A New Perspective on Betrayal

Targets of Bullying are most susceptible to betrayal by those who masquerade as friends. The reason for this is that they long for friendship so much so that they attract abusers and users who will only exploit this longing to achieve their own ends. However, at different times in our lives, we’ve all experienced betrayal. Someone we thought was a friend did the unthinkable. And, when it happens, it’s like being kicked in the stomach.

It hurts much worse when you’re screwed over by a friend because you trusted this person. You may have even loved them. This is something you expect from an enemy, but never a friend. Therefore, when an enemy strikes against us, it’s much easier to deal with. However, when it’s someone we trusted and thought highly of, the pain is much worse. In fact, it can be devastating.

Therefore, once you’ve been betrayed, it can be hard to trust anyone else who comes into our lives, even those who may be sincere. When we meet new people thereafter, we proceed with caution and regard others with suspicion. This isn’t good either.

Why? Because, when we allow a past betrayal to cause us not to trust, we only push away those who may be sincere. We, in essence, give the creep who betrayed us power over our future relationships.

Sadly, I went through a phase during my twenties when I too was suspicious of everyone. I thought they all had ulterior motives and kept them at arm’s length. I let the fear of being hurt cause me to push others away and as a result, my relationships suffered.

Don’t Give The Person Who Betrayed You Power over Future Relationships

However, I’ve since realized that, with each person we meet and each new friend we make comes a degree of risk. Everything comes with a certain amount of risk and here’s no getting around it. And you either take the risk or you end up miserable and lonely.

Everything we do comes with risk, whether it’s going for a walk or driving to the supermarket. But you wouldn’t stop driving because of the chance of having an automobile accident. So, why would you refuse to meet and make friends because of the chance of being betrayed?

Again, life’s full of risks and you can’t allow fear to stop you from living. You must live life and you must live it to the fullest!

With Every New Person You Meet Comes a Degree of Risk

Therefore, I refuse to allow some lowlife from my past to cause distrust in humanity. Hell, no! I believe in giving the new people I meet a chance and not making them pay a debt they don’t owe. If they blow that chance, then that’s on them, and they would only reveal their true colors.

In closing, you must know that anytime you’re betrayed, the best you can do is to drop the person and move on to someone who’s deserving of your time. Understand that your time and you company are valuable. And you shouldn’t waste it with some chump who doesn’t deserve the privilege of being in your life. So, ditch and switch, baby!

But, whatever you do, don’t let betrayal cause you to distrust humanity and shut new people out! That’s a recipe for misery!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

You Don’t Lose Friends, You Lose Frauds

When you’re a target of relentless bullying, losing so-called friends becomes the norm. Sadly, this is the reality for many who fall into this category.

Most targets of bullying suffer deprivation of human friendship and therefore, they have no sense of belonging. We humans are hardwired for socialization and connection. When bullies meticulously strip those things away, it can be devastating. After they’ve suffered this deprivation for so long, targets can become desperate for even the tiniest crumb of affection.

Neediness always invites abuse.

In life, there will be people who come into your life not to help you but to harm you. Not to love you but to leave you.

Understand that when bullies target you, they beat you down,  and render you sad, lonely, and worst of all, desperate! Add all this together and you have a stinking, toxic cocktail of vulnerable.

Realize that evil always attaches itself to those whom bullies have weakened and made most vulnerable. People smell desperation from a mile away and the target will repel those who are emotionally healthy and attract only the lowlifes whose only intentions are to use and abuse.

Predatory users love to catch you when you’re most vulnerable. When you are rendered powerless, you will draw in fake friends. They’ll be those whose only intentions are to use you until they get all they can out of you. Many will act as friends to hurt and humiliate you.

These people may use you for money or material things or they may simply use you for social benefits. Also, they may use you for the psychological payoff of taking domination of you. Whatever it is, know that they aren’t here for your benefit, they’re here for theirs.

So, when do these frauds show their true colors?

Many targets of bullying are shocked and dismayed when the monster finally shows its face. The target may say something totally innocent, but something the fake friends doesn’t like. Suddenly, the mask falls off and the poor target finds out the hard way that this person really isn’t a friend at all. The fake friend then turns their back and becomes an enemy. They may even bully the target like everyone else.

Here’s when they show their true colors:

1. When you stand up for yourself.

2. When you’re not afraid to be yourself.

3. When you speak your truth and stand on it.

4. When you let your opinions, beliefs, and convictions be known.

5. When you call them or someone they like out on their bullshit.

How do you recognize a true friend?

A true friend may not necessarily agree with you, but they’ll always respect your opinion. They will always accept that you’re a different person with your own set of values. And they’ll never turn their back on you or get hateful toward you for those differences.

