Targets Can Become Social Chameleons

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Fake it until you make it. When you’re a target of bullying, you learn very quickly to either blend in with the people around you or get eaten alive by bullies. Some targets learn self-monitoring and to rehearse everything they do and say.

The mind equips itself with scripts for every situation and conversation. You pay very close attention to social cues and will mimic others behavior. It proves to be a useful skill. In short, victims of bullying can become social chameleons.

As you get older, you get better and better at acting, at getting people to like you, at impressing people you meet and at ingratiating yourself into all kinds of groups. Social Chameleons get so good at it that they can adapt themselves to any situation and to the moods of others without effort.

Often, victims of bullying learn to swing back and forth changing with their environment. They can be the life of the party or quiet and reserved. They can be introverted, extroverted, funny, charismatic, relaxed, wild, emotional, or stoic. When you learn to detect the moods of others, you adapt yourself to match those moods.

Becoming a Social Chameleon is a Common Defense Against Bullies

Understand that targets and former targets of bullying do this out of survival instinct. We become masters of deception and of cooling the anger of others in social situations gone wrong.

Depending on the situation or people around us, we present different versions of ourselves and become experts at blending in and being accepted. We become highly self-aware and good at reading the emotions and nonverbal cues of others and adapt to them and polish our self-presentations.

It becomes so ingrained and natural to us that we don’t even know we’re doing it. Many targets of bullying are bullied in school but are later able to get along with anybody and are exceptionally well-liked as adults. I have done this myself.

This is how we ensure that no one ever bullies us again. This is how we get people to like us. We know too well what not to do or say. The key to being successful at this is to not realize you’re doing it! Any conscious effort, on the other hand, comes off as contrived.

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Practice Makes Perfect.

We’ve practiced this for so long that we’ve become intuitively attuned to other’s responses to us and are constantly adapting our behavior when we feel we aren’t making the right impression. We keep a few good saves in our back pocket just in case a social situation goes awry. And we do this so well we instinctively know what’s expected of us before we make a social move.

We become uber successful at making good impressions in social encounters with total strangers and in business. Our personalities become so fluid and unpredictable that we emit an air of mystery that intrigues others, which only adds to our attractiveness. However, this comes at a very high cost!

For me, being a social chameleon got exhausting and I chose to dial that down a few notches. I’ve found that it is much more relaxing to be myself and not to give a crap what others think.

Being a Social Chameleon Only Exhausts You.

Not only is being a social chameleon tiring, the knowing that you weren’t true to your heart and your core beliefs and convictions leaves you feeling as if you sold your soul to the devil! It leaves an emptiness inside you that you can’t fill unless you start being your authentic self.

It’s much better to be yourself and to stand up for what you believe in. You may make a few enemies but it’s much better than living with being a fraud. Moreover, I’d much rather have a few people who don’t like me than to give up my identity and my authenticity!

So be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin! Embrace all your imperfections, because we all have them. Give yourself permission to say no and to voice an opinion some may not like. Because to be yourself is freedom!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When Bullies Move the Goalposts

Understand that bullies will always judge you and they will do it by default. In other words, they’ll judge you without provocation. You won’t need to do, wear, or say anything wrong because they will dissect everything until they find something wrong. Moreover, just your mere presence alone will invoke their judgements and attacks.

But know this. The negative suggestions and personal attacks they hurl are strictly to control you. That’s right. They insult you to control you. Realize that bullies want to make you think, feel, and act the way they want you to. Nothing more.

And those judgements, insults, and personal attacks come from a place of entitlement.

Therefore, you must realize that your bullies will not be happy with nor will they accept you, no matter what you do. And any efforts to win their approval will be like pouring water into a sieve.

Remember! It’s all About Control!

How many attempts to satisfy these bullies are you willing to make before you become exhausted? How long are you willing to shapeshift before you realize that conforming and adapting accordingly to their standards of who you should be will never yield the desired results?

You’ll only end up disheartened in the end. Because, just as you can never fill a sieve, you can never appease a bully.

So, stop wasting your time and energy. And stop sacrificing your happiness because these people aren’t worth the powder to blow them up. When you don’t stand up for yourself, others will only see you as an easy person and lose respect for you.

The amount of crap you put up with only determines how others treat you in the future. In other words, you teach people how to treat you by what you do or don’t put up with. And when you conform to the standards of others, you only discard your own standards.

