I’ve never been one to follow blindly. Never been one to conform without knowing what motives any authority figure had behind telling me to do so. I’m one to question everything. Always have been. And I’ve always done critical thinking and plenty of reading and research. That’s just me.
Through the years, this has gotten me into a lot of trouble. I’ve taken a lot of heat and lost many friends (or people I thought who were friends) for it. And it’s probably why I was bullied all those years in school.
But that’s okay. In fact, I embrace all of it!
I’d rather stand for something than fall for anything people feed me. I’m true to my beliefs and convictions and I’m not afraid of losing a few people over it. And I’m proud of that.
I’m not a follower.
No one ever said being a free-thinking person was easy and I don’t expect it to be.
And when people get pissed and withdraw friendship over my choice to question a narrative, I only see it as a weeding out of fake friends and people who aren’t meant to be in my circle.
To know who your real friends are, you must be your true authentic self, question status quos, trends, and popular narratives, then call BS when you see or hear it.
And I’m willing to accept it and everything that comes with it.
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.
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.
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.
Many targets of bullying, sadly, get tricked and programmed into thinking they should apologize for everything- for things they need not be sorry for. Understand that these needless apologies are a survival mechanism. Targets over apologize in hope that the bullies will be appeased and back off from harming them. I completely understand and will never fault them for that. They’re doing what they feel they must do to protect themselves.
However, their apologies, in most cases, don’t work and can make the bullying worse. And if these targets aren’t careful, they can unwittingly allow themselves to be programmed to over apologize even after the bullying threat has passed, which will only make them targets of future bullies.
What happens is that when we’re bullied, abused, and made to apologize for so long, we develop new neural pathways that rewire us to become subservient. And the lines between what we should and shouldn’t apologize for become blurred.
So, what are the things you should never apologize for?
1.Your very existence. You have just as much a right to be here as the next person. Never ever apologize for being in this world. Remember that The Lord put you here for a great purpose. You have your space to fill, and you have every right to carve it out.
2. Setting boundaries. As human beings, we all have unalienable rights endowed by God. One of which is to stand up for those rights. If someone is violating you in any way, you must set boundaries. You must call them out and make it absolutely clear to them that what they’re doing is wrong. Never be sorry for that.
3. Defending yourself and your loved ones. Again, you must set boundaries. If someone is harming you and your loved ones, you have every right to defend yourself and them. A while back, media outlets were implying that if people of European descent defended themselves against home invasions, robberies, physical harm, and murder; it was wrong because they considered it “white privilege.”
Ahem! No! What it is, is human survival and self-preservation. Everyone has a right to protect themselves from harm, no matter their race or skin color! And you should never feel guilty for defending your right not to be harmed. Never! You have a God-given right to save your own life! God gave you a brain. Use it!
4. Walking away from drama. Bullies, abusers, gossips, backstabbers, and troublemakers are people who bring us unnecessary drama and life’s too short for it. Anyone who brings you drama doesn’t deserve to be around you. You have every right to get up and walk away. Never allow anyone to make you feel guilty for that.
5. Your successes and accomplishments. When you’ve worked hard and achieved your success, you have a right to those rewards. You have a right to enjoy and celebrate the fruits of your labor. Many times, jealous, insecure, and resentful people will attempt to make you feel guilty for being successful. Don’t fall for that garbage! Don’t be arrogant, but be pleased about your success, whatever it may be. You have that right.
6. Being who you are. You are beautifully and wonderfully unique. There is no one else in this world like you nor will there ever be. Understand that the original is worth so much more than a copy. Don’t be peer-pressured into cheapening yourself by becoming just another copy. Let no one make you feel guilty for being who you are- an original!
7. Your happiness. Happiness comes from within. You, as much as anyone else, deserve your joy. If you’ve done the inner work and found purpose in your life, let no one demand that you apologize for it.
8. Your lifestyle. Unless you’re a criminal and your lifestyle is about causing others pain, never apologize for the way you live. Ways of living that are unapologetic include well-earned affluence, poverty that you can do nothing about, being a single parent, etcetera, etcetera. When it comes to these things, people really need to mind their own business and you have a right to tell them just that if they have the audacity to judge your lifestyle.
To protect your self-esteem and confidence from bullies, abusers- anyone who many violate you, you must be clear on what needs an apology and what doesn’t. With this knowledge, we have a powerful weapon with which to preserve our self-esteem and, thus, our very lives.
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.
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.
Self-confidence is THE key ingredient that everyone must have to succeed in life. When you have it,
1. you have better and more fulfilling relationships
2. you are more successful in school and in your career.
3. You have more dates, friends, are more likely to have a great marriage and raise confident and successful children.
But a Perfectionist, on the other hand, is not a confident person and has to work so much harder just to go through life. A perfectionist is insecure with herself and others. She focuses more on herself than others and is always worried about what others may think and say about her. This is why she tries so hard to be, well, perfect.
A perfectionist is both critical of herself and others and tends to have strained relationships because of her obsessive need to be right- all the time- about EVERYTHING!
She thinks that she must be perfect for others to like her and covertly seeks validation from others rather than looking within herself for it. And the outcome is usually adverse.
A confident person realizes that no one is perfect and that they will make mistakes. When that person does make a mistake, she doesn’t make a big deal about it and beat herself up.
Sure, she may be disappointed for a short while but she always gets over it very quickly and “bounces back”.
She may even have a few people who do not like her. But being the confident person she is, she doesn’t concern herself with how she’s perceived because she knows that she is awesome and that there are plenty of others who DO love her.
A confident person is a “proud to be me” kind of individual and always takes care of herself and the people she loves. She always surrounds herself with positive and uplifting people who love her and steers clear of the negative people who want to bring her down.
