You Aren’t Selfish

To expect fair and humane treatment from others at work or school.

To expect better and more loyal friendships.

To walk away from a job with a boss or coworkers who don’t appreciate your efforts.

To stop putting other’s wants and needs before your own.

To snub people who don’t value you.

To chose not to do anything you don’t want to do.

To say no to things and people you don’t like or just aren’t right for you.

To kick toxic people and life-suckers out of your life.

To refuse to let others take advantage of you.

To walk away from a relationship or friendship that only drains you and leaves you feeling terrible about yourself.

To look out for and take care of yourself.

To put yourself first.

To love yourself and all your imperfections.

You must realize that most people do not care about being fair or reasonable; they only speak of fairness and reason when it suits them.

Understand that you deserve for others to treat you with love and respect. You have a right to say no- to refuse and to walk away when something doesn’t feel right to you.

You deserve the freedom to live your life on your terms, to do things your way, and to be successful, happy, and fulfilled.

Anything less than that is unacceptable. And if any of this constitutes being selfish, then it’s okay to be “selfish.”

Never Be a People-Pleaser!

Grovel in business

Too many people think that they have to give more of themselves than what is necessary and that they have to hide their true selves.

They are under the impression that they have to bend over backwards and go out of their way in order to be valued. They have been conditioned to believe that they have to try and be someone other than themselves to win approval from others.

Sadly, these are the beliefs held by most bully-targets.

“If only I was ten pounds thinner and had long, flowing hair, maybe my friends would like me”

“If only I had bought front row tickets to the game, concert, etc. instead of regular tickets, he would love me.”

“If only I made a 4.0 instead of a 3.99, my family would be proud of me.”

“Maybe I should have bought her a dozen roses instead of a half-dozen, then she would love me.”

“Maybe if I worked sixteen hours a day instead of twelve, then my boss and coworkers would like me.”

Notice that these people are already putting in lots of effort and the people around them don’t thank the person for it, or worse, even acknowledge it. Some of these scenarios may be a little exaggerated, but you get the point.

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But here’s the thing, anytime you sacrifice your own needs to please others and score approval, the exact opposite happens. People do not respect a people pleaser. If anything, they look down on the pleaser with a mixture of disgust, pity and hilarity.

In the minds of others, the pleaser is a pathetic case, eager to kiss butt in his weak attempts to win friends. The more pleasers give of themselves at their own expense, the worse they are treated because to others, they are ripe for using and abusing.

Think of the song, “Self-esteem” by The Offspring and if you haven’t heard it, hop onto YouTube and give it a listen.

People pleasers only attract the predator types of people into their lives while repelling the good, quality people of class and decency. Human predators have a spidey sense when it comes to picking out those who are weak and approval seeking.

If you are a pleaser, they will see you coming a mile away and they will bleed you dry of resources, time and worse…confidence and happiness.

You must give these people the boot and do it FAST! Because they suck the life out of you and by the time you realize you’ve been had, it will more than likely be too late. Your confidence and self-esteem will already be shot and you will have to work like hell to get to know yourself again and get it all back.

I want you to know that it’s perfectly okay to want friends- to want positive connections with other people. Human beings are social creatures and we all want that. However, no one should have to eat crap in order to achieve it.

dreamstime_s_57940877

You can say “NO” if you don’t want to do something.

You can put your foot down and tell someone to get lost anytime they use and/or abuse you.

You can speak up when something does not feel good.

You can have your own opinions and beliefs.

And you don’t have to put yourself out on a limb to please someone else.

You do NOT have to be a doormat! Start today by being true to yourself. If something does not feel good, you do not have to go along with it.

But be warned. The users you have been associating with will not like the change in you. They have been benefiting from your willingness to suck-up for so long and the last thing they want is for those benefits to stop.

They will resort to calling you “selfish”, “stingy”, among other names. They will accuse you of being self-centered and all about yourself. They will lay all kinds of guilt trips on you. They will do everything in their power to make you look and feel like the lowest form of life on the face of the earth!

