I Don’t Wish I’d Been More Popular, I Wish I Had Loved and Respected Myself More

I wish I had put myself first.

I wish I’d said “NO” a lot more than I did.

I wish I had been true to my own heart.

And I wish I had known my worth and realized my full potential.

In a nutshell, I wish I had been better at being me. But we all wish we’d done these things when we get older, don’t we? That we’d done something a little different- a bit better?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown a very thick skin and learned to handle any confrontation with composure and aplomb. As we get older, we shed that shell we curled up and hid in when we were younger. We grow to love and accept ourselves as we are and become comfortable in our own skins and let me tell you! It’s immense freedom that you can’t describe!

I’ve learned that the reason people bully is not because of something the victim has said or done and that it is not the fault of the victim.

The reason bullies bully is because they have issues, whether it be a bad case of narcissism, low self-esteem, problems at home, jealousy of something the victims have that they don’t, or they have something to prove. I’ve learned that bullies, at their very core, are great big cowards and attention-seekers. That knowledge alone is freeing!

Just knowing why unsavory people do harm only serves as a huge buffer to any psycho/emotional blows.

Today, I no longer get bullied by anyone, but if anyone tries, I am easily able to swiftly put the person in their place, or laugh and blow the idiot off. Instead of getting hurt or angry, I get amused by them and am usually able to have fun with it.

Unfortunately, that takes time, learning, and most of all experience. I feel a sense of regret when I think of all the years I spent feeling insecure and sorry for myself. What a total waste of my time and energy!

You mustn’t take anything your bullies say as the truth. You must know that their actions or words have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them! Hey! I know it’s hard not to, and I know it hurts. I know it’s hard not to blame yourself when it seems that everyone, from every direction, is bombarding you with negativity.

However, I want you to love yourself and see the bullies for who they truly are- pathetic souls who are so desperately trying to look tough, smart, or cool. I want you to understand that bullies are trying their hardest to get attention. You must know your value. You also need to realize that some people are just wrong for you and do not belong in your life!

Most of all, rest assured that you will eventually find people who are right for you. And when you do, they will love you for being your loveable, beautiful, intelligent, and awesome self! There will come a day when you will be loved, appreciated, and celebrated for all that you are!

It happened to me, and if you don’t give up, it will happen to you too! You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!

What It Means to Begin Seeing Your Worth

It means refusing to stay around people who don’t.

It means eliminating drama from your life.

It means not settling for less than you deserve.

It means having the willingness to be alone rather than to put up with shoddy treatment.

It means loving yourself enough to know when it’s time to walk away.

It means not caring what others think or say of you.

It means embracing the dislike of a few people who don’t matter anyhow.

It means letting go of toxic people, even if we love them, and not being concerned with the outcome.

It means having the guts to say “no” and saying it without guilt.

It means being nit-picky of the people you let in your life.

It means being a bitch when the situation calls for it.

It means not feeling guilty about putting yourself first and being a little selfish.

It means giving yourself a margin for error- allowing yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them.

It means not being afraid to fail.

It means embracing the good, bad, and downright ugly parts of yourself.

It means being comfortable in your skin.

But most of all, it means freedom! The freedom to be human! And to celebrate yourself!

You Have the Power to Choose Whether to Accept or Reject the Labels

 

If you’re a target of bullying, I want you to know that you have more power than you realize. You have a choice- a choice of whether to accept or reject your bullies’ labels and definitions of you.

I want to drum into your head this single truth: You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself!

Bullying hurts, no doubt about it. And you may have to suffer the pain of not being accepted. However, if you have the inner strength to reject the insults and name-calling, you’re already ahead of the game and least likely to be controlled by your bullies.

Understand that when bullies take it upon themselves to define you, what they’re doing is playing God because they’re claiming to know the unknowable. All they’re doing is pretending to know you better than you know yourself. The underlying message of the bullies is that they can read your mind and that they know your inner reality, when, in truth, no one knows that information but you and you alone.

Realize that when bullies define you, they purposely try to create a role of their own making in which to cast you. I can remember several roles my bullies handpicked for me and there were four of them.

  1. Crazy/mentally imbalanced
  2. A promiscuous whore
  3. An arrogant and uppity snob
  4. A lying, manipulative con-artist

Bullies desire to create your reality for you. But the truth is that they don’t have the power to do it. Only you possess that power. They may make you think they have that power, but they don’t and never will. They’re only fantasizing and creating a world of make-believe without realizing it. And the reason they do this is to wrest control and domination over you.

