Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean Foolishness

Although healthy, forgiveness doesn’t mean you think what they did to you was okay. Far from it. What it means is that you refuse to let those who transgressed against you set up camp in your mind. It means that you refuse to hold onto grudges that may block you from your rightful blessings. In this, you make room for growth and success.

Sadly, too may people think that forgiveness means that you must become buddy-buddy with the person and have something to do with them. They then wonder why they keep getting hurt. Realize that bullies only see forgiveness as a weakness and stupidity. They view forgiveness as a green light to continue their abuse because they take for granted that you’ll always be okay with it.

Understand that forgiveness doesn’t obligate you to interact with the person who did you wrong. It doesn’t mean you continue to be someone’s fool. You can forgive someone and still realize that they’re no good. Toxic people are dead weight and though you may forgive them, you realize that it’s still best to keep them at arm’s length.

You’re strong enough to forgive but wise enough to avoid toxic people.

You avoid them because you realize that these people will only take your forgiveness for foolishness. Because these people have a history of pushing your boundaries, you’re forgiving, yet assertive.

Forgiveness is great because it gives you peace of mind. However, if you continue to allow these people to have a place in your life, they will only continue to take advantage of you. You don’t have to be mean to or mistreat them but there’s no law that says you have to trust them again. It’s better that you don’t trust them.

Some people you must forgive from afar.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When You Assert Your Boundaries, Be Prepared for Others, Especially Bullies, to Accuse You of Having “An Attitude.” (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

Your boundaries and standards are the invisible fortresses surrounding you with protection. They keep you safe from harm. When you set boundaries, it means that you don’t allow others to take advantage of you. It also means that you refuse to be a pushover and won’t let other people make you do things that aren’t in line with your goals, values, morals, or convictions. In short, you don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.

And it requires that you call out anyone who tries to stick so much as one knee, one foot,  or one toe over those boundaries. You’re assertive but not overly aggressive. You’re strong but not overbearing. When you say no, you mean it, and you say it without feeling guilty over not saying yes. And when you do say yes to others, you can do it without saying no to yourself.

Sadly, it can be hard to set boundaries and standards, especially when dealing with overly-aggressive bullies who have anger issues. Our first instinct is to protect ourselves any way we can- even if it means we must appease these people to ensure our safety.

Many targets have zero boundaries and feel that to keep from being bullied worse than they already do, they must always bend over backward to make sure the people around them feel comfortable and at ease, which is wrong and a horrible way to live!

And sadly, that only works temporarily because bullies and abusers always come back for more.

Many targets don’t feel strong enough to keep invaders out of their bubble. And it’s because of this that they feel guilty and like failures when they’re unable to enforce their boundaries and standards. Targets also feel as if they’ve let themselves down, and, let me tell ya! It’s the worst feeling in the world.

I want you to understand that, no matter what others may tell you or how they may act, it’s okay to refuse their mistreatment and disrespect. It’s okay to say no to bullying by those who insist they have the right to cross your boundaries and invade your space physically, socially, psychologically, or spiritually. Know that you deserve a seat at the table of life, not one in the corner.

Setting boundaries and standards is not having an“attitude.” It’s your right! It would be best if you accepted that any limitations you put in place will get a ton of resistance. So, take this as a given! And again, look at it this way. The resistance you will get will be a sign of who your real friends aren’t.

Resistance is soooo telling! It can help you find out who’s really for your good and who isn’t.

It’s never good to be a yes-person, nor is it smart. Caring about others is great but caring too much is unhealthy. Boundaries and standards are needed because, without them, you subject yourself to living your life on autopilot- you’re a car without a steering wheel- a ship without a rudder!

But with them, you have a rudder, and you can chart your life’s course. The winds and currents may change, and the waters get rough, and you may indeed go off course, but you’ll still have some degree of direction. In setting boundaries and standards, you’re not completely powerless over what happens to you. You have some say over your destiny.

That’s why it’s so crucial that you stand in your power and speak your truth. Never dumb yourself down and make yourself less than the awesome person you are. Never settle for less than what you want and deserve.

