Self-Love Irrespective of What Others Think

No lie. This can be hard to do, especially if the people around you hate you and are bullying you. Loving yourself in the midst of bullying and in a room full of people who think horribly of you takes a mountain of hard work when all you hear from others is:

“You aren’t worth a damn!”

“You suck!”

“You’re a drain on society!”

“You’ll never amount to a hill of beans!”

I understand. If you hear that long enough and from enough people, it can break your spirit if you let it. And how you refuse to let it get to you is to see it for what it is- noise pollution!

Here are a few more ways you can refuse to let their abuse get to you.

Give yourself permission to be yourself.

Know that’s it’s okay for you to be you.

Train your inner voice, through practice, to love you unconditionally.

Know that it’s okay to have needs, wants, and desires.

Deny the urge to compare yourself to others.

Understand that it’s okay to walk away from drama, and that it’s not out of fear that you do so, it’s out of smarts and self-care.

Allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them.

Realize that it’s okay to leave if you’re in an environment where you aren’t valued.

And lastly, know that it’s okay if people get angry with you.

Realize that if you don’t love yourself no matter your circumstances, it can have negative consequences later. Therefore, it’s so important that you do!

Although you can never control how others view you. And you can’t control what others say to you and how they act toward you. We must realize that another person’s behavior is beyond our control. However, what you can control is how you behave. In other words, you can control how you respond to the behavior of bullies and other idiots who try to steal your joy.

Loving yourself in the face of bullying is revolutionary!

Therefore, you must do what you can to drown out this noise pollution. And how you do it is to see your bullies for the creeps they truly are, think good thoughts of yourself, and remind yourself of your good qualities. Believe it or not, working to think highly of yourself when nobody else does is the greatest act of rebellion against bullies!

Again, see it for what it is. The judgements and verbal abuse you consistently hear from the cowardly creeps around you, is nothing but a bunch of racket. In other words, it’s noise pollution!

When you work to like yourself when others don’t, you refuse to let bullies get into your head. In that, you train your brain to filter out other’s negative comments and remarks that serve no purpose but to damage your self-esteem. Also, you silence that inner critic that would otherwise nag you night and day.

Moreover, when you love and accept yourself, others outside the bullying environment and strangers who have no history with you will be inclined to also love and accept you. No, your bullies and abusers won’t like or love you even if you love yourself, but who cares about them?

So, love yourself despite what others think of you. You will be surprised at how it will protect your self-esteem. When you work to feel good about yourself, even while bullies are tearing you down, it will work as a buffer to the psychological attacks they launch.

You may come out of it bruised but not broken.

With knowledge comes power!

The Number One Reason It’s So Difficult for Targets to Open Up About the Bullying They Suffer

It’s because they can’t name what’s happening to them. Sure, they can feel it and see it, but they can’t put an actual name on it because they don’t know the names of the tactics and how to describe what’s happening.

Let’s delve deeper.

Being able to put a name on the abusive tactics takes a lot of research and study on abuse in general, because bullying is abuse and abuse is bullying. Why? Because it involves a power imbalance and repeated behavior.

The reason why we should know the names of the tactics used is because, when you can’t put a label on it, it’s much harder to explain to others. And when you can’t name something, you tend to ramble. And because you ramble about it, people are less likely to believe you when you speak out.

I can’t think of anything more frustrating than to feel and to know with every fiber of your being that something is happening and not be able to name it. It’s as if you have an invisible gag over your mouth and that some higher force is trying to silence you and protect your bullies and abusers.

It’s the most frustrating and downright infuriating thing in the world!

I’ll use the term “gaslighting,” for instance.

Years ago, when people were gaslighting me, I didn’t know the proper name for those incessant emotional manipulations they were inflicting. I didn’t know it was called gaslighting. All I knew was that it felt horrible and left me feeling that, somehow, I was always in the wrong. However, I didn’t know how to fix it because I didn’t know what was broken.

Yet, in the innermost parts of my soul, I knew differently, but, because I didn’t know the name and couldn’t put a name to it, I couldn’t describe what was happening to me and, therefore, it was much harder to speak out about it without rambling and looking crazy.

Also, the bullies were always vague about everything. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve figured out that their vagueness was only another tactic to keep me confused and off balance, but I’ll save this for another post.

With that said, it’s important that you read, study, and research everything you can about bullying and abuse. Find out and study the key terms for each tactic. Learn them. In fact, learn all you can, because, when you know the names as well as the descriptions of each tactic,  you will not only be able to effectively speak out about the bullying and abuse you suffer, but even better, you will be able to more effectively counter the abuse.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

2 More Reasons Your Bullies Label You “Mentally Imbalanced” or “Crazy” and Why It Works

Unfortunately, the label of mental instability is the easiest and most effective label to stick to a person. Sadly, a label like this tends to have loads of staying power because it’s the hardest to disprove- especially when the object of it is being bullied and mobbed.

