The World Through the Eyes of a Target

After you’ve been a target of bullying for any length of time, the world becomes a terrifying place.

You begin avoiding people and social situations like the plague because you’ve become afraid of people- all people. In short, you’ve lost all faith in humanity. Everything becomes threatening. You’re stuck in defense mode and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The ability to think becomes blurry. You drown in self-doubt and lose the ability to distinguish fact from opinion and truth from lies. Therefore, you lose the ability to make smart decisions. You’re always on guard and trust no one. Again, everyone becomes a threat. Even total strangers become threatening.

You can’t give anyone a chance because you’ve become so afraid of being hurt again. And why not? Your classmates or coworkers have done extensive and deliberate harm for so many months or even years. So, who’s to say that others won’t do the same.

Knowing that anyone could bully you at any time, you must always watch your back and cover your behind. And you must continually look over your shoulder and observe those around you for signs of hostility.

You come to believe you have a mark on you that everyone but you can see, and it’s why others always seem to come after you. As much as you want to get rid of that mark, you’re not sure how to do it.

You don’t think you’ll ever stop being a target.

There’s the feeling that there’s no possibility of ever overcoming it. Other victims might rise above it, but you never will because you think that love, success, and anything good is for anyone who isn’t you.

You’ll never be the same person you were before bullies began targeting you. When you’ve been a target of bullying and continue to be, jokes stop being funny because you automatically feel they are somehow aimed at you. Bullying makes a person paranoid. And with good reason.

You lose all confidence, and your self-esteem hits rock bottom. Therefore, your mind is poisoned with the belief that you can never do anything right. You see yourself as a failure. You think that anything you touch, you’ll only screw up.

There’s the expectation that you’ll fail in social situations and that everyone will see all your flaws, real or perceived. You start having unexpected and uncontrollable emotional meltdowns and outbursts. Why? Because you’re in constant fight or flight mode. Your mind is in overdrive, and you’re hyper-vigilant. Your physical body suffers splitting headaches and violent bouts of nausea.

You don’t know who you are anymore. You’ve become a stranger to yourself- this person you don’t even recognize.

You’re shaky inside. You feel tired and run down all the time now. Even worse, you pass out from panic attacks, and you can no longer sleep at night. Your weight drops and your hair falls out due to the overwhelming stress. You feel as if people are torturing you.

In essence, you turn against yourself because you feel the entire world has turned against you.

I was there at one point. Then, I got mad! I didn’t only get angry at them for driving me into that dark pit of hopelessness, but I got mad at myself for allowing it! And when I got mad at myself and started working on changing my self-perception, that’s when things began to change!

The good thing is that I wasn’t down for long. Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, and this describes how you feel now, I want to give you a big hug.

I also want to tell you that regardless of how things are looking now, there’s hope. You will see the sun again.

‘You see? It’s one thing to have people look down on you, but it’s another when you allow them to cause you to look down on yourself. If nothing else, hang on to your self-love and your strong sense of self. Please don’t allow your bullies to force you to see yourself through their eyes. Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. Never ever give up.

Bullies may turn everyone else against you. Just make sure they never turn you against you.

Know that no matter what, you’re worth it! And you deserve friendship, love, and happiness just as much as anyone else!

Brainwashing and Conditioning: Types of Beliefs Bullying Instills in Targets

“Nobody will ever love me.”
“Nothing good can ever happen for me.”
“Human beings are predators and love drama.”
”It sucks to be me!”

Those were once my beliefs.

Bullying is a form of brainwashing. When a person has been an object of bullying for an extended length of time, they become fearful and unwitting hold themselves back. After people tell the target for so long that they aren’t good enough, the tormented person comes to believe it themselves. Even worse, those negative thoughts, which have, for several years, been drummed into their heads by bullies, become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Because bullying is so repetitive, it causes the target to think that they don’t deserve to be happy or prosperous. This person stops taking risks and plays everything safe. They settle for far less than what he/she deserves. And they don’t trust themselves to make good decisions and to say or do the right thing.