Put yourself first instead of everyone else before you. Stop being a people pleaser. Stop putting your wants and needs on the back burner to keep others satisfied. It would be best if you practice self-love and self-care.

Accept that people won’t handle it well and be willing to let them go because they don’t deserve a seat at your table. And once you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better life gets and how many people of integrity and sound quality come into your life. And I can say this from experience.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When You Assert Your Boundaries, Be Prepared for Others, Especially Bullies, to Accuse You of Having “An Attitude.”

Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus

Many times, when we set boundaries and refuse to lower our standards, we’re accused of having “an attitude.” Lord only knows how many times I got that response when I either said no to something I didn’t like or refused to be manipulated or to take abuse. Therefore, it’s better to accept, even embrace, the reality that others will see you as doing just that- having an attitude when you stand on your principles.

Toxic teachers will assume that you’re insubordinate. Abusive managers and supervisors will think you’re not a team player, and bullying peers will see you as a ‘difficult’ person to be around, and that’s only a very mild version of what they may call you.

Understand that anytime we enforce our boundaries and standards, we become threats to abusers. We expose the manipulative people in our lives through the limits we set and see them more clearly. Why? Because we force them to tell off on themselves through their very reactions toward us.

Through having boundaries and standards, we can better tell the difference between real friends and fake ones. We can better see which people are truly for us and value our friendship and which ones are only in our lives because they want something from us.

Like all abusers, bullies feel entitled to devalue you and expect you to “just go with the flow” and not object to it. With these types of people, your healthy boundaries and standards are an insult to them. Why? Because they don’t recognize limits.

In their minds, anything goes, and the world and everything in it is one big free-for-all. In other words, any rules, laws, or limits don’t apply to them.

Bullies and frenemies believe they should have carte blanche to treat you any way they choose. They get super offended when you get enough of their abuse and finally have the courage to put your foot down. Accept that you will lose people you think are friends when you establish boundaries and standards. And they will often be the people you’d never expect.

But realize that these peoples’ condescension and dismissal are only proof of their discomfort and their only recourse. Bullies can’t handle an assertive person of incredible strength because they can never meet them on their level.

Also, understand that you cannot grow, be safe, or be free if you don’t set boundaries, and in many cases, people go out of their way to prevent targets of bullying and abuse from imposing any limits. It seems that boundaries and standards are okay for anyone else but strictly prohibited for targets.

But realize that you cannot continue to live your life as a doormat. Therefore,  you must dig deep and pull out the courage to establish your boundaries, which include,

Physical boundaries

Psychological boundaries

Time boundaries

No entry sign with barrier tape

Material boundaries

Intellectual boundaries

You are a flesh-and-blood human being who has rights! And sometimes, you must “cop an attitude” to defend those rights and enforce your boundaries from relentless bullies and other fakers who won’t take no from an answer and continue to violate them.

When you set firm boundaries and standards, you protect your physical well-being, emotional health, self-esteem, and identity from anyone who seeks to destroy them. You make yourself an individual human being who asserts your right to make your own choices and decisions.

(Continued in Part 2)

When Fighting Is The Only Alternative You Have

Many times throughout my life, I’ve heard people preach against fighting- and yes, even in self-defense. When I was being bullied- even physically so, I was often told by teachers and even the bullies themselves, “Violence doesn’t solve anything.”  Or, my personal favorite, “fighting isn’t lady-like.”

I’ve got news for these people- neither is getting your face beat in every day.

Be that as it may, fighting back was better than just standing there and taking the beatings. When you’re a target of bullying and you decide to stand up for yourself, there will be people who will climb up on their soapbox and insert their two cents where it doesn’t belong, telling you that “violence doesn’t solve anything,” and that “you shouldn’t stoop to their (the bullies’) level.”

You’ve heard the term, “All up in your Kool-Aid, and don’t know the flavor.” Yep! That’s where they’ll will be when you get enough of bullying and decide once and for all to take care of business.

However, what else do you do if you’re a kid at school getting their brains beat out every other day? Just stand there and allow yourself to be harmed over and over again?