True friends will allow and even encourage you to be yourself, speak your truth, and stand behind it. They wouldn’t want you to be fake for the sake of pleasing others.

Understand that if at any time, a person who claims to be your friend doesn’t allow you to be yourself. Or if that person doesn’t allow you to speak your mind, or show your emotions, that person is not a friend. Therefore, you should re-evaluate that friendship and give this person the old heave ho.

Know that you deserve better friends than them. That’s why it’s so important that you love yourself enough to know when it’s time to let go and move on. Because some people just aren’t worth your time. Always remember, you don’t lose friends, you lose frauds.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

5 Negative Outcomes of Being Targeted for Bullying

As a survivor of bullying, people often ask me, “What’s the worst thing about being bullied?” Here are my answers:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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!

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Bullies Aren’t the People Who Are Most Hurtful to Their Target. So, Who Are the People Who Are Most Hurtful? (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1…)

When you’re a target of bullying in school or at work, you can’t afford to put all your trust in anyone, not even those who seem to be your friends. I’m not suggesting you be completely paranoid, only nonchalant. Because in a toxic area, you will have a few nosy wolves in sheep’s clothing around you, who will try to get close to you for no other reason than to probe for intimate details about you and your life.

They will also study you like a lab-rat to see how you react to certain things and find out your opinions, especially opinions of your bullies and other people you go to school or work with. Why? So they can take the juicy deets and report back to your bullies with them.

Here are ways that you can pick up on your classmates or coworkers’ hidden attitudes and intentions.

1. Always observe the people around you – without looking like you’re watching, of course. Use your peripheral vision to scan them and your environment, and you’ll quickly pick up on the moods and sense the elephant in the room (if there is one).

2. Look for body language that isn’t congruent with words and context – Actions speak louder than words. If their body language isn’t congruent with words, background, or the situation and shows even a hint of hostility and discomfort when they’re around you, then “Houston, we have a problem.”

back-stabbing colleagues threatening an employee with scissors and knife

3. Watch for micro flashes – If you’re not careful, you’re likely to miss those tiny, split-second micro flashes of contempt people give without realizing it or when they think you aren’t aware of it. There are good actors; don’t get me wrong, but there are certain things the body gives away involuntarily, and if you look for it, you’ll see it.

When you’re around fake friends, sometimes, as you turn your back, you’ll see a tiny micro flash of contempt on their faces out of the corner of your eye. Then, you’ll get that nagging feeling in the pit of your gut. Don’t ignore that because you don’t only imagine things! Eighty-six, these creeps fast!

4. Notice the person’s feet – You can tell a lot by the feet! If the person is talking to you, facing you, but their feet are pointing away from you, that means they aren’t as “with you” as you think. Put some distance between you and that person.

5. Watch for crossed arms while talking to the person – If you’re having a conversation with the person and they cross their arms over their chest, that’s a dead giveaway! They’re exhibiting closed body language, and they’re closing themselves off to anything you have to say. It’s time to make an excuse to end the tete-a-tete and walk away. You don’t want this person around you.

6. Looking at you without blinking – if they do this, it’s a sure sign of contempt, or they’re trying to intimidate you. Either way, this person is not the person you want to be around.

7. Other signs to look for – a furrowed brow, one corner of the lip slightly raised, an icy, piercing stare, smiling at you with their mouth but not the eyes (no crinkles around the eyes). Any of these signs, you might want to distance yourself.

8. If they look at you, then look at each other when you walk away – again, you want nothing to do with these people.

9. Watch what you share– Very important! Don’t tell anyone anything they don’t need to know. Not even to those who seem friendly Don’t reveal information that’s better off private. Don’t badmouth anybody, especially the bullies, to anyone. They may smile in your face, but you can be sure they’ll report back to the bullies with anything you say and try to fan the flames.

10. Watch for eavesdroppers – If you have an innocent conversation with someone in the hall, be on the lookout for eavesdroppers. Don’t talk near corners or open doors. Many times people will listen in on your discussion, then report back to the bullies with it. Pay attention to people who walk by.

And if you see other people standing around while you’re speaking and those people aren’t a part of the conversation, take the discussion to a place more private.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies Aren’t the People Who Are Most Hurtful to Their Target. So, Who Are the People Most Hurtful?

It wasn’t the attacks from the bullies themselves. The bullies were the people from whom I’d come to expect that kind of behavior. From them, any vitriol, any vile and disgusting words and actions came as no surprise to me!

