I won’t kid you. Being alone can sometimes make a person vulnerable. However, being surrounded by negative people makes you just as vulnerable if not more so. Therefore, being alone can be much better than keeping company with spiteful people who only bring you down.
As difficult as it may be, sometimes you must weed out all these ungrateful souls who don’t see your worth to make room for more positive, caring, and loving people to come in.
Get rid of anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself and only keep company with those who love and respect you. Keep the people in your life who value your opinions, even when those opinions are strong.
If someone is not treating you like you deserve to be treated, never be afraid to let them go, even if it seems that they’re your only options at the moment.
Remember that we must do things that don’t feel comfortable and that are downright scary for any positive change to happen.
When people talk of tolerance, I immediately cringe. I don’t find the word very attractive because let’s be real here. The word itself has an ugly ring to it. To put it bluntly, it sounds downright gross!
Sadly, many targets of bullying are so afraid of being alone that they settle for friends who aren’t friends at all. And the people the target associates with may keep the target under the impression that he’s being accepted when, in fact, they may only be tolerating him. And you can tolerate someone without accepting them.
I know a few who assume that acceptance and tolerance mean the same but they don’t. The difference between the two is huge.
For example, you’re in polite company and the guy sitting next to you, (who happened to scarf three huge bean burritos for supper last night, then put away three eggs for breakfast this morning) covertly eases forth a silent but deadly fart. You catch the first nauseating whiff but can’t hold your nose nor leave the room without seeming rude to everyone else in the room. Instead, you only sit there, trying to keep a poker face, and nonchalantly hold your breath until you’re sure the smell has dissipated. That’s what tolerance is.
Tolerance means that people allow the target to be around but secretly wish she’d go the hell away. And it has a way of seeping through in how they think of the person, how they act around him, and how they behave toward him.
So, how is the target to know if he’s being tolerated?
Here are the signs:
1. The target will be excluded from any events or social gatherings.
If you’re the target, you’ll often hear the rest of the group talking about the barbeque or sleepover they had over the weekend. You know, the one that none of them thought to invite you to? Show these morons you have a modicum of self-respect and walk away. You don’t need them.
2. The target will feel left out because the other members of the group will be communicating with all other members except the target.
You’d much rather be alone than to be lonely. Alone is when you’re physically by yourself. Lonely is when you’re among people, yet you’re still alone because to them, you don’t exist. You can be alone but not be lonely. Realize that if you ever feel lonely and you’re in a group, that’s the time to tell them to go kick rocks and be on your way.
3. The target will feel as if he’s tagging behind the group.
Again, if they seem to always leave you behind, eighty-six them and bid them goodbye.
4. Other members of the group will voice their hatred of the target anytime he isn’t around to hear it. The target will then hear about it later. If they stab you in the back, it’s time to ditch them. You’d much rather be by yourself and keep your dignity rather than stay among those who strip you of it.
5. There’s always that sickening “elephant in the room” feeling.
Feeling awkward around these people is a sure sign that they don’t deserve your friendship. Understand that this is only your gut trying to warn you about these people. Listen to it!
If people tolerate a person, they only permit having them around when there’s no other choice. And they’ll take every chance of voicing their seething hatred of the person when he/she isn’t around to defend themselves. They allow the person to be around because there’s no way they can make them go away or say anything without looking like a heel. When the tolerated person is present, the rest just grin and bear it.
Here’s why the target should drop these people:
1. By continuing to be around people who tolerate him/her, the target decreases his value as a person. That’s right. Anytime you must crawl behind people who don’t give a crap about you, you make yourself look like you have no other options. People who see this lose all respect for you and think you’re weak. Therefore, your value will drop like a meteor!
2. You’ll risk being used and abused. Any time you’re desperate to have friends, you’ll settle for any crumb of human connection. You’ll be willing to put up with shabby treatment just to keep from being alone.
Users and abusers will take notice of this and hang around only to get something from you. And those who are decent people and would otherwise be good friends will want nothing to do with you because desperation is so off-putting and only repels them.
