Are you ready for this? Here goes: You do it by being yourself, by setting boundaries, and by speaking and standing in your truth. I’ll explain deeper.
Be Yourself. Too many people put on fake personas for friendship and approval. What they don’t realize is that most of their friends aren’t really for them, they only act like they are and can reak lots of havoc in their lives if they aren’t careful! I want you to realize that like attracts like.
When you’re fake, you only attract more like-minded people into your world- fakes, fraudsters, and imposters! But understand that when you start being yourself, these people will naturally be repelled because they won’t like it.
Being real has a way of intimidating and threatening the fake. It strikes fear in them because a person who’s for real has a chance of exposing all who are fake. Is it any wonder that fake people either stay away from or bully those who are real? It’s because realness scares them to death!
Personal boundary. Prohibiting palm, psychotherapy icon vector illustration
Set Boundaries. This is a biggie! Setting boundaries is not easy. It can be frightening sometimes, especially when someone pushes you too far and the situation calls for you to put on your bitch-face and show your booty to people. But don’t worry about what others will think of it or say about it.
Boundaries always expose the fakes. Always! When you start setting boundaries, watch how people react! You’ll be amazed at how many people get angry and upset! You will automatically see their evil sides as they immediately turn against you, trying to lay guilt trips on you or smearing you to others.
But understand that anyone who gets angry at you for having boundaries only does so because they’ve benefited all this time from you not having any. Do you think they want those benefits to stop?
Don’t be afraid to let these people go because they never were your friends and therefore don’t belong in your life. Your real friends, on the other hand, will be happy for you and will cheer you on because they will want what’s best for you and to see you happy.
Speak and Stand in Your Truth. When you begin freely speaking out about past abuse and bullying, you can bet that you’ll make a lot of people angry. You’ll make bitter enemies not only of the people who wronged you in the past but also of those who stood by and watched it happen but fail to stop it.
Even if you don’t use their names and choose not to identify them, it won’t matter. Understand that any abuse thrives on silence. Abusers and most bystanders don’t want you talking about it at all!
They are sometimes those we call friends. Abusers can’t chance being exposed and seen by others in a negative light and they’ll go to great lengths to shut you down.
But again. This is how you weed out all the fakes and expose people for who they are. Deep-six these people. Fast!
Understand that for a garden to not only grow but flourish, you must get rid of all the weeds. It’s the same with the people in our lives. If we are surrounded by users, abusers, and people who only stifle us, we have no chance of growth and advancement.
But when you remove all the junk, you make room for a better quality of people to come into your life. Do these three things, to expose and get rid of the weeds.
You’ll be surprised at how it changes your life and of the quality of friends who come into your life later!
Dandelions are beautiful across your lawn. They don’t look like weeds and you wouldn’t think they’d be bad for the other greenery around them. It’s the some with people.
Some people claim to be with you, but you never hear a peep from them until you trigger them somehow- you say something they take out of context or voice an opinion or belief they don’t agree with. Then suddenly, the floodgates fly open and their simmering rage and hate rushes forth like a raging torrent. It can be both shocking and painful. But!
Be glad because this is how you know they were never for you to begin with. Now you can weed them out before they do even further damage.
Let’s face it, some things and some people aren’t worth your time and energy. Sadly, many targets of bullying bend over backwards trying to get others to like them but only accomplish the exact opposite- they only end up repelling more and more people.
Realize that, although they may be painful to detach from, certain things and people in life just aren’t worth fighting for. And these people are:
1. People who bully and abuse you
2. People who are jealous of your successes and accomplishments
3. People who don’t reciprocate the love and care you give them- people who take and never give.
4. People who don’t value you nor see your worth.
5. People who are negative and drain the energy from you.
6. People you feel like you must force conversations with.
7. People you feel like you must force to stay in your life.
8. People you have to try so hard to prove your worth to.
Trust me, you have nothing to prove to these morons and they’re not worth it! And they don’t deserve the privilege of being in your life. Stop giving them things they haven’t earned- they haven’t even earned your respect, must less your friendship, time, and energy! Kick these creeps to the curb! Fast!
