying, you do not need a whole slew of people in your life to be happy nor to feel like or be a whole person. You only need your family and a few true friends. It’s safer this way. Wouldn’t you much rather have just a handful of true friends than to have an abundance of frenemies? I know I would.
In fact, you should prefer to have enemies over ‘frenemies’ because, with an enemy, you know exactly where they stand without having to do any guesswork. However, you will always be the last to know with frenemies after being played for a sucker.
If at any time you wonder about a person…if your intuition is telling you that something is “off,” put some distance between yourself and that individual and do it fast! Instinct is trying to warn you.
If your so-called friends are only tolerating you, stabbing you in the back, or sabotaging you in any way, it’s time to eighty-six of these leaches to your self-esteem. And the sooner you do, the better!
Ever! It’s better to sit back, relax, and let Karma deal with them because I guarantee that Karma can do a much better job than you ever could. Besides, do you want to expend that kind of energy? That kind of ugliness? No. Because you’re better than that!
And they aren’t worth the effort. Revenge isn’t as sweet as it looks in the movies. In fact, it’s cancer that will eat you up inside if you dwell on it!
What’s so bad about hate is that you’re so preoccupied with the people who wronged you, and they may still have you convinced that they’re all-powerful and untouchable and that you’re powerless and at their mercy, though you may not admit it.
And this is why you’re just itching to exact revenge on them. You find yourself ruminating over the many times they bullied and abused you, and it will play over in your mind like a broken record. You’ll be plagued with the thought that they got away with it. Understand that all this will only eat down into your soul, rot, and cause nothing but more pain.
So, ask yourself. Are they worth it?
I understand that sinking feeling of defeat you get from knowing of the possibility that your bullies didn’t get theirs- that they can walk away free without the slightest clue that what they did was wrong. It’s normal to feel a sense of injustice.
And ignorance is bliss, and bullies are the most blissful people on the face of the earth! But understand that there’s a term for your bullies’ ignorance. It’s called willful ignorance, and it happens when your bullies convince themselves that they did nothing wrong and that you got what you deserved.
But realize that this is precisely what your bullies want you to think. Otherwise, they wouldn’t get such a thrill from it.
Revenge always escalates the bullying because bullies are known to get brutal to get what they want. And if you try to give them payback, it will only turn into a game of ping pong. It will go back and forth, back and forth again. It’ll be an endless game of tit for tat.
Continually replaying the bullying over and over in your head isn’t good at all! Because if you keep this up, you’ll never find happiness nor peace of mind. How can you move on with your life when you’re reliving the trauma?
Here are a few ways to reclaim your happiness and your life:
1.Seek Therapy. Never be too proud to seek therapy because it can help you process the negative feelings that poison your life. Therapy works. I’m living proof.
2. Write about it in a journal. Believe it or not, writing about it helps you unload and get it out of your system, especially when bullies have cut you off from support through smear campaigns. Not only are you building a good case and keeping a record of the bullying to use in case you go to court, but you are also providing yourself much-needed therapy. Writing is very therapeutic and cathartic. And once you get it out, even if only on paper, you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.
3. Spend time with people who feed your soul- the ones who love and care for you. Spending time with the people who love you the most can be a buffer to your self-esteem. It has a way of making up for all the hurt bullies cause you by giving you an equal or more amount of positivity in your life. Keep company with those who make you feel best about yourself. Share happy times with them, laugh with them, because laughter truly is the best medicine!
4. Capture happy moments. Again, bullies have given you enough negative, sad and stressful moments. Why not balance that with just as many happy moments? And the best part is that we have the power to create those moments!
5. Go on a trip. Sometimes, it’s just good to steal away to a beach house on a secluded beach with your family or friends. Or you can visit an out of state relative. Whatever you decide, getting out of town helps to bring you out of stagnation and revive you. It also gives you a sense of adventure, and that always lifts the mood. So, pack your things and go!
