Self-Loathing, Self-Consciousness, and Low Self-Esteem Comes From Not Knowing Who You Are

Let’s face it. We live in a society of three things that kill peace and happiness- self-loathing, self-consciousness, and low self-esteem; and it shows every day. We see people with victim mentality, people running around in fear, and people who carry unnecessary guilt.

Targets of bullying do this all the time to prove something to their classmates, neighbors, or coworkers. Even people who aren’t necessarily targets of bullying but have been brainwashed by media to believe that they’re somehow responsible for the evil in the world do the same thing. I want you to understand that you are not responsible for someone else’s atrocious and unspeakable actions.

For example, last summer, we saw on the news, where people people would kneel before certain groups to virtue signal and prove they weren’t racist, xenophobic, or homophobic. And while these people were kneeling, those they were kneeling before only laughed. It was quite pathetic.

‘You see? Here’s the thing. If you know who you are and that you aren’t any of these things, you don’t have to prove it.

My point is that that if you know who you are, what you stand for, and that you haven’t done anything wrong- if you know in your heart that you’re not what others say you are, there’s no need to bend over backwards and jump through hoops to prove otherwise.

At the same time, you absolutely must loathe evil and yes, even speak out against it. But virtue signaling isn’t necessary.

I hate racism, xenophobia, and homophobia with a passion and I speak out against it. I hate anything that marginalizes human beings on the basis of being different and not their character and their behavior.  But I won’t take responsibility for the despicable behavior of other people and I will never virtue signal to prove anything because I don’t have to.

I know who I am and I know that my virtues are there whether they’re visible or not.

So let your goodness and humanity speak for itself. Let your truth do the talking for you. Stop being afraid of conflict and of being labeled. If you’re carrying guilt that isn’t your burden to carry, stop it right now. Know that a fearful person is a controllable person. Don’t be that person!

Don’t be the person who is constantly trying to prove something to others because, in the end, you only demean and degrade yourself.

Instead, be the person who hates and speaks out against evil and wrongdoing. Be the person who shows love to people of different races, nationalities, orientations, religions, beliefs, or any other differences. But most of all, be the person who’s positivity, love, and good deeds speak for themselves. Remember that we’re all human beings deserving of dignity and love.

Your Inner Bully- Why You Should Ignore It

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It’s true that, in most cases, we are our own worst critics and enemies. We get in our own way, sabotaging our own successes. Then, we wonder why we’re always stuck.

It’s because we listen to that nagging, bitchy voice that tells us we “can’t do it.” That we’re “going to fail epically.” We give too much attention to that taunting voice that laughs at our dreams and aspirations.

Here are a few reasons why we should pay that inner bully voice no mind:

1. It sabotages us. Thoughts have a way of becoming things and circumstances and they will only cause us to miss out on opportunities and flub our goals.

 2. It serves us no purpose. That negative voice is a waste of time and will only keep you stuck if you’re not careful.

 3. We might just end up believing it. What we believe, we become, and, as mentioned in number one, that evil voice only serves to sabotage and derail you from your goals and dreams.

 4. It trashes our self-esteem. Over time, that voice will erode your self-esteem and steal away your confidence and peace of mind. Once your confidence is gone, bad things begin to happen. As Ralph Waldo Emerson quoted, “If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”

Here is what happens when we listen to our inner bully:

1. We put too much pressure on ourselves to meet standards that are unattainable.

2. We think we need a slew of friends to feel well-liked.

3. We think we need to be filthy rich to feel valuable.

4. We think we need to be ½ of a couple.

5. We live in the past or future instead of enjoying the present.

Most targets of bullying are especially bad for this and the only thing it does is make them feel worse about themselves. But, as humans, the inner bully is our default mind setting. We all have that inner voice that cuts us down to size.

Fortunately, there are things you can do about it. Isn’t it time you gave your inner bully the boot?

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Replace that nagging voice in your head with that of a loving friend.

Replace the negative thoughts with those that are positive.

Train that inner voice to say positive things instead of negative.

Granted, this will be a difficult thing to do because your mind will fight you every step of the way. But when we catch ourselves thinking negative thoughts and replace them with thoughts that are positive, we will slowly rewire our brains until it finally becomes natural. What this is doing is creating new neural pathways and once those pathways are complete, you will naturally think more positively.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Learned Helplessness

When a person has been bullied and abused long enough, they develop a condition called “Learned Helplessness.” In essence, they give up and forego any options they may have to make a better life for themselves.

