Targets of Bullying and Social Anxiety

After being bullied for so long, targets can develop social anxiety. They withdraw from people because they fear future attacks. The target’s spirit has been beaten down and broken and the person has been abused to the point of losing faith in humanity. Also, they’re reprogrammed to believe the bullies’ lies that they aren’t worthy of love and friendship. They are under the presumption that it’s much safer not to engage in any social interaction.

But what the target doesn’t realize is that in closing himself off from the rest of the world, he unknowingly limits himself in all aspects of life.

Humans were created to socialize and to have relationships. When targets create this invisible fortress around them, it doesn’t ensure their safety but only brings about more bullying. Bullies get their power from our fear. They are like ferocious animals who can smell fear from a mile away and believe me. They take full advantage.

Moreover, targets miss out on relationships that, otherwise, could be and would be fulfilling and rewarding. They unwittingly forego opportunities for friendship, dating, even good jobs that can produce personal success and financial well-being. Because if a person doesn’t believe in themselves, no one else will- that includes potential friends, dates, and company managers and supervisors. No one wants to be friends with, date, or hire someone who isn’t sure of himself unless they have low self-esteem themselves.

People recognize, if only subconsciously, social anxiety when they see it and not only through the more obvious signs, such as quietness, avoidance, trembling, blushing, stuttering or sweaty palms.

Social anxiety can also be more covert, showing itself in less obvious ways:

  1. Excessive laughing and giggling
  2. Appearing normal on the outside but nervous and shaky on the inside
  3. Excessive humor and being overly funny or no sense of humor at all
  4. Excessive sarcasm/having a smart-alicky attitude
  5. Being overly friendly/too nice
  6. Shutting down/freezing up- unable to talk or move
  7. Meanness/rudeness
  8. Fidgeting/can’t sit still
  9. Lack of or too much eye contact
  10. Poor posture/looking down all the time
  11. Having a hard time keeping up with a conversation
  12. Talking too loudly, too fast, too soft, too slow, or not at all
  13. Indifference
  14. Excessive use of foul language
  15. Promiscuity/raciness
  16. Wearing attire that is provocative or super-revealing
  17. A style that is “perceived” as separatist or out of the ordinary (goth, punk-rock, etc.)

The difficult thing is that those covert signs don’t always mean that the person has social anxiety. Many people just have their own sense of style or they may be naturally introverted. They may also have a boisterous personality. If you do not know the person or aren’t close to them, it’s hard to tell.

But one thing that is noticeable is if the person never exhibited this kind of behavior or look before and suddenly, or within a short amount of time transitions into it. And these kinds of changes can only be noticeable to those who are close to the person or have been around the person for years.

Therefore, if you know a person who is showing these signs, instead of pointing a finger and judging them cruelly, ask questions and find out why. You may not realize that person could be a target of bullying or another form of abuse.

And if you are a target of bullying and struggling with social anxiety, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in that invisible prison forever. Bullies do not deserve value and you shouldn’t place any worth to their opinions of you. Understand that you are enough and that your bullies haven’t earned your respect nor your attention.

Only value the opinions or thoughts of the people who love you and whose opinions deserve your consideration, attention, and acknowledgement.

Start loving yourself and practicing self-care. Relax and be yourself. Embrace your flaws and quirks because we all have them whether we admit it or not. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. I promise you that you’ll be much happier and have more peace of mind when you do.

When People Tell You, “You Can’t Do Anything Right!”

It’s true! When you’re a target of bullying and mobbing, you really can’t do anything right. But understand that bullying does that to targets. It causes them to be extremely nervous and always on edge.

You drop things, trip over stuff, the intense nervousness and fear make you awkward and uncoordinated. It makes you clumsy. The human stress response is, indeed, a tricky little devil!

