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 or wondering if they’re cheating. 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.
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 have 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.
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 another search for someone else to take their place. And this cycle will only continue to repeat itself. 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.
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 toxic relationships and put up with shabby treatment 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Like I did, you will only run through their fingers and out of their hands. My classmates couldn’t hold me. I flowed over and around them. Understand that sometimes, in their efforts to tighten their grip, bullies only create defiant and sneaky targets who find their way around them.
Because some targets refuse to be controlled. I was one of them.
When your bullies try to silence you and prevent you from speaking against the abuse, you can find another way to communicate. I chose to write about it instead, being sure to keep a backup journal at home in case my primary journal came up missing. You can also do this, or you can speak out through music and song, artwork, such as drawings and paintings. There are so many vehicles through which you can speak out.
I took advantage of the fact that my bullies were flawed humans just like I was- and that they couldn’t read my mind nor control my thoughts.
When your bullies trash your reputation at school, make friends outside that toxic environment– out of kids who don’t attend your school. It’s what I did. I also dated guys who were of college-age and were past high school.
If you’re old enough to have a driver’s license or work after school, opportunities for an after school job in your community may be nil, but your attempts to get one in the next town will more than likely be successful and you can make many friends there.
And here’s the miracle that happened twenty years lately when I endured horrible rashes of cyberbullying (keep in mind that some of the attackers online were former schoolmates), I handled it with smarts and class, which only brought me many allies who defended me– people from all over the country! And I’m still friends with those people today.
Yes, sometimes, things may look hopeless, but they can turn out for the best.
I want you to realize that if you think hard, there’s always a way around the stigma if you’re bullied. So, do what you must do for self-preservation. Dig those heels in, double down, and become like water that only runs through your bullies’ hands.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with responding in kind when someone tries to mistreat you. It shows that you command the dignity and respect that’s due to the next person and that you won’t tolerate crap from bullies. It also shows that you have the guts to stand your ground when some creep violates your boundaries.
As a society, we’ve been conditioned by politicians, the media, corporations, educators, and even certain members of our families that responding in kind only makes us as bad as the bullies. And we’re still being conditioned to believe it. We’re being told to “ignore” people’s atrocious behavior, and in some cases, even submit to it.
However, I want you to understand that the only thing bullies understand is strength and power and anyone they deem as weak is fair game.
Therefore, if you don’t respond in kind to bad behavior, bullies will get the message that there are no consequences for their abuse and that they can walk on you anytime they feel like it. There’ll be no stopping them from escalating the bullying and no limit to what they’ll try next.
Full Length of Two Adult Woman Standing Side by Side with Hands on Hips in Separate Lanes of Outdoor Running Track – Two Friends Sizing Up Competition
You must set boundaries, and how you set boundaries is by imposing consequences on anyone who violates those boundaries. But how do you impose consequences? By responding in kind to bullies when they cross the line.
Notice I say “respond” and not react. By responding the right way, you show that you’re not afraid to stand your ground and that you command the same dignity and respect given to the next person.
There’s no law that says that you must accept abuse from anyone. Yet, we’re very subtly being told that we should take it, and with a smile, and a yes sir/ma’am, then ask for seconds. In today’s world, society tries to dictate that we should agree to abuse.
Um- no! That’s now how life or human nature works! Every action is followed by a response!
Bullies must realize that there are consequences if they harm another person. And we must realize that it is the threat of consequences that keeps the bad guys from coming for us and keeps us safe. Without accountability, there would be chaos and anarchy! Bullies would have free reign over us all.
So, never be afraid to respond in kind and never feel guilty for it. It’s normal, expected, and it’s how you defend yourself and treat yourself well.
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.
9. We give in to the threats and demands of bullies and abusers. Unfortunately, some people won’t take no for an answer. Bullies and abusers are such people. These types will move Heaven and Earth to manipulate you into feeling obligated and saying yes to them. They will try things, such as”
1. Screaming and yelling at you.
2. Calling you names like:
And the list goes on…
1. Cursing you out
2. Threatening physical harm
3. Hurling insults
4. Humiliating you in front of others
5. Ostracizing you
6. Giving you the silent treatment
Understand that these people use these evil tactics to punish you or to make you cave into their demands. They also do this to make you feel guilty, embarrassed, or afraid, in hopes that you’ll give up and give in to get them to stop abusing you. But please, for your sake, don’t’ cave in!
You must realize that, if you give into the bullies’ demands, you’ll only quell their hostility temporarily because, sooner or later, bullies always come back for more and thus, these incidences will become a pattern.
There’s one thing I want you to know right now. Bullies and abusers aren’t dumb. They know exactly what they’re doing. Believe me when I say that your bullies are fully aware that they’re trying to manipulate you. They know good and well that they’re being abusive and yes, they also know that what they’re doing is wrong.