Targets of chronic bullying have the mindset that good fortune happens to anyone but them. Also, they lose faith in humanity and come to think that all people are rotten and take pleasure in harming others. As a result, targets lose their trust in humans in general, which only causes them to lose out on what could be genuinely remarkable friendships and relationships and re-enforce loneliness and isolation.

This is what bullying does to people. It reprograms their minds and smashes their self-esteem to pieces, which can sometimes take years to put back together again. It causes them to do things that they usually would never do. I say this because it happened to me.

During the years my classmates bullied me, I did not trust anyone. I selected friends I didn’t want to be friends with and dated a few guys whom I wasn’t even remotely attracted to- all because I believed I couldn’t do any better. I did this to avoid being alone.

As long as there was a warm body around, it was “good enough.” I didn’t realize that not only was I being unfair to myself but also the people I selected. I deserved to be with people whom I wanted to be with and who were upstanding and positive, and they deserved to be with people who were with them because they chose to be, not because they were the only option. I was doing what Zig Zigler termed as “stinkin’ thinkin.'”

Here is another thing targets do as a result of bullying, they never permit themselves to be selfish, not realizing that a little bit of selfishness is okay, even imperative at times! In the past, people have repeatedly accused these targets of being selfish when they are only caring for themselves and also shamed them into believing that anything they do for themselves is wrong. Therefore, targets put themselves on the back burner and everyone else comes first, often at their own expense!

It happened to me. I became shy and shut people out for fear of being harmed. I was afraid to say “no” to people because, in the past, I had been retaliated against and hurt for daring to set a boundary. I was forbidden to set boundaries and expected to, even forced to “let” others violate me. It was a terrible situation, which eventually caused me not to value myself as a person.

And when I finally got mad at the direction my life was headed. I decided, “No more!” I deserved to be happy just as much as the next person and I got proactive. I became hungry from any knowledge that would help me change my inside so that I could change my outside!

I took my first step toward empowerment by reading as many personal development books I could get my hands on, then putting their advice into practice. And believe me! Spiritual and psychological reprogramming isn’t easy!

Anytime you set out to change destructive thoughts and habits you’ve had for several years, it’s the hardest thing to do. It takes a lot of grunt-work and, most of all, patience because the change doesn’t happen overnight.

Your mind will fight you every step of the way. It took several years for me to notice a significant difference in my thought patterns and attitude.

Thankfully, it finally paid off in a big way, and things are much different today! I want you to know that when you are a target, placing worth on yourself and doing the work to bring positive changes in your life is the most important thing you can ever do for yourself.

Don’t do like me. For a time, I let my bullies win by caving in under a mountain of pressure and giving them carte blanche to brainwash me with their abuse. However, it was a lesson learned.

Always, value yourself, even when it seems that others don’t because it will work wonders for your self-esteem and save you a lot of work later. Keep fighting even when it appears that you’re losing the battle because oftentimes when things look the bleakest, your breakthrough or relief is just around the corner.

Love yourself and put yourself first, then reach out to only those who reciprocate love and positive feelings to you. Turn a deaf ear to the harmful talk bullies may attempt to fill your head with. Better yet, send those toxic parasites packing! Because you’re worth it! I promise you!

5 Reasons Why Self-Doubt is a Trap!

 

Many targets of bullying have been bullied so long that they become full of self-doubt. Abuse has a way of resetting your default mode from self-assured to self-doubt and once that default has been changed, it’s hard as hell to change it back. This is one of the reasons why bullying is so devastating for a target. Once you’re bullied, it changes you- it either turns you into a scared, helpless victim, an angry and bitter monster, or an empty shell.