Many targets and survivors of bullying are stuck in the only life they know and if bullying and abuse are the only things a person knows, they’re likely to stay stuck in relationships and environments that are harmful to them because they’ve been conditioned all their lives to accept it and that it’s normal.

This can happen to animals as well. Here’s a piece from the book, “The Body Keeps the Score,” by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M. D.

“Maier and Seligman had repeatedly administered painful electrical shocks to dogs who were trapped in locked cages. They called this condition, ‘inescapable shock.’”

“After administering several courses of electric shock, the researchers opened the doors of the cages and then shocked the dogs again. A group of control dogs who had never been shocked before immediately ran away, but the dogs who had earlier been subjected to inescapable shock made no attempt to flee, even when the door was wide open- they just lay there, whimpering and defecating. The mere opportunity to escape does not necessarily make traumatized animals, or people, take the road to freedom.

Like Maier and Seligman’s dogs, many traumatized people give up. Rather than risk experimenting with new options, they stay stuck in the fear they know.”

This is interesting.

Many targets of bullying have been repeatedly traumatized just like the electric shock dogs in the excerpt. They have been abused for so long that they’ve been programmed to stay in a miserable environment and tolerate more abuse. It’s heartbreaking!

Nine times out of ten, the target is trapped in the bullying and has no chance of getting away from it. They’re trapped in a school they can’t transfer from, or a job they can’t afford to quit. Many parents can’t afford to move to a new area and zoning laws forbid switching schools. Whatever the situation may be, there’s no getting away from the bullying.

When your fight or flight response has been blocked, what can you do? What can you do when you’re prevented from running away or from fighting back? You either fly into a rage and end up committing a serious crime or you shut down completely and surrender to “what just is” or “the way things are”- you give up.

Targets and survivors who suffer from Learned Helplessness have been programmed to believe that there is nothing they can do to defend themselves. They are trained to believe they have absolutely no control over what happens to them.

This is why we should take care never to allow bullies and abusers to drive us to the point to where we give up and become brainwashed into believing that we’re helpless because it will have devastating consequences for your entire life. No matter how others treat us and how bad things get, we must hold on, with everything we have, to our belief in ourselves.

We must hold on to hope and keep our eyes on our goals and dreams. Only then will we be able to truly break the hold any bullies or abusers have on us.

Although you may not physically be able to escape the bullying and abuse you suffer, you still have control over your mind. You still have a say in what goes into your mind and what you choose to kick out of it. So, never allow the words of a bullying abuser clutter your brain. Instead, fill your mind with your goals, dreams, and things that make you feel good about yourself.

Work on devising a plan of escape and stick to it. Then, when the time is right and a door opens, put your plan into action.

Trust me, you’re worth it and you deserve to live drama-free and in peace.

Targets of Bullying and Social Anxiety

After being bullied for so long, targets can develop social anxiety. They withdraw from people because they fear future attacks. The target’s spirit has been beaten down and broken and the person has been abused to the point of losing faith in humanity. Also, they’re reprogrammed to believe the bullies’ lies that they aren’t worthy of love and friendship. They are under the presumption that it’s much safer not to engage in any social interaction.

But what the target doesn’t realize is, that in closing himself off from the rest of the world, he unknowingly limits himself in all aspects of life.

Humans were created to socialize and to have relationships. When targets create this invisible fortress around them, it doesn’t ensure their safety but only brings about more bullying. Bullies get their power from our fear. They are like ferocious animals who can smell fear from a mile away and believe me. They take full advantage.

Moreover, targets miss out on relationships that, otherwise, could be and would be fulfilling and rewarding. They unwittingly forego opportunities for friendship, dating, even good jobs that can produce personal success and financial well-being. Because if a person doesn’t believe in themselves, no one else will- that includes potential friends, dates, and company managers and supervisors. No one wants to be friends with, date, or hire someone who isn’t sure of himself unless they have low self-esteem themselves.

People recognize, if only subconsciously, social anxiety when they see it and not only through the more obvious signs, such as quietness, avoidance, trembling, blushing, stuttering or sweaty palms.

