I Don’t Wish I’d Been More Popular, I Wish I Had Loved and Respected Myself More

I wish I had put myself first.

I wish I’d said “NO” a lot more than I did.

I wish I had been true to my own heart.

And I wish I had known my worth and realized my full potential.

In a nutshell, I wish I had been better at being me. But we all wish we’d done these things when we get older, don’t we? That we’d done something a little different- a bit better?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown a very thick skin and learned to handle any confrontation with composure and aplomb. As we get older, we shed that shell we curled up and hid in when we were younger. We grow to love and accept ourselves as we are and become comfortable in our own skins and let me tell you! It’s immense freedom that you can’t describe!

I’ve learned that the reason people bully is not because of something the victim has said or done and that it is not the fault of the victim.

The reason bullies bully is because they have issues, whether it be a bad case of narcissism, low self-esteem, problems at home, jealousy of something the victims have that they don’t, or they have something to prove. I’ve learned that bullies, at their very core, are great big cowards and attention-seekers. That knowledge alone is freeing!

Just knowing why unsavory people do harm only serves as a huge buffer to any psycho/emotional blows.

Today, I no longer get bullied by anyone, but if anyone tries, I am easily able to swiftly put the person in their place, or laugh and blow the idiot off. Instead of getting hurt or angry, I get amused by them and am usually able to have fun with it.

Unfortunately, that takes time, learning, and most of all experience. I feel a sense of regret when I think of all the years I spent feeling insecure and sorry for myself. What a total waste of my time and energy!

You mustn’t take anything your bullies say as the truth. You must know that their actions or words have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them! Hey! I know it’s hard not to, and I know it hurts. I know it’s hard not to blame yourself when it seems that everyone, from every direction, is bombarding you with negativity.

However, I want you to love yourself and see the bullies for who they truly are- pathetic souls who are so desperately trying to look tough, smart, or cool. I want you to understand that bullies are trying their hardest to get attention. You must know your value. You also need to realize that some people are just wrong for you and do not belong in your life!

Most of all, rest assured that you will eventually find people who are right for you. And when you do, they will love you for being your loveable, beautiful, intelligent, and awesome self! There will come a day when you will be loved, appreciated, and celebrated for all that you are!

It happened to me, and if you don’t give up, it will happen to you too! You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!

Affirmations That Help Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem

I love being me – positive affirmation – handwriting on napkin with a cup of coffee

Affirmations That Help Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem

NOTE: Parts of this blog post references the following:

(“Stopping Wife Abuse,” Jennifer Baker Flaming, 1979, p.64)

(“The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” Patricia Evans, 2010, p.149)

1.I am not to blame for being bullied.

2. I am not the cause of someone else’s abhorrent behavior.

3. I deserve to be free from bullying and abuse.

4. It is okay for me to say “no” to what I don’t like nor want.

5. I do not have to take it.

6. I am important.

7. I am worthwhile.

8. I deserve to be treated with respect.

9. I have the power to create a good life for myself.

10. It’s okay for me to take care of myself.

11. Only I can decide what’s best for me.

12. I’m not alone. I have people who love me.

13. I am worth fighting for.

14. I deserve to be safe.

15. I deserve to be happy.

16. I am beautiful.

17. I am smart.

18. I am a good person.

19. I can live my life the way I want and on my terms.

20. I am loved.

21. It’s okay to love myself.

22. It’s okay to celebrate myself.

23. It’s okay for me to make mistakes.

24. It’s okay to put myself first.

25. It’s okay to protect and defend myself.

26. It’s okay to ask for help.

27. My life matters.

28. I matter.

What It Means to Begin Seeing Your Worth

It means refusing to stay around people who don’t.

It means eliminating drama from your life.

It means not settling for less than you deserve.

It means having the willingness to be alone rather than to put up with shoddy treatment.

It means loving yourself enough to know when it’s time to walk away.

It means not caring what others think or say of you.

It means embracing the dislike of a few people who don’t matter anyhow.

It means letting go of toxic people, even if we love them, and not being concerned with the outcome.

It means having the guts to say “no” and saying it without guilt.

It means being nit-picky of the people you let in your life.

It means being a bitch when the situation calls for it.

It means not feeling guilty about putting yourself first and being a little selfish.

It means giving yourself a margin for error- allowing yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them.

It means not being afraid to fail.

