3 Things You Must Do to Find Out Who Your Friends Are

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!

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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!

Secrets Bullies Hope You Never Find Out

 

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1. Being a bully is WORK! They work hard to keep up appearances and to maintain their fake facades. Bullies, especially popular ones, have an image to keep up, and they monitor themselves nonstop, twenty-four-seven. They must keep up with and remember all the lies they tell to keep their stories straight. And they often spend beyond their means to look like they have lots of money. Is it any wonder that many bullies get charged with crimes like embezzlement, fraud, and theft. They have to steal to keep up!

2. Bullies are not happy people. They can’t be. Why do you think they bully others? They do it to feel better about themselves, to distract from their shortcomings and insecurities, and project them onto someone else. Bullies also bully to make themselves look superior, better, smarter, and more powerful. They may bully for attention because they aren’t getting it at home. It takes a miserable person to be a bully.

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3. They’re weak. Bullies bully because they’re feeble-minded people. They’re loud, obnoxious, and pushy because they don’t have the brains to get what they want any other way.

4. Bullies are insecure. When a bully sees someone who outshines them somehow, they fear that the person will take the attention and admiration away from them. Bullies share attention and recognition with no one. They must be adored at all times by everyone. They feel they have to be at the center of everything and that the world should revolve around them.

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5. Bullies are jealous of their victims. Bullies can’t handle anyone else’s success. If you have more wins then them, are better looking then them or are more talented than them, they’ll make it their mission to make you suffer for it.

6. Bullies are trying to be cool. Again, they strain themselves to keep up appearances. And bullies know that most people are under the mistaken impression that cruelty is “cool” as long as they aren’t on the receiving end of it. Many bullies bully to look cute to any witnesses.

7. They seek attention. If a bully doesn’t get attention, they feel inadequate. So they bully in front of an audience to get the attention they feel they never get.

8. They’re cowards. They’re afraid of looking weak and being bullied themselves.

9. They’re fakes, frauds, and imposters. They must don masks to hide their true selves. Understand that they do this out of the fear of their true personalities being exposed.

10. They’re compensating. Bullies bully to compensate for weakness. If they can look strong by making someone else look weak they make up for the weaknesses they feel they have. Bullies will also run with rich people or the popular crowd because it helps them to forget about the fact that they’re nothing and, in a way, makes up for anything they feel they don’t have.

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Male bullies who feel they aren’t man enough will often drive around in hot cars and flaunt money to make up for the fact that girls find them disgusting. Female bullies will often use fashion, makeup, and the latest hairstyles to compensate for the fact that few people like them. Or they may have a bunch of friends and use that to make up for the fact that they can’t get a date.

 

If a Bully or Someone Who Normally Mistreats You Starts Being Nice All of a Sudden, LOOK OUT! (Part 2)

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So, your bullies have suddenly had a change of heart. They’re finally treating you right. They’re finally talking to you like you’re equal to them. The bullies are smiling in your face, giving you pats on the back, and talking to you like you’re one of them and you belong.

But you’re smarter than what they give you credit for. You notice that the bullies are so sweet – too sweet. You think that if they don’t stop with the pleasantries soon, you’ll surely fall into a sugar coma!

You also notice a slight fakeness in the tones of their voices and that instead of making you feel good about yourself, they instead make you feel a little gross. But you don’t mention it to them. Just stay polite yet neutral.

The bullies are even inviting you to sleepovers, parties, cookouts, lunch and dinner dates, meetings, and family get-togethers. Every time these people talk to you, they seem to gush over you, and there again is that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.

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You grow suspicious of them, and rightfully so. And in your mind, you ask yourself, “Why are they acting so nice to me all of a sudden?”

You politely decline the invitations they extend to you. But trust me, they won’t give up so easily. There will be a few more tricks up their sleeves. You can bet on it.

Here’s another bad sign to look for:

1. They’re nosey. The bullies will seem so interested in your life and in what you’re doing. But don’t be flattered. Chances are, they’re only probing you for information they can use against you later.

They will ask you a ton of questions about your family and what you do outside of school or work. Those questions are innocent enough. However, they will slowly and gradually move into more personal territory.

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Bullies will begin asking you what your political views and beliefs are and about your religious views. You don’t have to answer those. It’s none of anyone’s business!

Before long, they will begin prying into your personal and private business. These snoops will ask your opinion of this person and that, who you’re dating, how you feel about this, that and the other. They will ask questions that anyone with a brain would know better than to ask. Some things are just off limits!

Bullies will even share with you some personal deets about themselves. But don’t be fooled! They’re only doing it to put you at ease and in hopes that you’ll share a few of yours. Again. Don’t fall for it!

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Understand that any time someone asks questions that are none of their business, it’s a dead giveaway that they intend to use your answers against you. Don’t answer them!

Also, anytime people ask you very personal questions, it also means that they don’t respect your right to privacy. And be warned that when you refuse to let them in on your private business, they may come back and accuse you of “having something to hide.”

Don’t believe it! Because it’s not about having anything to hide, it’s about knowing that some things aren’t anyone’s business, and they should respect that.

Never share anything that you wouldn’t want anyone else to know!!!

