Choose Your Friends Wisely

friends

And no, I don’t mean the type of friends who only tell you what you want to hear. You can get that anywhere. And many people will tickle your ears just to manipulate you or soften you up.

It goes much deeper.

It’s not about how much money or prestige they have- the hot car they drive or the latest fashions they wear. Neither is it about how good they look or how popular they are.

It’s all in how they make us feel about ourselves, and the space they give us to grow. Even better, it’s how they help us to grow and vice versa.

Therefore, if the person makes you feel bad about yourself and makes you doubt yourself- if she makes you feel left out and discarded, that’s your first clue that this person is not right for you! They’re not worthy of your time and are a waste of energy.

Don’t walk. RUN!

Always keep company with those who make you feel the best about yourself- that means the people who want to see you do good for yourself, the people who point you in the right direction, and the people who remain loyal even when the chips are down.

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Associate only with the people who love, encourage and want your very best. Reserve your friendship only for those who have your back! Choose the friend who is willing to walk through the fire with you.

In closing, never chase anyone who doesn’t care or makes you feel terrible about yourself. Because if they’re a true friend, they won’t tear you down and make you feel worthless.

They won’t block your path to success. You won’t have to fight for their time or their love. They will make time for you and give love freely. Therefore, be selective of who you let in your life.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

It IS Possible to Win an Enemy Over

friends

It’s something you can do. I’ve seen other people do it, and I’ve done it. However, a couple of things need to happen before you can win over an enemy: first, the enemy must be open to you winning them over. In other words, the person has to want it and not resist it. Then, you must show genuine interest in them and their lives, and it has to be real and not fake.

Understand that enemies are naturally resistant to us. Why? Because, to an enemy, you’re the bad guy. It doesn’t matter that you’re a great person with a giving heart. You may be the most fun and cheerful person in the world, even liked by many. None of that will make a difference to your enemies.

To an enemy, you’re suspect even when you’re on your best behavior and whether it’s real. An enemy doesn’t care how kind and down to earth you are. They could care less about your charm and charisma. Any kindness, genuineness, smarts, and talents- any positive qualities you may possess are all null and void to your enemy.

All that matters to an enemy is that you are who you are, and they resent you for it. Nothing more.

But would you even want to win over such a person? I wouldn’t. With an enemy such as this, it’s better to leave them where they are and keep it moving because there’ll be some enemies you can’t win over no matter what. Others, you can but be cautious.

Whether you win over an enemy depends on the person with whom you’re dealing.

Years ago, I did win over an enemy from school- a staunch enemy. We became close friends and remained close until the day she passed away. It was a blessing because she became a blessing to my life, and I became a blessing to hers. And I did it by showing genuine interest in her after she brought her defenses down and showed me the same. It was one of God’s beautiful miracles, I believe.

We discovered things about each other that we never even suspected. This lady had been a target of bullying herself. She, too, had been judged and persecuted by others, and harshly so. And other than the petty rumors I’d heard about her, I hadn’t known it was as bad as it was. She’d had to fight her way through school, and like me, she was only trying to survive.

I want you to realize that this doesn’t work with everyone, especially an enemy who’s narcissistic. If you show genuine interest in a narcissist, you’ll only be feeding them their much-needed narcissistic supply, and they’ll only steamroll you with it. A narcissist only sees another’s genuine interest or love as bowing down and kissing their arse.

Narcissists only get a thrill out of it and take it as a green light to use you for what they get out of you- even if the benefits are nothing more than an ego boost. To a narcissist, you’re not a separate human being with feelings, thoughts, perspectives, and goals of your own. No. You’re an object who’s only here for their convenience.

True friends are hard to find and don’t come along every day. You must pick and choose wisely.

It’s the same with enemies you chose to win over. Yes, turning an enemy into a friend is fantastic and can be rewarding. But it’s wise to be selective of those you chose to win over because not everyone deserves a place in your life.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Personal Story of How I Turned One of My Fiercest of Bullies into The Greatest of Friends

Shelly (not her real name) had been one of my most vicious of bullies during school. Every time we passed one another in the halls, at a ballgame, anywhere and we would not hesitate to exchange nasty sentiments as we passed, “Bitch!”, “Whore!” “Skank!”. Thinking up ways to degrade and slut-shame each other was always a top priority during these little meetings.