Also, there’s a good chance that any target of bullying will be an emotional wreck because of the chronic abuse they suffer. So, there’s another reason the crazy label would be a clever label to pin to them.

When bullies label you as crazy, it doesn’t mean they actually think you are. Allow me to explain further:

Remember that bullies are big cowards and if they really and truly thought you were crazy, they wouldn’t mess with you at all. In, fact, they wouldn’t come near you. Instead, they would do everything they could to stay out of your way and avoid poking the bear.

They’d go out of their way to be on their best behavior around you because they know that if a person is, in fact, crazy, that person could rip their heads off and poop down their necks. That person could go postal and wipe them all out, then go home and eat a sandwich.

If a person with any common sense knows someone who is factually and utterly batshit crazy, their first instinct is to walk lightly around them and do their due diligence to keep from setting that person off!

So, if your bullies don’t really think you’re crazy, why then do they label you as such?

1. To discredit you. Your bullies aren’t stupid. They know that eventually, you’re likely to get fed up with their crap and either report them or stand up to them. And if everyone thinks you’re crazy, who’s going to take you seriously when you report the bullying?

2. To make you afraid to speak out or stand up to them. Again, just in case you begin standing your ground or speaking out about the abuse, bullies employ this tactic to keep you quiet and, in that, clean their reputations spotless. If you know that people think you’re crazy, chances are good that you’re going to be too afraid to open your mouth about it because you know that people probably won’t believe you. They will only say that, because of your “mental instability,” you’re probably just being paranoid.

You’ll also be too afraid to fight back because if you do, you know that the bullies will only convincingly reverse roles and play victim. Then, others will only assume that you went postal and either hurt those poor, innocent bullies, or you just threw a temper tantrum and began shouting and cursing people out for no reason. All because you’re just “crazy.”

Sure. Mental instability is one of the hardest to prove. It’s true that your bullies can never prove you’re crazy, but there’s also no way that you can prove for certain that you aren’t. And it’s why this label is just too easy to pen on someone and make stick. In fact, it shouldn’t be this easy and be so successful. But it is.

Do you see how this works?

So, no. Your bullies don’t think you’re crazy, they think you’re weak. They only push the crazy label because weakness or helplessness in a person does have a certain allure and appeal and others may feel compelled to come to that person’s aid. Helplessness sparks a natural tendency in people to want to take care of the person who is helpless, but people are less likely to help the person who is deemed crazy. Bullies instinctively know this. So, they label the target crazy to strip him/her of that allure and appeal.

In labeling you crazy and making it stick, bullies are better able to avoid being held accountable and if they can successfully dodge responsibility for their abuse of another human being, then they get to continue hurting and abusing that person freely and with impunity.

Understand that there’s a method behind the label of mental instability, crazy, unhinged, or whatever name you prefer. If you’re aware of the motives behind that label, the better you’ll be able to catch it and counter your bullies with it.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

If They Can’t Manipulate You, They’ll Attack Your Mental Health

Businessman with wind up key on his back sitting on chair and using laptop computer on city background. Manipulation concept

It’s the oldest and most used tactic in the book! My classmates were no different. Bullies will always come back at you with the “crazy” or “mentally imbalanced” label to discredit you and control how others see you when they can no longer control you and can’t find anything else to pin on you.

It only goes to show that they see you as a threat and they’re both desperate and afraid. When you refuse to be manipulated, it sends several messages to your bullies- messages that threaten their sense of superiority, positions, and their power.

  1. It tells them that you see through their smokescreens.
  2. It tells them that you’re not afraid to tell them to go kick rocks.
  3. It tells them the opposite of what they think of you- that you’re strong and intelligent, not weak and dumb.
  4. It puts them in their place.
  5. It tells them that they can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do.
  6. It tells them that you don’t give a crap about what they say or think about you.
  7. It tells them you could care less about impressing them.
  8. It tells them they don’t matter to you and that you don’t value their insults or do you accept their definitions of you.

Understand that bullies have an over-inflated sense of their own importance and thus, feel entitled. They despise being told no and they loathe anyone who will not be controlled. And if they can’t manipulate you, they’ll manipulate your relationships, and the way others perceive you.

Always remember that.

Bullies Who Use Doublespeak

Bullies are slick with their insults. Many times, they may disguise their vitriol and contempt with the use of doublespeak.