Once you are bullied for an extended amount of time, you’re never the person you once were. Even if you do the inner work, get to know yourself again, win back your confidence, and manager to heal, you’ll still never be the same again. You’re stronger, yes. You’re a winner, yes. But I’ll say again, you’re still never the same as you were before you were bullied and there will be times when you’ll feel self-doubt creep back in and have to fight it.

I can tell you this because it happens to me too and I have to fight. You don’t just conquer bullying, get confident again and say, “Whew! I won! I’m glad I don’t have to worry about self-doubt or bullying again!” Because you will at some point. There will be times when that unwelcome and uninvited guest, Mr. or Ms. Self-Doubt will quietly try to slither their way back. Situations in life will trigger it and you will have to fight it.

It’s an ongoing battle. You might experience lulls, where you feel so self-assured that you don’t believe you could ever doubt yourself again. These feel-good periods may last days, weeks, months, even years…but! Circumstance will arise and unsavory people will come into your life to bring that old devil back again. And, once again, you will have to fight with everything you have to kick that pesky, uninvited guest out.

Self-doubt comes with many symptoms- lack of confidence in yourself, your appearance, your abilities, and your potential. Lack of self-belief, in general, which breeds lack of self-determination or, Learned Helplessness. It also comes with anger, sadness, depression, feeling of jealousy, and later, regret.

Giving into self-doubt is dangerous because it has a negative affect on your life- a huge negative effect. And it can absolutely destroy your future. So, how does self-doubt effect your life? In several ways:

1. It zaps your motivation and inspiration. When you think you can do nothing right or can’t be very effective, you won’t want to try at anything because you’ll be so fearful of failing. Without motivation nor inspiration, you’ll either never do anything at all or you’ll do just enough to get by and that’s it. Instead of living, you’ll only end up existing. Instead of being successful at life, you’ll only squeeze through it by the skin of your teeth. You end up in toxic relationships that don’t fulfill you. You’ll bust your tail in dead-in job after dead-end job, and, in the end, you’ll have nothing to show for it.

2. It causes you to miss opportunities. When you have self-doubt, you’ll be blind to your chance opportunities, and you’ll let them pass you by. This will only lead to a mountain of regret later.

3. It gives you a defeatist attitude. Self-doubt can morph into the acceptance of failure, and it can cause you to give up. You’ll see no point in even trying at anything anymore, which will only bring about more failure and defeatism. Finally, you’ll end up with the attitude that you can never reach success, that nothing meaningful or positive can ever come your way. You’ll fill as if God has cursed you, is punishing you and that His will is for you to suffer without ceasing.

4. It stunts your growth, and you’ll feel stuck. You don’t believe in yourself; therefore, you can’t grow as a person. You feel like a victim of circumstance and, as a result, you feel helpless to change any of the things you don’t like about your life. You feel that no matter how hard you try, you can never accomplish anything nor succeed.

5. It causes you to procrastinate. Because you think you’re going to fail anyway, you dread even trying. So, you put off everything, and keep putting off the things you know you need to do. As a result, you let it all pile up until the problem becomes so big it overwhelms you.

But I want you to know that no matter what bullies or anyone else tells you, no matter how many times you’ve screwed up, and no matter how many times adversity has happened in your life, overcoming self-doubt is something that is and always will be doable. It may take a while to get there, and you may fight many battles and need to work hard. But you can overcome it.

Know that you have the power to change your belief in yourself. If there have been people who grew up in extreme poverty or abusive homes and later went on to become doctors, lawyers, famous writers and inventors, then that power is within anyone and everyone- including you!

And I promise you that, if you put in the work and endure the discomfort to change your self-belief and eschew self-doubt, it will completely change your life!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How Bullying Negatively Affects The Targets Performance in School

As we all should know, bullying can have a devastating effect on grades and class performance. Here’s how:

Anytime you are a victim of bullying, you are forcibly put on constant alert for an attack. It feels as if you have a target on your back and you must grow eyes in the back of your head. You become hyper-vigilant, which breeds anxiety and leads to exhaustion. Not only is the body tired, but also the mind.