6. Meditate. Having been bullied can flood your mind with fear and negativity. It helps to shut off your mind, even for five minutes every day. Meditate on positive things. Focus on yourself and your personal goals. Meditate on God. It will help relax you and make you feel so much better.
7. Exercise. Exercise not only makes you healthier and promotes weight loss and better muscle tone, but it can also be one heck of a stress buster. Whether you like High-Intensity Training with weights or a brisk walk through the park, it increases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals to help you feel better.
8. Indulge in hobbies. Hobbies not only make you feel accomplished, but they take your mind off your bullies and the bullying you suffered in the past. So, find something you enjoy doing the most and concentrate on it. Being creative is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
9. Focus on your goals. If you focus on your goals, you won’t have time to focus on your bullies. They don’t deserve even to be an afterthought. So, focus on your goals and where you want to go. And make life all about those things. Keep doing your thing!
I want you to understand that bullies get so much pleasure from your misery. So, do all you can to add as much joy to your life as possible. And once you do, take pleasure in knowing that, if your bullies could see that you’re happy without them, they’d be so furious!
Sometimes you must play mind games with yourself. Does it sound strange? Possibly. But whatever works. Right?
No, you can’t pretend that the pain isn’t there. And you can’t bury it or stuff it down because if it’s there, it will leak out eventually. But you do have to process it and do a lot of work on yourself before it goes away.
It will take a lot of work and time to do, but it will be worth it in the end. And you’re worth it! It’s all about self-care. And there’s nothing better than investing in yourself! I guarantee it!
That’s right. And bullies will do it purposefully and for a reason. They put you on the defense to make you look “defensive” because they know that defensiveness makes a person look guilty. I’ll give you a few scenarios:
You’re a target, and the bullies go around telling others that you’re going to start a fight sooner or later. They also claim to know how you’re going to provoke the brawl and talk about that possibility as well. Even stranger is that these bullies are so confident in saying these things. They’re so sure that what they say is going to happen. It gets back to you, and you can’t understand why they’re making such outrageous and unknowable predictions.
But understand that this shouldn’t sound so strange and shouldn’t be so bewildering to you. No. What it should be is a WARNING to you! Allow me to continue.
Sure enough, one of the bullies slyly baits you and provokes you to fight back in self-defense. When you’re lured into a fight and call it out as it happened, everyone else sees you as too defensive. The bullies then stand back, snicker, and say,
“’ See? What did we tell you? We told you he/she was going to start a fight! And he/she did! We tried to warn you! And now, he/she just revealed how he did in attempting to turn it back on us!”
People then blame you for it and accuse you of being one who won’t take responsibility.
Let me elaborate:
Any time the bullies make such predictions should serve as a warning to you. It should warn you that something is going on behind the scenes.
It should tell you that what is really happening here is that the bullies are the ones plotting to provoke you into a physical altercation. Yes! You read this correctly! While the bullies are making such wild predictions about you, they’re setting everything up to happen exactly how they’re predicting so they can turn around and say, “See? We told you so! If so and so wasn’t guilty, he/she wouldn’t be denying and explaining it so vehemently!
And the more you plead your innocence and tell the truth that it was the bullies who provoked you, the more they and everyone else scream that you started the fight and that you’re only trying to avoid responsibility. Thus, the guiltier you look.
It shouldn’t be this easy, but it is!
Realize that this kind of deception is so easy to pull off, it shouldn’t work! But it does!
That’s why it pays to recognize when bullies unknowingly give themselves away and to take steps to thwart them somehow. And the best way is to call it out in front of an audience. Or better, you could say this,
“With that statement, you just busted yourselves, and you’re too stupid to realize it.”
And say it without elaborating on it any further. Because you’ll shock the crap out of your bullies and make them wonder how it is that you think they busted themselves. They may even ask you about it, but you don’t have to tell them. You can just smile and say, “I just do,” and keep walking. That reaction alone will throw your bullies off balance and make them a little sweaty!
But do this only if the bullies aren’t your bosses or any member of an authority, of course. In these cases, it’s best to keep your thoughts to yourself.