All the time, targets get suspended or expelled from school when they finally defend themselves against a bully. After six months, eight months, two years, or even five years of being mercilessly bullied and trying to handle it through nonviolent means, only to be called a wuss and beat up more, the target finally gets fed up and beats the living crap out of a bully.

Now everyone’s surprised and outraged! Not at the bully, but at the target! But where was their outrage when the target was getting their body pummeled without provocation? Where was their outrage when the shoe was on the other foot? Where was their humanity when the target cried out for help?

If you’re in school and you’re a target of bully. These questions are those you should ask the school authorities, bystanders, and anyone who gets offended by your defending yourself. Know that you’re just as good as the next person. Know that you have the same rights as anyone else- including your bullies. And know that you have the right to defend yourself anytime you’re threatened with physical harm.

Understand that this is a part of self-care. It’s true that fighting isn’t always the answer but sometimes, bullies will leave you no other choice.

So, if you’ve tried everything else, know that you must do what you must to keep yourself safe. And if it means putting up your dukes and getting froggy, so be it.

It’s sad when a target must fight all the time to keep themselves from being harmed but I don’t hold it against anyone who fights back under those circumstances because you have to take care of yourself or no one else will.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

One Way to Use Your Bullies’ Attacks Against Them

You drag them out.

What do I mean by this?

When they attack you with insults, you simply say, “That’s your opinion,” or “Opinions vary.” When you do this, you will only force the bullies to repeat the attacks over and over again- drag them out until they become boring and redundant.

I won’t kid you; this technique won’t be an easy thing to do. Any time we are attacked, our first instinct is to jab back with attacks of our own. But sadly, this usually proves ineffective as it only pulls us down to the bully’s level.

Also, although this method can be effective in the workplace, it’s much harder and usually takes much longer to have an effect as adults are more tenacious and stealthier with their bullying. This strategy works much better in the school environment.

Respond, yes. But react, no.

And how you respond is with short comebacks like those above, then walk away and leave the bullies standing there, running their mouths and looking stupid. Because, when you don’t give them the response they want (which is for you to attack them back by name-calling, yelling, screaming, or cursing), their natural reactions will be to repeat, repeat, repeat like a broken record.

In other words, you force the bullies to repeat the same attacks until it gets so old and stale that others outside the bully/target dynamic get thoroughly sick of hearing the bullies that they no longer pay attention to it.

In deploying this neat little method, you expose the bullies’ fakery and the childishness of their attacks. You also expose the weakness of the bullies’ position, which they thought was their strength. Instead of turning their “audience” against you, they end up alienating them because bystanders become bored after a while.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When You Have Boundaries, Be Prepared for Others, Especially Bullies, to Accuse You of Having “An Attitude.” (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

Your boundaries and standards are the invisible fortresses surrounding you with protection. They keep you safe from harm. When you set boundaries, it means that you don’t allow others to take advantage of you. It also means that you refuse to be a pushover and won’t let other people make you do things that aren’t in line with your goals, values, morals, or convictions. In short, you don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.

And it requires that you call out anyone who tries to stick so much as one knee, one foot,  or one toe over those boundaries. You’re assertive but not overly aggressive. You’re strong but not overbearing. When you say no, you mean it, and you say it without feeling guilty over not saying yes. And when you do say yes to others, you can do it without saying no to yourself.

Sadly, it can be hard to set boundaries and standards, especially when dealing with overly-aggressive bullies who have anger issues. Our first instinct is to protect ourselves any way we can- even if it means we must appease these people to ensure our safety.

Many targets have zero boundaries and feel that to keep from being bullied worse than they already do, they must always bend over backward to make sure the people around them feel comfortable and at ease, which is wrong and a horrible way to live!

And sadly, that only works temporarily because bullies and abusers always come back for more.

Many targets don’t feel strong enough to keep invaders out of their bubble. And it’s because of this that they feel guilty and like failures when they’re unable to enforce their boundaries and standards. Targets also feel as if they’ve let themselves down, and, let me tell ya! It’s the worst feeling in the world.