Fast-forward twenty years, in late 2007, I went to a karaoke show, which was held in the Moose Lodge club on the outskirts of town to celebrate my recently having the courage to break off what had been a 2 1/2 year-long abusive relationship. I hadn’t known my own strength until this point, and I was ready for a fun girl’s night out.

When I arrived at the Moose Lodge with a few friends in tow, the first word I heard was, “Oh my God! Not that bitch!” Honestly, I thought the verbal assault was directed at someone else until I looked up and saw her. There Shelly stood, pool cue in one hand, the other hand resting on her boyfriend’s back as her eyes and brows narrowed into little slits in her face and bore into me like a sharp object.

I had not seen her in so many years and wondered how it was that she’d managed to drag around so much hate for so many years when I had completely forgotten about her amid juggling bills, a job and family, and other adult priorities. But I also discovered that maybe I too had some unresolved hate as well only it was a case of out of sight, out of mind.

I’d soon learn that that night, Shelly was going through the lowest point in her life. Life hadn’t been kind to her.

It seemed that on her part, even twenty years, marriages and children hadn’t been enough to erase the teenage animosity she still held. We lived in a small Southern town, and in small Southern towns, very few people ever forget the past, and it’s very easy for the reputation you once had in your teens to follow you for the rest of your life. Sadly, this is how it is in a small town.

Having always loved music and had vocal talent, I got up and sang one of my favorite songs, and everyone cheered once I was finished. After I sat down, Shelly sat down beside me and was very impressed with my performance. She told me that she admired my voice and that she’d always known I could sing but didn’t know I was that good. At first, I was flabbergasted. This was the first positive remark I’d heard from her, but nevertheless, I was grateful.

I smiled and gave her a gracious “Thank you. It’s good to see you again after all these years.”

We continued to talk, and she took some pictures out of her purse to show me. Pictures of what was her talent- woodwork and paintings, the most beautiful work I’d ever seen. This lady was very talented, and I couldn’t or wouldn’t deny it. I truly loved her work and could not stop looking at those pictures and complimenting her. She truly was an expert at woodworking and oil painting.

It was at that point that the dynamics of our relationship changed for the better. We exchanged phone numbers and soon began calling each other and texting cute little funnies back and forth. Then we began to invite each other to family outings, cookouts, and meetings in town for lunch.

We soon became the greatest of friends, and I grew to truly love this lady. We often talked about how we missed out on what could have been a wonderful friendship years ago.

“Boy! We were stupid back then, weren’t we?” Shelly laughed.

I laughed and readily agreed. She was right. We were dumb kids with big mouths and bad attitudes.

Knowing the past couldn’t be changed, we were content to go from the present and make our friendship as fun and drama-free as possible.

This story’s moral is this: It is always possible to turn a bully or enemy into a friend. Nothing is impossible. All it takes is to break down that wall and show the other person genuine interest. Everybody loves it when you are interested in them, their likes, and how things are going in their lives—even the coldest and meanest of people.

As humans, we all have a certain degree of selfishness. We all want the same things- to be loved, appreciated, and respected. Everybody has a void waiting to be filled. If we can fill the void- whether it’s by making the person feel loved and respected or giving the person some sense of who they are and where they belong, it can be the difference between gaining a friend or keeping an enemy.

Through our many talks, I found out that this poor lady I thought was so cruel yet totally in control and didn’t need anyone was really a girl who didn’t feel loved by anyone. She was just as sad as I was but had put on a tough exterior. Also, she had suffered incidences of bullying herself; though not as severe as I did, it still hurt her immensely.

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Sadly, my beautiful friend Shelly passed away two years ago from cancer. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her and think of her. I’ll never forget that night at the karaoke club, the night Shelly and I became close friends. And we remained like sisters until the day she died.

By showing her genuine interest, without fakery, I was able to turn one of my most resistant bullies into one of my best friends. And I’m so thankful that we became like sisters and finally found out that the other was really a great person who had been hiding a lot of past hurts and brokenness! I thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend together and I miss her…I miss her so much.

Fly high, Shelly! Until we meet again on those golden streets!