You become even more afraid, which makes the clumsiness worse- fearful of screwing up, afraid to fail, afraid to be yourself because you know your bullies are watching you closely, and you’re mistakes and failures are precisely what they’re waiting for.

verbal abuse bullying

A bullied girl bakes a cake in Home Economics, only for it to collapse like a souffle. A bullied boy accidentally drops the ball on the basketball court in Physical Education. A company supervisor oversees a project, only for it to fall flat and be ridiculed.

And it seems the harder you try not to screw up, the more you do. You’re confused and don’t know which way to turn, nor which end is up. Making choices is hard and you aren’t sure which decisions are the right ones. No one can think clearly when they don’t feel safe.

bullying victim nervous, walking tight rope

Because when your mind and body are in panic mode- when your brain rewires itself for a hostile environment after people have, for so long, subjugated you to inhumane treatment, the part of your mind that deals with decision-making and emotional regulation automatically shuts down. And you’re at the mercy of your primal instincts!

Again, all this is what bullying does to victims! It’s why most victims of bullying have low grades and performance in school and why their work projects suffer in the workplace. And it’s why they’re looked at by teachers and supervisors as failures and nuisances.

bullying girl physical

But know that you’re not a failure, a loser, or a freak. You must realize that any time you’re bullied, there’s no way to relax and just be. It’s impossible. So, understand that your bullies, in their sadistic abuse, have turned you from a once calm and happy person into one hot mess! Then they’ve taken that and exploited it by calling you things like, “train wreck,” “crazy,” and other such cheap shots.

But there’s hope. When you finally get out of the dangerous environment you’re stuck in, and away from those poisonous people, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the nervousness, clumsiness, and awkwardness will go away!

You will be calm again, finally. You’ll be able just to relax, breathe, and be. And that’s a freedom I can’t describe when I remember how it happened for me.

The relief is such that it’s a feeling of being able to come up for air after having your head held underwater, or of coming home after a long time away. When you’re in a new place and around better people, you can put your best foot forward and start over.

It may be frightening at first because, after all, you just came out of an abusive situation, and you may need time to get used to the new people in your life. You may be afraid of being bullied again. But I promise you that you can make new friends and you can finally enjoy equal treatment.

Because you’ll be a fresh face, and in most cases, everyone loves the new kid because there’s an air of mystery that surrounds them. So, take advantage of that.

And once you’re able to relax and be yourself, you’ll be able to speak and do things more confidently and assuredly. Your actions and movements will be fluid and the clumsiness and confusion will fade away. It happened for me, and it will work for you too!

Other Bullied Classmates Are Still Afraid to Tell Their Stories Today

small town bullying

Even today, thirty years later, there are other targets from way back who are afraid of telling their stories. Some are scared that it may somehow get back to the people who bullied them. And that the bullies from high school will hunt them down and harm them or their families if they speak out. Hey, Oakley’s a small southern town and they have to live there. Luckily for me, I got out of there.

Their worries aren’t exactly needless either. Many of them live in the same small town the bullies do, and the bullies have powerful connections. Many of the classmates who bullied me are either working in law enforcement (Isn’t it funny how most people who were bullies in school seek out careers that give them a little power and authority?), or ended up with spouses in law enforcement.

People in small towns never forget who they hated in high school and seem to carry grudges for a lifetime. Many of them would jump at the chance if they could bully the person again for old time’s sake. Trust me. I know these people, and they wouldn’t think twice about it!

Hate is blind

I’ve heard countless horror stories from others. They were stories about how these former bullies from high school would have certain people they didn’t like pulled over and plant drugs in their vehicle to press bogus charges of illegal possession and ruin their lives. It happens more than we realize. So far, when passing through, I’ve been very fortunate.

I’ve also heard another story from a very reliable source about how one of the women who bullied me in school, handled marital issues with her husband.

Because she was angry and wanted to get back at her spouse, she sent a picture of herself and another man in their home to her husband’s phone while he (the husband) was at work at the police department, all to prove a point to him that she could leave and have any other man she wanted.

