This is How to Distinguish Between Being Alone and Being Lonely

Being alone means being in solitude- being by yourself. When you’re alone, you’re without the company of others. Being lonely, on the other hand, means having feelings of abandonment- being sad due to being isolated and alienated from others.

Alone is a state of being. Whereas, loneliness is a state of mind. An emotion. You can be in a room full of people and though you may not be alone, you can be lonely. It’s not about the number of people around you, it’s about how you feel.

When you’re alone, you can be happy. When you’re lonely, you can’t.

Being alone is sometimes beneficial because it allows you to focus on a project without disruption and makes concentration so much easier. So, you can be alone without necessarily being lonely. And everyone needs a little bit of “me-time” every day!

Being alone is being at home by yourself and enjoying a good book.
Being lonely is that dull ache in your chest after you’ve lost a family member or been thrown under the bus by your friends.

Here’s how to beat that awful feeling of loneliness:

1. Concentrate on your hobbies. Do something you enjoy doing- preferably something that takes a little concentration and consumes some time.

2. Get up and move. Exercise works wonders and has a way of producing endorphins that make you feel good. Dancing to some good music is a great picker-upper!

3. Do a home-improvement project. Clean out your garage or declutter your closets.

As you know, I was bullied for six long years in school. But I also had hobbies that distracted me from some of the loneliness.

My writing and art projects at home were one of the ways I survived those lonely years. They made things a lot more bearable and when I’d finish a project, that feeling of accomplishment I’d get would always supersede any feeling of abandonment I felt!

Never fear being alone. Too many people think that because you’re alone, it means you’re lonely. It doesn’t!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Naivete is Your Worst Enemy When You’re a Target of Bullying

We all have been naïve at some point in our lives. But over time, we grow, we accumulate lessons learned and life experiences, some good and some not so good, then we become wise. Some people become sage quicker and others slower. What counts is that we eventually learn it doesn’t matter the pace.

However, the fact is that some people stay naïve for a long time, not that this is necessarily a bad thing and it’s not their fault. Sometimes, environmental reasons are why we take longer than others to realize what reality can bring- maybe we live in a sheltered environment, maybe we have a secure family and home life and, as a result, believe in the goodness in all people. Again, this is not a bad thing. However, it can mark us for bullying, abuse, and usery.

Bullies can smell naivete a mile away and it’s the main factor that determines their choice of targets. Any time you’re a target of bullying, you can’t afford to be naïve. However, the sad reality is that most people targeted for bullying are, in fact, naïve and, again, it’s the reason they’re so often selected by bullies and abusers for victimization.

When I was young, I was naïve when it came to people. I believed that all people were inherently good, and I believed it to a fault. I can admit that today. And the bullying I suffered years ago smartened me up when it came to the duality of human beings.

And like I was, most targets are empaths and hold the same belief- that all people are inherently good and would never deliberately aim to harm another human being without a darn good reason.

As children, we’re taught to think positively, and things will work out for the best. This is not to say that we shouldn’t think positively because we should. However, many of us fail to take into consideration that there are some bad people out there who have evil intentions.

Also, we live in a competitive world full of people like these- people who want to take what we have and people who want to hurt us. Failure to realize these harsh truths will only subject targets of bullying to years of abuse as the bullying will only go unaddressed.

Understand that bullies, especially those in power, will always win unless we learn to spot them ahead of time and learn strategies to counter their attacks. And we can only learn to counter them when we accept the truth- the presence of bad people in the world.

We must realize that once bullies have their sights set on you, they won’t just disappear. Bullies are very persistent with their goals to harm you and ultimately destroy you. It’s a hard truth to swallow because we all want to believe that all humans are good, but the fact is that many of them are monsters.

Not everyone believes in treating others as they would like to be treated. We know that bullies think they’re good people even as they destroy the lives of their targets.

When we’re naïve, we’re vulnerable because with out people-knowledge, we’ll continue to take abuse. We must gain knowledge of the bully mindset and the motivations and intentions behind each tactic bullies use.

Only then will we be able to protect ourselves and ward off bullies.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Letter to My Teenage Self

bullied girl crying

Hey, Angel!

I know you’re hurting, you’re lonely, and you’re frightened. You’re exhausted- damned tired of having to fight just to get through what should be a normal school day. You’re also confused- you’re not sure what you should do to remedy the situation.