Realize that you can’t force people to love you. People love you because they want to, not because they feel obligated to.
Let me break it down some more:
1.If you have people in your life who make you feel that you must explain to them why you do things the way you do, get rid of them, they’re only dead weight that holds you back from the life you deserve to enjoy.
2. If you have people who say they’re for you but only discourage you from your goals- people who always tell you that you can’t, give them the boot because, again, they’re only trying to brainwash you to hold you back for achieving your goals so that they won’t end up feeling so bad about themselves.
3. If you have people who only pretend to be your friends but really aren’t- people who talk about you behind your back, laugh at you with other people, or make little digs to make you feel bad, tell these people to take a walk because with friends like those, you don’t need enemies!
Realize that when you move on, you cease to be controlled, manipulated, and victimized. You put these people right where they need to be, in the trash heap of life. Hey, I know that being friendless sucks, but I promise you that it won’t last long.
Hit the road concept, road – 3D rendering
Know that when you get rid of the people who don’t value you, you only increase your own value and attract better people into your life in the future.
Instead of fighting to maintain relationships with people who aren’t worth peeing on, much less fighting for, cut ties with them and move on with your life. Move on and power through the pain and loneliness.
Whatever you do, just get rid of these people and move on. You’ll feel much better about yourself when you do. I promise!
When people talk of tolerance, I immediately cringe. I don’t find the word very attractive because let’s be real here. The word itself has a bad smell. To put it bluntly, it sounds downright gross!
Sadly, many targets of bullying are so afraid of being alone that they settle for friends who aren’t friends at all. And the people the target associates with may keep the target under the impression that he’s being accepted when, in fact, they may only be tolerating him. And you can tolerate someone without accepting them.
I know a few who assume that acceptance and tolerance mean the same but they don’t. The difference between the two is huge.
For example, you’re in polite company and the guy sitting next to you, (who happened to scarf three huge bean burritos for supper last night, then put away three eggs for breakfast this morning) covertly eases forth a silent but deadly fart. You catch the first nauseating whiff but can’t hold your nose nor leave the room without seeming rude to everyone else in the room.
Instead, you only sit there, trying to keep a poker face, and nonchalantly hold your breath until you’re sure the smell has dissipated. That’s what tolerance is.
Tolerance means that people allow the target to be around but secretly wish he’d go the hell away. And it has a way of seeping through in how they think of the person, how they act around him, and how they behave toward him.
So, how is the target to know if he’s being tolerated?
Here are the signs:
1. The target will be excluded from any events or social gatherings.
If you’re the target, you’ll often hear the rest of the group talking about the barbeque or sleepover they had over the weekend. You know, the one that none of them thought to invite you to? Show these morons you have a modicum of self-respect and walk away. You don’t need them.
2. The target will feel left out because the other members of the group will be communicating with all other members except her. You’d much rather be alone than to be lonely. Alone is when you’re physically by yourself. Lonely is when you’re among people, yet you’re still alone because to them, you don’t exist. You can be alone but not be lonely. Realize that if you ever feel lonely and you’re in a group, that’s the time to tell them to go kick rocks and be on your way.
3. The target will feel as if he’s tagging behind the group.
Again, if they seem to always leave you behind, eighty-six them and bid them goodbye.
4. Other members of the group will voice their hatred of the target anytime he isn’t around to hear it. The target will then hear about it later. If they stab you in the back, it’s time to ditch them. You’d much rather be by yourself and keep your dignity rather than stay among those toxic people and lose it.
5. There’s always that sickening “elephant in the room” feeling.
Feeling awkward around these people is a sure sign that they don’t deserve your friendship. Understand that this is only your gut trying to warn you about these people. Listen to it!
If people tolerate a person, they only permit having them around when there’s no other choice. And they’ll take every chance of voicing their seething hatred of the person when he/she isn’t around to defend themselves. They allow the person to be around because there’s no way they can make them go away or say anything without looking like a heel. When the tolerated person is present, the rest just grin and bear it.
