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.

We Are What We Think

You’ve heard the quote, “You are what you eat.” So, it goes with your thought processes. You are also what you think.

Targets of bullying can start off as confident and outgoing people. But after years of bullying and abuse, they become insecure, afraid, and withdrawn. Sometimes, they can turn against themselves. They began to think that they aren’t worthy of anything good in life. They stop believing in their own good qualities. They no longer think they’ll ever be loved, ever be accepted, or ever be successful and that nothing will ever go right for them.

Law of Attraction

Then, sure enough, things begin to happen that matches their thoughts and feelings. These poor people began to fall out with friends and family, they have back-to-back bad breaks. They finally develop feelings of self-loathing and end up alone, rejected, unsuccessful, and unlucky.

Here’s how it works:

You must realize that your thought patterns determine your outlook (attitude).

Your outlook determines your decisions and behavior.

Your decisions and behavior determine your outcomes.

Your outcomes determine your life and the events that happen in it.

All this then re-enforces your outlook or attitude.

This becomes a cycle and cycles always repeat themselves.

Anytime you think a thought, you send a message into the universe and, sooner or later, you get a response that matches, and the response always returns as an event, situation, or circumstance. And once it becomes a vicious cycle in your life, it’s damn hard to break that cycle.

Know that this cycle can be broken, but it takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work. I can tell you from experience that the changes won’t happen overnight, and the reason is that, once a pattern is set, unseen forces (like your subconscious mind, for instance) will, at first, fight against any change you try to make. You could say that these unseen forces (your subconscious) have become comfortable with the way things are and, just as most people hate change, so do the higher powers at work.

But know that if you keep at it, your breakthrough will present itself eventually. It has to after a while because of your refusal to give up.

Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, you must be very careful that you don’t allow your bullies and the lies and toxic messages they send to influence the way you think of yourself. You must fight like the devil to hold on to your self-belief. Your life and its trajectory depend on it!

If you hold on to your positive attitude and sense of self from the very beginning, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hard work in the future. Most of all, you’ll save yourself from a lot of future pain and misery.

Bullying Will Diminish the Target’s Ability to Trust Him/Herself

Why? Because the target’s judgement, decisions, and feelings are constantly attacked, negated, and condemned by others. When a target is bullied, they’re taught that, although the abuse they suffer is painful, they either shouldn’t feel, or they have no right to feel that pain because they’re to blame for the abuse they suffer.

Targets are conditioned by bullies, bystanders, even people in authority, friends, and family to just suck it up and negate their own painful feelings. In that, they’re trained either not to understand or to deny their own suffering and that bullies and others are abusing them.

Targets are trained to believe that other people’s vile behavior is their fault and that something is wrong with them, otherwise the bullying wouldn’t be happening to them. Targets are also taught that everything that goes wrong is because of them. In short, they’re taught that the abuse they’re getting is somehow justified.

As a result, targets often withdraw because they become afraid that they’ll only attract bullies and bullying behavior from the people around them. As a result, targets are left feeling confused and inadequate.

Targets are made to think that:

They take things wrong.

They’re too sensitive.

They asked for it or had it coming.

There’s something wrong with the way they are.

There’s something wrong with the way they express themselves.

There’s something wrong with the way they come across to people.

Therefore, targets stop believing in themselves. Even worse, they lose trust in themselves, their abilities, and their capabilities. And once this happens, they become perfect victims for bullies.

Understand that targets suffer many attacks to not only their physical body, but also their psyche and their emotional being.

Even worse, their very souls are tired, their spirits broken, and they don’t understand their own pain nor why they feel it inside.

Being a target of bullying is a hell that no one who hasn’t been there can possibly comprehend. When you’re bullied, you’re in the fight of your life, and for your life. And when I say fight for your life, this doesn’t only means fighting to stay alive, although it can.

“The fight for your life” can mean fighting for your self- esteem. It can mean fighting for your personal power and dignity. It can mean fighting to keep your confidence up and self-esteem from being broken so that the abuse doesn’t affect your grades, performance (at school or work), or worse, your ability to make smart decisions and life-choices. You’re fighting to keep the abuse from effecting your entire future. Most importantly, you’re fighting to maintain your health and your sanity.

Because you’re very much aware that if you allow these people to cause you to lose any of the above, then you unwittingly give them power over your entire life and every aspect of it. You may not end up dead, but you won’t really live, you’ll only exist. And that’s no way to live!

No matter what happens, stay strong. Hold on to everything mentioned above, or as much of it as possible. And most of all, know that there are people out there who care.

Types of Beliefs Bullying Instills in Targets

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“Nobody will ever love me.”
“Nothing good can ever happen to 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 unconsciously 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!

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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, victims lose faith in humanity and come to think that all people are rotten and take pleasure in harming others. As a result, they 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.

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This is what bullying does to victims. 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.'”

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Here is another thing victims 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, they put themselves on the back burner and everyone else comes first, often at the victim’s 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.