Hurting, heartbroken- crushed because the judgments are severe, and no one will give you a chance. Your opportunities have been taken from you- opportunities to make new friends, to get a part-time job, for scholarships, and for dating and romance- just to grow as a person and move forward!

Lonely, isolated- alienated from seemingly everyone because your good name has been defamed and destroyed. Everyone is seemingly scared of you- scared to be seen with you. Or they’re cruel to you.

bullied help

You can feel the contempt when they look at you with eyes that pierce you. And yes! It cuts deep! You withdraw and refuse to speak to them. You act as if you don’t need any of them, even respond to them in kind. You do all this not because you want to but strictly for self-preservation, which only makes them hate you more, and alas, reinforces the alienation.

Frightenedterrified of making mistakes, and of failing because of the continuous threat of being taunted, ridiculed, humiliated! And why not? It’s already happened, and it continues to.

You’re in danger- danger of being physically attacked- shoved to the floor, your hair pulled out, punched, kicked, choked! You even fear they’ll slice your face, cut your throat, stab or shoot you because they’ve already threatened to. In the back of your mind, you know that every action begins with a thought.

crying1

Exhausted– damned sick of the never-ending drama, the fakery, and the stupidity of not only your classmates but a few petty, immature, and cliquey teachers who are only adult versions of the punks who torment you, and who probably picked their careers because they couldn’t get enough of their glory days of high school. I know that’s what you’re thinking.

You’re just plain worn out from the incessant need to grow eyes in the back of your head- watching your back, looking over your shoulder and of the ducking and dodging people who wish to do you harm! Who can learn when they’re constantly in defense mode?

You’re just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Period!

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Confused– bewildered as to how you should respond to the cruelty the school subjects you to. Because of the constant abuse, you don’t even know who you are now. You’re not sure which direction you should go in, nor what the future will bring. You don’t know what to say because you aren’t sure how the words will come out and whether you’ll end up saying something stupid.

You consistently wrack your brain, trying to figure out why. You wonder how it all even got started and what you must’ve said or done to bring it about.

You’re bullied every day, all the time, by everyone, for everything.

It seems that no one will allow you to be a human being.

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If you smile, people automatically think you’re up to something.
If you frown, they think you’re feeling sorry for yourself.

If you laugh, people think you’re making fun of them.
If you cry, they tell you you’re too sensitive and call you a crybaby.

If you sing, you’re accused of showboating.
If you write, they accuse you of writing something nasty about them.

If you wear a dress, makeup, and your hair down, you’re only trying to impress the opposite sex and get a date and/or laid.
If you wear your jeans a little too tight, they label you a whore.

If you get angry, speak out or fight back, they label you as crazy, mentally unbalanced, and in need of professional help.
If you’re happy and cheerful, they ask you what mischief you got or whether you slept with someone.

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If you’re friendly, they accuse you of kissing up.
If you’re quiet, distant, and don’t feel like talking, they call you a snob and accuse you of being stuck-up.
Yet, if you speak, they only shout you down and tell you to shut up.

If you’re dating, they think you’re having sex
If you’re not, they say it’s because you’re a prude, a loser, or that no one will have you.

You’re fully aware that everyone- everyone is watching you closely- clocking your every move, listening to every word that comes out of your mouth. They’re nosy, always prying into your private business. And they’re constantly waiting- just waiting for you to screw up- make a mistake- just one tiny error, all for the purpose of using it against you later and making it bigger. It’s akin to being under a microscope!

Close up of examining of test sample of microchip transistor under the microscope in laboratory.

Sweetie, I know that you’ve been unjustly and unfairly labeled- branded, like a cow. Even worse, they’re trying their hardest to make you believe it too.

But don’t! Don’t believe the lies! They don’t know you, even after so many years, your classmates still don’t know you. Because, for so long, they’ve been so busy pointing fingers at you that they never really took the chance to get to know you.

And what they don’t know is that you have a heart of gold.

You only want what everyone else wants and seems to have- friends and to be loved and accepted for the person you are. Although they may ridicule or demonize you for wanting those things, please know in your heart that there’s no shame in having those desires because it’s only natural to have them. It’s only human nature.

It seems that every time you pull yourself up, they always seem to be waiting to knock you back down again. But they only do it because they’re deathly afraid that if you ever rise, you’d take some of the spotlight from them, along with the benefits they’re getting at your expense.