The term “doublespeak” comes from George Orwell’s book “1984” and a person uses it when he uses euphemisms and words that sound more palatable to the ears. Bullies use doublespeak to sound concerned rather than hateful to keep from turning other people off.

For example:

A bully is degrading and defaming their target. But rather than being blunt and saying,

“I can’t stand him, he’s batshit crazy and he belongs in the nuthouse!” the bully will instead say,

“I’m very concerned about him. I think he has a mental imbalance somewhere that hasn’t been addressed. I hope he gets the help he needs.”

The first version would make the bully sound like the person she truly is- a nasty old shrew! The second version sounds so much better and makes the bully look like a good person who’s genuinely concerned for the target.

Here’s another example:

A bully is putting her neighbor down. But rather than say,

“I’d like to catch her in the street and beat the living crap out of her and leave her to die!” which would make the bully sound like a vindictive and hateful bitch, she says,

“If she doesn’t change her attitude, I’m afraid someone’s going to hurt her really bad!”

Again, the second version sounds so much better because it shows concern rather than hatred for the target and it also makes the target look like she must be bringing the bad treatment on herself.

It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it and the nonverbal communication you use with it that makes all the difference. It’s too easy to bully someone without looking like a bully!

Believe it or not, if you’re a target, you know when you’re being bullied no matter how covert your bullies may be. The trick is to call it out in the early stages before the sneaky attacks become a habit or a set pattern.

Never let anyone grow too comfortable with abusing you. Once they do, the abuse will escalate until it  gets so out of control that people won’t even try to hide it! And that’s when you will be in grave danger!

Again! Call it out in the early stages. It’s the only way you’ll be able to put a stop to it!

The One Thing That Gets Targets of Bullying in The Most Trouble

Overreacting. Any overreactions to the taunts, insults, and attacks of bullies only bring more problems targets would otherwise avoid if they stayed calm. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson through time-consuming trial and error, and it could’ve gotten me either maimed or killed. But you don’t have to.

Overreacting can have a boomerang effect because when you get overly excited, the chances are that the bullies will too- especially bullies who are overly aggressive. Overdoing the response could cause the altercation to escalate into something you may not be able to walk away from. Also, the bullies could use your overreaction against you.

The target’s overreaction is how bullies feign victimhood and make the victim look like the aggressor. It’s how bullies bait their victims. So why not use a different strategy?

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

The smart thing to do is to fake a surrender or submission. Make it look as if you’re giving in to your bullies’ demands. I realize this may feel a bit cowardly to you, but you aren’t caving in, you’re only making your bullies think you are. So, remain calm and make them believe they have the upper hand. Doing so will stabilize the bully’s temper.

But wait! There’s another benefit! Your bullies more than likely expect or even want you to react with a high degree of aggression. But you don’t, and it will throw them off guard. It will surprise, even shock your bullies, because you remained calm and agreed with them. The surprise is a powerful weapon if you know how to use it.

Use your fake surrender as part of a bigger plan once you fool them into thinking you care. On the inside, you continue to stand your ground, but on the outside, you give in to their desires. Doing so can give you time to quietly plan a countermeasure that will bring the bullies down. Smarts will always trump aggression every time!

However, understand that this takes a truckload of self-discipline and self-control. And, as mentioned earlier, you may feel like a big old wimp when you use this technique. Just remember this: You’re not giving the bullies what they want. You only look like you are. You’re only playing dead to save your life!

Here’s a third benefit. By faking your submission, you also allow yourself time to study your bullies and carefully plot any future moves. And when the bullies are satisfied and lay off you, you’ll finally have room to make your countermove.

So, go ahead—fake your submission. Get close to your bullies and learn their ways. Give them no reason to react, nothing to prepare for, and no cause for resistance. Then when the time is right, BAM!

They won’t know what hit them.

Any time you make it look as if you submit to your bullies, you’re only mocking them. It’s silent disdain – like expelling a silent fart in their direction, only they don’t know they’ve been farted on.

You turn their own power against them and make them look like idiots. But they can’t retaliate because you did what they told you to do. Right?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Unnecessary Fear: 4 Ways Bullies Use It to Control Their Targets

Fear is the strongest of all emotions. While fear is an excellent asset in a genuinely hazardous situation where there’s the threat of immediate harm, it can be the most dangerous and paralyzing emotion when it unnecessary.

Unnecessary fear is THE number one tool in the bully’s toolbox. Bullies use this fear as a means to manipulate their targets and to control many aspects of their lives.