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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 for 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 as 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.

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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!

20 Effects of Bullying on Targets

Bullying crushes the target’s spirit. It sucks the joy out of life and reprograms the mind.

After a while, the person begins to believe the lies bullies tell him about himself and see himself through his bullies’ eyes. Therefore, he believes that maybe the bullies have a justifiable reason to bully him but can’t figure what it is.

As a result, the target will make extra efforts to explain himself more clearly, but to no avail. He clings to the hope that the bullies will go away through the small reprieves they may give him.

On the occasions bullies act friendly to him, the target’s hopes go up, and he forgets about the past. Next, they blindside the target with another brutal attack.

Understand that the bullies are using the age-old push and pull technique to keep the target trying to make friends out of them and trapped inside the bully/victim dynamic. And they do this to keep him confused- this is how bullies can maintain power over their targets.

Realize that if your bullies can keep your hopes up, it’s likely that you’ll feel compelled to keep jumping through hoops to prove yourself worthy.

Here’s how it goes: Bullies stop bullying you for a while, and once you let your guard down and begin feeling safe and confident again, BAM! Once again, they attack! Realize abusers do this deliberately!

 Over time, bullying can cause these effects on the target:

1.Can no longer trust themselves to act on their own volition and spontaneity or make their own decisions

2. A state of being always on guard- hypervigilance

3. Uncertainty of how they come across to others

4. A loss of their zest for life

5. A false concern that something is wrong with them

6. Constantly replaying and reviewing bullying incidents to try and figure out what went wrong.

7. Increasing self-doubt

8. Loss of confidence

9. Having an internalized inner critic

10. Fear that they’re going crazy

11. A dreadful sense that time is passing and they’re missing out

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12. A growing sense that they aren’t happy but should be

13. Being extra careful not to be or sound too sensitive

14. Second, guessing themselves

15. An overwhelming desire to escape and get away from the bullying environment

16. A belief that they can’t do anything right

17. Living in the future- “things will be better when I graduate, turn eighteen, get another job, move away, get married, have children,” etc.

18. A distrust in relationships

19. Loss of faith in humanity (the belief that all people are inherently evil and enjoy seeing others suffer)

20. Feeling discombobulated and off-balance

If bullies have you feeling these ways, get out of their element if you can. When you’re so hurt and perplexed that you cannot tell which end is up, you’re living in hell, and it’s no way to live. You deserve peace, happiness, and confidence. Go where you can flourish, and your spirit can get the nourishment it desperately needs.

You Can Overcome Shyness

Many targets of bullying, after people bully them so severely for so long, become painfully shy. I did. So, I understand entirely.

When a target has personal attacks hurled at them from every direction, and others scrutinize everything they say and do down to the tiniest detail, it’s easy for that person to withdraw, shut out the rest of humanity, and hide in plain sight. It seems to be the safest thing to do.

However, it’s a terrible way to live. Shyness is like a prison without walls. It stops you from being your true, authentic self, and you end up missing out on so much. Shyness keeps you from having fun and enjoying life.

When you’re shy, you don’t properly connect with others because you’re too busy thinking about yourself rather than others.

There. I said it.

You’re too busy thinking instead of connecting- thinking of what to say next, wondering what others are thinking of you and of how they can benefit you, and self-conscious of how you’re coming across. You’re too busy thinking about you!

But what if I said that there was a way to get rid of shyness? What if I told you there’s one- just one ingredient?

It’s true! Are you ready for it? Here it is.

How you get rid of shyness is to take the focus off yourself and become interested in others. And when you do that, you put yourself out there and take risks.

That’s it.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” How right she was.

When you’re so shy that you can’t bear social situations, it’s a sign that you’ve already given your power over to other people. Not good! You owe it to yourself to take that power back.

It won’t be easy. It may feel awkward at first. But put yourself out there and take risks. Greet people- even total strangers, with a smile and a “Hi. How are you?” You’ll be surprised at the positive outcomes you get and how your confidence begins to soar.

I know what some of you are thinking.

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“What if they reject me?”

Rejection is a part of life. You just have to deal with that. Better yet, embrace it. It’s a risk you must take. Life is full of risks.

But if you don’t take risks, you don’t really live, you only exist.

Realize that human beings love it when you’re genuinely interested in them. Let them tell you about themselves and listen not only with your ears and eyes but with your whole heart. Do it long enough, and soon, it will no longer feel awkward. You won’t even need to think about it. It will feel like second nature.

Only when you develop a genuine interest in other people will your shyness disappear. The key is to focus outside yourself.

So, get out there and schmooze it up! I guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised not only at the results you get but how confident you feel!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Types of Beliefs Bullying Instills in Victims

“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!

Low Self-Esteem Is Not Something We Are Born With

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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 damn 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.

Just as we take steps to protect our health, finances, property, etc.; we must also take steps to protect our self-esteem.