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But you aren’t. No matter what others may say or how they may act toward you, you must hold firm. You must assert yourself. You must make the decision that you will no longer be used or abused by these people! Tell them to take a flying leap and mean it!

Give them the old heave-ho! You do not need them in your life! You have to love yourself enough to walk away!

I can guarantee that once you have the courage to kick the garbage out of your life, you will attract better people, who will love you not for what you can do for them, but for just being you. You will have more loving, productive and fulfilling relationships!

Best of all, you will feel so much better about yourself…you will be so happy and at peace. It happened for me and it can happen for you too.

You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.

It Pays to be Picky

Many times, in my adult life, I’ve been accused of being “picky”- too picky. And my response was always, “Damn right!”

Yes. I’m picky- picky about my food, my pay, my clothes, and, most of all, who I let into my circle of friends. I have my standards, and I don’t apologize for it.

Understand that being picky about certain things is a must. Otherwise, you sell yourself short.

Being picky is just a derogatory term for having standards. It’s setting boundaries. It’s letting others know what you will and will not accept. Most of all, it’s showing that you value yourself and that you know that you’re worthy of better things than the crap life loves to drop into your lap.

Being picky is something to be admired, not scorned.

I want you to know that when people put you down for being picky, it only means they aren’t benefiting from it, and the only way they would is if you were to drop your standards. So, understand that when others accuse you of being picky, they’re only saying it to make you feel guilty.

Allow no one to intimidate or guilt you into dropping your standards. Stay true to yourself!

Affirmations That Help Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem

I love being me – positive affirmation – handwriting on napkin with a cup of coffee

Affirmations That Help Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem

NOTE: Parts of this blog post references the following:

(“Stopping Wife Abuse,” Jennifer Baker Flaming, 1979, p.64)

(“The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” Patricia Evans, 2010, p.149)

1.I am not to blame for being bullied.

2. I am not the cause of someone else’s abhorrent behavior.

3. I deserve to be free from bullying and abuse.

4. It is okay for me to say “no” to what I don’t like nor want.

5. I do not have to take it.

6. I am important.

7. I am worthwhile.

8. I deserve to be treated with respect.

9. I have the power to create a good life for myself.

10. It’s okay for me to take care of myself.

11. Only I can decide what’s best for me.

12. I’m not alone. I have people who love me.

13. I am worth fighting for.

14. I deserve to be safe.

15. I deserve to be happy.

16. I am beautiful.

17. I am smart.

18. I am a good person.

19. I can live my life the way I want and on my terms.

20. I am loved.

21. It’s okay to love myself.

22. It’s okay to celebrate myself.

23. It’s okay for me to make mistakes.

24. It’s okay to put myself first.

25. It’s okay to protect and defend myself.

26. It’s okay to ask for help.

27. My life matters.

28. I matter.

Why Most Targets Are Afraid to Set Boundaries

It takes supreme self-confidence to set boundaries, which, sadly, is something a few bullying targets have.

Also, as we know, bullies don’t respect boundaries because they don’t acknowledge them. In their minds, you’re a target and, to them, a target has no rights and deserves no human dignity. Bullies don’t see targets as human beings deserving of the same human rights as everyone else. That’s a fact.

Targets feel powerless to stop the abuse. And setting boundaries is anything but easy- it’s one of the hardest things to do after people bully you for so long and brainwash you into thinking you’re to blame for their horrid behavior. And many targets are too terrified.

If you’re a target of bullying, you may badly want to tell your abusers to knock it off. You may want to tell them to get the hell away from you and stay away. You may even want to fight back, but you don’t know how they may react.

Another thing you don’t know is whether they’ll accept your boundaries, nor if they’ll want to accept them. You know that there’s a chance the bullies may act violently toward you for having the chutzpah to speak against their abuse.