Be Yourself in Every Way!

Isn’t it time you lived up to your own? Isn’t it time you begin living life on your own terms instead of someone else’s? Your choices, your likes and preferences, your pleasures, and your happiness should never depend on the permission of another.

Therefore, you must always be yourself. This means that you must have your own opinions, likes, dislikes, and preferences. Also, you must do the things you love most, no matter what others think. Be yourself in every way!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What Babies Can Teach Us About Confidence

Babies are so adorable! They have that charm and innocence that no other age group has. They don’t worry about what others think of them and they never try to impress others. These little darlings display sweetness, purity, complete authenticity, and hearts of gold.

Babies have not a care in the world what people think of them. They have no inhibitions whatsoever. They’re not afraid to cry and express their wants and needs. You can see it in the way little toddlers shamelessly coo, laugh, babble, skip, run, and dance. And they’ll do it in front of anyone. These little sweeties are fearless. They’re not afraid to show their emotions, express their thoughts, show their creativity.

Furthermore, their precious little souls are completely open. They give, share, and receive love with an open and grateful heart. They love being loved and doted on and will receive it with a soft coo or laugh.

Everything starts with self-love and babies are a perfect example of it.

Sadly, as time passes and these babies grow bigger, they slowly and incrementally become tainted by the ways of people and the world. Many grow up in toxic environments and with parents who excessively criticize and abuse them.

Therefore, they build a protective wall around themselves to try and keep the contamination out. Because family members and others discount, ridicule, even punish them for their feelings, they learn to mask those feelings. They collect emotional baggage as they become preschoolers, school-aged kids, then teenagers, and finally, adults.

Also, many are raised by drug-addicted, mentally ill, and neglectful adults and they build walls to protect themselves from that as well. Therefore, many must learn to raise themselves.

Low self-esteem and lack of confidence are not the characteristics we’re born with. They’re instilled in us by either by well-meaning family members who wish to keep us humble and sweet, or they’re force-fed to us by bullies and abusers.

Consequently, many babies grow into people who are under the false belief that they are unlovable. They don’t feel they deserve to have their wants and needs met. Thus, they grow into people who are filled with either anger and self-loathing, or sad, depressed, helpless victims.

Life Has Ways of Eroding That Confidence and Goodness We Were Born With.

We all go through these terrible changes, even those who aren’t bullied. Only few people in this world manage to keep that confidence and joy they were born with. Furthermore, life’s disappointments, hurts, and heartaches have ways of doing these things to all of us. However, people who are bullied and abused suffer the worst changes.

They stop expressing emotions and give up asking for anything. Why? Because sometime during their childhoods, they were conditioned by other people. These others conditioned them to think that they’re self-centered and wrong for ever needing or wanting anything out of life.

Therefore, they resign themselves to the attitude that, things are “just the way they are” and that there’s nothing they can do to change anything.

Consequently, when you tell them about self-love and how important it is, they wince at the idea because it makes them uncomfortable. But, again, other people program them to think that self-love is somehow self-absorbed and evil. I can relate to this because, when I was thirteen and fourteen years old, I did the exact same when I was first told about the idea of self-love and self-care.

The thought of looking at myself in the mirror every day and telling myself “I love you” or “You’re beautiful,” “You’re Smart,” “You’re awesome,” etc., felt both weird. In fact, it felt downright sickening because I was under the impression that it was all a sign of sheer vanity.

It’s Sad When People Can Successfully Condition You to Believe that Self-love is Vanity

Self-love can feel downright painful after you’ve wasted years and decades hating and degrading yourself. After all, it’s not something you’re accustomed to practicing. Anything new and out of the ordinary feels painful at first. Like all things, it must first become a habit. And it can only become habit through rigorous learning and practice.

‘You see? My bullies and a few abusive others sold me on the idea that any form of self-care or self-love was abhorrent and self-serving. I was under the misguided belief that self-degradation and self-criticism was a virtue. It was a sign of being humble and meek. Therefore, I thought that was what normal people did, as I watched a few family members do the same thing.

Some of my family members still do this at times and it breaks my heart. If only they could see, I mean, truly see their value. . In my eyes, their worth is more than that of gold.