Here’s why the target should drop these people:
1. By continuing to be around people who tolerate him/her, the target decreases his value as a person. That’s right. Anytime you must crawl behind people who don’t give a crap about you, you make yourself look like you have no other options. People who see this lose all respect for you and think you’re weak and worse, desperate. Therefore, your value will drop like a meteor!
2. You’ll risk being used and abused. Any time you’re desperate to have friends, you’ll settle for any crumb of human connection. You’ll be willing to put up with shabby treatment just to keep from being alone.
Users and abusers will take notice of this and hang around only to get something from you. And those who are decent people and would otherwise be good friends will want nothing to do with you because desperation is so off-putting and only repels them.
3. You’ll only embarrass yourself and further erode your self-esteem. If you don’t have respect for yourself, no one else will either. No one respects anyone they deem pathetic.
You need to muster up some pride and stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourself! Begin rejecting them and have nothing more to do with them. Then watch your value rise again and see how much better you feel about yourself afterward.
Tolerance just plain sucks! For both parties! It sucks for the others because they don’t want to be around the target but don’t know how to get rid of them without looking like a bunch of jerks. It also sucks for the tolerated person because he/she in a place they’re not welcome and in a situation in which they’re mistreated and even abused. It sucks for everyone involved because the energy in the room is bad.
Anytime a person in a group of people is only tolerated, everyone feels it.
Tolerance includes resentment. It’s gritting your teeth, sitting there with contempt on your face, and drumming your fingers until the person finally leaves. Tolerance makes the tolerated person feel crappy because it’s begrudging and there’s suffering on the part of the tolerating people.
We tolerate people we find disgusting and abhorrent.
Acceptance is a much better term. With acceptance, people are at least willing to see the value the disliked person brings to the table although he’s a person they wouldn’t have chosen. It’s receiving the person and allowing them a degree of freedom and respect despite differences.
Acceptance is sitting quietly and letting the person just be. It’s embracing her good qualities regardless of your dislike of him.
With that said, understand that you don’t deserve to be around the people who only tolerate you. Better yet, they don’t deserve the privilege of even being in your presence. It’s much better, not to mention healthier, to be by yourself until you meet people who will not only accept you but celebrate you.
I can’t stress this enough! You deserve to be among those who love you and who care deeply about you. Never, ever settle for people who only tolerate you just to keep from being alone.
Sometimes life tests us and we must be alone for a while before it finally rewards us with people who are meant to be in our lives. In the meantime, use this time of solitude for a deep self-evaluation and for getting to know yourself again. You just may discover strengths and qualities you never knew you had!
Many bullying victims are so anxious to make friends that they don’t set boundaries as to the way people should treat them. As long as they don’t have to be by themselves, they overlook the shoddy ways their so-called friends treat them.
They get hurt many times over because it turns out that their pals are only tolerating them. And by the time the target realizes those people aren’t good for them, they’ve been hurt, used, and humiliated enough times that their self-esteem is damaged.
Here’s my advice to targets who feel lonely and desperate for friends:
Never chase anyone who does not see your worth! It is beneath you, and those who do not value you, no matter how ‘cool’ they act or look, do not deserve the privilege of being in your life. You need to cleanse your life of these toxic people.
I realize that if you are a target of bullying, your friendship options are minimal, and I know all too well of the humiliation of sitting alone at the lunch table. At the same time, everyone else gets to enjoy having friends around them. Believe me, I was there myself once upon a time.
However, if the options you do have for friends are only tolerating you and turn hot and cold, exclude you, or talk behind your back, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate those friendships.
There is a difference between someone who genuinely likes you and someone who is only tolerating you. And you always know when someone is only tolerating you because of how you feel when that person is around. You can feel it in your gut. You can hear the shortness and coldness in the tone of their voices. You can see it in the way that they look at you (or refuse to look at you).
You can feel the cold vibes that they put out. There is nothing worse than realizing that someone you think highly of thinks very little of you. It is the most uncomfortable and sickening feeling. It is the equivalent of being kicked in the stomach!
But I want you to know that you do not have to be around such poisonous people. Anyone who makes you feel uneasy does not deserve your friendship. It does not matter if they are rich, good-looking, popular, successful, cool, tough, or whatever.