I want you to understand that, no matter what others may tell you or how they may act, it’s okay to refuse their mistreatment and disrespect. It’s okay to say no to bullying by those who insist they have the right to cross your boundaries and invade your space physically, socially, psychologically, or spiritually. Know that you deserve a seat at the table of life, not one in the corner.

Setting boundaries and standards is not having an“attitude.” It’s your right! It would be best if you accepted that any limitations you put in place will get a ton of resistance. So, take this as a given! And again, look at it this way. The resistance you will get will be a sign of who your real friends aren’t.

Resistance is soooo telling! It can help you find out who’s really for your good and who isn’t.

It’s never good to be a yes-person, nor is it smart. Caring about others is great but caring too much is unhealthy. Boundaries and standards are needed because, without them, you subject yourself to living your life on autopilot- you’re a car without a steering wheel- a ship without a rudder!

But with them, you have a rudder, and you can chart your life’s course. The winds and currents may change, and the waters get rough, and you may indeed go off course, but you’ll still have some degree of direction. In setting boundaries and standards, you’re not completely powerless over what happens to you. You have some say over your destiny.

That’s why it’s so crucial that you stand in your power and speak your truth. Never dumb yourself down and make yourself less than the awesome person you are. Never settle for less than you want and deserve.

Put yourself first instead of everyone else before you. Stop being a people pleaser. Stop putting your wants and needs on the back burner to keep others satisfied. It would be best if you practice self-love and self-care.

Accept that people won’t handle it well and be willing to let them go because they don’t deserve a seat at your table. And once you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better life gets and how many people of integrity and sound quality come into your life. And I can say this from experience.

When You Have Boundaries, Be Prepared for Others, Especially Bullies, to Accuse You of Having “An Attitude.”

Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus

Many times, when we set boundaries and refuse to lower our standards, we’re accused of having “an attitude.” Lord only knows how many times I got that response when I either said no to something I didn’t like or refused to be manipulated or to take abuse. Therefore, it’s better to accept, even embrace, the reality that others will see you as doing just that- having an attitude when you stand on your principles.

Toxic teachers will assume that you’re insubordinate. Abusive managers and supervisors will think you’re not a team player, and bullying peers will see you as a ‘difficult’ person to be around, and that’s only a very mild version of what they may call you.

Understand that anytime we enforce our boundaries and standards, we become threats to abusers. We expose the manipulative people in our lives through the limits we set and see them more clearly. Why? Because we force them to tell off on themselves through their very reactions toward us.

Through having boundaries and standards, we can better tell the difference between real friends and fake ones. We can better see which people are truly for us and value our friendship and which ones are only in our lives because they want something from us.

Like all abusers, bullies feel entitled to devalue you and expect you to “just go with the flow” and not object to it. With these types of people, your healthy boundaries and standards are an insult to them. Why? Because they don’t recognize limits.

In their minds, anything goes, and the world and everything in it is one big free-for-all. In other words, any rules, laws, or limits don’t apply to them.

Bullies and frenemies believe they should have carte blanche to treat you any way they choose. They get super offended when you get enough of their abuse and finally have the courage to put your foot down. Accept that you will lose people you think are friends when you establish boundaries and standards. And they will often be the people you’d never expect.

But realize that these peoples’ condescension and dismissal are only proof of their discomfort and their only recourse. Bullies can’t handle an assertive person of incredible strength because they can never meet them on their level.

Also, understand that you cannot grow, be safe, or be free if you don’t set boundaries, and in many cases, people go out of their way to prevent targets of bullying and abuse from imposing any limits. It seems that boundaries and standards are okay for anyone else but strictly prohibited for targets.

But realize that you cannot continue to live your life as a doormat. Therefore,  you must dig deep and pull out the courage to establish your boundaries, which include,

Physical boundaries

Psychological boundaries

Time boundaries

No entry sign with barrier tape

Material boundaries

Intellectual boundaries

You are a flesh-and-blood human being who has rights! And sometimes, you must “cop an attitude” to defend those rights and enforce your boundaries from relentless bullies and other fakers who won’t take no from an answer and continue to violate them.