Never think for one moment that these bullies don’t realize what they’re doing!
As long as you remember this, it will give you the confidence, courage, and resilience to stand firm against this atrocious behavior, call it out for what it is, and hold your position.
Better yet, you will be less likely to feel shamed, humiliated, fearful, or guilty. You’ll see the bully’s behavior as a reflection of their cowardice, insecurity, and desperation and this alone will make it easier to stand your ground.
10. We’re afraid of conflict. Many people are deathly afraid of conflict. Targets and most survivors of bullying are especially so because they’ve had so much conflict forced into their lives. And they will make a complete about-face when they detect even the slightest scent of it.
I shamefully admit that I become one of these people for a while in my twenties. However, I soon came to realize that conflict is a part of life, and many times cannot be avoided. There are times when conflict will seem to hunt you down like a hungry wolf. In other words, conflict is something we will all face at some points in our lives. It is certain. This is why we must learn to be assertive and say no to people when we need to.
Sadly, for many of those who have this fear, giving into others is a quick and easy fix. Any time the other person shows signs of becoming angry or frustrated when the pleaser can’t be available right that second, they’ll try to assuage the other person. They retract statements, change their minds, and acquiesce.
Pleasers believe that surrendering to the demands of another is safer (easier) than standing their ground, and they immediately cave in to avoid conflict.
11. Saying yes to everything and everyone become a habit. Many people have been conditioned to people-please and the longer they do it, the more entrenched it becomes until it becomes instinct. In other words, our brains continue to develop more neural pathways for people-pleasing until we become wired to do it and it’s an automatic response. As a result, we do it without even thinking about it, nor realizing it. Realize that for some, people-pleasing is a learned response, and it stems from many factors.
These 11 things are the roots of our apprehension amd the best way to solve any issue is to get to the roots of it. If you know why you have a hard time saying no, you’re more likely to know what to do to change it.
5. You waste so much of your time, which is time better spent with your family, closest friends, and loved ones. Or it could be time better spent studying your lessons, working on your own pursuits and hobbies, or resting. There are only 24 hours in a day and if you’re constantly prioritizing others first, your needs will take a back seat and you won’t have time left for yourself and the people who matter most.
Self-care is never selfish. It’s essential! It’s a necessity! Realize that you’ll never be able to please everyone, but that’s okay. So, be okay with it.
Be prepared for some people to call you “selfish” when they hear the word no come out of your mouth. But again. Remember that you’re not responsible for the way they feel or for their problems.
6. We want to help others because it’s rewarding. This is normal and there’s nothing wrong with it. Helping others makes us feel good and has huge heart-rewards. For example, when we help our family members and friends, it shows them that we love them, and we care about their happiness and well-being. When we help total strangers, we do it because we care for our fellow man. That feels great!
The problem comes in when we’re so busy taking care of others that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. When it reaches this point, life can get stressful and overwhelming. Also, bullies, users, and abusers will take notice and try to exploit our generosity, taking our kindness for being weak and dumb.
These are things we much watch out for.
Realize that you only have so much of these commodities. Use them wisely and don’t waste any of them on people don’t deserve them or haven’t earned them (i.e. bullies, abusers, anyone who takes you for granted).
7. We have low-self-esteem. When we have a low self-image, we are under the false assumption that our time, energy, and resources aren’t worth as much as those of others. We believe that we’re inferior to everyone else. Therefore, we quickly say yes to others, even those who give ridiculous demands, when we should say no.
Many times, we bend over backwards to prove our value. But worth is something we should never prove to anyone. It is something that’s either there, or it isn’t.
In other words, if you’re a good person, you have value. And if you have value, it’s already there and there’s no need to turn somersaults for people.
Here’s another thing. Saying no will actually raise your self-esteem and the more you say it, the higher it will rise until you realize that you’re just as good as everyone else and that your time, your energy, your pursuits, and your dreams are just as important as everyone else’s.
8. We want approval and to be liked by others. Wanting to be liked and approved of is a natural human desire that’s hardwired in all of us. It’s how we make friends, connections, and allies. It’s also how we nurture our relationships with family and those we love. We try to relate to and find commonality with others to get accepted.
Many times, this is why we say yes even when we’re better off saying no. Understand that, though you may get approval from others if you’re a yes-person, that approval will be short lived. Because people always come back for more and there will be times when something comes up and you won’t be available for them. Then what?
Realize that keeping your self-esteem and self-respect is worth a hell of a lot more than getting anyone’s approval. And trust me, any approval that has the fine print of conditions tagged onto it is not the type of approval you want.