Bullies despise even a hint of opposition because they see it as your challenging their power and perceived authority. And they’ll do whatever they can to tighten their grip if they suspect you’re defying them. And sometimes, things get dangerous, and you must do it scared.

When you set boundaries, you enact your autonomy and speak from a place of self-care and self-love. You decide what you will and won’t tolerate. You take your power back.

However!

Before you’re able to do that, you must be clear of what you will not accept. It takes uber self-confidence to stand up to a bully. It would be best if you also gave up your old ways of trying to stand up for yourself- those you tried in the past that failed, which are ways your bullies and a few other abusers in your life probably conditioned you to respond.

  1. You must stop over-apologizing.
  2. You must stop trying to explain yourself to anyone.
  3. You must stop trying to figure out what made the bullies so hostile.
  4. You must stop wondering what you did wrong.
  5. You must stop wondering if something’s wrong with you.
  6. You must stop asking, “why me.”

Before you can stand up to abuse, you must squash the mentality that compels you to do any of the above mentioned. You must understand that all the why me, why this, why that, gets you nowhere. And all the wracking your brains wondering and trying to figure out what’s wrong also serves no purpose. It’s a complete waste of time and only makes you feel worse.

Instead, be real with yourself and conclude that your bullies are just a bunch of ignorant, moronic jackasses who lack character and live fake existences. You must also learn to trust yourself, which includes trusting your body and how it feels. Trust everything you see, hear, feel, sense, and the vibes you pick up from the people around you. And finally, trust your decisions.

It also takes dogged determination:

  1. Even if your bullies rationalize and justify their behavior, you won’t take their crap.
  2. Even if they blame you for their despicable behavior, you won’t take it.
  3. Even if they tell you that you’re crazy or mentally imbalanced, you won’t take it.
  4. Even if they call you a bitch, an asshole, or any other degrading name, you won’t take it.
  5. Even if you made a mistake and your bullies call it out in an abusive manner, you won’t take it.
  6. And, for the love of Pete! If the bullies commit physical violence, you definitely won’t take that! Get the police involved, file charges, and sue for any damages! Or, put up those dukes and throw down if you need to!

When you begin setting boundaries, it’ll take calling your bullies out every single time they cross the line. You can say:

“Stop it!”

“Cut it out!”

“Knock it off!”

“Get away from me!”

“Get out!”

You get power just by loudly giving either one of these commands. And who knows? I’m not making any guarantees here, but you might shock your bullies back to reality and make them leave you alone. There were times when I was pleasantly surprised, and it worked for me.

positive bullied victim says NO

You do not have to walk on eggshells around anyone! Know that you do have a choice and a voice. You can choose not to accept the bullies’ behavior. You have more power than you know.

Adult Survivors of School Bullying and the Way We Do Things

Being a victim of school bullying often teaches us tough lessons- lessons that we carry into adulthood, shaping our personalities, and the ways we do things once we are out of school and away from our tormentors. Being an adult survivor myself, I can tell you what I took from it:

1. Having been bullied during school sharpened my emotional intelligence – Because I learned very early on how truly evil people can be, I now have a sixth sense. Adult survivors of school bullying are excellent at picking up vibes (especially bad ones) and reading people and their intentions.

We know how to watch people without looking like we’re watching them, noting body language, facial expressions, micro-expressions, tonality, delivery, and demeanor. Because our people-sense wasn’t fully developed during our school years, we often let those in our lives who were only there to harm us. We paid dearly for it, which is the reason we’re extra watchful and therefore able to avoid such people, now that we’re adults.

2. We’re not afraid to say “no” and will sometimes say it simply because we can! As schoolkids, we had our boundaries violated so much so that we weren’t allowed to protest when something didn’t feel right to us.

People either duped or forced us to take a lot of abuse. Now that we’re adults, we get to decide what we will and will not tolerate and we exercise that freedom and autonomy every chance we get!