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

(Continued from Part 1…)

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

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

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

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

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

back-stabbing colleagues threatening an employee with scissors and knife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With knowledge comes empowerment!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continued in Part 2…

Winning Over Your Enemies: It Can Be Done

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It’s something you can do. I’ve seen other people do it, and I’ve done it. However, a couple of things need to happen before you can win over an enemy: first, the enemy must be open to you winning them over. In other words, the person has to want it and not resist it. Then, you must show genuine interest in them and their lives, and it has to be real and not fake.

Understand that enemies are naturally resistant to us. Why? Because, to an enemy, you’re the bad guy. It doesn’t matter that you’re a great person with a giving heart. You may be the most fun and cheerful person in the world, even liked by many. None of that will make a difference to your enemies.

To an enemy, you’re suspect even when you’re on your best behavior and whether it’s real. An enemy doesn’t care how kind and down to earth you are. They could care less about your charm and charisma. Any kindness, genuineness, smarts, and talents- any positive qualities you may possess are all null and void to your enemy.

All that matters to an enemy is that you are who you are, and they resent you for it. Nothing more.

But would you even want to win over such a person? I wouldn’t. With an enemy such as this, it’s better to leave them where they are and keep it moving because there’ll be some enemies you can’t win over no matter what. Others, you can but be cautious.

Whether you win over an enemy depends on the person with whom you’re dealing.

Years ago, I did win over an enemy from school- a staunch enemy. We became close friends and remained close until the day she passed away. It was a blessing because she became a blessing to my life, and I became a blessing to hers. And I did it by showing genuine interest in her after she brought her defenses down and showed me the same. It was one of God’s beautiful miracles, I believe.

We discovered things about each other that we never even suspected. This lady had been a target of bullying herself. She, too, had been judged and persecuted by others, and harshly so. And other than the petty rumors I’d heard about her, I hadn’t known it was as bad as it was. She’d had to fight her way through school, and like me, she was only trying to survive.

I want you to realize that this doesn’t work with everyone, especially an enemy who’s narcissistic. If you show genuine interest in a narcissist, you’ll only be feeding them their much-needed narcissistic supply, and they’ll only steamroll you with it. A narcissist only sees another’s genuine interest or love as bowing down and kissing their arse.

Narcissists only get a thrill out of it and take it as a green light to use you for what they get out of you- even if the benefits are nothing more than an ego boost. To a narcissist, you’re not a separate human being with feelings, thoughts, perspectives, and goals of your own. No. You’re an object who’s only here for their convenience.

True friends are hard to find and don’t come along every day. You must pick and choose wisely.

It’s the same with enemies you chose to win over. Yes, turning an enemy into a friend is fantastic and can be rewarding. But it’s wise to be selective of those you chose to win over because not everyone deserves a place in your life.

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart — This Happy Human

Here is a reblog from Matt the Happy Human. (https://thishappyhuman.com/) When I read this post, it touched my heart and it will touch yours as well. Great friends are hard to find but when you find them, they have such a profound effect on your life that you never forget them.
Matt is a great writer and no doubt he will post many, many more great, thought-provoking posts!

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Pexels.com People will come in and out of our lives, but friendships last a lifetime. Remember that when you find someone who shares your interests, shares your concerns; it’s easy to say we found a true friend! Friendship is one of the most important aspects of life. It’s what gets […]

Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart — This Happy Human

Enemies Foreign and Domestic

May our unity and love for one another confuse them, for when they are confused, they can’t strategize.

May our prosperity astonish them, for when they’re astonished, they’re also stunned and easy to trick.

May our willingness to fight and speak out enrage them, for when they are enraged, they can’t think clearly.

May our pride and happiness confound them, for when they are confounded, they’re easily overtaken.

May our love for Christ intimidate them, for when they are intimidated, they will flee.

May they be eaten alive by their own hate.

May they rot in their own proverbial urine and feces.

May they gag, choke, and puke of their own vile stench.

May they poison themselves with their own poison.

May they be hoisted by their own petards.

In trying to destroy us, may they unwittingly destroy themselves.