Social anxiety can also be more covert, showing itself in less obvious ways:

1.Excessive laughing and giggling

2. Appearing normal on the outside but nervous and shaky on the inside

3. Excessive humor and being overly funny or no sense of humor at all

4. Excessive sarcasm/having a smart-alicky attitude

5. Being overly friendly/too nice

6. Shutting down/freezing up- unable to talk or move

7. Meanness/rudeness

8. Fidgeting/can’t sit still

9. Lack of or too much eye contact

10. Poor posture/looking down all the time

11. Having a hard time keeping up with a conversation

12. Talking too loudly, too fast, too soft, too slow, or not at all

13. Indifference

14. Excessive use of foul language

15. Promiscuity/raciness

16. Wearing attire that is provocative or super-revealing

17. A sudden and drastic change of style.

The difficult thing is that those covert signs don’t always mean that the person has social anxiety. Many people just have their own sense of style or they may be naturally introverted. They may also have a boisterous personality. If you do not know the person or aren’t close to them, it’s hard to tell.

But one thing that is noticeable is if the person never exhibited this kind of behavior or look before and suddenly, or within a short amount of time transitions into it. And these kinds of changes can only be noticeable to those who are close to the person or have been around the person for years.

Therefore, if you know a person who is showing these signs, instead of pointing a finger and judging them cruelly, ask questions and find out why. You may not realize that person could be a target of bullying or another form of abuse.

And if you are a target of bullying and struggling with social anxiety, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in that invisible prison forever.

Bullies do not deserve value and you shouldn’t place any worth to their opinions of you. Understand that you are enough and that your bullies haven’t earned your respect nor your attention.

Only value the opinions or thoughts of the people who love you and whose opinions deserve your consideration, attention, and acknowledgement.

Start loving yourself and practicing self-care. Relax and be yourself. Embrace your flaws and quirks because we all have them whether we admit it or not. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. I promise you that you’ll be much happier and have more peace of mind when you do.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

8 Telltale Signs Your Loved One is Bullied at School

As we know, targets are often silent about the torment they face at work or school and in most cases. This is due to shame and embarrassment. Also, Most family members and friends are not even aware that there is a problem. Those who do know about it are often at a loss as to how to help them. If you are a family member and are wondering whether or not your loved one is a target of bullying, here are the signs that she’s being bullied:

1. Withdrawal from family and friends – being the target of bullying can slowly chip away at self-esteem. And people with low self-esteem have a tendency to withdraw. It is a defense mechanism to protect oneself against further attacks because bully targets, after being victimized for so long, begin to think that all people are vicious and cannot be trusted.

Therefore, they put up their guard and close themselves off, resulting in missed opportunities for closeness with family members, friendships, or romantic relationships.

Or it could be that they don’t want to bother others with their problems and prefer to handle them independently. Still, lovingly ask questions and be prepared to listen attentively if they open up.

 

2. Underachievement – Most targets are underachievers. Their self-esteem has been so badly beaten that they no longer believe in themselves, which can cause a condition known as “Learned Helplessness.” After being told that they are a “loser,” “no good,” and/or that they “can’t do anything right” for so long, they tend to believe it themselves. This can hurt grades, class participation, and performance.

Letter F grade on a report card rating a terrible, bad, poor performance in school, a class, job or other scored activity

They must also focus all their mental energy on ways to avoid bullies and be safe, which can affect performance.

3. Overachievement – Although bullying can cause underachievement, it can go either way. Some bullying targets dive into work projects or schoolwork and achieve exceptional grades and class performance to compensate for their low social status among their peers. They feel that they are socially inept somehow, so these kids try to make up for this by excelling in their work, studies, talents, or any other area.

4. Bruises, scrapes, and or cuts on their physical body – many victims of school bullying are targets of physical bullying (being punched, kicked, knocked down, dragged, etc.), which occurs mostly in boys. Still, thanks partially to feminism and the moral decline in today’s young girls and women, physical assaults perpetrated by females are increasing at an alarming rate.

5. Sadness and Depression – symptoms are crying, withdrawal, loss of interest in activities one normally enjoys, and fatigue.

6. Excessive absences from school – Most targets are afraid of going to work or school because they know that bullies will be waiting for them as soon as they arrive or step onto the bus. So, they avoid going by either skipping, feigning illness, or calling in sick.

7. They may become bullies themselves – Often, bullied people feel helpless. They feel that they have absolutely no control over anything. So they too become bullies in an attempt to feel some sense of power and control over something- ANYTHING.

They bully others who are even more powerless to make themselves feel better about themselves and to feel that they are a rung or two up from the bottom of the social hierarchy. Crap always rolls downhill.

