Being a Target versus Being a Victim

Many people are under the assumption that being a target and being a victim are one and the same. However, they’re quite different and have different meanings.

It has been almost six years since the publication of my book, “From Victim to Victor (A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying).” Since then, I’ve learned so much and one of the things I’ve learned is the difference between a target and a victim. So, was I ever really a victim? No. I was, however, a target.

Notice the difference in the actual meanings between the terms, “target” and “victim.”

A target is a mark you aim at- as in a shooter aiming his gun at targets at a gun shooting range for practice.

A victim is a person or animal who others kill and sacrifice. When someone is sacrificed, they assume the blame and punishment for the sins and shortcomings of others.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Words have enormous power- more so than most realize. Therefore, I stopped using the word “victim” to describe people others bully and abuse and replaced it with the word, “target.”

Being a target is much more empowering than being a victim. A target can defend themselves. Whereas a victim cannot. A victim is powerless to do anything about their situation. There’s no power nor dignity in being a victim. However, when a person is a target, they maintain some power and dignity. In that, they lessen the impact of the bullying on their mental health.

If we can change the way we view ourselves and see our bullies exactly for who and what they are, they will have little control over us. Moreover, we’re less likely to allow their words and behavior to get into our heads.

A target is a person chosen by bullies to be a perceived enemy to attack. On the other hand, a victim is a person bullies harm, oppress, and destroy.

The word victim says that you don’t stand up for yourself but only capitulate. But the word target says that, although people attack you on a regular basis, you don’t give into fear and stand up for yourself no matter what it may cost you.

Your Choice of Words Can Have Consequences You Don’t Realize

When you view yourself as a victim, you give your bullies exactly what they want- power over your life. You, in essence, surrender yourself to them. Consequently, you will most likely to suffer physical and/or psychological damage.

On the other hand, when you see yourself as a target, you won’t acquiesce, and you’re least likely to take the bully’s behavior personally. Moreover, when you have a target mentality instead of a victim mentality, you buffer your self-esteem from the attacks and salvage your overall mental health. You maintain your personal power. You take control of your life and refuse to allow anyone to make you, their victim.

For example, I’ve witnessed both in movies and in real life, incidences of bullying where the bully would tell the target, “I’m going to make you, my bitch!” In other words, his victim.

This should give you a better understanding of why you should see yourself as a target rather than a victim. Because you are nobody’s bitch! Nope! You’re no bitch at all! You are a fighter, a warrior, a lion!

Realize that your bullies’ goal is to control you. And if you see yourself as a victim, you weaken yourself. Thus, you play right into your bullies’ hands. But when you refuse to become a victim, you refuse to allow them to take control over your life.

You’re a Target, Not a Victim!

It’s not my intention to minimize any suffering you’ve endured at the hands of your bullies. Bullying hurts, no doubt about it! And I feel your pain. So, know that everything you’ve gone through is real and your story is valid and worthy of being told and heard.

However, I want you to understand this. If you’re the object of bullying, you are a target, yes, but you don’t have to be a victim.

Think about it, victims accept responsibility for things they have no control over. They take blame for evils they never committed nor took part in. And when they carry these burdens that aren’t theirs to carry, they end up paying debts they don’t owe.

Here’s an example. A bully blames his target for his own anger, insecurity, jealousy, and incompetence. And it comes out in the bully’s behavior when he bullies that person. Then later the bully and others may gaslight the target when he speaks out.

Another example would be that a rapist wants to make their rape target responsible for their own sexual frustration, anger, and hunger for power by raping their target. Then, later, the target is presumed to be at fault for the rapist’s behavior by the defense attorneys in court.

A Target Endures Bullying but Refuses to Become a Victim

Sure, people hurl blame at targets just as they do at victims. However, the difference between a victim and a target is that the victim accepts the blame and blames himself for what happened to him then spirals downhill into depression, regret, and self-hatred. Whereas a target refuses to accept the blame because he knows with every fiber of his being that it is his attackers who are in the wrong.

He sees his attackers for the cowards they are. Therefore, he sees the incessant gaslighting as proof that they’re full of it and are only trying to cover their butts because they’re afraid of exposure. A target refuses to be made a victim!