It means embracing the good, bad, and downright ugly parts of yourself.

It means being comfortable in your skin.

But most of all, it means freedom! The freedom to be human! And to celebrate yourself!

Steps to Having Confidence When Others Bully You

There are things you can do to take the sting out of being bullied. These steps can serve as a buffer to the effects of bullying on self-esteem and the psyche.

1. Watch and Listen– Because bullies get talked about too. Believe me when I tell you. Bullies have enemies and lots of them. And why not?

They’ve been walking over people for a long time. So, you can bet they’ve left a long trail of foes behind them, adversaries who are more than happy to dish out the tea.

2. Know that you aren’t the only one these people have bullied– seasoned bullies have had plenty of practice over the years. I guarantee it! There have been others before you, and there will be more after you. Why do you think these people are so good at making you feel bad about yourself and doubt your worth? How do you think they got that good at it? They certainly didn’t get that way overnight. It came from so many years of trial and error, and they figured out what worked and what didn’t. And they had to have had guinea pigs (previous victims/targets) as practice. They’re doing what for so long has worked for them.

3. Collect info on your bullies– find out about their personal and family lives. You can bet that bullies have problems too. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be going out of their way to prove something to an audience at your expense. As I stated earlier, they have enemies. Find these enemies, cozy up to them, and have them tell you what they know about your bullies. I have done it many times, and I can tell you that you’d be surprised at the tidbits you found out! I’ll give you more details on the next step.

4. Ingratiate yourself with others your bullies have bullied– You and these people have something in common, so this should be a cinch! Align yourself with these other victims. Bullies run in packs, so why can’t targets? Understand that strength always comes in numbers. If you ban together, I guarantee that your bullies will think twice before accosting you. Remember that bullies are cowards and would prefer to catch you when you’re alone rather than confront you while you’re in a group.

I love being me – positive affirmation – handwriting on napkin with a cup of coffee

5. Keep company only with people who love you, want the best for you, and make you feel good about yourself– A good sign of a true friend is someone who uplifts you and helps your confidence soar. They uplift you, encourage you, have your back when you’re in trouble, and cheer for you when you reach success. All too often, victims end up with fake friends- frenemies who only tolerate and are passive-aggressive toward them. These frenemies will subtly humiliate victims in public and throw them under the bus when they’re in trouble or danger.

Victims often latch on to frenemies because they’re desperate for friends and companionship. They’d rather have sorry excuses for friends who treat them poorly than to have no friends at all. These victims are under the false belief that anything is better than being by yourself. I made that mistake myself when I suffered bullying in school.

Trust me when I tell you, anyone who belittles you even a little bit is not your friend! They’re only there because they know that you’re lonely. You are vulnerable to them, and they only hang around because anytime you have a weak spot, you’re accessible for them to use and take advantage of you. That is the only reason they come around!

Do you want friends like that? I hope not! I hope that you will do what I finally did the last year of school, ditch those creeps, and find friends who respect you, who genuinely like you and want to be with you!

6. Show off your talents and gifts– If you can sign, enter talent shows! If you can write, enter writing contests! If you know you’re good at something, find ways to show it off! You’d be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem. I promise you!

When my classmates bullied me, it was so bad that I was scared to show what I could do. I knew that I could sing but was too afraid to belt it out and show off my best voice. If there were do-overs, I would have sung as best I could, came out of my shell, and took every opportunity to showcase that talent! Who knows where it might have taken me?

Anytime people are bullying you, you must take care of yourself. We exercise and eat well to take good care of our bodies, but we forget. We must also take care of our psyches! It is imperative that we also take care of our minds. And we do this by taking steps to buffer our self-esteem from the onslaught of bullying.

7. Do things you enjoy doing, and that fills your soul– whether you love to swim, hike, camp, find opportunities to do these things if they truly make you happy! The more happy moments you have, the less of an effect bullying will have on you!

Doing these things will help to buffer your self-esteem against your bullies attacks. In other words, it will lesson the pain of the attacks because you’ll know you have friends, allies, talents, and positive moments in life- solid proof that counters anything the bullies try to tell you. And you’ll feel much better about yourself.

It will also help correct the imbalance between adversity and success. Many targets of bullying often have a ton of social failures and only a tiny few successes. If you do all these things, you’ll soon achieve a healthy balance between the two.