I want you to realize that no one can have power over you unless you give it to them.

  1. They cannot tell you what to do, say, feel, or believe.
  2. They cannot know your motivations and intentions unless you speak them aloud.
  3. They cannot know your wants, needs, and thoughts.

Those things are impossible for them because they’re not you!

When bullies attempt any of these “impossibles,” they may say things like:

  1. “You’re only trying to get attention.”
  2. “You’re just trying to make trouble.”
  3. “You’re just lying to keep from getting hurt.”
  4. “You’re only covering your ass.”
  5. “You’re just trying to kiss up and score brownie points.”
  6. “You’re only trying to get on everyone’s good side.”
  7. “You’re just jealous because no one likes you.”

Understand that when they tell you things like these, they are second guessing you and your feelings, thoughts, motives, and intentions. Again, they’re playing God because they are claiming to know your inner world, which is impossible for anyone who isn’t you to know. And they’re doing it to intimidate, control, and dominate you.

I’ll say again.

You choose whether to accept or reject this nonsense! Know that the only person who can truly define you is you. You are the sole owner of your self-definition.

And you don’t have to explain that power or prove it. It’s there. Remember my friend’s quote I cited in one of my earlier posts a few months back:

“To be insulted by you, I must first value your opinion.”

If you don’t value your bullies’ opinions, or, in this case, their definitions of you, then you’ll choose to reject them and they’ll have no power nor control over how you feel about yourself, nor over your emotions. And you’ll be able to take the wind out of their sails!

So, roll your eyes and blow your bullies off with disdain and a scoff. And if the bully happens to be your boss, do it in your mind (LOL) because your thoughts are free. Make fun of their ridiculous definitions because they only show just how delusional they are. You can even walk off twirling your finger next to your temple.

And before long, they just might get bored, go away, and leave you alone.

Empower yourself with knowledge!

Steps to Having Confidence When Others Bully You

There are things you can do to take the sting out of being bullied. These steps can serve as a buffer to the effects of bullying on self-esteem and the psyche.

1. Watch and Listen– Because bullies get talked about too. Believe me when I tell you. Bullies have enemies and lots of them. And why not?

They’ve been walking over people for a long time. So, you can bet they’ve left a long trail of foes behind them, adversaries who are more than happy to dish out the tea.

2. Know that you aren’t the only one these people have bullied– seasoned bullies have had plenty of practice over the years. I guarantee it! There have been others before you, and there will be more after you. Why do you think these people are so good at making you feel bad about yourself and doubt your worth? How do you think they got that good at it? They certainly didn’t get that way overnight. It came from so many years of trial and error, and they figured out what worked and what didn’t. And they had to have had guinea pigs (previous victims/targets) as practice. They’re doing what for so long has worked for them.

3. Collect info on your bullies– find out about their personal and family lives. You can bet that bullies have problems too. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be going out of their way to prove something to an audience at your expense. As I stated earlier, they have enemies. Find these enemies, cozy up to them, and have them tell you what they know about your bullies. I have done it many times, and I can tell you that you’d be surprised at the tidbits you found out! I’ll give you more details on the next step.

4. Ingratiate yourself with others your bullies have bullied– You and these people have something in common, so this should be a cinch! Align yourself with these other victims. Bullies run in packs, so why can’t targets? Understand that strength always comes in numbers. If you ban together, I guarantee that your bullies will think twice before accosting you. Remember that bullies are cowards and would prefer to catch you when you’re alone rather than confront you while you’re in a group.

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

5. Keep company only with people who love you, want the best for you, and make you feel good about yourself– A good sign of a true friend is someone who uplifts you and helps your confidence soar. They uplift you, encourage you, have your back when you’re in trouble, and cheer for you when you reach success. All too often, victims end up with fake friends- frenemies who only tolerate and are passive-aggressive toward them. These frenemies will subtly humiliate victims in public and throw them under the bus when they’re in trouble or danger.

Victims often latch on to frenemies because they’re desperate for friends and companionship. They’d rather have sorry excuses for friends who treat them poorly than to have no friends at all. These victims are under the false belief that anything is better than being by yourself. I made that mistake myself when I suffered bullying in school.

Trust me when I tell you, anyone who belittles you even a little bit is not your friend! They’re only there because they know that you’re lonely. You are vulnerable to them, and they only hang around because anytime you have a weak spot, you’re accessible for them to use and take advantage of you. That is the only reason they come around!