When so much focus must be placed on ways to protect yourself and maintain dignity, safety takes priority over studying lessons. How can one concentrate on schoolwork when they’re constantly bombarded with threats, taunts, name-calling, and physical violence? How can a student study and learn effectively when the mind is tired from being stuck in what seems to be a never-ending fight-or-flight mode? It’s almost impossible!

I can tell you this because it happened to me.

In my book, “From Victim to Victor”, I talk about having been on the honor roll before I began attending school in *Oakley (The school I was bullied in). I also talk about the transfer to *Roseburg High School during my senior year and how my grades skyrocketed overnight! After leaving that toxic learning environment and moving to a new school, my grades went from ‘C’s and ‘D’s to all ‘A’s with maybe one ‘B’. I made honor roll again for the first time in five long years!

Here is an excerpt from my book, “From Victim to Victor”, which explains things a little deeper:

bullied victim tortured

“…when anyone, even the most logical and rational of anyone is under a large amount of stress over a long period of time, the glucocorticoids that have flooded the brain and body for so long will cause the atrophy of areas responsible for memory, emotional regulation and ability to maintain positive relationships…”

Therefore, should it be any wonder that the majority of victims of bullying have such poor grades and class performance?

Second, after being told repeatedly and for so long that they don’t and never will amount to anything, victims begin to believe it themselves. A condition, known as “Learned Helplessness” develops and victims simply stop trying altogether.

In conclusion, bullying can affect ALL areas of a victim’s life. Not just social, but academics and achievements as well.

(*Not the real name of the town.)

4 Changes Bullying Can Cause in Targets- Beware!

Once a person suffers bullying for so long, changes in the brain occur- changes that aren’t good. Here are these changes:

1. The target becomes exhausted and loses the will to fight back. Being bullied is extremely tiring. Bullies know this and deliberately wear their victims down to take the fight out of them and wrest control over their lives.

Although at first, the target may defend themselves and fiercely assert their rights to human dignity and respect, most bullies don’t recognize any human rights but only see self-defense and protection as an affront to their power. They then only double down- intensify the hatred until they mentally and physically exhaust their target.

The target finally loses their will to fight back and acquiesces because he’s just worn slap out and no longer has the strength to fight anymore.

2. He loses the ability to recognize mistreatment. When we’re used to being treated well, we can more clearly see poor treatment and know the difference when it happens. But after so long of enduring bullying, the lines get blurred, and our eyes lose the ability to see aggression so clearly- especially if the hostility we face is subtle. We finally reach a point where we don’t recognize the bullying at all!

3. The target becomes conditioned to accept bad behavior from others. After so long, you come to believe what bullies tell you- that you’re a terrible person and that you somehow deserve to be treated shabbily.

These damaging self-beliefs happen after the bullies, their followers, and bystanders have repeatedly prevented you from defending and taking care of yourself. They have, for so long, drummed into your head that you are worthless, useless, evil, mentally unstable- take your pick. They repeat the same lies over and over until they force you to believe it too.

4. The target begins to punish himself. The victim does this by engaging in risky or self-destructive behaviors. He may hang with the wrong people and befriend those who only tolerate them. Targeted girls may participate in risky sexual behavior or having relationships with abusive partners.

Understand that we must be vigilant to take care of our mental health and self-esteem if we want to avoid these results in the future. Make sure you have friends outside of the bullying environment that you can talk to and that your family is supportive. Do things you enjoy and keep company with positive and uplifting people any time you’re away from the bullies.

Your goal is to balance the bullying you suffer by adding healthy and positive relationships and experiences outside the bullying environment. This balance will soften the blows to your self-esteem and provide a buffer to your bullies’ attacks.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Learned Helplessness Explained (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1…

During the last post, I promised to show you how to get out of that bad place. Here’s the short list of things you can do:

1.Seek therapy. Counselling that is. Counselling allows you to talk and get things off your chest. However, this should be in conjunction with other steps like…

 2. Prayer. Believe it or not, prayer works. So, spend a minute or two in prayer and ask Him to show you what to do and what you need to understand.