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When you try to talk about the brutality you suffer at school, the classmates bully you harder and the adults only turn a deaf ear. But understand that they only silence you out of fear- fear that their own bad behavior and shortcomings will be exposed. And the adults are afraid of being seen as negligent and of the impact on the school’s reputation. The town of Oakley prides itself in its schools.

You’re so anxious for school to just be over with, but don’t rush it. Instead, learn everything you can while you can. Get as much out of it now, while it’s easiest to do so!

You’ve been beaten down and trampled underfoot for so long that now, you’re feeling desperate- desperate to just pack up and leave. And you’re willing to go to any lengths necessary to get out of this toxic environment you’re trapped in. Just be sure that you don’t end up jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

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I also know that you’re in a hurry to grow up. You just want to turn eighteen and become an adult who can then have control over her own life. But please, slow down! Having control of your own life is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Please! Whatever you do, don’t lose hope because I promise you! Life will get better- much better. It’s just not time right now. Your due season hasn’t arrived yet.

(Continued in part 2…)

Why First Impressions Are So Important

friends

I cannot tell you how important first impressions are. Down through the ages, many have said that first impressions last forever and that you never get a second chance at it. They were right!

When I moved to *Oakley, Tennessee, after having been an Army brat and lived in many different places, I began attending school there during the sixth grade. During that first year, I made a terrible first impression on my classmates, and I did it without even realizing it. Unfortunately, I paid for it for six long years.

In no way am I doing what so many young victims do, blaming myself for all the pain and humiliation they put me through. I’m well aware that regardless of the impression I made, I was just an innocent twelve-year-old child who never deserved to be bullied.

However, looking back, I now realize what I could’ve done differently to keep the target off my back. Oh, the things we realize when we’re older!

My first mistake was that I didn’t stand up for myself when my classmates began bullying me. Being new at the time, I was afraid of getting in trouble with school staff and was taught that “decent young ladies didn’t fight.” Instead, I tried talking my way out of confrontations or lying my way out. ‘Bet you can guess where that got me.

Another mistake was that I was also overly friendly, which was easily mistaken for being a fool, being weak, and approval-seeking.

My third mistake was that during the sixth grade, I cried easily, which my hardened and sadistic classmates took for weakness or manipulation. It didn’t take me long to change these behaviors.

By the seventh grade, I had toughened up considerably, but by then, the dynamic was already firmly in place.

First impressions are everything! They set a precedent- a pattern for the future. If bullies get away with bad behavior once, you can be sure they will repeat it again and again. When they get a particular reaction, they will come back for more of the same later. Without realizing it, we teach people how to treat us.

Understand that it doesn’t take long for impressions to take root and became expected. And when they do, it’s tough to change. That isn’t to say that it’s impossible, but it won’t be easy.

It takes a truckload of patience and consistency. It also requires pointing out your good qualities, hard work, and successes to others, which can backfire if you aren’t careful because people will only naturally take you for bragging and being pompous.

You have no control over people’s perceptions and opinions of you, nor their behavior and actions toward you, which is why it’s so essential to get it right the first time around. I had to learn this the hard way and by the time I realized it, it was too late.

However, during my last year of high school, I got the opportunity to change schools and make a new start at *Roseburg School. I put my best foot forward at my new school and the results were amazing!

I made many friends and was well accepted and liked by both students and staff. I saw a complete 180! But sadly, many kids don’t get that opportunity.

Even now, the classmates from *Oakley still, to this day, hold a lot of unnecessary anger, resentment, and bitterness and it’s been thirty years. I can tell you that had I known what I know now- had I made a better impression early on, things would have been much different.

Not that what they think matters because I’m older and with age comes wisdom, confidence, and self-acceptance. Also priorities change.

However, I would’ve saved myself six years of pain and a lot of wasted time. Also, I’d feel better about joining them at the thirty-year reunion.

I can only pity them because you’d think people would be over that stuff by now. I forgive them because forgiveness sets me free. However, I could never trust them because I will never feel safe around them. And the sad part is, a lot of this was avoidable in the early stages.

Today, I make giving a great first impression a goal each and every time I meet new people. The next time you meet someone new, be sure to make the best impact possible.

How to Distinguish Between Being Alone and Being Lonely

Being alone means being in solitude- being by yourself. When you’re alone, you’re without the company of others. Being lonely, on the other hand, means having feelings of abandonment- being sad due to being isolated and alienated from others.