When you set firm boundaries and standards, you protect your physical well-being, emotional health, self-esteem, and identity from anyone who seeks to destroy them. You make yourself an individual human being who asserts your right to make your own choices and decisions.

(Continued in Part 2)

Doing What Ya Gotta Do is Sometimes Doing What You Wouldn’t Normally Do

Anytime you’re bullied, you become desperate and will go to any means to take the bad spotlight off yourself. Many times, I would pit a few of my classmates against each other. If I knew of a few who disliked or hated each other, I’d very quietly and slyly pit them against each other.

An offhand comment here, another there, and I’d have them fighting among themselves. Yeah, I know, it was a shady thing to do. However, if I could keep them fighting among themselves, then I could distract their attention and hostility away from me and thus, keep the spotlight away!

Again, when you’re chronically bullied like I was, you’ll do anything and I mean anything to get a nice, albeit short, a reprieve from all the drama. And sometimes, “ya gotta do what ya gotta do” to keep yourself safe- even though it isn’t necessarily the right thing to do.

I understand. You never set out to cause anyone harm. You don’t want to cause discord. However, sometimes you’ll do what you normally wouldn’t do to protect yourself. So, if you have to, keep them too busy fighting each other to even think about you, I completely understand your position. Your only goal is to keep yourself safe!

Sometime later, I’ll give you more detailed pointers on how I did it.
Until next post! Stay safe and stay well!

Having and Setting Boundaries is a Must!

Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus

You must have the courage to love yourself, even when it angers the people around you. That means setting boundaries, being clear on what you will and will not tolerate.

During grade 6, my first year at Oakley* Schools, I lacked boundaries because I didn’t know how to enforce them. Without those limits, I gave away my friendship, time, energy, and power to people who never deserved it and left nothing for myself. I was bending over backward to please others, treading lightly, being careful not to rock the boat, and make other people angry.

I had been conditioned to think that I wasn’t enough, and I should be anything other than myself. And I thought that being friendly, being accommodating, and being available would win me love and friendship.

boundaries no refuse stop

It didn’t. It got me the exact opposite- walked over, bullied, and mistaken for a fool because the people I was overly friendly to never extended the same to me in return. Without meaning to, I gave the impression that I was desperate to fit in.

A year or so later, during the seventh grade, I began setting boundaries because I was tired of being a doormat. However, first impressions are powerful and it was too late. The power dynamic and others’ expectations of me had already been set. What I should’ve done was drew the line from day one.

In junior high, although my boundaries were clear, many others violated them every chance they got for no other reason than to demonstrate their power and show who was boss. Anytime I said ‘no’ to any of my classmates at school, I would face retaliation of some kind- guilt trips, threats, or physical beatings because they had grown too used to me being a pushover.

They were afraid that if I developed a spine, the benefits they were getting at my expense would stop. Therefore, the retaliation was their way of reinforcing their power and dominance and keeping me subdued.

But now that we’re all adults, let any of them try that today, and they will be very disappointed. Back then, I often wondered why nothing ever seemed to work out.

Understand that timing is everything. Also realize that you already have power but for it to work, you must know how to use it and you must stand up for yourself the very first time bullies come for you. Otherwise, your place in the pecking order will become iron clad and once that happens, you might as well not have any power at all.

I didn’t realize it then, but during those early years in Oakley*, I was going about it all wrong. ‘You see? You must put yourself and your needs first. Never lower your standards or your boundaries! It’s okay to be kind, but never be nice!

say no saying no boundaries stop

The difference between being kind and being nice is that kindness is genuine. People are kind because it’s the right thing to do, not because it can win friendships or favors. Also, kind people never give at their own expense.

Nice people, on the other hand, want friendship and approval. Also, people who are nice give at their own peril and stick their neck out for others to step on, thinking others will come around when they realize how much they care. “Nicies” are under the impression that the more you suffer, the more it shows you care. Um- Wrong!