Why It’s So Important for Targets to Meet New People Outside the Bullying Environment

If you’ve ever been a target of relentless and excessive bullying, meeting people, especially new ones, can be paralyzing. I can relate because I’ve been there. It’s easy to withdraw from social situations because you’re afraid the new person you meet will reject you. After all, it seems that everyone else you know already has, and you just can’t take another chance of it happening again.

But never be afraid to meet new people because they are opportunities for you to make friends and allies. Total strangers are the best people to meet and establish connections with. They make the best potentials because you have no history with them. They don’t know you from the bullying environment, so, you aren’t a target to them and likely will never be one.

With total strangers, you can begin with a clean slate and have opportunities to put your best foot forward and get a fresh start.

Therefore, when you meet someone new, don’t be shy or nervous. Find out what you have in common with the person to establish common ground. Be genuinely interested in the person because people love the one who’s interested in them and their lives. Make small talk and show them the awesome, one in a million you.

I promise you that you’ll be glad you did, and your confidence and self-esteem will shoot up tenfold!

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Slick Ways to Make Friends When You’re Targeted by Bullies

friends

To feel better about themselves and keep from feeling powerless, too many targets of bullying resort to bullying others who are even more vulnerable than them. And it’s not right.

In many cases, targets of bullying who bully, or “bully-victims” bully not because they want to. They bully because they feel like they have no choice.

In bullying, bullies unwittingly teach their targets that to degrade and disparage another person is what it takes to stay on top or off the bottom! And let’s face it, nobody wants to be on the bottom.

One of the uglier characteristics of humans is that everyone wants to be better than somebody! The attitude is that if you’re not above somebody, anybody, then who are you better than? The sad reality is that people equate not being better than someone, even if it’s only one person, with being powerless. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

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But just the same, they do it because they don’t believe there’s any other way to stay out of the basement and boost their self-esteem. But!

What if I told you that there was a better way to get the same psychological benefits? What if I told you that there was another way you could feel better about yourself and eliminate those toxic feelings your bullies have instilled in you for so long? Even better, what if I told you that you could get those benefits without causing harm to another person?

Well? You can!

Here’s how you do it!

Instead of targeting more vulnerable people, how about connecting with and befriending them? Because they get bullied just like you. They may get bullied worse than you. You never know.

hope

And let’s face it. No one person is an island. There’s no way you can have even a little bit of power by yourself. We’d like to think that we can survive and do anything in this world just fine by ourselves and that we don’t have to depend on anyone, but that’s not reality.

The reality is that power means relationships. And we all need people as loved ones, friends, and allies.

Therefore, make friends with those who are weaker than you! Stick up for those people and be their buddy instead of their bully. Make them feel good about themselves and encourage them to stick up for themselves and to realize that they too matter in this world.

These targets need someone who they think has more strength than them to have their backs, and to be someone they can trust and look up to. These people will need you and depend on you, and that’s what you want.

friendship

Let me explain this a little deeper,

If you’re a target of bullying, the last thing you want to do is seek the approval of your bullies or their followers. You never want to build a power base with people more powerful than you are. They’ll only eat you alive!

And if they’re stronger than you, how can you expect them to depend on you? To make friends in your situation, you must look for people who will count on you. And they have to in some way, shape, or form, need you.

And the “weaker” targets will be the ones who must have you around to ensure their safety and to validate their importance and their deserving of love and friendship. They will need a friend, protector, and advocate. And you can be those things to them!

It’s much smarter to seek out and make friends with the “weaker” targets and create a relationship on their dependency on you. Because when you do, you become their pillar of strength. You become their voice and their backbone.

friends alliance allies

And because the other targets are more vulnerable, they’ll know that to turn their backs on you would be to do so at their own risk. Throwing you under the bus would only bring them hardship and pain.

In a friendship like this, you will have the power. So use that power to promote solidarity with them, uplift them, and have their backs!

And if ever you need something done, you won’t have to use force to get your new, less powerful friends to help you out. They’ll be more than happy to oblige because you’ll be their fearless leader, their encourager and protector, and the last thing they’ll want is to lose you. They’ll know that without you, they’d be in a pickle.

The beauty of this is that you and all the other victims will become a group. You’ll band together and become as one. And you’ll gain strength from your numbers.

I promise you that things will only get better once you put this into action. And the only things you’ll have to lose are your low self-esteem and your feelings of powerlessness!