Alone is a state of being. Whereas, loneliness is a state of mind. An emotion. You can be in a room full of people and though you may not be alone, you can be lonely. It’s not about the number of people around you, it’s about how you feel.

When you’re alone, you can be happy. When you’re lonely, you can’t.

Being alone is sometimes beneficial because it allows you to focus on a project without disruption and makes concentration so much easier. So, you can be alone without necessarily being lonely. And everyone needs a little bit of “me-time” every day!

Being alone is being at home by yourself and enjoying a good book.
Being lonely is that dull ache in your chest after you’ve lost a family member or been thrown under the bus by your friends.

Here’s how to beat that awful feeling of loneliness:

1. Concentrate on your hobbies. Do something you enjoy doing- preferably something that takes a little concentration and consumes some time.

2. Get up and move. Exercise works wonders and has a way of producing endorphins that make you feel good. Dancing to some good music is a great picker-upper!

3. Do a home-improvement project. Clean out your garage or declutter your closets.

As you know, I was bullied for six long years in school. But I also had hobbies that distracted me from some of the loneliness.

My writing and art projects at home were one of the ways I survived those lonely years. They made things a lot more bearable and when I’d finish a project, that feeling of accomplishment I’d get would always supersede any feeling of abandonment I felt!

Never fear being alone. Too many people think that because you’re alone, it means you’re lonely. It doesn’t!

Know Your Bullies: 5 Types of Bullies You Need to Know About

Bullies come in different kinds. You can never assume how your bullies will react because different people react to different things in different ways. Speak out against and expose some bullies and they’ll go to the ends of the earth seeking to retaliate.

Taylor your defense strategies to the particular bully you’re dealing with. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the blowhards from the truly vindictive, the smart ones from the dumb, and the aggressive from the passive-aggressive.

Bullies should never be dealt with blindly. If you go into it blind, you’ll be at their mercy and they’ll toss you around like a tornado tosses debris.

To successfully combat bullying, you must be able to recognize different types of personalities if you expect to survive.

1. Narcissistic and Arrogant Bullies – Although they may hide it well, their excessive, touchy pride and self-importance makes them dangerous. If these types detect even a hint of slight, they will pay you back with excessive brutality. With these people, logic and rationality won’t apply. They overreact to what even looks like opposition and ridicule.

And you don’t have to do anything to them. All you have to do is be good at something or outdo them somehow and they’ll take offense to it. They’ll call you a showoff and take it as you’re trying to be better than them. And they’ll make you pay dearly. And if you get recognition for a project well-done, these people won’t tolerate it. They hate being in anyone’s shadow!

These bullies are usually in the popular crowd at school or in management at work.

Don’t bother trying to second guess them. Avoid them like the plague!

2. Insecure Bullies – These people are a close second to the Narcissistic bullies. These bullies are harder to spot and less violent. Their egos are extremely fragile, and their senses of self are insecure. If they dislike you, they’ll attack in small nibbles. And you won’t realize it until the swipes they take at you are big enough to be obvious.

These bullies are usually the groupies to the popular crowd at school or the suck-ups to management at work.

Avoid these people as well.

3. Suspicious Bullies – these bullies only see the worst in not only their targets but everyone. But in their targets, it’s all they want to see. They see them as threats and think they’re out to get them when it couldn’t be further from the truth. However, Suspicious bullies aren’t as dangerous as the previous two. These bullies are, in fact, easy for targets to trick and deceive. And sometimes targets must resort to trickery to protect themselves.

To counter these bullies is to use their suspicions and turn them against someone else. It will take their focus off you and toss it on the other person. Hey, I know it sounds shady but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to protect yourself. And if means someone else (preferably someone who is as mean as a snake) taking the heat for a while, so be it.

4. Bullies with photographic memories – These bullies never forget you. If you were to run into them again 30 years later, you can bet that they will target you again- only picking up where they left off.

If you’re a target of these bullies, they won’t show their hatred outwardly. But they will keep their eyes on you.

They’ll lie in wait as they plot. Then, when the time is right, they’ll exact their brutality with a frigid coldness. These bullies are usually unaffectionate and hard.

To protect yourself, you must damage these bullies or scare them so bad, they won’t even think of coming for you again.

stupid idiot

5. Bullies who aren’t very bright – These people are easy to combat and won’t see your counterattack coming. These are the bullies you can most easily defend yourself against and expose.