What hurt more than anything was the betrayal– when those I thought were my friends would so quickly and without question believe the lies and rumors that my bullies had spread. It was akin to being kicked in the stomach. Also, these so-called friends in school never had my back. Some even had the power to stop the bullying and protect me but refused, only throwing me under the bus.

Friends are supposed to be the people who believe the best of you. They are supposed to have your back any time someone attacks you. They’ll speak on your behalf when another person so much as badmouths you behind your back but in front of them, and they’ll stick up for you even when you’re not around to see them do it. Real friends are with you no matter what, especially when the chips are down. They will go to hell and back for you.

But sadly, during school, the people I thought I could trust did the opposite; they’d either go along with or believe the lies- and without bothering to ask me first!

My fake friends often sold me out- delivered me up to my bullies- with my head on a plate.

Rejection and mistreatment from a bully are easier to deal with because, from a bully, you expect nothing more. It’s much harder to take when it comes from someone you think is a friend and think highly of. When I look back now, I realize that I didn’t have friends in school until I was in the twelfth grade.

Before senior year, I only kept these so-called pals around and put up with them because they were the only options I had. It was pathetic.

The betrayals I suffered years ago is why I’m so selective of who I let in my life today. It’s also why I prefer to keep my circle small. I’d rather have only a handful of real friends than a million half-baked, fake ones. But we don’t value ourselves like we should when we’re teenagers and haven’t been in the world very long.

Too many people are overly concerned with having a large number of friends but don’t realize that real friends- people who have your back, who have your best at heart and will go to bat for you under the worst conditions- are a rare commodity and don’t come around every day.

Finding genuine friends is like opening a thousand empty oysters and finding only five or six pearls. These are the friends who are worth more than gold! And if you have them, you’d better appreciate them for all that they are!

When I meet a new person for the first time, I no longer wonder whether they’ll like me; I now wonder if I’m going to like them. I choose who I let in and who I give the boot, and if I stop having anything to do with someone, you can bet they betrayed me somehow, and I consider betrayal a deadly sin that will get someone dismissed very quickly.

I know what I want in a friend, and I won’t settle for anything less because anything less than desired is unacceptable. Loyalty is a virtue I look for, and if the person isn’t loyal, they aren’t worthy!

I want you to understand that if you have friends who are so quick to believe the lies your bullies tell them that they get angry with you and refuse to speak to you, guess what? These people are not your friends. They never were! Why else would they take your bullies’ word over yours and be so quick to turn against you?

Maybe those you thought were your friends only tolerated you because they felt sorry for you. And why would you settle for someone’s pity? Or, maybe your so-called friends didn’t have many options themselves, and you were only a second choice friend, or worse! The last-resort-friend! Ewww! Who wants that!

If you have friends who don’t stand with you and fade into the woodwork when your bullies attack you, they’re not worth your time or energy. Friends like that don’t deserve the privilege of being a part of your life. You’re better off without them.

You need to ditch these losers and find better friends, even if it means you have to be by yourself for a while. Hey, I know it sucks. Nobody wants to be alone. However, you must learn to be your own best friend before anyone else can.

Sometimes you must clean out all the trash to make room for the good stuff- the people who deserve to be in your life.

Continued in Part 2…

Giving Toxic People The Boot

Toxic people! They’re the people who are ungrateful, who are notorious gossips, complainers, and whiners- the Negative Nancies and Debbie Downers of the world. Toxic people undermine your accomplishments and successes and stun you with backhanded compliments. In a nutshell, they suck the oxygen out of the room with their negativity and make you want to run for the nearest exit when you see them coming.

I can’t stress enough the importance of giving these happiness thieves the old heave-ho and the things it can do for your self-esteem.

As tweens, teens, even in our twenties, it is only natural that we all want to be liked, be cool, and be accepted by our peers. However, when you are a target of bullying, those wants can be hard to attain due to lies and rumors that bullies may spread to keep their victims isolated and alone.

You see? The last thing a bully wants is for anyone, and I mean ANYONE, to like you or want to be friends with you.

Often, bully targets will become desperate for friends- for any human connection with anyone their age. As a result, they may get involved with the wrong people-people who only tolerate them.

But because these new people in the target’s life are not directly abusing them (hitting, shouting, name-calling), the victim may mistake this as a friendship and latch on. Or they may feel that it’s the best they can do and there’s nothing better out there for them. But targets can do better. They just don’t know it.

And while the targets’ back is turned, his “new buddies” at school or at work are rolling their eyes and talking through their teeth. These people are no better than the bullies. They only feel sorry for the target.

These people are toxic. I understand that being alone is tough. I’ve been there. But wouldn’t you rather be alone than to crawl up behind people who only tolerate you? I know I would.