 3. Reading personal development. You must know how to change your situation and personal development will tell you how. It did for me.

For example, if you’re having a hard time making friends, I recommend the books “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, and “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene!

Also, read any of Joe Navarro’s books about body language. He is a former FBI profiler, and his books will teach you how to better read nonverbal communication. The better you read body language, the better you’ll communicate with others!

4. Practice, practice, practice. None of what you’ve learned will do you a lot of good if you don’t put it to practice. You must practice every day to build your confidence and it will require stepping out of your comfort zone and facing your fears head on.

 Remember, your transforming will take time. Don’t rush the process. Do everything and learn at your own pace. Patience is the key.

Learned Helplessness Explained from Personal Experience

A Very Bad Place

That god-awful place I was in years ago is a place I never want to return to. There was a time I’d given up- a time I felt that I had no control over my own life. Instead of running my life, I let my life run me. Even worse, as much as I wanted to fix it, I didn’t know how.

All I knew was that my life was a constant battle- a war I never volunteered to fight in but one I felt I’d been involuntarily drafted into- with no furlough, no R&R, and one that seemed to be never-ending. I was as a ship without a rudder.

Bad things kept happening back-to-back and I didn’t know what was broken. Therefore, there was no way of knowing how to fix it.

It looked as if everyone else was happily enjoying life- getting what they wanted (or more appropriately, what I wanted)- everyone except me, and I was sick of always being an exception.

I had been programmed to believe, though subconsciously, that love, success, anything good and meaningful, was for anyone who wasn’t me. I felt that God loathed me and wanted to punish me by blocking me from any kind of happiness, satisfaction, and contentment, while making sure I’d see everyone else reaching successes and enjoying their lives.

And I hated them all for it. Even worse, I hated God for seemingly blessing them and cursing me- for allowing me to suffer and seemingly leaving me to fend for myself, then cutting off ways for me to do it. I felt that it just wasn’t fair. I stopped talking to God. I wanted nothing to do with Him. I either wanted to ignore Him flat out or curse Him in my heart. I was angry- no. I was outraged!

Depression Concept with Word Cloud and a Humanbeing with broken Brain and Heavy Rain

I was in such a bad place and life sucked- royally!

It was as if He were forcing me to suffer and, at the same time, rubbing everyone else’s successes and blessings in my face. It was the feeling of being starved and denied essential nourishment while being tied to a chair and forced to watch everyone in the room eat heartily and enjoy a huge feast.

That was torture!

It’s Only the Result of Learned Helplessness.

But you see? This is what learned helplessness does. It programs you to believe that you’re at the mercy of Fate! You ask yourself, “what’s the point?” After so many disappointments and heartaches, you come to feel that there’s nothing you can do to change your situation- that you’re just “stuck with it,” and “that’s just the way it is.”

Learned helplessness forces you to believe that you have power over nothing! You’re just a leaf being blown about by the wind- a car without a steering wheel. It is as if your life has been set to autopilot and there’s no way you can navigate its direction.

You come to believe that you should just roll over, resign yourself, and accept your fate and station in life- just go with the flow and let yourself be blown wherever the wind decides to take you.

At the time, therapy helped a little, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t enough. It only allowed me to keep existing instead of living. All the therapists wanted to do was shove anti-depressants down my throat, which, in most cases, left me feeling like a zombie- like I was just there, and that’s it. They were only treating the symptoms and not the root cause.

The Turning Point

My saving grace was when God showed me what I needed to do. And what pulled me out of this dark pit was when I began reading personal development and putting everything I learned into practice. I was hungry for any knowledge I could use to make a better life for myself. I ordered and devoured book after book, and I continued to practice the new habits I’d learned everyday until it became like second nature, and I no longer had to think about it.