3. Survivors of school bullying are no-nonsense adults. We’ve learned early on the games people play, and we’re not easily duped. We live by the old, “fool me once…” saying and hold it close to our hearts.

positive bullied victim says NO

4. We have a very open and solid refusal to take any crap from anyone, no matter the consequences we may face for that refusal. I’m no exception. We took enough crap in school from our classmates and a few rotten apples, who called themselves school staff that we’re even more determined as adults not to let others violate our boundaries.

5. We don’t give people many chances. To us, first impressions are important, so you’d better make it count.

One red flag, I’m gone!
One bad vibe, goodbye!
Any attempts to bullshit, see ya!

This is due to having been too forgiving of others when we were young, being taken for granted, having our kindness taken for weakness, and then exploited, much to our humiliation. And we refuse ever again to be put back in that position.

6. We work our asses off! We’re tenacious when it comes to getting what we want and will stop at almost nothing to reach success – we’ve had enough of what we didn’t want when we were in school. Others called us “a failure” so many times that it lit a fire under us and made us that much more determined to succeed at everything we set out to do, if for no other reason than to show the haters and naysayers (even our ex-school bullies) that we can!

7. We like having control over our own lives and will do anything to keep that control – survivors of school bullying had enough of others taking control of their lives long ago, and we will shut down the first person who tries to take away our power.

8. We can spot a bully five miles away in the dark – Yes! We’re that good! We dealt with bullies in school, for years, daily. So naturally, we would be good, nearly expert, at pointing them out.

survivors x-ray eyes

9. As adults, we either avoid bullies like the plague, or, on the other end of the spectrum, we take extreme pleasure in putting bullies in their places, calling them out every chance we get, and making them feel like the losers they are – remembering all the times we didn’t or couldn’t defend ourselves against them in school.

10. We have a thick skin that has become difficult for others, other than those close to us, to penetrate. That’s our power. We like being unpredictable and keeping others on their toes to try and figure us out.

11. We can’t stand to watch others being made fun of and will rush to their defense. We’re not afraid to get nose to nose with the bully if need be- not only to help the person being bullied but subconsciously, to make up for all the times we felt helpless and didn’t or couldn’t defend ourselves against our bullies in school.

12. Adult survivors of school bullying are sensitive to the emotions of others and cannot stand the thought of causing emotional or physical harm to another person, but only if that person isn’t trying to harm them first.

13. Adult survivors of bullying place extra value on their families and friends. They never (intentionally) take them for granted- we know what it’s like to be completely alone and not to have any friends. Therefore, we cherish family/friends and time spent with them.

14. Adult survivors of school bullying are, in some ways, selfish. I know I am. We put a lot of value on ourselves, our wants, our needs, and our interests- all because others didn’t value us as kids during school.

So, we make it a point to put ourselves first in almost everything. Our children and parents may be the only people we put ahead of us.

15. Words don’t convince us. Only action and habits do. Due to our past histories of being duped by the empty promises and cheap words of school bullies and paying dearly for it. We’ll be damned if we ever repeat that mistake.

Being bullied as a kid in school has not only made me a powerful adult; it has also exponentially sharpened my people-senses, which in turn has afforded me not only scores of friends who love and respect me, successes, and even more opportunities, but ultimately, an enriching life!

Self-Love Doesn’t Mean Self-Centered

Some people get the two confused. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you’re self-centered. But you can bet that bullies will accuse their target of it when they realize she’s growing a backbone.

Understand that when you start loving yourself enough not to take your bullies’ opinions of you seriously, the bullies will take notice of it right away. They’ll realize that they no longer have power over you. To get that power back, they will try like the devil to guilt you by accusing you of either selfishness or self-centeredness.

Don’t fall for that con game! When bullies lose the benefits they’ve grown accustomed to getting at your expense, they always get irate. Right or wrong, whenever someone has had power over another person for a long time and has gotten used to having that power, then suddenly loses it, of course, they’re going to be upset- and intensely so.

But don’t concern yourself with how your bullies feel. After all, they never gave a thought to your feelings the entire time they jerked you around.