In doing that, she baited her police officer husband into losing his temper, leaving his shift and coming home to fire several shots into the home they shared, placing both herself and their children in grave danger. Yep! Talk about stupid!

 

Luckily, neither she nor the kids were hurt. However, if she would do a damn fool thing like baiting her spouse to do something foolish and make herself out to be the innocent wife who’s so abused and mistreated, then she’d bait someone else with whom she wanted to get revenge on. And most of her friends, who were also bullies, are the same manipulative way, which is why I make it a point to keep them at a long distance from my loved ones and me.

I’ve committed a grave sin by writing and publishing a book about being bullied in high school, and yes, they know about it. Although I never used their real names in the book, I received quite a few nasty and threatening messages from them after the book became available, and a few other classmates bought it.

One woman even informed me that she had contacted several classmates, and they all wanted to meet me somewhere where we could “have a meeting” and “have a well-needed discussion” over what I’d written and published.

nope refuse bullying

Emoticon making deny sign

That meeting didn’t happen. And it never will because I wouldn’t trust any of them as far as I could throw them. You never know what they may be plotting or what might happen. Had I stupidly agreed to meet with them, there’s no telling what I would’ve walked into. So, I bade them thanks, but no thanks.

No reunions for me. I hope my classmates have fun, but they’ll have to do it without me.

There are times I still get nasty messages from a classmate or two, not often, but it does happen. It doesn’t phase me any because number one; they don’t know where I live. Number two; I could care less.

gut feeling

If I must do any business in the town, I do it without worrying about the possibility of being seen by the wrong people. I know that they would be a fool to approach me today.

The bullies know that if they try anything foolish, and if anything happens to me, anything at all, they will only prove every word I wrote in “From Victim to Victor.” Also, people from everywhere will come around asking questions and guess who they’ll go to for answers.

They will only make themselves suspects.

In essence, “From Victim to Victor” is my protection. The book can serve as a shield from any retribution my old bullies may want for my daring to speak out about the notoriously vile and ignorant way they acted years ago. These people know not to bust themselves.

My other classmates, who were also victims, do not have that protection going for them, and I can only hope and pray that they are left alone to live their lives with their families in peace.

Targets of Bullying and Social Anxiety

After being bullied for so long, targets can develop social anxiety. They withdraw from people because they fear future attacks. The target’s spirit has been beaten down and broken and the person has been abused to the point of losing faith in humanity. Also, they’re reprogrammed to believe the bullies’ lies that they aren’t worthy of love and friendship. They are under the presumption that it’s much safer not to engage in any social interaction.

But what the target doesn’t realize is, that in closing himself off from the rest of the world, he unknowingly limits himself in all aspects of life.

Humans were created to socialize and to have relationships. When targets create this invisible fortress around them, it doesn’t ensure their safety but only brings about more bullying. Bullies get their power from our fear. They are like ferocious animals who can smell fear from a mile away and believe me. They take full advantage.

Moreover, targets miss out on relationships that, otherwise, could be and would be fulfilling and rewarding. They unwittingly forego opportunities for friendship, dating, even good jobs that can produce personal success and financial well-being. Because if a person doesn’t believe in themselves, no one else will- that includes potential friends, dates, and company managers and supervisors. No one wants to be friends with, date, or hire someone who isn’t sure of himself unless they have low self-esteem themselves.

People recognize, if only subconsciously, social anxiety when they see it and not only through the more obvious signs, such as quietness, avoidance, trembling, blushing, stuttering or sweaty palms.