The transformation didn’t happen overnight. It took a few years but I was amazed at the results and the good blessings that begin to flow into my life almost immediately!

I now realize that all along, I’d always had the power to change things, only I’d never known I had it.

And power you don’t know you have is power you don’t have because it’s power you can’t use. You cannot use anything you don’t know you have.

A Positive Outcome

In general, I’m a happy person today. I’m confident and comfortable in my own skin. I know who I am and what I want out of life, and I go after it with excitement and fervor. Yes! Now, I get excited about my life and about the future!

This is not to say that I don’t have days when I’m not at my best because I do. Things will still go wrong as they most certainly will for anyone of us. I just have a much better way of looking at it and it doesn’t feel nearly as bad as it used to. I may not have total control of my life, only God has that. But I have control over much more than I did years ago.

Any time I even suspect that I’m slipping back into the “old mindset,” I quickly begin counting my blessings and reminding myself that there are many people who have it much worse than I ever had it and before I know it, I’m back to where I need to be.

But most importantly, I’m making my peace with God and there’s nothing better than that!

So, I want you to know that, if you’re in the same bad place, you don’t have to continue living there. You have more power than you realize, you just don’t know it’s there. You do not have to accept everything that you’re not happy with and that brings you pain.

You do have the power to change it. I’ll show you how in the next post!

Why You Should Never Believe nor Internalize the Labels Bullies Give You

We’ve all heard of self-fulfilling prophecies or the Pygmalion Effect. It’s a phenomenon in which our thoughts become things. People also call it the power of expectation.

” What we believe we also become.”

When people (adults at work AND kids at school) are told they are smart and will do well, they usually end up doing just that. Whereas, if a person is told he is stupid and will never amount to anything, he will also live up to what he hears.

Bullying and life – pictured as a word Bullying and a wrecking ball to symbolize that Bullying can have a bad effect and can destroy life, 3d illustration

High expectations= high performance= high outcomes.

Low expectations= low performance= low outcomes.

Understand that bullies are brain-washers. They are repetitious in their verbal attacks, and if you aren’t careful after they have repeatedly suggested that you’re stupid, ugly, or no good long enough, they will force you to believe it too. You won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late.

‘You see? A bully knows that if you tell a person something enough times for long enough, that person is more likely to believe it.

Understand that bullies do this on purpose. Their goal is to derail you, your goals, and your future by manipulation, to turn you against yourself.

Because bullies know that once they make you believe you’re worthless and can’t do anything right, you will unwittingly and ultimately live up to their expectations.

You must realize that any name a bully calls you, they want you to be. Anytime a bully tells you that you will never be loved, never be successful, etc., the goal is to crush your self-esteem and any prospect for the future.

Law of Attraction on Blackboard with Words

And people want to be right! Bullies want so badly to be right about you so that they can eventually point at you and tell others,

“See? What did I tell you? I told you he was a jackass!”

“I told you she would (screw up, fly off the handle, get into trouble, etc.).

“Uh-huh! What did I tell you? Huh?”

Therefore, should it be any wonder why bullies continuously bombard you with horrible names and accusations? If a person calls you a lowlife, they want you to be a lowlife because they want you to prove them right!

There is a reason why cycles repeat themselves over again! Everything becomes a cycle. What you expect is what you will end up getting. Even worse, it’s what you’ll eventually live up to. Always! It’s only the Law of Attraction at work, and it never fails.

It won’t be easy to do. It’s challenging to think positively and to keep loving yourself when you’re continually having horrible names and negative comments hurled at you from every direction. It’s tough to keep your heart open when the hearts of people around you are closed and locked tight. It feels impossible to love yourself when it seems that everyone hates you. I feel your pain because I’ve been right where you are now.

 

However, you can only break the cycle of abuse and negativity by continuing to love yourself even when it seems that nobody else does, by finding a reason to live when life seems hopeless, and by refusing to lose sight of your goals, your dreams, and most of all, your value as a human being.