Ditch these people! The sooner, the better! You’re not being selfish by choosing to put yourself first. What you’re doing is having the courage to love yourself and treat yourself better.

Realize that the bullies are the self-centered ones, in expecting you to go on being their doormat. No one has the right to expect you to put up with something they wouldn’t tolerate if it were happening to them.

To expect any differently from another person than what they’d do shows a complete lack of respect for people other than themselves and is sheer arrogance, self-entitlement, and stupidity.

There’s a name for this- double-standard!

Remember that we teach others how to treat us. And how we teach them to treat us is by how well we treat ourselves- by the boundaries we set, our ability to say “no,” and whether we continue to allow them to be in our lives.

So, treat yourself well! You’re worth it!

If You Always Put Others First, You’ll Have Nothing Left for Yourself

positive me time alone

Putting others first isn’t a bad thing. It shows that you care about your fellow man and that you’re willing to contribute some good to the world. It’s an outstanding character trait to have.

Many people have been conditioned, often by well-meaning parents, that the polite thing to do is to put others ahead of ourselves. That making sacrifices for others shows manners and that we’re “good people”- that we are well-mannered and have morals. Nothing wrong with it.

However, when that courtesy is overdone or done at your own expense, that’s when it becomes a bad thing. The problem is that people will come to expect you to be a yes-person and take their crap. You’ll soon attract users and abusers and become a doormat.

In taking this advice, many of us found out the hard way that giving too much of ourselves sometimes involved overlooking abuse. Even worse, we found that it didn’t make the mistreatment go away but only encouraged the person to abuse us later.

bullied victim walked on doormat

Growing up, I heard every excuse you can imagine.

“Oh, they’re just having a bad day.”

“Maybe they have an abusive or cheating spouse at home.”

“Oh, but you never know what that person is going through.” Blah-blah-b-blah.

A few adults in my family and a few teachers advised me to,

“Give them a break.”

“Cut so-and-so some slack.”

“Try to overlook him.”

“Oh, but try to put yourself in her shoes.”

“Be reasonable.”

bullied victim doormat

That got old very quickly. I eventually grew fed up and wanted to scream,
“Um- EXCUSE ME! I’ve been ‘reasonable,’ and the only thing I ever got from it is taken advantage of! Would you be reasonable if this happened to you?!”

The point is that no matter what anyone tells you, it’s okay to put yourself first. And no law or rule says you have to tolerate unacceptable behavior- from anyone! Ever!

Anytime you’re mistreated, then advised or forced to “be nice” or “understand what Joe Blow is going through,” it only means that, subconsciously, the givers of this advice either don’t care about your boundaries, or they’re afraid of making the offending person angrier, and of the situation escalating. Some people can’t handle conflict.

They are only trying to silence you to appease the person who’s being a total jackass.

bully bullies crybaby tantrum crazy

These kinds of advice and expectations can do one of either two things to you as you get older:

A. It can program you to be over tolerant of unacceptable and abusive behaviors and set you up for a life of getting bullied by other people.

You grow up being so afraid of pissing anyone off that you accept any abuse to avoid conflict. You end up living a life of being crapped on by others.

B. It can have the exact opposite effect and give you an “F-you” attitude and a bad case of The Don’t-Give-A-Shits.

Because of being forced to accept bad behavior in the past, you become a mean, bitter, and apathetic adult and could care less about anyone. That’s not good either.

I’m one of the lucky ones. It gave me an equal blend of both. I believe in treating others how I’d want them to treat me and don’t mind lending a helping hand to someone who needs it.

positive self-care you can't pour from an empty cup you first

But if for one moment, I suspect that someone is taking my kindness for being a fool, I’ll drop that person like a bad habit and they’re on their own!

It’s okay to be kind. It’s okay to put others before you, but only in particular circumstances.

For example:

It’s perfectly fine to give an older adult your chair in a crowded doctor’s office.

It’s okay to get up and offer your seat to a combat soldier in a crowded airport.