The truth is that self-hatred is the equivalent of having a millstone hung from your neck. You drag it around everywhere you go because it’s exhausting. Therefore, it zaps your energy. It takes the magic, wonder, and excitement from your life. And it keeps you stuck and worse, invites more disrespect and abuse from others.

Self-love doesn’t equal Vanity, It equals Virtue!

Self-love can only come from within, never from without. It doesn’t come from a partner, a spouse, or a boatload of friends. It can’t come from a banging body or fancy clothes, hairdos, or makeup. Money can’t buy self-love. Power doesn’t give it to you and neither does prestige. Self-love comes from the heart and only the heart.

Additionally, self-love is about self-acceptance and being perfectly okay with your imperfections. It comes from being comfortable in your own skin and not caring even the slightest what others think or say of you.

In order to find peace and joy in life, self-love is a must-have. It helps you to achieve your goals and realize your dreams and aspirations. It determines your outcomes- whether you succeed or fail. Also, it helps you to better re-frame bad situations and see them as learning experiences. Self-esteem and self-love give you peace of mind.

In a nutshell, self-love gives you complete freedom! It is the key to happiness and joy!

Don’t you think you deserve to be at peace with yourself? Don’t you think you deserve happiness and joy? I do.

So, be like a baby. Love yourself. Know that your true colors are vibrant and never be afraid to show them. Dance like you’ve never been ridiculed. And play like you’ve never fallen and scraped your knee. Express your emotions. Love, laugh, and live.

You’ll be surprised at how everything will change for the better! I promise!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Life Begins When We Stop Seeking Approval

Sadly, many targets of bullying seek approval from others. Often, the people they seek approval, validation, and acceptance from are mostly people who absolutely could care less about them. Even worse, those many targets seek approval from are their bullies-  people who have absolutely zero respect for them. Counterproductive, no?

What targets don’t realize is that most others’ opinions have absolutely no bearing on their lives. 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?

Are they really so important 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?

Are these creeps people I should chase and crawl up behind?

Who are they that I should beg?

Never Give Anyone Value They Haven’t Earned

Notice those last two questions and the words “chase,” “crawl up behind,” and “beg.” They will immediately jump out at you and may even make you angry. And you know what? They should. Remember that you’re seeking their approval. Therefore, those three things are basically what you’re doing. Never seek approval from bullies, abusers, or anyone who neither respects you nor gives a crap about you. Because, when you do, you are, in a sense, giving them value they haven’t earned.

If, at any time, you must suppress parts yourself to gain validation, approval, or acceptance from another person, you short change yourself.  Realize that a bully will never add value or benefit to your life. Therefore, they haven’t earned the honor and privilege of being in your life. They don’t even deserve to be in your presence.

When you submit to and follow the standards of others for the sake of validation and acceptance, you only lower your own standards.

You Don’t Need the Approval of Anyone Who Isn’t Worthy

Stop busting your butt to gain other people’s approval because their approval isn’t needed. And their opinions need not apply. If anyone ever tries to impose their so-called rules and standards on you, especially if they aren’t your parents, or a well-meaning 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!

Don’t you know you deserve to be happy? I do.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Hate Only Damages the Hater Not the Hated

As a survivor of severe bullying and peer-abuse, I’ve seen the faces of hate- up close and personal. And let me tell you, it’s ugly! And dangerous!

I know what it looks like. I’ve felt it’s powerful and painful sting and have been paralyzed by it. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve even had it directed toward others in those days. But hatred is worthless. Most people don’t understand the damage it does to not the hated, but the hater!

The reality is that hate causes the hater more pain than it does the hated. I say this because I’ve witnessed it. In the past, I’ve looked into the eyes of my bullies- deep into their eyes- down into their souls! And I truly believe that if there wasn’t a law against murder or manslaughter, I probably wouldn’t be here today.

On the Receiving End of Hatred

That was the kind of hate many of my classmates had for me. I saw how it would burn them up inside. ‘You see? That’s what hate does. When you have hatred for another person, you’re only hurting yourself.

Because it will eat you up inside and make you crazy. Hate is a sick and twisted obsession and it can take over your life if you allow it to.

Hatred can destroy your happiness and prospects. It skews your judgement and ability to think clearly. It causes you to make horrible decisions- decisions that can alter the entire trajectory of your life.