You see, it’s all in how we see ourselves. And how we see ourselves is determined by the inner dialogue we have- the words we use when we think and speak to ourselves. And it can be the difference between living in a hell of depression and self-loathing or enjoying a heaven of self-love and acceptance and refusing to be destroyed despite the attacks and pain bullies inflict.

So, see yourself as a target but never a victim!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How You Regain Your Power

You regain your power by changing your mindset. Realize that a victim mentality only breeds a funky attitude.

I may have been a target, but I was never a victim. I thought I was during the entire time I was bullied and for a while after it was over. Understand that a victim mentality, when taken to extremes, serves no purpose. It only breeds laziness and entitlement. You feel that the world owes you something. It doesn’t.

I had the same attitude and it got me nowhere!

Also, if you hold on to it and let it define you, you’ll only attract more bullies and abusers in your life. We are what we think, and the universe will provide more of the stuff that matches our thoughts.

That is why it’s so important that you shed this mentality of defeat. Only then will you re-empower yourself and win true peace and happiness!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

You’re a Target but Not a Victim!

During the last year, an epiphany has occurred to me and I’ve begun to stray away from the word “victim.” More and more, I have replaced that word with the word, “target.” I’ve come to realize that, yes, I was a target but, was I ever a victim?

I want to tell you that if you’re being bullied, could it be that you’re not a victim but a target? And could it be that you’re a target not because you’re weak or inferior, but because you’re a threat? Because your voice and your very being are powerful?  So powerful, it scares them to death?

Believe it or not, being a victim has a lot to do with mindset and words have enormous power- in other words, if you’re a victim, you’re right, but if you’re not a victim but a target, you’re also right. A victim mentality can only bring about more abusers, more abuse, and therefore, more victimhood.

Do you want that?

If you survived bullying, you’re no longer a target. And it could be that you never really were a victim. But you are a victor! That’s right! You’re a winner because you’re an overcomer!

Victim mentality is the downfall of many survivors of bullying. It keeps you down, keeps you defeated, keeps you oppressed, and keeps you a “victim.” This kind of thinking also keeps you dependent. It breeds laziness and the attitude that the world owes you something. Or it leads to resignation, hopelessness, and the attitude of defeat. It’s the root of a condition called, “Learned Helplessness.”

Do you know what’s worse? It also has the undertones that you’re somehow inferior. You’re not!  When you have the victim mentality, you’re afraid of taking back your power because to do so requires personal responsibility.

Taking back your power means that you make your own reality and make your own decisions, your own path, and your own successes, all of which require that you take risks and risk the possibility of failure.  And yes! It’s scary!

You must create your own happiness and whether you know how to do that, the responsibility is still there and always will be.

Again, the victim mentality requires that, subconsciously, you feel inferior and I want you to know with every fiber of your being that, you’re inferior to no one! It dictates that you think that you’re nothing without the consent of another person, entity, or higher power and that’s wrong!

Who is anyone to decide who you are or what you can do?

I’m not a victim. Yes, when I was young and being bullied, I felt like a victim and thought I was. But was I really? Although the memoir about the bullying I endured is entitled, “From Victim to Victor (A Survivor’s True Story of Her Experiences with School Bullying), was I really a victim? I’ve come to realize that I was a target. I was never a victim!

I say this because I had the victim mentality when I was young, and it almost ruined my life. Please don’t let it ruin yours. I realize that being a target of bullying is one of the hardest things a person can endure. But one thing your bullies can’t take is your mind unless you allow it. Please don’t allow them to change your thought patterns because that’s what they want and you deserve better- much better!

I was fortunate that my eyes were opened and that I managed to shed negative thinking and adopt a winning attitude. But many victims stay stuck in a self-defeating mindset, continue to have the worst luck, and lose all hope.

In closing, know that no matter how bad things get, there’s always hope. Hold on to it!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

This is How to Distinguish Between Being Alone and Being Lonely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Here’s What Hate Does to the Hater

As we know, although the hated are affected by hatred, hate does more damage to the hater than to the hated because it eats the hater’s soul out from the inside. Here’s what else hate does to the hater.

It numbs their conscience and dulls their reasoning. Their minds are so consumed that all they can focus on are ways to harm the object of their hatred. It causes them to give a pass to things they would otherwise deem the most depraved, most heinous, and the most appalling atrocities just as long as they’re committed against the person they hate.