Social anxiety can also be more covert, showing itself in less obvious ways:

1.Excessive laughing and giggling

2. Appearing normal on the outside but nervous and shaky on the inside

3. Excessive humor and being overly funny or no sense of humor at all

4. Excessive sarcasm/having a smart-alicky attitude

5. Being overly friendly/too nice

6. Shutting down/freezing up- unable to talk or move

7. Meanness/rudeness

8. Fidgeting/can’t sit still

9. Lack of or too much eye contact

10. Poor posture/looking down all the time

11. Having a hard time keeping up with a conversation

12. Talking too loudly, too fast, too soft, too slow, or not at all

13. Indifference

14. Excessive use of foul language

15. Promiscuity/raciness

16. Wearing attire that is provocative or super-revealing

17. A sudden and drastic change of style.

The difficult thing is that those covert signs don’t always mean that the person has social anxiety. Many people just have their own sense of style or they may be naturally introverted. They may also have a boisterous personality. If you do not know the person or aren’t close to them, it’s hard to tell.

But one thing that is noticeable is if the person never exhibited this kind of behavior or look before and suddenly, or within a short amount of time transitions into it. And these kinds of changes can only be noticeable to those who are close to the person or have been around the person for years.

Therefore, if you know a person who is showing these signs, instead of pointing a finger and judging them cruelly, ask questions and find out why. You may not realize that person could be a target of bullying or another form of abuse.

And if you are a target of bullying and struggling with social anxiety, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in that invisible prison forever.

Bullies do not deserve value and you shouldn’t place any worth to their opinions of you. Understand that you are enough and that your bullies haven’t earned your respect nor your attention.

Only value the opinions or thoughts of the people who love you and whose opinions deserve your consideration, attention, and acknowledgement.

Start loving yourself and practicing self-care. Relax and be yourself. Embrace your flaws and quirks because we all have them whether we admit it or not. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. I promise you that you’ll be much happier and have more peace of mind when you do.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

8 Telltale Signs Your Loved One is Bullied at School

As we know, targets are often silent about the torment they face at work or school and in most cases. This is due to shame and embarrassment. Also, Most family members and friends are not even aware that there is a problem. Those who do know about it are often at a loss as to how to help them. If you are a family member and are wondering whether or not your loved one is a target of bullying, here are the signs that she’s being bullied:

1. Withdrawal from family and friends – being the target of bullying can slowly chip away at self-esteem. And people with low self-esteem have a tendency to withdraw. It is a defense mechanism to protect oneself against further attacks because bully targets, after being victimized for so long, begin to think that all people are vicious and cannot be trusted.

Therefore, they put up their guard and close themselves off, resulting in missed opportunities for closeness with family members, friendships, or romantic relationships.

Or it could be that they don’t want to bother others with their problems and prefer to handle them independently. Still, lovingly ask questions and be prepared to listen attentively if they open up.

 

2. Underachievement – Most targets are underachievers. Their self-esteem has been so badly beaten that they no longer believe in themselves, which can cause a condition known as “Learned Helplessness.” After being told that they are a “loser,” “no good,” and/or that they “can’t do anything right” for so long, they tend to believe it themselves. This can hurt grades, class participation, and performance.

Letter F grade on a report card rating a terrible, bad, poor performance in school, a class, job or other scored activity

They must also focus all their mental energy on ways to avoid bullies and be safe, which can affect performance.

3. Overachievement – Although bullying can cause underachievement, it can go either way. Some bullying targets dive into work projects or schoolwork and achieve exceptional grades and class performance to compensate for their low social status among their peers. They feel that they are socially inept somehow, so these kids try to make up for this by excelling in their work, studies, talents, or any other area.

4. Bruises, scrapes, and or cuts on their physical body – many victims of school bullying are targets of physical bullying (being punched, kicked, knocked down, dragged, etc.), which occurs mostly in boys. Still, thanks partially to feminism and the moral decline in today’s young girls and women, physical assaults perpetrated by females are increasing at an alarming rate.

5. Sadness and Depression – symptoms are crying, withdrawal, loss of interest in activities one normally enjoys, and fatigue.

6. Excessive absences from school – Most targets are afraid of going to work or school because they know that bullies will be waiting for them as soon as they arrive or step onto the bus. So, they avoid going by either skipping, feigning illness, or calling in sick.