Realize that the power of fear is the only power bullies hold, and they don’t use it sparingly. Bullies instinctively know that real or perceived fear will shut down a person’s rational and cognitive thinking abilities. As a result, they can manipulate the target into doing what they want by making empty promises of safety and security.

Fear strips away your power. It takes apart the ability to reason, to be proactive, and to make good choices- hence to defend and protect yourself. Bullies have long understood the power of deliberately inducing fear in their victims to control and dominate them.

Understand that a fearful person is easier for bullies to control than a fearless one.

Bullies maintain their oppressive grip on their victims by invoking fear in them, then claim that only they have the power to decide whether the targets can live in peace and be safe from harm. The bullies send the message that if the victim does what they want and says what they want to hear willingly and without getting mouthy and catching a funky attitude, they will leave him alone and permit him to live in peace.

But we all know how this usually ends. Bullies don’t keep promises. They only keep you hanging.

If you’re a target of bullying, I want you to understand that your bullies greatly benefit from your fear, and they won’t give those benefits up without a fight.

So, how do bullies exploit targets through inducing fear? There are many ways.

1. Rumor spreading and gossip – bullies have a knack for making even the most ridiculous lies sound like the truth and the most insidious abuse respectable, even admired. They slander the target to keep him silent and ensure that he doesn’t speak out about the abuse. If they can turn everyone against the victim, then who’s going to believe him when he finally does open up about the violence?

Bullies will also use fear to turn others against the target and recruit them to become willing participants. Even the kindest of people can become willing co-conspirators because humans behave much differently in groups, then they do on their own.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire

2. Repetition -bullies will bully, defame, insult, even physically attack the target repeatedly, over long periods to solidify the target’s fear, along with their low self-esteem and confidence to ensure that he doesn’t protect himself or rebel against the abuse.

3. Gaslighting – if the bullies can make the target question his own sanity and believe that he must have done or said something to deserve the cruel treatment, all the better! Then he’ll surely keep quiet then.

4. To control everyone else– bullies also use fear to control peers and bystanders. They send the messages that if anyone else dares to help or befriend the target, they’ll suffer the bullies’ wrath as well.

But there’s hope!

Unnecessary fear has a cure. And that cure is knowledge!

That’s right! You must acquire knowledge of bullies and bullying, and lots of it! It pays huge social and psychological dividends to know the psychology of bullying.

1. why bullies bully (for social status, to keep from being bullied themselves, etc.)

2. where their abuse comes from (insecurity, low self-esteem, arrogance, superiority, etc.)

3. intentions and motivations for bullying (domination and control over another person, power, social status, to keep from being bullied, etc.)

4. tactics bullies use and the effects of bullying on victims.

And so much more.

In short, you must be knowledgeable of human nature, tactics of warfare, the ways people attain power, psychology, and dark psychology. I would also recommend reading about the Dark Triad- Narcissism, Psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. Then read about how to counter bullying.

Only then will you be able firmly and confidently stand up for and protect yourself- then ultimately free yourself from your bullies’ grip. Knowledge is the only thing that can defeat your fear. If nothing else, know this!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

8 Emotions That Targets of Bullying Feel

cry tears

Targets of bullying endure a hell that no one can comprehend unless they themselves have experienced bullying. It’s the same with the range of resulting emotions they feel. Unless you’ve been there, you can’t imagine the intense stress and the wide array of powerful emotions that come with it.

1.Grief- Once you become an object of bullying or mobbing, life as you know it changes. You mourn for the way your life used to be and long to get your former life back. You also grieve the loss of your respect, dignity, reputation, good standing, and your identity. You mourn the loss of your friends and in some cases, your spouse and family.

2, Bewilderment- You don’t understand why this is happening to you- why you’re being bullied and why people you love and thought loved you have turned against you. You’re also at a loss as to what you did to bring about such hatred. In your heart, you know that you’re a great person and that you never intentionally slighted nor hurt anyone. So, what gives?

3. Confusion- You’re at a loss as to which way to turn and who to turn to. And you don’t know what to do to remedy the situation because each time you try, only makes the bullying worse. You feel stuck!

4. Terror – Anytime you’re targeted, the fear can be paralyzing. You’re afraid to speak but afraid not to speak. You’re afraid of the people around you. You’re afraid to make any moves or decisions because you know that anything you do will be scrutinized and made to look bad, crazy, or evil. You’re afraid to come to school or work because you know they’re all out to get you and you know that if you show, they’ll only blindside you with another attack.

4. Sadness- You cry in your car to and from your school or workplace. You cry in your pillow at night when you go to bed. It seems that no one will give you a chance and you’re isolated and alone. When you try to make new friends, the bullies always seem to intervene and turn the new people against you too. The type of sadness a target feels is the kind that is deep, dark, and overwhelming.