Do you want friends like that? I hope not! I hope that you will do what I finally did the last year of school, ditch those creeps, and find friends who respect you, who genuinely like you and want to be with you!

6. Show off your talents and gifts– If you can sign, enter talent shows! If you can write, enter writing contests! If you know you’re good at something, find ways to show it off! You’d be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem. I promise you!

When my classmates bullied me, it was so bad that I was scared to show what I could do. I knew that I could sing but was too afraid to belt it out and show off my best voice. If there were do-overs, I would have sung as best I could, came out of my shell, and took every opportunity to showcase that talent! Who knows where it might have taken me?

Anytime people are bullying you, you must take care of yourself. We exercise and eat well to take good care of our bodies, but we forget. We must also take care of our psyches! It is imperative that we also take care of our minds. And we do this by taking steps to buffer our self-esteem from the onslaught of bullying.

7. Do things you enjoy doing, and that fills your soul– whether you love to swim, hike, camp, find opportunities to do these things if they truly make you happy! The more happy moments you have, the less of an effect bullying will have on you!

Doing these things will help to buffer your self-esteem against your bullies attacks. In other words, it will lesson the pain of the attacks because you’ll know you have friends, allies, talents, and positive moments in life- solid proof that counters anything the bullies try to tell you. And you’ll feel much better about yourself.

It will also help correct the imbalance between adversity and success. Many targets of bullying often have a ton of social failures and only a tiny few successes. If you do all these things, you’ll soon achieve a healthy balance between the two.

My 12 Takeaways from Being Bullied In the Past

stop bullying

1. Empathy and Compassion for the underdog

2. Appreciation of my family, my friends and all the fantastic people in my life

3. Clarity of what I will and will not tolerate

4. Determination to go after what I want in life

5. A Sharper BS Detector

6. A Mission to tell my story and speak out against injustice

7. A Realization of the importance of self-care, loving myself, and being comfortable in my own skin.

8. A Desire to learn about human behavior and why people do what they do

9. The will to protect other targets of bullying

10. The Strength and willingness to get rid of toxic people and live life on my terms

11. The selectiveness of who I allow into my life

12. A better judge of character

Never Chase Anyone Who Doesn’t See Your Worth

dreamstime_xs_85425086

Many victims of bullying are so anxious to make friends that they don’t set boundaries as to the way people should treat them. As long as long as they don’t have to be by themselves, they overlook the shoddy ways their so-called friends treat them.

They get hurt many times over because it turns out that their pals are only tolerating them. And by the time the target realizes those people aren’t good for them, they’ve been hurt, used and humiliated enough times that their self-esteem is damaged.

Here’s my advice to targets who feel lonely and desperate for friends:

Never chase anyone who does not see your worth! It is beneath you and those who do not value you, no matter how ‘cool’ they act or look, do not deserve the privilege of being in your life. You need to cleanse your life of these toxic people.

dreamstime_xs_84243769

I realize that if you are a target of bullying, your options for friendship are extremely limited and I know all too well of the humiliation of sitting alone at the lunch table while everyone else gets to enjoy having friends around them. Believe me, I was there myself once upon a time.

However, if the options that you do have for friends are only tolerating you and they turn hot and cold, exclude you or talk behind your back, then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate those friendships.

There is a difference between someone who genuinely likes you and someone who is only tolerating you. And you always know when someone is only tolerating you because of the way you feel when that person is around. You can feel it in your gut. You can hear the shortness and coldness in the tone of their voices. You can see it in the way that they look at you (or refuse to look at you).

dreamstime_xs_124874236

You can feel the cold vibes that they put out. There is nothing worse than the realization that someone whom you think highly of thinks very little of you. It is the most uncomfortable and sickening feeling. It is the equivalent of being kicked in the stomach!

But I want you to know that you do not have to be around such poisonous people. Anyone who makes you feel uneasy does not deserve your friendship. It does not matter if they are rich, good looking, popular, successful, cool, tough or whatever.

If they make you feel bad about yourself,ditch them! Weed. Then. OUT! They are not worthy of being in your company. You are better off without them. Understand that this may mean staying to yourself for a time.

No one wants to be a loner. I understand it and I sympathize with you. However, I believe that it’s much better to be alone than to crawl up behind anyone who does not see your value.

dreamstime_xs_92173196

It won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile is. It takes courage to walk away from a person or people who take you for granted, especially when options for human connections are so few.

And I won’t lie to you, you may be by yourself for a while. It may get lonely, even sad, and depressing at times. But be strong and stay true to your own heart! You deserve so much better!