An example of this would be: A child gets yelled at by parents, then goes outside and kicks the dog. It’s the same with most bully targets. And as much as I hate to admit it, I was guilty of the same thing in school.

8. Suicidal thoughts and attempts – sadly, suicides resulting from bullying are at an all-time high! Most people who are bullied are powerless to stop it. Most have tried reporting it to authority or handling it themselves to no avail.

Targets often feel alone and have no one in their corner. They feel that there is something wrong with them. They’re made to feel as if it is their fault and that somehow, they deserve the shabby treatment they get.

Sadly, some targets break under pressure and conclude that suicide is the only way to make it stop. If you even think that your loved one might be suicidal, Get help now!

Targets need a support system! Be that support system! Be there for them! If you see any of these signs in a loved one, don’t ignore or minimize it! Ask questions!!!

Try to get them to open up. It won’t be easy, as people are ashamed to admit being bullied, even their own families. However, if you want to help them, you have to address it, and you have to do it gently and lovingly.

Making Poor Choices Just to be Accepted

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Sadly, targets of bullying often make poor life choices because of bullying. Years ago, I was targeted and yes, I made some really bad decisions, some of which continue to affect my life today.

At the time, I didn’t really know why I made those decisions. However, today, there is no doubt in my mind that the reason I allowed myself to get into smoking marijuana and having sex during high school was that I was lonely from being bullied.

You see? Most targets have been bullied for so many years that they will do anything- anything, to be accepted and make friends. After so long, the loneliness, the despair, and the sadness becomes too much to bear and desperation begins to creep in.

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Young Targets may do one or more of the following:

1. Try drugs

2. Overeat

3. Undereat

2. Have unsafe sex/promiscuity

3. Join gangs

4. Participate in crime

5. Commit high-risk behaviors (like drag-racing and dangerous daredevil stunts)

They will sometimes do these things just to feel like they belong.

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Girls may begin “dating down”. They settle for either a partner they don’t really love, or an abusive partner just for validation that they too can attain romance and they are worthy of love just like everyone else. Boys may do the same.

They may also get into drinking, drugs, and hard partying.

Girls may also deliberately become pregnant because they want so bad to have someone (the baby) to love them.

If you are a target of bullying, I can’t emphasize enough that you don’t have to do these things to be accepted or to feel loved. There are better options.

Instead of making unwise choices, practice your talents, and do the things you enjoy. Spend time with the people who DO love you. Give a little of yourself to help others every day and I promise you, it will pay off sooner or later.

Know that there will come a day when you attract genuine friends into your life. IT’s true. Believe it with every fiber of your being!

Low Self-Esteem Isn’t Something We’re Born With, It’s Taught.

Insecurity and a lack of confidence are not characteristics that we’re born with. They are taught! Not only by bullies or abusive family members but can also unwittingly programmed into us by caring family members who call themselves trying to teach us humbleness and humility.

These characteristics are both good virtues to have, but only in moderation. However, too much of it can cause us to suppress a little too much of ourselves and hide our own awesome personalities, talents, and gifts, which can grow into insecurity and, in worse cases, self-loathing.

a little girl hiding behind her mother’s skirt

I believe that each and every one of us is born with confidence and a heart of gold. Yet over time, our environments, circumstances, and sadly, the people in our lives can slowly erode the natural confidence and goodness we were born with.

After being hurt for so long, we withdraw from others and put up a barrier to protect ourselves. We turn cold and began to harden ourselves to numb feelings of rejection and the pain that comes with it.

Young girl bending down, covering her face with her hands, trying to protect herself from men’s’ fists, finger guns, and hands pointing at her. Women’s rights. Violence against women. Domestic violence.

Before long, we regard others’ feelings and suffering with indifference- we just don’t give a crap about anyone, how they feel, or what they think. Sometimes we even grow cold toward the people who love us because we have lost the ability to trust.

We no longer have any respect for others, much less ourselves. Lastly, we come to that evil place where schadenfreude takes hold of our personalities, and we secretly or openly take pleasure in seeing others, especially those we despise, suffer.

We must make a conscious effort not to allow negative outside influences to make us cold and mean. Just as we take steps to protect our health, finances, property, etc., we must also take steps to protect our self-esteem. And we do that by how we allow others to treat us- by setting boundaries and standards.

Is Low Self-Esteem Something We’re Born With?

