I Don’t and Never Will Apologize for Being Different.

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I’ve never been one to follow blindly. Never been one to conform without knowing what motives any authority figure had behind telling me to do so. I’m one to question everything. Always have been. And I’ve always done critical thinking and plenty of reading and research. That’s just me.

Through the years, this has gotten me into a lot of trouble. I’ve taken a lot of heat and lost many friends (or people I thought who were friends) for it. And it’s probably why I was bullied all those years in school.

But that’s okay. In fact, I embrace all of it!

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I’d rather stand for something than fall for anything people feed me. I’m true to my beliefs and convictions and I’m not afraid of losing a few people over it. And I’m proud of that.

I’m not a follower.

No one ever said being a free-thinking person was easy and I don’t expect it to be.
And when people get pissed and withdraw friendship over my choice to question a narrative, I only see it as a weeding out of fake friends and people who aren’t meant to be in my circle.

To know who your real friends are, you must be your true authentic self, question status quos, trends, and popular narratives, then call BS when you see or hear it.
And I’m willing to accept it and everything that comes with it.

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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 every day 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.”

Self-Love Doesn’t Mean Self-Centered

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Some people get the two confused. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you’re self-centered. But you can bet that bullies will accuse their target of it when they realize she’s growing a backbone.

Understand that when you start loving yourself enough not to take your bullies’ opinions of you seriously, the bullies will take notice of it right away. They’ll realize that they no longer have power over you. To get that power back, they will try like the devil to guilt you by accusing you of either selfishness or self-centeredness.

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Don’t fall for that con game! When bullies lose the benefits they’ve grown accustomed to getting at your expense, they always get irate. Right or wrong, whenever someone has had power over another person for a long time and has gotten used to having that power, then suddenly loses it, of course, they’re going to be upset- and intensely so.

But don’t concern yourself with how your bullies feel. After all, they never gave a thought to your feelings the entire time they jerked you around.

Ditch these people! The sooner, the better! You’re not being selfish by choosing to put yourself first. What you’re doing is having the courage to love yourself and treat yourself better.

Hit the road concept, road - 3D rendering

Hit the road concept, road – 3D rendering

Realize that the bullies are the self-centered ones, in expecting you to go on being their doormat. No one has the right to expect you to put up with something they wouldn’t tolerate if it were happening to them.

To expect any differently from another person than what they’d do shows a complete lack of respect for people other than themselves and is sheer arrogance, self-entitlement, and stupidity.

There’s a name for this- double-standard!

Remember that we teach others how to treat us. And how we teach them to treat us is by how well we treat ourselves- by the boundaries we set, our ability to say “no,” and whether we continue to allow them to be in our lives.

So, treat yourself well! You’re worth it!

Never Compare Yourself to Someone Else

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Many targets of bullying get into the habit of comparing themselves to others. For example, a bullied kid sitting in the lunchroom at school may look a few tables over and see the very kids who bully him surrounded by friends, yucking it up and having a good time. They seem to be enjoying friendships while the bullied kid is left in the cold. And watching causes an ache in the poor kid’s chest. He thinks to himself:

“I wish I were like him, because if I were, I’d have friends too. I hate him because he’s a creep and doesn’t deserve to be so lucky! Why him? I deserve it more than he does? It’s not fair!

But when is life ever fair?

Here’s another example:

A coworker at a company sees another coworker who hasn’t put in as much time getting a promotion. He immediately gets angry and thinks that the only way the other guy must’ve gotten that promotion is by sucking up to the boss. He then begins to wish the other coworker all kinds of bad luck.

Comparing yourself to others is a real self-esteem killer. But sadly, people do it all the time. When you compare your life to someone else’s, it only breeds all kinds of toxic emotions, two of which are anger and jealousy.

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Understand that you cannot judge a person’s outward appearance or the appearances they keep up and accurately judge what their life is like. Because people are notorious for showing only the best parts of their lives and keeping the less-than-desirable parts hidden.