A confident person sees beauty where a perfectionist only sees flaws. She sees opportunity where a perfectionist sees strife and hard luck.
When I was young, I was a perfectionist. Why? Because I was a beaten down and very negative person who couldn’t see the forest for the trees and I felt I had to be A-1 best before people would like me. I had yet to realize that all I ever needed to be was my natural, authentic self.
When I began to love myself, flaws, quirks, and all, things began to change, and for the better. Now I am at peace and comfortable in my own skin.
Everywhere I look there is opportunity. Everywhere I look, there is beauty because I look for it. I love myself and the people around me.
There’s no benefit to being a perfectionist, you only end up working too hard to meet standards that are more than likely impossible to meet, spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.
Also, you end up failing miserably and in the process, looking like a try-hard.
Confidence, on the other hand, is FREEING and it allows you to be you without fear.
It also brings patience, faith, and positive self-awareness. Instead of spinning your wheels, you move slowly, steadily, and PATIENTLY toward your goals, step by step, until you eventually reach them, therefore reaching success!
Make no apologies for who you are nor what you stand for. And make no apologies for any successes nor victories you’ve had. Most importantly, make no apologies for loving yourself and going after what you want and deserve.
Bullies will get jealous of your successes and victories and try to undermine them. They give you backhanded compliments, accuse you of having “freak luck,” or call you an imposter.
Also, if you’re a confident and happy person, bullies will be jealous of that too. They will accuse you of being “full of yourself,” “arrogant,” “conceited,” and other such nonsense.
Turn a deaf ear to these haters!
Many times, bullying targets, after having been bullied for so long, end up apologizing for or explaining away the beautiful parts of their personalities because they have been forced by others to believe that something really is wrong with them. If this applies to you, I want you to stop doing that! You owe no one any apologies nor explanations for being YOU.
I want you to think about this: Perceptions are often wrong, and just because others “perceive” you to be less than does not mean that you are. Accept yourself, embrace the imperfections. You know the imperfections I’m talking about- the ones you can do nothing about, because we all have them. We wouldn’t be human if we weren’t a little flawed in some way, shape, or form. Stop apologizing, stop explaining, and begin loving yourself for all that you are.
Sadly, many targets of bullying seek approval from others, but what’s really bad is that the people they seek approval, validation, and acceptance from are mostly people who absolutely could care less about them. What’s even worse is that many of those targets seek approval from are their bullies- people who have absolutely zero respect for them. Counterproductive, no?
Even more shocking, these people are those whose opinions have absolutely no bearing on the target’s life. Yuck!
If you are a target of bullying and this applies to you, ask yourself these questions aloud:
If these people never gave a hoot about me or my life to begin with, then who are they that I should seek approval from?
Who are they that I must impress?
Who are they that I should pretend to be someone I’m not?
Who are they that I have to lie?
Who are they that I must expend so much of my effort and energy for?
Who are they that I should chase and crawl up behind?
Who are they that I should beg?
Notice those last two questions and the words “chase,” “crawl up behind,” and “beg” will immediately jump out at you and may even make you angry. And you know what? It should, because those three things are basically what you’re doing when you seek approval from bullies, abusers, or anyone who neither respects you nor gives a crap about you.
If, at any time, you must suppress parts yourself to gain validation, approval, or acceptance from another person, especially a bully who will never add value or benefit to your life, you can bet this person doesn’t deserve the honor and privilege of being in your life. They don’t even deserve to be in your presence.
Realize that when you submit to and follow the standards of others for the sake of validation and acceptance, you only lower your own standards.
Stop busting your butt to gain other people’s approval because their approval isn’t needed, and their opinions need not apply. And if anyone ever tries to impose their so-called rules and standards on you, especially if they aren’t your superior, such as a teacher or supervisor, you have not only a right but an obligation to yourself to tell that person to go crawl back under the horse-apple they wormed and wiggled their way from beneath.
Understand that you only give these creeps something they haven’t earned, don’t deserve, and have no business having- you give them your power! You give them your freedom!
You give them control over your life! The above are things they have no right to and that are yours and yours alone, and these precious commodities are those they will only exploit, use, and abuse.
But once you take them back by ceasing to care what they think, your life will only get better. Take it from me. I’m living proof.
Life begins when you stop caring about their opinions and begin living life on your terms. Try it. I guarantee that you’ll thank yourself later!
“You can tell a man’s vises by his friends, his virtues by his enemies.” – Ben Domenech.
There is value in having enemies. If I meet a person who has not one enemy, I’d be suspicious of that person and wonder if he/she were lying, mistaken, or a people pleaser. But if they do have enemies and (even better) are proud of that, it means they stood for something at some point in life.
Understand that everyone has enemies. They may not admit it or may not know it, but they do have an enemy out there somewhere.
Too many people feel that they must win a popularity contest, and they go out of their way to do it. They suck up, try to be someone they aren’t just to run with the pack, seek attention, and bully those they see as defective. What’s even sadder is that they reach a point where they don’t know who they are anymore.
They unknowingly make themselves slaves to other people’s opinions and, therefore, slaves to others. This is a waste of time and too much work. Even worse, it chips away at your self-esteem. You end up letting yourself down to please others, and that’s not good.
Silhouettes of hands are breaking the chain—freedom concept.
The only way you can be free is to be true to yourself and let others have their opinions of you, good or bad. Realize that opinions are just that- opinions, and they’re like elbows. Everybody has them. Opinions are just as cheap as talk.
So, if you have enemies, be proud of it. It means that you’ve taken a stand and that you’re not afraid to be different. If you have enemies and are okay with having them, then you have the freedom, and you can do anything you want. Always remember that.