I promise you this. It may take a while, but if you have the courage to walk away from such people, life will eventually reward you for your courage by placing better and more loving people in your path- people who will genuinely love you, and have your best interests at heart.

You will have better friends- friends who want to spend time with you, who want to invite you to parties and other events, and who will be there for you when the chips are down. You will have friends who are tried and true.

Be patient. Your time is coming!

Don’t Wonder if They’ll Like You, Wonder if You’ll Like Them.

dreamstime_s_70396708

When you walk in a room, you shouldn’t wonder if the people there will like you, you should wonder whether you’ll like them. Any time you get nervous upon meeting new people, the root of the nervousness is that you’re afraid they won’t like you. Don’t do that! Understand that when you worry about how others will perceive you, you’re taking value away from yourself and giving them too much of it! Not good!

Stop giving people you don’t know the worth they haven’t earned!

That’s right! When you meet new people, they (and you) are starting with a clean slate and as far as you’re concerned, it’s up to them whether they fill that slate with negatives or positives. They must prove to you whether they’re people that you want in your life, not the other way around.

dreamstime_xs_41148348

When you worry needlessly whether other people will like you, you are giving them all your power and leaving none for yourself. And you’ll likely go out of your way to prove to them that you’re worthy of their time. Bullies will sniff that out and they’ll take advantage of you.

Stop! It’s too much work and it’s beneath you!

When I was a young teenager, I did the same because I didn’t know any better. And it cost me! Today, I’m the opposite. When I meet a new person, I wonder if I’m going to like them. If a person wants my friendship and my trust, and my time, they have to earn them.

Be picky about who you allow in your life because you don’t want to let just anyone in! And you don’t want to let them in right away. Observe them first. Note their demeanor and how they carry themselves because it will tell you a lot.

Realize that when you make friends and associates, it’s because you chose them out of a vast number of people you’ve met.

Selectiveness adds value to a person. So, always value yourself.

Steps to Having Confidence When Others Bully You

dreamstime_xs_140375489

There are things you can do to take the sting out of being bullied. These steps can serve as a buffer to the effects of bullying on self-esteem and the psyche.

1. Watch and Listen- Because bullies get talked about too. Believe me when I tell you. Bullies have enemies and lots of them. They have been walking over people for a long time. So, you can bet they’ve left a long trail of foes behind them, adversaries who are more than happy to dish out the tea.

2. Know that you aren’t the only one these people have bullied- seasoned bullies have had plenty of practice over the years. I guarantee it! There have been others before you, and there will be more after you. Why do you think these people are so good at making you feel bad about yourself and doubt your worth? How do you think they got that good at it? They certainly didn’t get that way overnight. It came from so many years of trial and error, and they figured out what worked and what didn’t. And they had to have had guinea pigs (previous victims/targets) as practice. They’re doing what for so long has worked for them.

3. Collect info on your bullies- find out about their personal and family lives. You can bet that bullies have problems too. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be going out of their way to proves something to an audience at your expense. As I stated earlier, they have enemies. Find these enemies, cozy up to them, and have them tell you what they know about your bullies. I have done it many times, and I can tell you that you’d be surprised at the tidbits you found out! I’ll get more detailed in the next step.

I love being me - napkin

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

4. Ingratiate yourself with others your bullies have bullied- You and these people have something in common, so this should be a cinch! Align yourself with these other victims. Bullies run in packs, so why can’t targets? Understand that strength always comes in numbers. If you ban together, I guarantee that your bullies will think twice before accosting you. Remember that bullies are cowards and would prefer to catch you when you’re alone rather than confront you while you’re in a group.

5. Keep company with and make friends only with people who love you, want the best for you, and make you feel good about yourself- A good sign of a true friend is someone who uplifts you and helps your confidence soar. They uplift you, encourage you, have your back when you’re in trouble, and cheer for you when you reach success. All too often, victims end up with fake friends- frenemies who only tolerate and are passive-aggressive toward them. These frenemies will subtly humiliate victims in public and throw them under the bus when they’re in trouble or danger. Victims often latch on to frenemies because they’re desperate for friends and companionship. They’d rather have sorry excuses for friends who treat them poorly than to have no friends at all. These victims are under the false belief that anything is better than being by yourself. I made that mistake myself when I suffered bullying in school.

dreamstime_xs_45557946

Trust me when I tell you, anyone who belittles you even a little bit is not your friend! They’re only there because they know that you’re lonely. You are vulnerable to them, and they only hang around because anytime you have a weak spot, you’re accessible for them to use and take advantage of you. That is the only reason they come around!