Be selective of who you call “friend” because a smiling face does not a friend make. And anyone who makes you feel bad does not deserve the privilege of knowing you. So, get rid of them and fast!

You may be friendless for a time, but I promise you will meet new people and make friends. You are worth it! For now, just spend time with family and do the things you enjoy. Better people will be placed in your life when you least expect it.

It pays to be your own best friend.

With knowledge comes power!

5 Terrible Outcomes of Being Targeted for Bullying

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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!

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Bystanders, Friends, and Guilt by Association

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Understand that to achieve their goals to isolate the target, bullies will threaten and punish anyone they see having anything to do with the target.

Nobody wants to be ostracized. Nothing wrong with that. However, when bullies slander you and friends turn against you so easily, it speaks volumes about the kinds of people they are. And sadly, very few people have the sack to stand up to bullies. It stinks, but it’s the gospel truth.

Most people will do anything- and I mean anything to keep from being socially isolated. Most will even turn their backs on their closest friends.

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But understand this. Anybody who claims to be your friend but doesn’t have your back is not your friend! And when it comes to your bullies, you must ask yourself these questions:

1. Who are they (the bullies and anyone else) to set standards for you?
2. Who are they to tell you what standards you should live up to?
3. Who are they to tell you to change?
4. Who are they to tell you how to dress, how to act, and how to live?
5. What authority do they have to make any rules that you should follow?
6. Who died and made them the authority over you?
7. What power do they have to tell everyone else who to associate with and who not to?

If you’re a target of bullying who’s just been abandoned by everybody because the bullies have influenced them to do so, you must also ask yourself this question:

1. Would you even want to be friends or associate with a bunch of pathetic wussies who are so weak and spineless that they’ll bow down to pacify a bunch of bullies? Do you want to associate with anyone who’s too chicken to stand behind you?

I want you to understand that anyone who says ‘yes’ to bullies and turns on you so quickly didn’t have much sack, to begin with. They were never even worth knowing. Because they only proved to you that they’re worthless and can never be trusted. You don’t want a bunch of wimps for friends. I know it hurts when someone you thought so highly of suddenly throws you under the bus!

Believe me, I’ve been there, and betrayal by people you thought were friends is the most painful part of being a target of bullying. But, as painful as it is, you need to realize that not everyone is worth your time. Not everyone deserves your friendship. So, when people turn against you, understand that it’s only the trash taking itself out!

What you want are strong and brave friends- friends with substance! You want friends with the cajones to have your back and tell the bullies to go take a long walk off a short pier!

Let me warn you. Great friends are hard to find. Because the strong and true are few in this world. Most people really are a bunch of bagless, weak-kneed wusses. Just as a girl must kiss many frogs to find a prince who’s worthy of her love, a target of bullying must weed through a great many wusses to find people who are worthy of her friendship.

You must raise your standards and expectations. You must be very selective of who you allow being pals with you. Selectiveness is a great thing because it shows that you value yourself and that you won’t settle for anything less than what you want! You must put a proverbial price tag on yourself and make sure it isn’t too low! Only then will people respect you.

For others to value you, you must first value yourself! And that means loving yourself enough to walk away from people who are worthless to you (i.e., the fake friends who betray you).

With knowledge comes empowerment!

4 Reasons Bullies Turn Your Friends Against You

It’s especially painful when those you thought were friends suddenly go turncoat. It’s not the bullies who hurt you the most, it’s the betrayal from friends and the silence of the bystanders. Understand that during a smear campaign, your friends will be at the top of your bullies’ list of people they wish to win over to their side. They will also be the first people your bullies will go to. Here’s why:

1.Bullies know that if they can get the people you care about and trust the most to turn against you, they’ll be able to strike a devastating blow! Having the bullies themselves, total strangers, or people you don’t care much about turn against you is painful, don’t get me wrong. But it’s much easier to take than if it’s someone you care about. Nothing hurts worse than having the people you love most and think highly of turn against you.

2. By persuading your most cherished friends to turn against you, your bullies take away much needed social support. If they can isolate you from your friends, bullies know that you’ll become stressed and your performance and activities will take a hit. This will make it much easier for them to bully you.

3. Your friends know the most intimate details about you and your life. Bullies know that if they can get your friends to turn against you, then they will have complete access to the most private details about you. Your friends will most likely know your deepest, darkest secrets and your weaknesses. They may also know about any future plans you’re making and anything you may have said about the bullies or anyone else in the toxic environment.

4. Because bystanders may turn against you too. People will figure that if your own friends turn against you, then damn! You must really have it coming! You must have really done something lowdown and dirty!