7. They may become bullies themselves – Often, bullied people feel helpless. They feel that they have absolutely no control over anything. So they too become bullies in an attempt to feel some sense of power and control over something- ANYTHING.

They bully others who are even more powerless to make themselves feel better about themselves and to feel that they are a rung or two up from the bottom of the social hierarchy. Crap always rolls downhill.

An example of this would be: A child gets yelled at by parents, then goes outside and kicks the dog. It’s the same with most bully targets. And as much as I hate to admit it, I was guilty of the same thing in school.

8. Suicidal thoughts and attempts – sadly, suicides resulting from bullying are at an all-time high! Most people who are bullied are powerless to stop it. Most have tried reporting it to authority or handling it themselves to no avail.

Targets often feel alone and have no one in their corner. They feel that there is something wrong with them. They’re made to feel as if it is their fault and that somehow, they deserve the shabby treatment they get.

Sadly, some targets break under pressure and conclude that suicide is the only way to make it stop. If you even think that your loved one might be suicidal, Get help now!

Targets need a support system! Be that support system! Be there for them! If you see any of these signs in a loved one, don’t ignore or minimize it! Ask questions!!!

Try to get them to open up. It won’t be easy, as people are ashamed to admit being bullied, even their own families. However, if you want to help them, you have to address it, and you have to do it gently and lovingly.

A Deeper Explanation of Catty Women and Girls

cat fight

Not long ago, I created a post entitled “Catty Women and Girls.” In it I described these females, pointing out their toxic personalities, their attitudes, their tactics to bring other women down, and the sickening vibes they put out into the universe.

A commenter on the post, Petrina, made the perfect point when she quoted in her comment:

“…If a woman knows her worth, she won’t be like this. If a woman does not make an idol out of men, she won’t see other women as such a threat. Much of women’s cattiness revolves around the fact that they feel threatened that their idols (men) are going to find other women attractive and prefer them. These types of insecure women are falsely validated by men’s attention….”

Petrina’s words really drive the point home and I thank her for her comment!

What makes these fraulines so dirty and trifling can be summed up in one word:

Fear!

Again, if these poor things had a modicum of self-esteem, confidence- any security whatsoever in themselves as women, they wouldn’t need to walk around with such funky attitudes and making trouble for others. They would not feel the need to compare themselves to another woman. They would not be hating on women they feel have lives that are so much better than theirs.

If these women were genuinely happy with their lives and knew their worth, they wouldn’t be so obsessively jealous of women who have everything going for them and women who have their lives in order.

Women who are catty are usually women who are hungry for attention, especially male attention. They are the kind of girls you see humiliating themselves by chasing and throwing themselves at men in bars or at parties.

Understand that their snooty demeanors alone reveal so much about them and the sad thing is that they are totally oblivious to it. These catty and toxic broads are under the delusion that their snotty and simple behavior somehow makes them look powerful and goddess-like. They believe that walking around with their noses in the air and upper lip snarled like a dog is cute or attractive.

And yes, there are people, especially guys, who are attracted to that kind of behavior in girls. It’s true that every day, you see many men fall all over themselves to get close to these bitchy fem-fatales, but you have to consider that these guys are usually those who have no self-esteem nor self-respect. Because the maneaters they’re desperately trying to get next to will only chew them up and spit them back out!

Yes, they may look like and put on the facade of the alpha male, but, under the surface, they’re only beta males who are insecure and have serious doubts of their own masculinity.

If the wannabe alpha guys who dig these broads were cars, they would be shiny, flashy muscle-cars that look sharp and fast on the outside but would be total wrecks under the hoods and wouldn’t make it out of the driveway before sputtering out and breaking down. Otherwise, they would not be such gluttons for punishment. They wouldn’t bow down to these shrews, kiss their behinds, and become, for lack of a better term, “whipped.”

A guy with any self-esteem, self-respect, or common sense, would have nothing to do with these self-absorbed, egotistical twits. After all, they only have the power others give them.

Oh, but wait! This also says something else!