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No! Insecurity and a lack of confidence are not characteristics that we’re born with. They are taught! Not only by bullies or abusive family members but can also unwittingly programmed into us by caring family members who call themselves trying to teach us humbleness and humility.

These characteristics are both good virtues to have, but only in moderation. Too much of it, however, can cause us to suppress a little too much of ourselves and hide our own awesome personalities, talents, and gifts, which can grow into insecurity and in worse cases, self-loathing.

I believe that each and every one of us is born with confidence and a heart of gold. Yet over time, our environments, circumstances, and sadly, the people in our lives can slowly erode the natural confidence and goodness we were born with.

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After being hurt for so long, we withdraw from others and put up a barrier to protect ourselves. We turn cold and began to harden ourselves to numb feelings of rejection and the pain that comes with it.

Before long, we regard the feelings and suffering of others with indifference- we just don’t give a crap about anyone, how they feel, or what they think. Sometimes we even grow cold toward the people who love us because we have lost the ability to trust.

We no longer have any respect for others, much less ourselves. We end up doing and saying things that only further degrade ourselves and others. Lastly, we come to that evil place where schadenfreude takes hold of our personalities and we secretly or openly, take pleasure in seeing others, especially those we despise, suffer.

Just as we take steps to protect our health, finances, property, etc.; we must also take steps to protect our self-esteem. Self-esteem determines our life course. Therefore, we should guard it as we would our lives.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Bullying Can Cause Toxic Shame

Bullies ritually beat their victims down to the point that the poor targets have come to view themselves through the eyes of their bullies. Toxic shame is, perhaps, the worst type of shame a person can have. Because once you begin to view yourself through the eyes of your abusers, that’s when you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

Their contempt, disgust, and aversion toward you have rubbed off on you, and you began to hate yourself. But I want you to understand that this is what your bullies want. They want you to hate yourself. Because the bullies know that if they can work on you and finally get you to hate yourself, they know they’ve won.

Your bullies aren’t stupid. They know that you’ll submit to the abuse because when a person hates themselves, they think they deserve abuse.

When a target of bullying suffers from toxic shame, they accuse themselves of sins of which they aren’t guilty. They apologize incessantly over things that aren’t their fault. Ultimately, targets feel guilty for merely existing!

Toxic shame causes one to lose trust in himself and their decisions and judgments, and become afraid to make them. Ultimately, it makes for a miserable life.

The points mentioned above are why we must guard our self-esteem and confidence. But before we can do that, we must educate ourselves on where bullying comes from, the mindsets of bullies, how to spot them before they strike, ways for targets to minimize the effects of bullying, and the damage bullying can do. Only then will we have the knowledge to empower, protect, and take care of ourselves.

This is what this blog is all about, and it’s my wish that targets and potential targets learn these things to defend themselves. Because if we can reduce the number of victims, we can then reduce bullying.

That False Sense of Insecurity When You’re a Target

Bullies will often bully a specific victim for so long that the victim eventually expects maltreatment from all people. Although I no longer get bullied and have long since regained my confidence and self-esteem, I do remember that feeling all too well.

After being bullied for so long, you become fearful. Around people, you clam up, keep your eyes to yourself and go about your business. However, it seldom works because bullies are like pit bulldogs; they can smell fear from a mile away, so being reserved and staying out of the way tends to bring about more bullying.

You can always tell when a person is a victim of bullying because they continuously apologize for everything. Overapologizing is the surefire sign of bullying and abuse, as is being reserved and afraid to look people in the eye.

Understand that the person who does that is scared to death. They’ve lost all sense of their worth and are afraid to make decisions because they might make the wrong one and be ridiculed, shamed, or harmed for it.

Many targets are also afraid to talk to people because they’re afraid of saying something stupid or offensive and again getting persecuted for it. They’re fearful of going out or being seen in public because they might run into the wrong people (bullies).

They’re scared to greet people because they fear that they’ll be seen as too friendly. So, they’re often mistaken for being stuck up or standoffish.

If you are a victim of bullying and you do any of the above, STOP!

Living your life in fear is no way to live! It sucks! It’s a downright miserable existence, and I refuse to keep my head down and clam up to avoid the pettiness of other people!

I want you to realize that you don’t need permission to be yourself or to exist! The day you say, “Screw it! Who cares what those idiots think!” will be the day you get your life back. Things may indeed get worse before they get better. But it’ll be worth it in the long run. I guarantee it.