Also realize that some people, bullies especially, making it a point to flash the positive aspects of their lives to those around them for the sole purpose of provoking envy. Because knowing that others are jealous of them is a huge boost to their egos, giving them a sense of power and that they’re better. Realize that the appearances these people keep up are only a show.

An example of this would be:

You see someone decked out in fancy clothes and drives a hot sports car. They have a six-bedroom house in the ritzy part of town. But! Although they look like they’re rolling in money, they’re more than likely only living beyond their means. Chances are that they’re in debt up to their eyeballs and feeling terrified inside because they know that if the slightest setback happens, they’ll lose it all!

Here are more examples:

You see a seemingly happy couple in a shopping mall and you’re still single. They look so happy and so in love, and they have friends around them. But you don’t know what goes on in their house. The husband might be abusing his wife behind closed doors (or vise versa) and they’re only putting on airs. They might be on the brink of divorce.

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Portrait of happy teenage guy surrounded by pretty girls

You may look on social media and see pictures of one of your someone you know lying on the beach in the tropics. But what you don’t know is that they had to clean out their savings just to take that trip.

Here’s my point. Never judge anyone who seems a little luckier than you, because, in private, they could be fighting battles you know nothing about.

They may have a mother at home dying of cancer, a father who went off to war and never came back, or be buried in legal issues.

And many times, you feel so content with your life until you spot these people. All of a sudden, you’re feeling less than. This should be a good indicator as to how useless envy and self-comparison really is.

How you fight this is to take your attention off these people and count your blessings. Because although they may be luckier than you in one aspect, you are most likely better off than them in other ways. Think about it.

Understand that anytime you feel jealous of another person, it only means that deep inside, you have a deep-seated spirit of lack and failure and you want to take the other person’s good fortune away from them and keep it for yourself.

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It’s a sign that you don’t feel that you can ever reach those goals yourself. Stop it! Because if they can, you can too.

Stop comparing yourself to others because it’s a waste of time and energy. It also drains you of confidence.

Know that you are enough and your life is enough. And you never know what the future holds. You too may someday buy your dream home, find a loving partner, or get the opportunity to go on a tropical getaway.

For now, be happy for those who are presently getting those opportunities. Instead of provoking jealousy in you, these people should inspire you and give you hope for the future.

Not Everyone is Going to Like You

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Jealous Girls taking behind her back

Like is subjective.

Not everyone is going to like you. Some may even hate you. But remember this! It’s their problem, not yours.

No matter how good, talented, famous, great or small you are or who you are, it’s estimated that 10-35% of the people you know will not like you.

But always stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your convictions. Use your God-given talents to the best of your ability. Be the best you can be and you will be happy.

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Realize that everyone- EVERYONE, has someone who doesn’t like them. And if you don’t have enemies, then you’re doing something wrong.

If those who are exceptional, like celebrities, politicians, and athletes have people who dislike them or hate them, it should be proof that there’s nothing wrong with you.

So, feel good about yourself. Embrace everything about yourself. Appreciate the people who love you. Let love in and let yourself shine!

Why You Absolutely Must Love Yourself

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If you don’t love yourself, who will? And how can you love anyone else if you don’t first love yourself?

These are valid questions.

When someone doesn’t love themselves, we can tell. We can see it in their demeanor, their face and their posture. We can hear it in their tone of voice and the way they talk. Why do you think these people attract users and abusers to them? Why do you think they end up with people who mistreat and control them?

Here’s what happens when you don’t love yourself:

1. You’re never able to properly love anyone else. You will be codependent- always searching to get love from another source- a source outside yourself, instead of letting love come from within. When you finally find someone who does love you, you won’t love them the way they need to be loved. Instead, you’ll only smother your partner to death because you’ll always have to be right there under the person’s nose.

Also, you’ll be suspicious of others, wondering if your partner’s going to leave you, wondering if they’re cheating, etc You’ll wonder if your friends really like you or if they’re only pretending to. In essence, you’ll end up making a new partner or friend pay for something someone else did in the past and it’s not fair. Being in constant worry and suspicion is no way to live!