Do you want friends like that? I hope not! I hope that you will do what I finally did the last year of school, ditch those creeps, and find friends who respect you, who genuinely like you and want to be with you!

6. Show off your talents and gifts- If you can sign, enter talent shows! If you can write, enter writing contests! If you know you’re good at something, find ways to show it off! You’d be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem. I promise you!

dreamstime_xs_108331759

When my classmates bullied me, it was so bad that I was scared to show what I could do. I knew that I could sing but was too afraid to belt it out and show off my best voice. If there were do-overs, I would have sung as best I could, came out of my shell, and took every opportunity to showcase that talent! Who knows where it might have taken me?

Anytime people are bullying you, you must take care of yourself. We exercise and eat well to take good care of our bodies, but we forget. We must also take care of our psyches! It is imperative that we also take care of our minds. And we do this by taking steps to buffer our self-esteem from the onslaught of bullying.

7. Do things you enjoy doing, and that fills your soul- whether you love to swim, hike, camp, find opportunities to do these things if they truly make you happy! The more happy moments you have, the less of an effect bullying will have on you!

A Letter to My Teenaged Self (Part 3)

dreamstime_xs_37762924

It won’t always be this way!

People won’t always bully you. And your classmates won’t always be in your life.

Your stomach won’t always be in knots and you won’t always be running out of class to go to the bathroom and throw up because of the intense stress.

You won’t always have to wonder when some snake at school is going to attack you in the halls or in the girls’ room.

The looking in the mirror and trying different outfits, makeup tricks and hairstyles- thinking that if you make yourself more attractive than you already are, the bullying will go away? It will soon end.

The wondering if you’re good enough and worthy of love? This will go away as well.

The wondering if you’ll ever be allowed to be yourself and to relax? This too shall pass.

dreamstime_xs_107988514

The wondering if you’ll ever have true friends- friends who will love you for being you, stick up for you, and take care of you? Friends you don’t have to explain yourself to? In a few years, none of it will even be an issue.

Trust me. There will come a day when you won’t have the fake friends you have in school. And when that day arrives, you will have real friends who will love you for all that you are and all the beauty you bring to this world.

There will come a day when you’ll have the courage to walk away from toxic people who are no good for you. And you won’t be afraid to stand alone until better people find you.

There will come a day when you’ll be so confident and secure in yourself that the cruel words of others will no longer matter.

dreamstime_xs_135400698

There will come a day when you’ll have a family of your own and friends who’ll love you for you.

People will no longer only tolerate you but celebrate you!

And each rejection, each bad name, each cruel taunt hurled; each punch, each kick, shove and blow to your body will piss you off a little more, and a little more. But that anger will give you the dogged determination to tune out the naysayers, follow your dreams and reach success!

Each incidence of bullying is only preparing you for what you’re meant to do later. It’s preparing you for a rewarding and successful life in the future.

dreamstime_xs_92627484

Each blow you take, each bruise, each disappointment, each humiliation, each pull of your hair, and each tear you cry is only making you better. It’s making you the lady you’re meant to become- a more compassionate, empathetic, stronger and wiser woman.

Your loneliness now will be appreciation of the circle of friends and abundance of love you’ll have later.

Your naivete will become wisdom.

Your victimization will become your launch pad

And your bullies, your motivation.

I know it hurts. It hurts terribly! But the pain you suffer today will be the power you enjoy tomorrow!

So, hold on.
Don’t lose sight of your goals.
The best is yet to come!

Love,
Your Adult Self

Not Everyone is Going to Like You

Jealous Girls

Jealous Girls taking behind her back

Like is subjective.

Not everyone is going to like you. Some may even hate you. But remember this! It’s their problem, not yours.

No matter how good, talented, famous, great or small you are or who you are, it’s estimated that 10-35% of the people you know will not like you.

But always stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your convictions. Use your God-given talents to the best of your ability. Be the best you can be and you will be happy.

dreamstime_xs_131307917

Realize that everyone- EVERYONE, has someone who doesn’t like them. And if you don’t have enemies, then you’re doing something wrong.

If those who are exceptional, like celebrities, politicians, and athletes have people who dislike them or hate them, it should be proof that there’s nothing wrong with you.

So, feel good about yourself. Embrace everything about yourself. Appreciate the people who love you. Let love in and let yourself shine!