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!

Seeing The Forest Not Only The Trees

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Being a target of bullying can make it hard to see the blessings in other aspects of your life. It keeps you focused on the problem instead of seeing your life as a whole.

When I was in school, although I was bullied horribly, and yes, it was bad, my life as a whole wasn’t bad. I can honestly say that I still had a good home.

My mother and grandmother had good jobs and compared to many of my classmates, we lived quite well. Therefore, in family, home, and finances, we were super-blessed.

I don’t remember a Christmas or birthday when my brother and I didn’t get exactly what we asked for. This is not to say we didn’t have our problems because we did. What family doesn’t? Our family problems consisted of myself and my siblings being children of divorced parents and a father who wasn’t present during those years. Although it hurt, we still functioned well as a family and those things were minor compared to most.

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When I look back, I realize that we were blessed in that we didn’t have family members who were out committing crimes, nor were addicted to any hard drugs, other than an alcoholic or two. During those years, we didn’t have anyone who was dying of cancer, nor shot in the streets or killed in car accidents and plane crashes.
So, again, compared to many kids we knew, we had it pretty darned good.

But!

At the time, I couldn’t see it. Understand that when you’re a bullied and tormented kid in school, you don’t see the beauty in other areas of your life. You lose sight of the blessings in the overall picture because bullying blinds you to it.

You can’t see the forest for the trees. That’s what bullying does to targets. It blinds them to their overall worth and clouds their perceptions of their own lives.

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Bullies are constantly in your face, repeating the same lie over and over again:

“You’re worth nothing.”
“Your life is crap.”
“You don’t belong here.”
“You’re one of God’s mistakes.”
“Your mama should’ve aborted you while she had the chance.”

After so long, you finally believe the lies yourself.

Understand that kids’ brains are malleable, mushy, and moldable, which is why they’re so impressionable and easily influenced. Is it any wonder why religious cults, sexual predators, human traffickers, extremist groups, and street gangs, target kids for recruitment?

Symptoms and feelings of Depression

They catch them young so they can mold their vulnerable minds and groom them for service. Bullies do the same thing. They look for targets who are vulnerable and who are more likely to fall for anything.

With that said, shouldn’t we also catch them young to teach them confidence and resilience? Shouldn’t we catch them young to instill them with strength, good self-esteem, and the ability to protect themselves from such people?

Understand that bullies aren’t stupid. They’re often those who have learned all about Human Nature early on through abuse, through seeing some really bad things happen before they should have. Many bullies learn about the mere mechanisms of the human condition much earlier than other kids, then use it to exploit their targets.

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Bullies may not be much good at anything else, but what they are good at is the subject of Human Nature and making predictions of how most people react to different things. They have ways of brainwashing you, convincing you that you’re a mistake and that your life means nothing.

And if you aren’t careful, bullies will ultimately blind you to any positives that flow into your life and trick you into believing that your life is worse than what it is. Understand this: Bullies LIE!

How you successfully overcome this is to be mindful and to count your blessings, however difficult it may be.

Focus on the good things in your life.

Point out your good qualities, talents, and gifts.

Make positive affirmations by countering the bullies’ lies and making “I AM” statements.

“I am beautiful”
“I am intelligent.”
“I am worth something.”
“I am one of God’s blessings.”
“I am worthy of being born and being alive.”
“I am worthy of a good life.”

This is how you keep your self-esteem intact and prevent bullies from wrecking your self-esteem and your life.