 

If a Bully or Someone Who Normally Mistreats You Starts Being Nice All of a Sudden, LOOK OUT!

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If you are a target of bullying, you should beware if your bullies ever just up and all of a sudden, out of the blue, start being kind to you. Anytime bullies are up to something, they need you to let down your defenses. And how they get you to open up to them is to pour on the sweetness.

I want you to understand that if you see this sudden change in your bullies at school or in the workplace, they could be setting you up to be humiliated, to fail, to get in trouble with authority, or for a brutal physical attack.

Here are the signs:

1. A sudden change of heart – Nobody becomes a friend overnight. Friendship takes time because trust isn’t free; it’s earned. Trust needs a considerable amount of time to build. Just as you shouldn’t rush into a romantic relationship, neither should you rush into a friendship. If someone who usually is brutal toward you just up and begins treating you warmly, you’d better beat feet to the nearest exit- fast!

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2. Flattery/Sweet-Talk – Bullies instinctively know that when a person is bullied over a certain amount of time, that person is more than likely hungry for any morsel of acceptance, approval, and kindness, and they take full advantage!

You’ll know that something is off because they’ll overdo the pleasantries. Bullies will use excessive flattery to get you to let your guard down and trust them. And man! Do they lay it on thick! If they’re so sickeningly sweet that you swear you’re getting a mouth full of cavities just listening to them, that’s your cue to find the door.

3. A fake smile – As one verse in the old song goes, a smile is only a frown turned upside down. If they smile with their mouths and not with their eyes, it’s time to end the conversation and get away from those creeps.

4. Microflashes – If you pay close attention to their body language and facial expressions, you’ll notice those tiny, split-second flashes of contempt on their faces when they think you aren’t looking or paying attention. Don’t ignore those. Bid them goodbye and politely leave.

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5. Giggling or smirking among themselves after you turn and walk away – Dead giveaway! Give these idiots the boot!

6. They will get furious when you politely decline any invitations or requests – Again! Steer clear. It only goes to show that they don’t respect you as a person with feelings, boundaries, and human rights!

Also, it’s a sign that in their invitations or requests, they more than likely had plans for you that you don’t know about. Maybe they invited you to dinner or a party as a way to lure you to a possible set-up for something humiliating or dangerous? You never know. And if you don’t know, don’t go!

When it comes to bullies, always be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary or that doesn’t feel right to you because that’s usually your clue. Your gut will always give you the correct answer. Listen to it.

(Continued in Part 2…)

Bullies, Groupthink and Fakery

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Excessive groupthink was the accepted norm for Oakley High School and at one workplace I was employed in. In high school, groupthink and fakery were shared by most students and teachers alike. In the workplace, it went from top to bottom.

A moderate amount of groupthink is only human nature because it’s how we conform to rules and laws and provides stability for a community. However, excessive groupthink is unhealthy, and it’s how cults, dictatorships, and totalitarian states get started.

An example of groupthink is, “if everyone else is doing it, I want to do it too.” It’s herd mentality at play.

When there’s a culture of bullying in a school or in a workplace, all too often, people who would not typically bully another person will do it simply because everyone does it, and they think they should get in on it also. It certainly was the case at *Oakley High School years ago and later at *Oakley Rehab and Living Center.

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From time to time, people you thought were friends would suddenly and without warning turn on you and bully you- all to jump on the bandwagon and join everyone else so they could feel like one of the big guys.

There are several names for this, two of which are Social Contagion and Peer Pressure.

Now I understand that most of my classmates and later, coworkers were followers, drones, slaves! I compare the student body of Oakley High School, of which I was apart years ago, to one big herd of sheep with no definite shepherd. They were slaves to the prospect of being seen as “one of the cool kids” or a member of the ‘Good Ole Boy’ network.

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My bullies were nothing but two-faced hypocrites. They talked out both sides of their mouths, held certain others to a double standard, and pretended to be someone they never were and never could be. Authenticity, being yourself, and free thought and expression were all punishable offenses. Everything was about appearances and whose butt they wanted to kiss to move up the social ladder

I would watch as most of my bullies pathetically sucked up to people they secretly couldn’t stand because they thought it would score them brownie points.  And often, it would.

I also watched bullies who were second in power take plenty of degradation from the bullies at the top to fit in and look popular.

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One such person was someone I knew who was the son of one of the teachers.
Very few of the so-called cool kids liked this wuss, yet he would lick their boots hungrily to get the so-called privilege of hanging with them, it didn’t matter to him if they were only tolerating him.

It was so pathetic I couldn’t hate the boy. All I could do was pity him.

On other occasions, I would see one of the popular girls drop a textbook, a pencil, anything. I would then watch the kids around her scramble, some taking a nosedive to the floor to pick it up for her and laugh as I walked by.

Whoever put on the best possible and most convincing front was rewarded not only by the other classmates but many of the teachers and school staff as well. I realize now that all the fake sympathy, bogus compliments and, incessant butt-kissing were so they could get something from the higher-ups, not because they liked or respected them.

False flattery and opinion conformity in school and at work, made the bullies puffed up and overconfident, and yielded immense social benefits for all the wannabes. Therefore, they maintained the status quo of ritualistic bullying of only kids or coworkers in particular.