Hate is Harmful on Both Sides

When a person has hatred for another human being, it numbs their conscience, dulls their reasoning capabilities. They will condone things they would otherwise deem immoral and evil. The hater will approve of the most depraved, heinous, and atrocious atrocities directed toward the hated person. Yet they would disapprove of it, even condemn it, if it’s against with anyone else, even a total stranger.

Hate turns even the kindest, most caring people into depraved monsters. Realize that hate destroys haters and targets alike. Hate kills.

Indifference is a better option than hate. Because with indifference, you could absolutely care less, You could care less if the person is doing good or bad, what he thinks, what he says, or what he does.

Indifference is Much Better than Hate

On the other hand, with hate, you care because all you want is for the hated person to suffer. There’s a strong desire to make sure nothing good happens for the hated.  And you obsessively seek to destroy them and their life. You want to make sure all opportunities are closed off to the hated person. This is what hate does. It causes haters to obsess over the hated.

So, if you’re a target of bullies, let them go ahead and hate on you. But don’t hate them back. Instead, be indifferent toward them, and how you do that is to stop caring what others think and do your thing, baby!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Which Would You Rather Be?

Hated for Being Smart or Pitied for Being Dumb?

I ask this question because many intelligent people try to hide their smarts for fear of hatred and bullying. They let others convince them that, because of their smarts, they come off as know-it-alls. Others tell them to dumb down because they “don’t want to make others feel bad about themselves.” They may even tell them to tone it down a little or they just might offend some people.

This is total BS!

I want you to know one thing right now! It is not your responsibility to make someone else feel good about themselves. Whether your intelligence offends others is not your problem. Their hatred of you is also not your problem.

Continue to be Your Smart Self

Understand that the reason why your intelligence may offend some people is because they are either jealous, intimidated, or insecure. It’s because of their own unaddressed psychological issues- issues that they’re trying to lay off on you.

Your intelligence may inspire some to doubt their own smarts and mental capabilities. Also, it may provoke others to compare themselves to you. Again, not your responsibility. They are the ones doubting and questioning their own intelligence. They are the ones who are making comparisons. You aren’t doing these things to them. They are doing it to themselves!

You are Not Responsible for Someone Else’s Feelings

Again, you are not responsible for another person’s self-esteem. Only they can do the inner work needed to raise their confidence levels. Therefore, if they’re too lazy to do that inner work, that’s on them!

Here’s another point I want to make: The hate that’s directed at you never feels good and can be frightening. But always remember that there’s dignity in being hated, but none in being pitied.

Yes, you read that correctly. When people hate you, you still have your dignity. But when they pity you, you’ve lost all dignity and respect!

Others hate smart people, but they pity the stupid.

Therefore, never hide your intelligence from anyone. Let yourself stand out and shine. And never feel tempted to hide your brilliance because you’re afraid of being bullied, ridiculed, or hated by others. Instead, ask yourself,

“Would you rather be hated for being smart or pitied for being dumb?”

I rest my case.

The Degraded, The Demonized, and The Damned

 

People hate it if you’re too confident, too independent, and too free. God, forbid you get too self-assured and have too much self-belief.

Society tends to punish you for those qualities. ‘You see? In this life, the world expects everyone to conform and to stay in their assigned places. Many people have invisible shackles and chains and are expected to keep them on.

If you dare to break those chain, God help you. The world will punish you. They will label you different, weird, a difficult person, and/or a rabble rouser.

However, do you really want to follow the crowd or follow your heart? Would you rather fit in or stand out?

Know that you can never achieve greatness by fitting in. Make a choice.

Realize that today’s great are yesterday’s demonized. And today’s demonized are tomorrow’s great.

Be yourself. Dare to be different. Have your own set of values and convictions. Own everything that is you, no matter how unique!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

You Should Never Apologize for Being Different

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.

10 Things that Happen if You Don’t Love Yourself

If you don’t love yourself, who will? And how can you love anyone else if you don’t first love yourself?

These are valid questions.

When someone doesn’t love themselves, we can tell. We can see it in their demeanor, their face, and their posture. We can hear it in their tone of voice and the way they talk. Why do you think these people attract users and abusers to them? Why do you think they end up with people who mistreat and control them?