In fact, it’s called having respect for elders and servicemen and women who fight for your country.

But never take abuse nor accept excuses for unacceptable behavior. Anytime someone crosses a line with you, go ahead. Respond in kind. Give it back to them because only then will the person realize that you aren’t a doormat and find someone else to abuse.

This is not selfish or being self-centered. It’s called self-preservation.

Always Be True To Yourself. Don’t Be a People Pleaser!

Grovel in business

Too many people think that they have to give more of themselves than what is necessary and that they have to hide their true selves.

They are under the impression that they have to bend over backwards and go out of their way in order to be valued. They have been conditioned to believe that they have to try and be someone other than themselves to win approval from others.

Sadly, these are the beliefs held by most bully-targets.

“If only I was ten pounds thinner and had long, flowing hair, maybe my friends would like me”

“If only I had bought front row tickets to the game, concert, etc. instead of regular tickets, he would love me.”

“If only I made a 4.0 instead of a 3.99, my family would be proud of me.”

“Maybe I should have bought her a dozen roses instead of a half-dozen, then she would love me.”

“Maybe if I worked sixteen hours a day instead of twelve, then my boss and coworkers would like me.”

Notice that these people are already putting in lots of effort and the people around them don’t thank the person for it, or worse, even acknowledge it. Some of these scenarios may be a little exaggerated, but you get the point.

dreamstime_s_158846115

But here’s the thing, anytime you sacrifice your own needs to please others and score approval, the exact opposite happens. People do not respect a people pleaser. If anything, they look down on the pleaser with a mixture of disgust, pity and hilarity.

In the minds of others, the pleaser is pathetic case, eager to kiss butt in his weak attempts to win friends. The more pleasers give themselves at their own expense, the worse they are treated because to others, they are ripe for using and abusing.

Think of the song, “Self-esteem” by The Offspring and if you haven’t heard it, hop onto YouTube and give it a listen.

People pleasers only attract the predator types of people into their lives while repelling the good, quality people of class and decency. Human predators have a spidey sense when it comes to picking out those who are weak and approval seeking.

If you are a pleaser, they will see you coming a mile away and they will bleed you dry of resources, time and worse…confidence and happiness.

You must give these people the boot and do it FAST! Because they suck the life out of you and by the time you realize you’ve been had, it will more than likely be too late. Your confidence and self-esteem will already be shot and you will have to work like hell to get to know yourself again and get it all back.

I want you to know that it’s perfectly okay to want friends- to want positive connections with other people. Human beings are social creatures and we all want that. However, no one should have to eat crap in order to achieve it.

dreamstime_s_57940877

You can say “NO” if you don’t want to do something.

You can put your foot down and tell someone to get lost anytime they use and/or abuse you.

You can speak up when something does not feel good.

You can have your own opinions and beliefs.

And you don’t have to put yourself out on a limb to please someone else.

You do NOT have to be a doormat! Start today by being true to yourself. If something does not feel good, you do not have to go along with it.

But be warned. The users you have been associating with will not like the change in you. They have been benefiting from your willingness to suck-up for so long and the last thing they want is for those benefits to stop.

They will resort to calling you “selfish”, “stingy”, among other names. They will accuse you of being self-centered and all about yourself. They will lay all kinds of guilt trips on you. They will do everything in their power to make you look and feel like the lowest form of life on the face of the earth!

dreamstime_s_161021280

But you aren’t. No matter what others may say or how they may act toward you, you must hold firm. You must assert yourself. You must make the decision that you will no longer be used or abused by these people! Tell them to take a flying leap and mean it!

Give them the old heave-ho! You do not need them in your life! You have to love yourself enough to walk away!

I can guarantee that once you have the courage to kick the garbage out of your life, you will attract better people, who will love you not for what you can do for them, but for just being you. You will have more loving, productive and fulfilling relationships!

Best of all, you will feel so much better about yourself…you will be so happy and at peace. It happened for me and it can happen for you too.

You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.