Many of my classmates and coworkers were narcissistic sociopaths with low self-esteem. They were like tires with slow leaks. Their followers had to continuously air them up with fake compliments and false admiration to keep them from going flat!

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Unquenchably thirsty for attention and praise, the bullies at the top only surrounded themselves with weak wannabes- bootlickers and yes-kids to feed their hungry egos by telling them what they wanted to hear. And everyone, except a few, was more than too happy to do so if it awarded them high popularity and favors.

You were expected to think like them, dress like them, be like them and agree with them. And the kids who did their own thing, who were happy being themselves, and didn’t act or think like the flock were bullied for it.

But real life did eventually come around to the top dogs in high school. Once we were all graduated, and the so-called preppies (bullies) got a taste of the real world, many of them got a rude awakening.

They were no longer the big dogs and had to start at the bottom, which was a terrible blow to their fragile egos. They had to learn the hard way that the real world doesn’t care who you are or whether you made the “Who’s Who” section of your high school yearbook. The real world only cares whether you can contribute to it, and most of the punks I went to school with haven’t brought a damn thing to the table of life.

In fact, many of them either became criminals or bred them.

Followers and sheep

Fitting in leads to a life of mediocrity. Standing out, on the other hand, is a prerequisite of greatness!

So, if your classmates are bullying you in school, or if your coworkers at work are bullying you, know that you are the brave one because you refuse to follow the herd or resort to pathetic fakery to get approval!

You continue to be your authentic self and embrace your uniqueness, flaws, and all. You’re at the head of the class because you are true to your own heart, your own beliefs, and your convictions. You refuse to let them mold you into what they think you ought to be. You stand out from the rest, and one day, it’s all going to pay off!

Wait and see!

Excuses Bystanders and Authority Often Make for a Bully

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As we know, bullies are very practiced and convincing liars and have a flair for using charm to deceive bystanders and authority.

Understand that this “charm” bullies often display is fake. It is all a part of the smokescreen they put up to hoodwink people, cover up bad behavior, and avoid accountability. In short, bullies are only actors and actresses.

Here is a list of excuses that bystanders and authorities often make for the bully anytime a victim reports them for their appalling behavior.

“That’s just his personality.”

“He was only joking.”

“She’s only expressing herself.”

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“He just has a very strong personality.”

“She’s going through a hard time right now.”

“But he’s really a good person, he’s just having issues right now.”

“She’s just having problems at home.”

“He’s just being himself.”

“But he’s so well-liked and well mannered. Why would he bully someone like you?”

“But she’s so sweet and everyone loves her. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“But they’re just good kids who made a bad mistake.”

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These are a few examples of how others justify and condone the bully’s behavior.

Don’t fall for it! Call them what they are- BULLIES! Never accept any excuse. It’s true that retaliation may follow.

However, stay strong and know that you don’t have to tolerate atrocious behavior from anyone! You have rights. And you have a right to be safe and to live in a healthy environment. Those are non-negotiables!

Lastly, always remember that it’s not your fault and the harassment isn’t about you. It’s about the bullies’ issues!

A More In-Depth Explanation of Frenemies (Part 2)

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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 what is termed, “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!

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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 then exploit this information, using it as a weapon to harm you, ruining your reputation and sabotaging your personal relationships and associations.

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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. Frenemies, however, (especially those who are charming and persuasive) have ways of reeling you in and keeping you dependent on their approval and acceptance. 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!

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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 the progression of the friendship 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!

 

A More In-Depth Explanation of Frenemies

Pre Teen Girl Being Bullied By Text Message

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.

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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 which are only telling 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.

Clique

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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 behavior which is unacceptable 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!

(To be continued in Part 2…)

 

Frenemies: Why They Are Worse Than Enemies

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Victims often pick “friends” who only tolerate them or those who wish them ill will because they’re often lonely and desperate. For so long, they have been wrongly alienated from others due to rumors and lies that bullies have spread about them to keep them from making friends. Because the target is so hungry for a connection…any connection, he/she will befriend anyone…and I mean anyone! They are not selective with who they call “friend” and end up latching on to people who are not even worth knowing…predators, who only take advantage.

Also, young victims often assume that to be “cool”, they have to have a big circle of friends. This is not true.

Pre Teen Girl Being Bullied By Text Message

With that being said, I want you to know that if you are a victim of bullying, you do not need a whole slew of people in your life to be happy nor to feel like or be a whole person. You only need your family and a few true friends. It’s safer this way. Wouldn’t you much rather have just a handful of true friends than to have an abundance of frenemies? I know I would.

In fact, you should prefer to have enemies over ‘frenemies’ because, with an enemy, you know exactly where they stand without having to do any guesswork. However, with frenemies, you will always be the last to know after being played for a sucker.

If at any time you wonder about a person…if your intuition is telling you that something is “off”, put some distance between yourself and that individual and do it fast! Instinct is trying to warn you.

If your so-called friends are only tolerating you, stabbing you in the back, or sabotaging you in any way, it’s time to eighty-six these leaches to your self-esteem. And the sooner you do, the better!