If they make you feel bad about yourself, ditch them! Weed. Then. OUT! They are not worthy of being in your company. You are better off without them. Understand that this may mean staying to yourself for a time.
No one wants to be a loner. I understand it, and I sympathize with you. However, I believe that it’s much better to be alone than to crawl up behind anyone who does not see your value.
It won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile is. It takes courage to walk away from a person or people who take you for granted, especially when options for human connections are so few.
And I won’t lie to you, you may be by yourself for a while. It may get lonely, even sad, and depressing at times. But be strong and stay true to your own heart! You deserve so much better!
I promise you this. It may take a while, but if you have the courage to walk away from such people, life will eventually reward you for your courage by placing better and more loving people in your path- people who will genuinely love you and have your best interests at heart.
You will have better friends- friends who want to spend time with you, who want to invite you to parties and other events, and who will be there for you when the chips are down. You will have friends who are tried and true.
I have only a small circle of friends and associates and I like it that way. I’d much rather only five true friends than to have a million fake ones. And the truth is that you can have millions of frenemies and fair-weather friends who don’t value you as much as you deserve to be valued and still be lonely. You are no better off than you’d be if you had no friends at all.
But you can have only one friend, two friends, three or five, true friends who genuinely love you, enjoy being around you, and have your back and never feel abandoned.
Quantity is always zero without quality.
You can own a hundred houses, but it does not mean you’re rich. If your hundred houses are all infested with termites, rats, and cockroaches; and about to fall apart, do you really have anything of value?
A hundred cars don’t make a dealership if they’re all old beaters that don’t run. No. What you have is a junkyard.
The same goes with the friends you keep around. You can have thousands of friends but if they all treat you like crap, never have your back, and bail out at the first sign of trouble, they aren’t worth a damn, and you should ditch and switch.
Pick friends who know your worth and who earn the privilege of being in your life.
You must add value to yourself and that means that your time and your friendship must come at a cost. And that cost is reciprocation.
If a so-called friend constantly deals you shabby treatment, you must immediately withdraw your friendship and tell that person to take a walk and to not even look back. That’s how you add value to yourself.
You must teach others how they should treat you.
I realize that it won’t be easy to walk away, especially if you’re a target of bullying and your toxic, fake friends seem to be the only options you have. Nobody wants to be lonely and friendless. However, wouldn’t you rather be by yourself than to have sorry pieces of crap who only let you down as your friends. I know I would!
You must know your worth. Know that you deserve more than the crumbs you’re getting. And know that you can have true friends if you ditch these creeps. Think of it like this: You’re getting rid of them to make room for the better friends you’re about to meet. I’m not saying that you won’t be friendless for a while because you just might be.
And if you must wait, here are a few things you can do to lift your spirits while you wait:
1.Dive into your hobbies.
2. Spend time with family and friends.
3. Do the things you enjoy doing.
5. Treat yourself to a pampering session- get a spa treatment, go on a trip to the beach, etc.
There are so many things you can do that will put a smile on your face. Only you know what they are. Self-care is so important during times like these.
But I promise you. You will meet better people and you will make better friends. And once you do, they will be worth the wait! Don’t you think you’re worth it? I do.
Some people don’t come into your life to help you, they come to hinder you.
Some don’t come into your life to love you, they come to use you.
To some people, you’re not a person. You’re an opportunity.
They don’t love you for you, they love you for what you can do for them, and what they can take from you.
Some people aren’t loyal to you. They’re loyal to the benefits that come with you.
That’s why they disappear, no matter how many times you’ve appeared for them.
They never offer assistance, no matter how many times you’ve assisted them.
Stop standing behind people who don’t stand behind you.
Stop breaking your back for people who don’t have yours.
Stop busting your butt for people who don’t watch yours.
Some people aren’t blessings, they’re lessons.
Realize that these people aren’t worth a nanosecond of your time, and you must drop them like a bad habit. Only then will you feel better about yourself and attract more genuine and authentic people- people who uplift you and who love you for simply being beautiful, wonderful, awesome you!