They’ll think that maybe you slept with your best friend’s boyfriend or spouse. Maybe you stole from them. Maybe you emotionally abused their child. When others see that your own friends have turned against you, all these above possible reasons immediately come to mind. That’s the worst thing about being hung out to dry.

So, if your own friends turn against you, why would anyone else be fool enough to have anything to do with you?

I would definitely stick with my friend because I’d know what kind of person my friend is. But! To tell you the truth, if I didn’t already know the person in question, I don’t know how I would handle it. If the targeted person was a total stranger, I don’t know if I would want anything to do with the person either. I’m only human and I make mistakes like everyone else. And my first priority is keeping myself safe, as it would be any bystander.

It hurts me to have to admit that. I would hope that I would be able to see through the smokescreen. I think that I would be able to quell my own fear and try to get the facts before judging the person- I would try to do that. But if there was no way I could find the truth, I would stay away from the person out of concern for my own safety and not because I hated them for no reason. We all hope that we would be able to do the right thing.

This is how people get thrown under the bus. Know that bullies understand how it works and they will play it to the hilt. Here’s another thing I want you to understand about your bullies:

If you are a target of bullying, no amount of pain you suffer will ever be enough for your bullies. They will always want more suffering- more, more, and more! Bullies have an obsessive blood-lust for their victims and their hunger for the victim’s pain will never be satisfied. Please keep that in mind if someone targets you for bullying and handle the bully accordingly.

The key here is to know what to expect and prepare for it. Only then will you be able to strategize and outflank them. Also, realize that if people do turn against you, they never were your friends, to begin with, and you must refuse to associate with them for your own protection and dignity.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

4 Reasons Why Fake Friends Stick Around and 2 Ways to Weed Them Out

Everyone has fake friends- people who only pretend to like them but secretly wish them harm and bad luck. And often, these people want to be right up under us now, only to end up betraying us later.

But if they hate us so much, why do they continue to stay around?

Here are a few reasons:

1. To watch us closely. You may not realize it, but these people have a strategy and do this deliberately to achieve their own evil ends. They stick around to study your movements and patterns. They want to learn your routine so that they can better predict any reactions and what your next move is likely to be.

Understand that to learn an enemy’s patterns is to collect intel on them that can be weaponized later.

2. To win your trust. They know that if you let down your guard and trust them, the more likely you are to let them in on your problems and deepest, darkest secrets. Also, when you trust someone, you’re more likely to feel more comfortable making simple, human mistakes and showing your less than desirable emotions around them because, if the person is a friend, they’re least likely to judge you.

But! If they’re fake, you only unwittingly give them fodder and ammunition to use against you later.

3. To watch you fail. Everyone experiences failure at some point. And your fake friends want nothing more than to be around to see it when you do fail at something. They can then smile inside and get the satisfaction and gratification they’ve been looking for.

4. They want to know your desires, plans, goals, and dreams. Because if they know what they are, they know where to sabotage you and gain a sense of power over your life.

Understand that any time you’re bullied, it isn’t so much the bullies who are the most harmful to you. It’s the betrayal of those you thought were your friends. That’s what hurts the most and can be so devastating.

And what makes this so crushing is the knowing the person duped you into handing over your trust. You not only feel violated, you feel stupid for ever allowing the person into your life, to begin with.

It’s the worst feeling in the world- knowing that you were hurt partially because, willingly or not, you allowed it to happen.

So, how do you weed these fakes out before they get the chance to betray you?

Here’s how:

1. Be yourself. When you are your true, authentic self, you only naturally drive away people who don’t need to be in your life in the first place. This is a good thing because these people would only harm you later.

Better to rid yourself of them now rather than to wait until you establish a connection and get close to them. Because once you’re close to someone, you naturally give them the benefit of a doubt and it’s much harder to believe they would ever hurt you and even more difficult to have the courage to show them the nearest exit. Better to weed them out now and save yourself that heartache.

2. Voice your opinions. This is more important to do today, more than ever! Because most people nowadays tend to get abusive and bent out of shape when they find out that you don’t have the same opinions, beliefs or convictions as they do.

So, do you want people around you who don’t respect your rights to be a separate individual with an independent mind? I would hope you wouldn’t.

Understand that we should always respect the opinions of others, even though we don’t always agree with them. However, many don’t live by that virtue these days. And when people resort to ad hominem when you don’t agree with their views, they only reveal their own evil intolerance.

Realize that when you’re authentic, you force people to reveal their true natures and tell you all you need to know about them.

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And this is how you weed out all the frauds and attract the people who truly value you and who deserve the privilege of being in your life!

Always remember that!