It gives the impression that you’re a pushover, a kiss butt, a boot-licker! Being nice never awards you any respect because there’s usually an ulterior motive and the reason for your niceness is to avoid conflict!

Being kind, on the other hand, is genuine and others can sense the genuineness. Being kind is much more respectful. Being ‘nice’ is for wimps.

Nope refuse

Understand that anytime you set boundaries, there will always be those who will hate you for it and retaliate. And they will fight you for a while to wear you down. That’s what bullies do!

However, stick to your guns. Keep fighting for your right to be treated with respect. Show them that you will stand up to them no matter what they do, and eventually, they’ll get tired and realize that you aren’t worth the effort. They’ll go find an easier target.

So, always set limits and be prepared to fight to protect them. Be kind, yes! But if people start taking your kindness for being a fool and treating you like crap, don’t be afraid to tell these people to kiss off!

Being kind to others means being kind to yourself first.

*Not the real name of the town

When A Bully Is Physically Attacking You, Should You Hit Back?

It seems to be the question on everyone’s mind these days, especially in the notoriously politically correct climate in which we live. The media and politicians vehemently discourage fighting violence with violence. You’ll hear statements from others, such as:

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“Turn the other cheek.”
“Don’t stoop to the bully’s level.”
And the all-time favorite,
“Be the bigger person and walk away.”

I’ve heard them all.

self defense

Yes, you should try more peaceful ways first, like walking away from the bully or reporting it to someone in power. However, what if the more peaceful solutions don’t work?

If you don’t stand up for yourself, the bully will only continue to come after you and hurt you. You’ll be a punching bag for everyone who knows you at school or elsewhere. Because when word gets around that one person can hit you and get away with it, everyone else will think they can too and you’ll be the school or the community whipping boy. That’s no way to live.

In the middle of a physical attack, the last resort is the only option you have.

So, here it is:

When a bully physically attacks you, you have a God-given, primal, animal right to defend yourself from being harmed. I state this with full conviction!

If a bully hits you first, haul off and knock his block off! And when you do, don’t just give him a love pat. Deck the creep with the strength of your entire body- hit so hard that the bully has difficulty getting back up. Then unleash a hail of hard licks so that he doesn’t get up. Because once the bully gets up, he will charge you!

Yeah. I know it isn’t the “politically correct” thing to do. But when someone is harming you, all that jazz about political correctness and being the bigger person goes out the window, and the gloves are off.

The only thing you should think of at this point is how to disable the bully so or give him such a bad memory that he’ll never even think about coming for you again. You aren’t a troublemaker or a brute for this, folks! It’s called self-defense!

This doesn’t mean bringing a gun or other deadly weapon. Lethal weapons will only get someone killed, and you put behind bars for the rest of your life. Never EVER carry a gun to school! It’s much better to put up your dukes and throw down when you must.

Bully picking on smaller weaker teenager with very agressive behavior shoving his face into the bus

I’ll say again, punch the bully’s lights out! You may get suspended from school, fired from work, or even go to jail for a night or two. However, physical attacks are much more vicious nowadays and if you just let someone smack you around, they’ll only intensify the beatings until they hurt you bad enough to send you to the hospital or worse! And I’d much rather be suspended, lose a job, or spend a night in jail than to spend a month in the hospital or end up six feet under.

I don’t condone fighting. Although I fought many times in school, I hated it each time I had to. I was a 5’4″, 120-pound girl being jumped and most of the time by multiple assailants, a male attacker, or a female much bigger than me. There were times when I was also boxed in where I couldn’t go anywhere.

There was no other choice. It was either fight or risk my bullies possibly maiming or killing me. Sometimes the last resort is the only way to protect yourself and let a bully know that you’re not the one to mess with and that you aren’t afraid to fight back if necessary.

There will be others who may disagree with this post, and that’s okay. I am very thick-skinned now and rarely do I get offended. I can agree to disagree. But I will do what I have to do to protect my well-being and my life if ever I’m in physical danger.

So, if all else fails, go ahead and whoop that ***!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!