There will always be people who won’t see your worth. And some never will see it. It’s just a part of life on this planet and we shouldn’t waste another nanosecond of our time on those people. However, some people are terrific actors and it can be hard to tell if you don’t know what signs to look for.
Here are the signs:
1.You feel bad or awkward around them. Energy doesn’t lie. Although you may not consciously know that the people you’re with don’t value you, you’ll feel it in their vibrations. Avoid anyone who makes you feel that something is “off” because the vibes you feel are a warning. Realize that these people don’t deserve to be in your presence or your life. You deserve better.
2. Empty promises. These people make all kinds of promises but never follow through. Again, you deserve better than them. It’s time to ditch and switch to better people.
3. Their words don’t match their body language or actions. They tell you that they like you, that you’re the best thing since the invention of the wheel but don’t act like it. Instead, they treat you like dirt and ignore you when other people are around.
4. They only want to be with you in private. This means that they’re probably ashamed to be seen with you. They’re all over you when it’s just the two of you but, in public or when others are around, they ignore you and act like they don’t know you. Again, get rid of these no-counts.
5, You make all the effort in the friendship or relationship. You are always the one to initiate contact, you do all the calling, all the texting, and messaging. You make all the visits to their house, using your car gas and your time. But they never reciprocate. This can get exhausting. At some point, you find yourself wondering if they really care. It’s time to stop making so much effort and let them do some of the work if they want to contact you, and if they don’t, there’s your answer. Find better friends.
6. They take and never give. They only use you for what they can get from you, then disappear. Again, this is so revealing. Have nothing more to do with this person.
7. They never tell the truth. If you find that a friend has been lying to you, you have to wonder what else they will lie about. It’s time to start choosing friends who are honest and let this person go!
8. They’re jealous of you when things are going well for you. If a friend resents your achievements and successes, it’s time to cut them loose. You deserve friends who celebrate your successes with you, not ones who are green with jealousy and see you as competition.
9. They get angry when you talk to your other friends or a family member. This is a huge red flag! A true friend would never want to keep you all to themselves and block you from associating with other people who love you. They would want others to love you too. Any friend who feels insecure any time you talk to someone else is not good for you. Get away from them, pronto!
10. They always disappear when you’re in trouble and need them the most. They may leave you to fend for yourself when bullies come for you. They may be unsupportive and not come around when you’re sick or feeling low. Again, dead giveaway. Steer clear!
If you see any of these signs in a potential friend, get rid of them…fast! This person should be about as welcome in your life as a turd in a swimming pool!
In Part 1, we discussed frenemies and the gradual but growing hot/cold, waxing and waning in their behavior, which snowballs into a terrible lashing of venom that leaves a target both shocked and hurt.
Again, if you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of a frenemy’s poison, rest assured that none of it was your fault and you were not the person with the issue. Understand that in using this hot/cold, nice/nasty cycle, the frenemy only used “The Push/Pull Method” on you.
This push and pull technique is exactly how it sounds: the frenemy pulls the target in, pushes him/her away, then pulls them in again. This back and forth cycle is specifically designed to hook you into the friendship and throw you off your game! Realize that the person was more than likely never your friend!
You may ask yourself these questions:
“If this person was never my friend and never liked me to begin with, why then did they exert such much effort to get close to me?”
“Why did this person latch on to me in the first place?”
Jealousy was most likely the culprit. Your frenemy (or frenemies) was intensely jealous of something you possessed and wanted a way to punish you for having something- anything they only wished they had. They wanted to bring you down a few notches…to put you in your place…to cut you down to size!
Rather than a direct, frontal assault, they preferred to out-flank you by carefully cozying up to you, tricking you into dropping your defenses, and winning your complete trust to get close to you!
Another reason could be that the frenemy somehow gets an ego-boost from being “friends” with you and the thought of being seen with you!
Understand that this closeness is a way to hook you into the friendship, then gather intimate, personal details about your life and personality to suss out any weaknesses or less-than-desirable qualities you have. Fake-friends are like police detectives who attempt to build a case against you.
Once they gather the intel they need, they exploit this information, using it as a weapon to harm you, ruin your reputation, and sabotage your personal relationships and associations.