This is why hate can turn the kindest people into the vilest monsters. Because if it’s someone they hate taking the most insidious abuse, they’re more likely to stand by and watch it happen- and with a smile on their face.

The hater will be kind and gentle to anyone else, even total strangers, but to the person they hate, they will only brutalize.

Understand that if you’re a target of bullying and the object of hate, your bullies and haters have a sick and twisted obsession with you. They can’t get you out of their minds and they want to hurt you as much as they possibly can. Yes! Hate is an obsession. And it won’t only destroy you if you let it. It will destroy your bullies too.

The bright side of being hated is this. You can choose whether to let your haters get to you or not.

You have the delicious power to re-frame your thinking and realize that the hate is only hurting your haters. That their hate comes from something inside them, not something you did or said and not because there’s something wrong with you.

Then you can sit back, eat your popcorn, and watch them eat their hearts out and self-destruct. There’s a degree of dignity in being hated.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

How to Distinguish Between Being Alone and Being Lonely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Reality of Self-Fulfilling Prophesies

positive happy confident peace hope

Like always attracts like. Everything begins with a thought.

Positive expectations produce positive results

What’s in your head can become your reality.

To get what you desire, you must first think of it.

Thoughts can become things.

A negative mind produces a negative life.

If you predict defeat, you will see it.

A spirit of lack can only bring more lack.

A spirit of abundance will bring abundance.

dreamstime_xs_110318212

Replace negative thinking with positive and watch great and marvelous things flow your way.

Know that a positive and fulfilling life comes from a positive mindset.

When you predict success, you’ll eventually achieve it.

Know that self-fulfilling prophecies are real!

If you think of something, you get more of the same.

When you change your thoughts, you change your LIFE!

Targets, You Can Take Away the Bullies’ Power by Re-Framing Your “Perceived” Weaknesses.

You may wonder what I mean by that. Allow me to give examples:

  1. You’re a kind and easy-going person and bullies see those good qualities as a sign of weakness. You can use those traits to uplift and give support to other targets of bullies. In doing this, you will make great friends and allies and the more friends you have, the more chances are that bullies will think twice before bullying you. Remember that bullies always attack in groups because they’re weak and afraid when they’re alone. When you establish a group of your own, bullies will back down because you now have friends to back you up.

  1. You’re painfully shy and quiet and bullies mistake those characteristics for fear. You can use your silence to be a good listener when someone needs to talk. This too will gain you close friends because the other person will feel that they’re being listened to and that you care. Moreover, they will feel that you’re interested in them and who doesn’t love that!
  2. You have a small mole that bullies make fun of. Remember that Marilyn Monroe also had a mole just above her upper lip. But her mole was referred to as a beauty mark and it ended up being her trademark.

These are only a few examples. Find a way to re-frame what people see as weaknesses and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you take back your power.

With knowledge comes freedom!

You Regain Your Power When You Change Your Mindset

I may have been a target, but I was never a victim. I thought I was during the entire time I was bullied and for a while after it was over. Understand that a victim mentality, when taken to extremes, serves no purpose. It only breeds laziness and entitlement. You feel that the world owes you something. It doesn’t.

I had the same attitude and it got me nowhere!

Also, if you hold on to it and let it define you, you’ll only attract more bullies and abusers in your life. We are what we think, and the universe will provide more of the stuff that matches our thoughts.

That is why it’s so important that you shed this mentality of defeat. Only then will you re-empower yourself and win true peace and happiness!

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

positive happy confident peace hope

Like always attracts like. Everything begins with a thought.

Positive expectations produce positive results

What’s in your head can become your reality.

To get what you desire, you must first think of it.

Thoughts can become things.

A negative mind produces a negative life.

If you predict defeat, you will see it.

A spirit of lack can only bring more lack.

A spirit of abundance will bring abundance.

dreamstime_xs_110318212

Replace negative thinking with positive and watch great and marvelous things flow your way.

Know that a positive and fulfilling life comes from a positive mindset.

When you predict success, you’ll eventually achieve it.

Know that self-fulfilling prophecies are real!

If you think of something, you get more of the same.

When you change your thoughts, you change your LIFE!