6. Depression- This comes with being rendered powerless. It seems that there’s nothing you can do to change the situation. You have the feeling of being bound and gagged. You feel trapped like a rat and there’s nowhere to go where the bullies and participants won’t find you. And you feel that there’s no hope that things will ever get better.

7. Ohhhh, the rage! This is, by far, THE most powerful emotion targets can have. With each physical or psychological attack, the fury grows until you’d give anything just to have the power to rip their heads off and shoved them up their you-know-whats. Oh, yes! Rage does that to you and gives you such evil thoughts!

I remember the rage I felt in middle and high school when I was a target of bullying and it grew to a level until, at one point, I felt homicidal! I loathed them so intensely that I just wanted all of them to drop dead.

I used my brain. I didn’t allow myself to snap and take any lives. I thought about my future and how doing something horribly violent would ruin it, I then decided that none of my classmates were worth ruining my future and causing my family heartache over and eventually, a door opened for me and I was able to transfer to a new school where things got better.

8. 8Suicidal thoughts. It’s not that you want to die. You just want the torment to stop and when it gets to a certain level, death seems to be the only escape for it. These thoughts happen when you feel you’ve exhausted every possible option to make things better. But don’t give up. Because as long as you’re alive, there’s always a good chance that things will change for the better and you can come out victorious on the other side of it.

 I want you to know that if you’re a target of bullying, things may seem hopeless, but they aren’t. Things change for the better all the time and when you least expect them to.

The Silent Treatment and How You Should Handle It

Nope refuse

It’s not what you say; it’s what you don’t say. When bullies wish to harm someone, the silent treatment can the most effective way of doing so. It is a cruel and sneaky way of control.

Remember that bullies are cowards, and they will find the most effective and least noticeable ways to dig at you
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Here are the reasons bullies use this tactic:

1. It’s least noticeable by others. It leaves no bruises, cuts or scratches, so there’s no physical evidence. This type of bullying is also hard to prove because it’s not easily seen. Therefore, it isn’t wise to report this type of bullying. Because people may see the target as overly sensitive, paranoid, or mentally unbalanced.

ignore

2. It’s the most effective. Understand that the silent treatment is emotional manipulation. So, you must see it as just that. When you’re able to see it for what it is, the least likely you are to be affected by it. Bullies know that it’s the most covert way to assert control over their targets and make them doubt themselves.

3. For control, dominance, and intimidation– Again, bullies use this dirty trick to control how you feel and to dominate you. People also use the silent treatment to intimidate.

4. To manipulate you into doing what they want you to do– Everyone has a desire for approval. However, if being accepted means they force you to do something you don’t want to do, then you’re more than likely spinning your wheels for nothing. Anyone who doesn’t respect your boundaries and wishes will never accept you anyway because a person who truly approves of you would respect your rights and freedom to choose.

toxic

5. To make you feel guilty– Again. Because you didn’t do or give the bullies what they want, they intend to make you feel as if you did something wrong. You didn’t!

You must realize that if you let it get to you, it will only encourage the bullies to keep doing it anytime you don’t cave in and do their bidding or give them what they want.

So, how can you respond to this type of bullying?

Here’s how:

1. See the silent treatment for what it is: emotional manipulation When you finally recognize it as it is, the least you’ll be bothered by it.

2. Mirror the bullies by returning the silent treatment. When you give it right back to them, you’re not allowing them to control and intimidate you. You’re preserving some sense of power over your life by not allowing the bullies to phase you.

bye goodbye

3. Cut those childish buffoons out of your life. Do it either entirely or have as little to do with them as humanly possible. You don’t need to be around these confidence thieves. Realize that you don’t have to put up with that.

4. Stay calm. Don’t get emotional. Exhibit self-control and don’t get sucked into the bullies’ mind games.

5. Call them out. Tell them, “Look. What you’re doing is called the silent treatment, and that’s not okay. You can’t possibly keep up this childish behavior forever, and it’s not going to work.

6. Enjoy the peace and quiet. There’s a bright side to this. At least the bullies aren’t in your face for the time being. You get a reprieve from hearing them bitch and pitch their hissy fits! Woohoo! Who doesn’t love that!

Word of warning though. Make sure you don’t give your bullies clues that you’re enjoying the peace a little too much. Otherwise, they’ll be back on your tail before you can say, “oops.”

Do all the above, and the bullies might leave you alone and move on to an easier target.

You’ll feel much better about yourself knowing you stood up to them and asserted your rights not to be manipulated.