Any quality woman- a woman who is worth her salt- desires a partner she can respect, not some spineless wimp she can walk on. And men of quality desire a quality woman of strength they too can respect and who respects them back.

And when a catty, insecure woman has her partner, or other guys groveling at her feet, it says one of either two things about her:

A. She is a controlling, domineering shrew who’s fearful of a strong, secure, self-respecting partner and would actually prefer a man who’s a sniveling weakling she can keep under the heel of her high-heeled shoe.

Or

B. A strong, secure, and self-respecting man of quality would never in this lifetime have her nor even consider her! Ouch!

A real woman, one who knows there’s no need to act catty to prove anything to anyone, will be successful in achieving a relationship with a quality partner she can respect and who respects her back. This is a girl who will never get into a relationship with anyone she cannot respect. For love to take place, there must first be respect!

In contrast, women of the catty variety are fearful women. They fear being outshone or outdone. They are to be pitied because they are truly pathetic.

They’re only beta-females who, by their actions and behavior, reduce themselves to the lowest common denominator. Sadly, these women are many- they’re a dime a dozen. But women who are confident and have their mental stuff together are few. They’re rare. And anything that is rare is and always will be of higher value.  Many would deem it priceless. The Laws of Scarcity dictates this.

Therefore, if you are one of those rare and special women and it seems that so many other females are working like the devil to bring you down, know that they are already beneath you. Otherwise, they wouldn’t expend so much effort to tear you apart and bring you to their level.

Always remember that because you are rare, you hold more value than your mean girl bullies ever will. Believe that with every fiber of your being!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Reasons Why Teachers and School Officials Ignore a Bullied Student’s Cries for Help

All too often, schools ignore reports of bullying and leave targets to fend for themselves. It was the same when I was being bullied in school. Any reports of the harassment either went completely ignored, were swept under the rug, or I was blamed for it. Here are the reasons:

They’re lazy. Conducting an investigation into the case of bullying is extra work. Most school officials do not want to make any extra effort in resolving a case of bullying. Often, they take the easy way out by either denying that there’s a problem or blaming the target. And when parents of targets get involved, the school staff may often label the parents as “the crazy mom/dad,” which is only a cop-out.

They’re afraid the bullies’ parents will retaliate. Bullying is a learned behavior, and many bullies have parents who are also bullies themselves. Many of these parents are self-entitled. They may also have powerful political connections in the town or on the school board. And the school staff know too well that disciplining “the wrong kids” could mean an end to either their jobs or their entire careers.

They’re afraid that the school’s reputation may be tarnished. Schools often hide cases of bullying to save face. They know good and well when a child is bullied; however, they may consider that child a threat and, in worse cases, ostracize the poor kid and tell him/her to “keep your mouth shut” to cover their own behinds.

They either don’t like or may even hate the bullied target. Believe me. I was hated by many of my teachers and other school staff, and they were supposed to be adults who were supposed to protect me. The thing is that when a person is bullied for a long period of time, so many rumors and lies have been spread about the person that their once good name has been destroyed, and yes! Teachers hear and believe the rumors too!

They even join in on negative gossip about the target. Understand that although, in reality, the targeted person may be one of the sweetest, most awesome people you may ever meet, the rumors and lies supersede the truth and keep the target locked in a prison of scrutiny and suspicion. Because of this, the target cannot be their true, awesome self because of the stress of being marginalized. In the minds of those at school, the target is “trouble.”

Also, because of having been bullied for so long, the target may react out of self-defense and exhaustion. This poor, tired kid has been harassed for so long that he really cannot help but react, and the bullies slyly use the reaction as further proof that the target is either trouble or crazy. Because of this, teachers and staff may think the worst of the poor, innocent kid.

They may also think that just because everyone seems to hate the target, there must be a reason that justifies it. In their minds, the target deserves what is happening to them. And when a teacher does not like a student, they may either refuse to help them or secretly take pleasure in seeing the poor kid suffer. Teachers and school staff are just as capable as the classroom bullies of hating and hurting students they deem undesirable.