Here’s what happens when you don’t love yourself:

1. You’re never able to properly love anyone else. You will be codependent- always searching to get love from another source- a source outside yourself, instead of letting love come from within. When you finally find someone who does love you, you won’t love them the way they need to be loved. Instead, you’ll only smother your partner to death because you’ll always have to be right there under the person’s nose.

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Also, you’ll be suspicious of others, wondering if your partner’s going to leave you or wondering if they’re cheating. You’ll wonder if your friends really like you or if they’re only pretending to. In essence, you’ll end up making a new partner or friend pay for something someone else did in the past and it’s not fair. Being in constant worry and suspicion is no way to live!

2. You rely too much on others to make you feel loved and wanted and be afraid of being alone. You will always believe that to be happy, you must always be one half of a couple. But understand that if you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship either.

3. You move too quickly into a relationship. Once you are in a relationship, you’ll love your partner more than they deserve and before they have time to earn that love. Also, you’re likely to scare the other person away. Realize that love needs time to grow.

4. You give away your power. When you give away your power, you automatically put yourself at the mercy of someone else. And believe me, they take full advantage. You put your own needs on the back burner and always put your partner before yourself, doing all the giving in the relationship in exchange for your partner’s love. You’ll even do things you really don’t want to do just to satisfy the other person.

You’ll stop making your own decisions and allow someone else to choose for you. You’ll also agree to every single thing he or she says. When you do this, you leave nothing for yourself. After a while, the feeling of unfairness will slowly build. Soon, you will become resentful after so long of not getting anything in return.

Never give another person that kind of power! You must have your own mind and be your own person.

5. Because you can never control how another person acts nor how they feel about you. What happens when your partner gets tired of you and decides he/she no longer wants to be with you? It will devastate you. It’s only natural that the end of any friendship or relationship is painful. But it should never be crushing. It should never feel like the end of the world.

6. You’ll be on an endless search for love and friendship. You’ll spend your whole life searching for love. That in itself is not only off-putting to others, but it’s also exhausting to you. You’ll waste your time, hopping from relationship to relationship.

When one partner gets bored with you and leaves for someone who challenges them, you’ll be on another search for someone else to take their place. And this cycle will only continue to repeat itself. Before long, you’ll have a string of broken relationships behind you. Not good!

7. You’ll settle for just anyone. And you’ll get even less than what you settled for. No one should settle. Ever! If the person isn’t the person you want or is less than what you thought they were, you’ll be much happier if you move on to something you really want. Always be selective of the friends and partners you choose and of the company you keep.

8. You attract takers instead of givers. Predatory people have a keen eye for those who are desperate to be loved and accepted. And they’ll sniff you from a mile away. These people will be more than happy to befriend or date you just to get what they want from you. Once they’ve used you long enough and bleed you dry of resources and dignity, they’ll only drop you and move on to the next poor sucker. When you stop being afraid of aloneness, you magically begin to repel predators and attract better people.

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9. You’ll repel the people who either do or would otherwise love and accept you. If by chance you happen to find someone who truly loves you, you won’t be able to relax and enjoy it. You’ll be so scared of losing the person that you’ll be too clingy and likely run them off because of your incessant neediness.

Understand that when you do this, you automatically make them responsible for your happiness and it’s not fair. Being held responsible for another person’s happiness is a heavy load for anyone to carry! You’ll only zap the other person’s energy as you expect them to fill a void that can’t be filled by anyone but you and God. Realize that only you are responsible for your happiness. No one else.

10. You stay in toxic relationships and put up with shabby treatment just to keep from being alone. You’ll likely end of with an abuser who’ll physically or mentally abuse you. Love and friendship shouldn’t be painful.

You may also end up with someone too lazy to work and who expects you to keep their worthless ass up. No one has to work that hard to keep any relationship and if you do, it’s a sign that you need to show somebody out the door- and fast.

The last thing you want is to be tied down to some broke chump who treats you like crap or won’t get off their dead ass and work to help pay the bills. I’ve seen this happen to so many people I’ve known in the past.

Being alone is a part of loving yourself. It’s not the worse thing that can ever happen to you. It’s very healthy sometimes because you get to know yourself during times of solitude.

But when you’re afraid of being by yourself, you’re likely to give others control of your life and put yourself at their mercy! STOP THAT! Never cheat yourself by settling for anything less than what you deserve!

Never put your happiness in someone else’s hands! Ever!