Again, you must know your bullies- each of them, if you expect to overcome them. Knowing your bullies means knowing their personalities and being able to predict what they’ll do next. Only then will you be able to protect yourself against them to maximum effect.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Getting Older Does Have It’s Benefits

confidence self-esteem happiness peace getting older

No one enjoys the thought of getting older, I’m no exception. However, if we’re lucky to live long enough, it is an unavoidable reality we’ll all face eventually. And it sure as hell beats the alternative.

The reasons we fear the advancement of age is the loss of our youthful good looks, decline of physical strength and endurance and the rising possibility of illness and death…all very legitimate concerns.

I have often heard Judge Judy tell young litigants whom stood before her, “Beauty fades but dumb is forever”.

She’s right. And I believe her definition of “dumb” is not level of intelligence per se, but the refusal to learn anything new and hold on to beliefs and values which may never benefit us. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing and being from a small town, I’ve met countless people my age whom haven’t learned much and continue to hold prejudices which should have long been done away with, while lamenting about and dreading getting older.

happy confidence self-esteem confident peace beach

But getting older is certain. Why not be grateful for each day given you? And continue to learn and grow? As the old saying goes, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”.

Intelligence and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years always trumps beauty, strength, health, or anything physical because once we’ve lost all the physical blessings we once had, smarts and a good heart are the only things we’ll have left before we finally leave this world.

There are many positives to getting older. Here are my takeaways:

1. I feel very blessed to have lived this long. A lot of people never make it to be this age.

2. Being older has made me confident and comfy in my own skin, giving me the freedom to be myself without fear.

free happy confidence confident self-esteem peace

3. I have become choosy of the people I keep in my life, preferring family and a few of my closest friends. I prioritize the people I love, who love me and who mean the most.

4. I don’t waste time with people who are fake or who don’t have my back. I love myself enough to walk away from toxic people who would otherwise bring me down and I can do it free of guilt.

5. It’s much easier to say, “NO”.

6. I have gained a truckload of knowledge and wisdom!

I wouldn’t trade any of these benefits for all the beauty or money in the world, which is why I don’t toil over my age nor do I hide it because I consider it an asset and a testament to how far I’ve come.

Mary Kay Ashe once said, “A woman who tells her age will tell anything.”
I disagree.

Because, a woman who tells her weight? Now there’s a woman who will tell anything!

The Benefits of Getting Older

confidence self-esteem happiness peace getting older

No one enjoys the thought of getting older, I’m no exception. However, if we’re lucky to live long enough, it is an unavoidable reality we’ll all face eventually.

The reasons we fear the advancement of age is the loss of our youthful good looks, decline of physical strength and endurance and the rising possibility of illness and death…all very legitimate concerns.

I have often heard Judge Judy tell young litigants whom stood before her, “Beauty fades but dumb is forever”.

She is right. And I believe her definition of “dumb” is not level of intelligence per se, but the refusal to learn anything new and hold on to beliefs and values which may never benefit us. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing and being from a small town, I’ve met countless people my age whom haven’t learned much and continue to hold prejudices which should have long been done away with, while lamenting about and dreading getting older.

happy confidence self-esteem confident peace beach

But getting older is certain. Why not be grateful for each day given you? As the old saying goes, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”.

Intelligence and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years always trumps beauty, strength, health, or anything physical because once we’ve lost all the physical blessings we once had, smarts is the only thing we’ll have left before we finally leave this world.

There are many positives to getting older. Here are my takeaways:

1. I feel very blessed to have lived this long. A lot of people never make it to be my age.

2. Being older has made me confident and comfy in my own skin, giving me the freedom to be myself without fear.

free happy confidence confident self-esteem peace

3. I have become choosy of the people I keep in my life, preferring family and a few of my closest friends. I prioritize the people I love, who love me and who mean the most.

4. I don’t waste time with people who are fake or who don’t have my back. I love myself enough to walk away from toxic people who would otherwise bring me down and I can do it free of guilt.

5. It’s much easier to say, “NO”.

6. I have gained a truckload of knowledge and wisdom!

I wouldn’t trade any of these benefits for all the beauty or money in the world, which is why I don’t toil over my age nor do I hide it because I consider it an asset and a testament to how far I’ve come.

Mary Kay Ashe once said, “A woman who tells her age will tell anything.”
I disagree.

But a woman who tells her weight? Now there’s a woman who will tell anything!