A Deeper Reason Why Self-Acceptance is A Must

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Today, we live in a world that consistently judges us. It seems that people feel they have carte blanche to point a finger at someone else and announce their flaws and weaknesses. Sadly, this seems to be the norm.

Everyone is trying to be (or look) better than the next person and lord it over them. You see it in the media, you see celebrities calling out other celebrities in the Twitterverse and you see everyday people doing it on the street, in the supermarket, workplace, and at school.

What bullies don’t realize is that in pointing a finger at someone else, they only reverse it back on themselves. Because they’ve got to be pretty darned insecure with their own life to feel the need to disparage another person.

Anytime you come at another person without provocation, it either shows that you’re trying to hide or distract attention from your own shortcomings by trying to redirect the negative attention to someone else. In short, it’s only proof of your own lack of self-acceptance.

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Self-acceptance has always been a must-have but nowadays, it’s even more essential than ever before.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t be self-aware because we should. But too much self-awareness isn’t good because, when we’re hyper-aware, we focus too much on our weaknesses and not enough on our strengths. Sadly, this is what targets of bullying are conditioned to do after so long.

There are two extremes to everything but there’s also that happy middle that we should stay in.

We must work on changing the way we see ourselves and begin loving ourselves more because only then will we be able to love others.

If you can’t accept yourself, you won’t be able to accept others either. Being a bully doesn’t score any points and it doesn’t make you feel any better in the long run. It only makes you look like an insecure little coward.

As the old saying goes, “You do you and let me do me.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Alone

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.

Positive change requires that we take risks!

If You Always Put Others First, You’ll Have Nothing Left for Yourself

positive me time alone

Putting others first isn’t a bad thing. It shows that you care about your fellow man and that you’re willing to contribute some good to the world. It’s an outstanding character trait to have.

Many people have been conditioned, often by well-meaning parents, that the polite thing to do is to put others ahead of ourselves. That making sacrifices for others shows manners and that we’re “good people”- that we are well-mannered and have morals. Nothing wrong with it.

However, when that courtesy is overdone or done at your own expense, that’s when it becomes a bad thing. The problem is that people will come to expect you to be a yes-person and take their crap. You’ll soon attract users and abusers and become a doormat.

In taking this advice, many of us found out the hard way that giving too much of ourselves sometimes involved overlooking abuse. Even worse, we found that it didn’t make the mistreatment go away but only encouraged the person to abuse us later.

bullied victim walked on doormat

Growing up, I heard every excuse you can imagine.

“Oh, they’re just having a bad day.”

“Maybe they have an abusive or cheating spouse at home.”

“Oh, but you never know what that person is going through.” Blah-blah-b-blah.

A few adults in my family and a few teachers advised me to,

“Give them a break.”

“Cut so-and-so some slack.”

“Try to overlook him.”

“Oh, but try to put yourself in her shoes.”

“Be reasonable.”

bullied victim doormat

That got old very quickly. I eventually grew fed up and wanted to scream,
“Um- EXCUSE ME! I’ve been ‘reasonable,’ and the only thing I ever got from it is taken advantage of! Would you be reasonable if this happened to you?!”

The point is that no matter what anyone tells you, it’s okay to put yourself first. And no law or rule says you have to tolerate unacceptable behavior- from anyone! Ever!

Anytime you’re mistreated, then advised or forced to “be nice” or “understand what Joe Blow is going through,” it only means that, subconsciously, the givers of this advice either don’t care about your boundaries, or they’re afraid of making the offending person angrier, and of the situation escalating. Some people can’t handle conflict.

They are only trying to silence you to appease the person who’s being a total jackass.

bully bullies crybaby tantrum crazy

These kinds of advice and expectations can do one of either two things to you as you get older:

A. It can program you to be over tolerant of unacceptable and abusive behaviors and set you up for a life of getting bullied by other people.

You grow up being so afraid of pissing anyone off that you accept any abuse to avoid conflict. You end up living a life of being crapped on by others.

B. It can have the exact opposite effect and give you an “F-you” attitude and a bad case of The Don’t-Give-A-Shits.

Because of being forced to accept bad behavior in the past, you become a mean, bitter, and apathetic adult and could care less about anyone. That’s not good either.