This is why parents must stay proactive in protecting and advocating for their child even when it seems that the school isn’t listening. Let them know that you will not go away until the problem is solved. Go to the media if you have to.

Assure your child that his/her reputation does not equal character and that the bullies have the issues. Know there will come a time when your child will escape their tormentors and have true friends who love them for them. Constantly tell them that they are worthy of having friends and being loved. You might just keep your child’s self-esteem from completely tanking and even save his/her life!

Do it Scared!

No photo description available.

Fear will enslave you if you let it. It’s like a prison without walls because a fearful person is a controlled person. The good thing is that you don’t have to let fear imprison you.

So, how do you break out of that jail?

You face your fears. You do the thing you fear anyway- and you do it scared!

Many people have the wrong idea of the word “fearless.” Fearless doesn’t mean you don’t feel the fear. What it means is that, although you may be scared to death, you do it anyway. A perfect example of this would be jumping out of an airplane with a parachute on your back.

I’ve actually skydived before. It was during the summer of 2004, and let me tell you! The fear is the worst right before you go out the door. But if I’d let my fright stop me, I never would have known that awesome rush I got during the 75 second free-fall before my chute opened. I never would have seen the beauty of the world below me as I floated downward, and would never have known the thrill of skydiving. Even worse, I would’ve been kicking myself later, because skydiving was something I’d always wanted to try.

I consider myself blessed to have gotten the chance to parachute and I’d love to do it again sometime. And when I do, I plan to do a solo jump instead of tandem. So, if there’s anything you want to do, anything at all. Don’t be afraid to do it scared! After all, you only live once.

Go ahead. Take the plunge. Do it while you can and before it’s too late.

Worrying About the Future Only Stops You from Enjoying the Here and Now

There’s a reason why some people make it a point to never to worry until it’s time to worry. What’s going to happen will happen, and they refuse to worry about things that haven’t occurred yet- and may never come to pass.

Too many people worry needlessly, which is why we had the stock market crash and the numerous closing and shortages of necessities last year, when COVID first hit. Was and is COVID something to be concerned about? Absolutely! But was and is it something to panic over. No.

The COVID crisis is just an example. But even before the crisis, people worried needlessly.

“Oh, my God! My girlfriend is going to leave me!”

“My boss is mad at me! I’m going to get fired!”

“My grandmother is 89 years old! Oh, no! She’s going to die soon!”

“Oh, no! We have a thunderstorm, so a tornado is likely to hit!

“I’m afraid to drive a car because I could have an accident and die!”

“My kid is not studying! He’s going to make bad grades!”

“Oh, no! China is mad at us and is likely to invade us!”

There’s nothing wrong with being concerned over something if there’s a threat. But freaking out over it as if it’s the end of the world doesn’t help matters any.

No one is saying that you should put on rose-colored glasses and pretend that everything’s peachy king because to go to the opposite extreme is just as dangerous. Not that I’m putting anyone down, but running out and buying a five-year supply of toilet paper like so many did when the pandemic first hit was a bit extreme. There’s a healthy middle we should stay in when it comes to worry. I could understand stockpiling things like food and medical supplies and maybe cleaning supplies. But toilet paper?

But, ‘you see? That’s what excessive worry does to people. It causes them to make irrational decisions.

Studies show that over half the things we incessantly worry about never end up coming true. So, again. Should we worry needlessly and excessively?

Understand that excessive worry only stops us from being able to think clearly and blocks our ability to make good choices and decisions. If we’re too worried, we’re more likely to make the wrong decisions to try and contain a perceived threat. Also, it lessens our capacity to focus on real problems.

But if we lessen our worry, we’re more likely to come up with better solutions to our problems.

And the best part is, if we train ourselves not to worry excessively, we’ll have more happiness and peace of mind.

What’s the Worst Thing About Being a Target of 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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.