2. You rely too much on others to make you feel loved and wanted and be afraid of being alone. You will always believe that to be happy, you must always be one half of a couple. But understand that if you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship either.

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3. You move too quickly into a relationship. Once you are in a relationship, you’ll love your partner more than they deserve and before they’d had time to earn that love Also, you’re likely to scare the other person away. Realize that love needs time to grow.

4. You give away your power. When you give away your power, you automatically put yourself at the mercy of someone else. And believe me, they take full advantage. You put your own needs on the back burner and always put your partner before yourself, doing all the giving in the relationship in exchange for your partner’s love. You’ll even do things you really don’t want to do just to satisfy the other person.

You’ll stop making your own decisions and allow someone else to choose for you. You’ll also agree to every single thing he or she says. When you do this, you leave nothing for yourself. After a while, the feeling of unfairness will slowly build. Soon, you will become resentful after so long of not getting anything in return.

Never give another person that kind of power! You must have your own mind and be your own person.

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5. Because you can never control how another person acts nor how they feel about you. What happens when your partner gets tired of you and decides he/she no longer wants to be with you? It will devastate you. It’s only natural that the end of any friendship or relationship is painful. But it should never be crushing. It should never feel like the end of the world.

6. You’ll be on an endless search for love and friendship. You’ll spend your whole life searching for love. That in itself is not only off-putting to others, but it’s also exhausting to you. You’ll waste your time, hopping from relationship to relationship. When one partner gets bored with you and leaves for someone who challenges them, you’ll be on yet another search for someone else to take their place. And this cycle will only continue to repeat itself. Then before long, you’ll have a string of broken relationships behind you. Not good!

7. You’ll settle for just anyone. And you’ll get even less than what you settled for. No one should settle. Ever! If the person isn’t the person you want or is less than what you thought they were, you’ll be much happier if you move on to something you really want. Always be selective of the friends and partners you choose and of the company you keep.

8. You attract takers instead of givers. Predatory people have a keen eye for those who are desperate to be loved and accepted. And they’ll sniff you from a mile away. These people will be more than happy to befriend or date you just to get what they want from you. Once they’ve used you long enough and bleed you dry of resources and dignity, they’ll only drop you and move on to the next poor sucker. When you stop being afraid of aloneness, you magically begin to repel predators and attract better people.

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9. You’ll repel the people who either do or would otherwise love and accept you. If by chance you happen to find someone who truly loves you, you won’t be able to relax and enjoy it. You’ll be so scared of losing the person that you’ll be too clingy and likely run them off because of your incessant neediness.

Understand that when you do this, you automatically make them responsible for your happiness and it’s not fair. Being held responsible for another person’s happiness is a heavy load for anyone to carry! You’ll only zap the other person’s energy as you expect them to fill a void that can’t be filled by anyone but you and God. Realize that only you are responsible for your happiness. No one else.

10. You stay in a toxic relationship and put up with shabby treatment and abuse just to keep from being alone. You’ll likely end of with an abuser who’ll physically or mentally abuse you. Love and friendship shouldn’t be painful.

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You may also end up with someone too lazy to work and who expects you to keep their worthless ass up. No one has to work that hard to keep any relationship and if you do, it’s a sign that you need to show somebody out the door- and fast. The last thing you want is to be tied down to some broke chump who treats you like crap or won’t get off their dead ass and work to help pay the bills. I’ve seen this happen to so many people I’ve known in the past.

Being alone is a part of loving yourself. It’s not the worse thing that can ever happen to you. It’s very healthy sometimes because you get to know yourself during times of solitude.

But when you’re afraid of being by yourself, you’re likely to give others control of your life and put yourself at their mercy! STOP THAT! Never cheat yourself by settling for anything less than what you deserve!

Never put your happiness in someone else’s hands! Ever!