3. You’ll only embarrass yourself and further erode your self-esteem. If you don’t have respect for yourself, no one else will either. No one respects anyone they deem pathetic. You need to muster up some pride and stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourself! Begin rejecting them and have nothing more to do with them. Then watch your value rise again and see how much better you feel about yourself afterward.
Tolerance just plain sucks! For both parties! It sucks for the others because they don’t want to be around the target but don’t know how to get rid of them. It also sucks for the tolerated person because he/she in a place they’re not welcome and in a situation in which they’re mistreated and even abused. It sucks for everyone involved because the overall mood is bad.
Anytime a person in a group of people is only tolerated, everyone feels it.
Tolerance includes resentment. It’s gritting your teeth, sitting there with contempt on your face, and drumming your fingers until the person finally leaves. Tolerance makes the tolerated person feel crappy because it’s begrudging and there’s suffering on the part of the tolerating people.
We tolerate people we find disgusting and abhorrent.
Acceptance is a much better term. With acceptance, people are at least willing to see the value the disliked person brings to the table although he’s a person they wouldn’t have chosen. It’s receiving the person and allowing them a degree of freedom and respect despite differences.
Acceptance is sitting quietly and letting the person just be. It’s embracing her good qualities regardless of your dislike of him.
With that said, understand that you don’t deserve to be around the people who only tolerate you. Better yet, they don’t deserve the privilege of even being in your presence. It’s much better, not to mention healthier, to be by yourself until you meet people who will not only accept you but celebrate you.
I can’t stress this enough! You deserve to be among those who love you and who care deeply about you. Never, ever settle for people who only tolerate you just to keep from being alone.
Sometimes life tests us and we must be alone for a while before it finally rewards us with people who are meant to be in our lives. In the meantime, use this time of solitude for a deep self-evaluation and for getting to know yourself again. You just may discover strengths and qualities you never knew you had!
To those of you who are being bullied now. Your pain, although intense- even unbearable, will only be temporary and I do not say this lightly. I know what you must be thinking… “But she doesn’t understand! Nobody understands! She’s isn’t going through it and she doesn’t understand the hell I go through every day at work or at school!”
I understand because once upon a time, I was stuck in the same spot that you are in today. I know what it is like to want to smile, laugh, sing, and dance and have it beaten out of you. I understand the pain of wanting to believe in yourself and see your own value, only to have others repeatedly and seemingly deliberately, drum into your head that you are nothing.
To want to speak and have your voice heard, only to be silenced with the threat of either physical harm, further degradation, and humiliation, suspension, the loss of your job and livelihood, or the threat of having opportunities for future employment ruined! I know all too well the feeling of wanting to move forward and go places, only to have bullies hold you back.
To want to escape the torment, only to be stuck in a toxic environment with toxic people, against your will! I know the horror of having your very existence cursed by others and to be bombarded with death threats. To be forced to sacrifice your own needs and wants for the satisfaction of others! To see others getting gratification and entertainment- all at your expense. I know what it’s like to be marginalized, shut out, devalued as a person, even slapped, kicked, beaten, scorned, disregarded, walked on!
It is a feeling of being run over by a truck, whose driver then stops, throws it into reverse and backs over you again. Then the driver shifts back into drive and mows over you- yet again. Then stops the truck, opens the door, sticks his head out, and asks, “Are you dead yet?”
And any signs of life- any whimper or movement only encourages the driver to close the door, shift into reverse again, and back over you again- just keep running and backing over you until you finally succumb to the trauma and die.
Yes. This is what being a victim of bullying is like. Bullies want to destroy you and it seems that they won’t relent until they are sure that they have done just that.
But know this. You will not have to deal with these people forever and Karma does repay- in spades! If you keep believing in yourself, you will go on to become successful and happy and your bullies won’t even matter to you when you do reach success.
You are beautiful! You are smart! You are awesome! And one day, you will cross paths with people who will see your worth and love you- unconditionally- just for being YOU! And you will find a teacher, school, supervisor, or employer who will see the good you bring to the table and view you as the asset you truly are!
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, lonely 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!