Be mindful of your thoughts and always replace any negative thinking with thoughts that are positive.

If a bully calls you stupid, counter his statement by saying something as simple as,

“No! I’m smart! You’re the stupid one!”

You may have to work hard at it, but you can do it.

The Long-Term Effects of Bullying

Bullying, especially chronic and severe bullying, is traumatic for targets and can have long-lasting effects. Most people who’ve been traumatized by bullying have lives that don’t run smoothly. They experience many stops and starts in life- many interruptions and setbacks.

They suffer a long string of broken relationships and friendships due to their shattered trust in humanity. When you’ve been bullied severely as I have, you will come to believe the lie, that human beings are inherently evil and enjoy seeing others suffer, if you aren’t careful and you don’t get professional help. And naturally, this destructive belief will effect your personal relationships.

In order to succeed at anything- you job, academics, finances, projects, anything, you must know how to form and nurture successful relationships. The hard truth is that it really is who you are connected with that determines your success in life. How to form relationships and confidently maintain them is the most important life skill you can ever learn and master. It’s sad that traditional schools don’t teach this.

Many people who have been chronically and severely bullied have been stunted in their emotional development and their development of people-skills. Many targets and survivors of bullying are afraid of meeting new people and of relationships. They’re fearful of social engagements and situations because they see themselves through the eyes of their bullies- that they’re somehow defective and inferior to everyone. Therefore, they don’t trust themselves or other people anymore.

Targets and survivors of bullying may desire friends and relationships but don’t want to take the risks required to get what they want. They decide that it’s much safer to stay alone and avoid even the remotest chance of conflict, being ridiculed, and possibly being targeted again in the future.

What these traumatized people don’t realize is that this doesn’t decrease their chances of being targeted. It actually increases that chance because bullies actively search for people like them- easy marks who are fearful and easily intimidated. Also, it lessons their chances of success at all other aspects of their lives.

Many targets and survivors of bullying are ashamed of what they had to do to survive and keep from getting hurt and bullied worse than they already were.

They have much shame about the many times they had to submit to the bullies demands to keep from getting their brains beat out or save themselves from being shot or stabbed.

They often look back and wish they’d spoken up or defended themselves and just took whatever consequences they’d have had to face afterward. Sadly, they haven’t thought about the fact that the brain’s and body’s natural reaction is to do whatever they must do to keep one from harm- it’s part of our survival instinct.

If you are or have been a target of bullying, how can you change your life for the better?

1.You start by getting therapy and by reading self-help and personal development books that deal with the type of problems you’re having. You also relearn the social arts and do the inner work to reprogram yourself. Realize that this will take a lot of time to internalize.

2. You replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

3. You count your blessings and make a list of your good qualities and talents.

4. You think of the good people in your life, even if you only know a few, and realize that there are more of them in the world- realize that, out of almost eight billion people in the world, there must be more good people besides the few you already know.

5. You spend time with the people who love you and who uplift you. These positive connections will balance out all the bad experiences you’ve had with bullies and your confidence will grow. Soon, you won’t be as fearful because you’ll feel better about yourself.

6. You take risks by meeting new people and making new connections. This will be uncomfortable at first but continue to push yourself and it will eventually feel natural.

The things above are what I did to regain my confidence and become outgoing. It wasn’t easy and it took time and a lot of practice for it to sink in and become like second nature. But I look back now and I’m so glad I put in the work because my life is so much better now.

I’m at peace with myself and with others. Words cannot explain the freedom that comes with it. You would have to experience it to know. But I promise that if you do the same things I did, and put in the time and work, the payoff will be exponential, and you’ll get the ROI you’ve never thought you would!

Invest in yourself. Don’t you think you’re worth the time and effort? I do.

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

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

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

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

verbal abuse bullying

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

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

bullying victim nervous, walking tight rope

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

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

bullying girl physical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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