I’m one of the lucky ones. It gave me an equal blend of both. I believe in treating others how I’d want them to treat me and don’t mind lending a helping hand to someone who needs it.

positive self-care you can't pour from an empty cup you first

But if for one moment, I suspect that someone is taking my kindness for being a fool, I’ll drop that person like a bad habit and they’re on their own!

It’s okay to be kind. It’s okay to put others before you, but only in particular circumstances.

For example:

It’s perfectly fine to give an older adult your chair in a crowded doctor’s office.

It’s okay to get up and offer your seat to a combat soldier in a crowded airport.

In fact, it’s called having respect for elders and servicemen and women who fight for your country.

But never take abuse nor accept excuses for unacceptable behavior. Anytime someone crosses a line with you, go ahead. Respond in kind. Give it back to them because only then will the person realize that you aren’t a doormat and find someone else to abuse.

This is not selfish or being self-centered. It’s called self-preservation.

Always Be True To Yourself. Don’t Be a People Pleaser!

Grovel in business

Too many people think that they have to give more of themselves than what is necessary and that they have to hide their true selves.

They are under the impression that they have to bend over backwards and go out of their way in order to be valued. They have been conditioned to believe that they have to try and be someone other than themselves to win approval from others.

Sadly, these are the beliefs held by most bully-targets.

“If only I was ten pounds thinner and had long, flowing hair, maybe my friends would like me”

“If only I had bought front row tickets to the game, concert, etc. instead of regular tickets, he would love me.”

“If only I made a 4.0 instead of a 3.99, my family would be proud of me.”

“Maybe I should have bought her a dozen roses instead of a half-dozen, then she would love me.”

“Maybe if I worked sixteen hours a day instead of twelve, then my boss and coworkers would like me.”

Notice that these people are already putting in lots of effort and the people around them don’t thank the person for it, or worse, even acknowledge it. Some of these scenarios may be a little exaggerated, but you get the point.

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But here’s the thing, anytime you sacrifice your own needs to please others and score approval, the exact opposite happens. People do not respect a people pleaser. If anything, they look down on the pleaser with a mixture of disgust, pity and hilarity.

In the minds of others, the pleaser is pathetic case, eager to kiss butt in his weak attempts to win friends. The more pleasers give themselves at their own expense, the worse they are treated because to others, they are ripe for using and abusing.

Think of the song, “Self-esteem” by The Offspring and if you haven’t heard it, hop onto YouTube and give it a listen.

People pleasers only attract the predator types of people into their lives while repelling the good, quality people of class and decency. Human predators have a spidey sense when it comes to picking out those who are weak and approval seeking.

If you are a pleaser, they will see you coming a mile away and they will bleed you dry of resources, time and worse…confidence and happiness.

You must give these people the boot and do it FAST! Because they suck the life out of you and by the time you realize you’ve been had, it will more than likely be too late. Your confidence and self-esteem will already be shot and you will have to work like hell to get to know yourself again and get it all back.

I want you to know that it’s perfectly okay to want friends- to want positive connections with other people. Human beings are social creatures and we all want that. However, no one should have to eat crap in order to achieve it.

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You can say “NO” if you don’t want to do something.

You can put your foot down and tell someone to get lost anytime they use and/or abuse you.

You can speak up when something does not feel good.

You can have your own opinions and beliefs.

And you don’t have to put yourself out on a limb to please someone else.

You do NOT have to be a doormat! Start today by being true to yourself. If something does not feel good, you do not have to go along with it.

But be warned. The users you have been associating with will not like the change in you. They have been benefiting from your willingness to suck-up for so long and the last thing they want is for those benefits to stop.

They will resort to calling you “selfish”, “stingy”, among other names. They will accuse you of being self-centered and all about yourself. They will lay all kinds of guilt trips on you. They will do everything in their power to make you look and feel like the lowest form of life on the face of the earth!

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But you aren’t. No matter what others may say or how they may act toward you, you must hold firm. You must assert yourself. You must make the decision that you will no longer be used or abused by these people! Tell them to take a flying leap and mean it!

Give them the old heave-ho! You do not need them in your life! You have to love yourself enough to walk away!

I can guarantee that once you have the courage to kick the garbage out of your life, you will attract better people, who will love you not for what you can do for them, but for just being you. You will have more loving, productive and fulfilling relationships!

Best of all, you will feel so much better about yourself…you will be so happy and at peace. It happened for me and it can happen for you too.

You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.