When you finally get fed up, put your foot down and end the friendship, the frenemy then paints you as the mean, mentally-unbalanced, or selfish person and trumpets any dirt collected on you to anyone who will listen to them. I want you to understand that this is how frenemies operate. People such as these are very sneaky, meticulous, and worst of all, patient!
It is much better to have full-blown enemies than frenemies because, with an enemy, you always know where you stand and can more easily avoid contact. However, (especially those who are charming and persuasive) have ways of reeling you in and keeping you dependent on their approval and acceptance.
Red flag waving on blue sky background.
And if you are a victim of bullying, the relationship is much harder to get out of because you’re afraid of going back to being friendless. But wouldn’t you rather be to yourself than to keep company with people who only wish to bring you down? I know I would!
Remember that a smiling face does not a friend make. Not everyone who pats you on the back has your best interests at heart. There are red flags you can look for, and speed in friendship progression is a major red flag! Anytime someone is so quick to call you a friend, be alert! Alternating hot and cold (flip-flopping) and micro-flashes of contempt and hostility in their body language are also warnings you should be aware of!
In these scenarios, the best you can do is to step back and maintain plenty of distance between you and the person in question. Only then is it possible to observe them and figure out their true motivations and intentions!
Every single one of us has had that one “friend” or that handful of “friends,” if that’s what you prefer to call them. They seem to really like us and want to be around us all the time. They cozy up to us very quickly (too quickly), seemingly mesmerized by us, bombarding us with attention and laying the flattery on super-thick really early in the relationship and wanting so badly to be a part of our lives.
They butter us up with compliments, smile at us, and pat us on the back, making us feel great about ourselves. If you’re being bullied and are feeling insecure like I was years ago, this is such a welcome change!
You’re bullied, lonely, rejected, and this seems to be just the thing you’ve been waiting for, giving you that much-needed shot of dopamine you’ve been craving for so long!
Suddenly you feel great about yourself and think that maybe, the bullying might be coming to an end. Soon, however, you notice subtle signs in the person that doesn’t feel so good, occasionally seeing out of the corner of your eye those split-second flashes of disdain on the faces of your “new friends”…a sneer here, an evil, piercing glance there.
Although your gut begins to sound off, telling you that something is “off” about this person (or these people), you only mentally make excuses for them.
“Maybe he/she is having a rough day.” “Maybe someone made him/her angry before they came to visit.” “Maybe they’re just in a bad mood.”
Wanting to believe the very best of the person(s), you mentally explain away the signs that tell you that something just isn’t right. Then, when it happens again, you begin to ask yourself,
“Was it something I said or something I did accidentally to offend this person?”
Next, your new buddy or buddies seem cold toward you. They begin to alternate hot and cold, and you’re left bewildered as to the causation, all the while your sixth sense is telling you to put some distance yourself and these people and to do it fast! But you don’t because this person is a friend. You love them and don’t want to seem like a heel or that you don’t appreciate their friendship.
Also, the bullies have suddenly disappeared, and you want to keep it this way. Even worse and more pathetic, you dread the possibility of going back to square one…eating your lunch alone, walking alone in the halls, and once again, being the target of bullies.
So, you continue to tolerate unacceptable behavior because, deep down, you don’t think that you can find better people to be pals with. You’ve been bullied and shamed for so long that you have actually forgotten what a true friend is and what it’s like to have one.
When you finally work up the nerve to ask the person about his/her behavior, they either lie about the behavior, downplay it, or worse, tell you that you’re imagining things or being too sensitive. However, as time goes by, those tiny micro-expressions of ire, the split-second glares, and subtle, back-handed compliments and coldness only become more frequent!
Now, your Spidey-senses are screaming! Others you thought were decent toward you are now giving you the silent treatment, and you don’t know why.
Suddenly, BAM! It happens! The person lashes out at you for reasons that are so trivial, or worse, reasons which seem to be made up! You know you should tell them to take a hike, but you only blame yourself or give misplaced apologies instead, looking even more pathetic to bystanders and witnesses! Even worse, now, you look like an even bigger target to bullies!