When you’re a target of relentless bullying, losing so-called friends becomes the norm. Sadly, this is the reality for many who fall into this category.
Most targets of bullying suffer deprivation of human friendship and therefore, they have no sense of belonging. We humans are hardwired for socialization and connection. When bullies meticulously strip those things away, it can be devastating. After they’ve suffered this deprivation for so long, targets can become desperate for even the tiniest crumb of affection.
Neediness always invites abuse.
In life, there will be people who come into your life not to help you but to harm you. Not to love you but to leave you.
Understand that when bullies target you, they beat you down, and render you sad, lonely, and worst of all, desperate! Add all this together and you have a stinking, toxic cocktail of vulnerable.
Realize that evil always attaches itself to those whom bullies have weakened and made most vulnerable. People smell desperation from a mile away and the target will repel those who are emotionally healthy and attract only the lowlifes whose only intentions are to use and abuse.
Predatory users love to catch you when you’re most vulnerable. When you are rendered powerless, you will draw in fake friends. They’ll be those whose only intentions are to use you until they get all they can out of you. Many will act as friends to hurt and humiliate you.
These people may use you for money or material things or they may simply use you for social benefits. Also, they may use you for the psychological payoff of taking domination of you. Whatever it is, know that they aren’t here for your benefit, they’re here for theirs.
So, when do these frauds show their true colors?
Many targets of bullying are shocked and dismayed when the monster finally shows its face. The target may say something totally innocent, but something the fake friends doesn’t like. Suddenly, the mask falls off and the poor target finds out the hard way that this person really isn’t a friend at all. The fake friend then turns their back and becomes an enemy. They may even bully the target like everyone else.
Here’s when they show their true colors:
1. When you stand up for yourself.
2. When you’re not afraid to be yourself.
3. When you speak your truth and stand on it.
4. When you let your opinions, beliefs, and convictions be known.
5. When you call them or someone they like out on their bullshit.
How do you recognize a true friend?
A true friend may not necessarily agree with you, but they’ll always respect your opinion. They will always accept that you’re a different person with your own set of values. And they’ll never turn their back on you or get hateful toward you for those differences.
True friends will allow and even encourage you to be yourself, speak your truth, and stand behind it. They wouldn’t want you to be fake for the sake of pleasing others.
Understand that if at any time, a person who claims to be your friend doesn’t allow you to be yourself. Or if that person doesn’t allow you to speak your mind, or show your emotions, that person is not a friend. Therefore, you should re-evaluate that friendship and give this person the old heave ho.
Know that you deserve better friends than them. That’s why it’s so important that you love yourself enough to know when it’s time to let go and move on. Because some people just aren’t worth your time. Always remember, you don’t lose friends, you lose frauds.
Understand that bullies thrive on power and control. If they can’t control you, they’ll control how others view you. Also, they’ll use redundancy and repetition to make you believe their lies too. Here’s what they’re most likely to try and get you to think of yourself and what you should believe:
1.What bullies want you to believe
Apart from us, you can do nothing, you are nothing, and you never will be.
What you should believe
Apart from you, I’m better off. I can do anything I set my mind to do, I’m somebody, and later down the line, I’m going to be great and do great things.
2. What bullies want you to believe
You’ll never find happiness without our permission.
What you should believe
I don’t need your permission to be happy. I’m much happier without losers like you in my life.
3. What bullies want you to believe
Nobody will ever like or love you.
What you should believe
Maybe you never will, but I don’t mind because you don’t matter. There will be others who’ll love me for me. I’ll find my tribe.
4. What bullies want you to believe
You’re nothing without our approval.
What you should believe
I’m nothing with it because you are nothing. I don’t need your “approval” because it will never define me. Your opinion matters not because, for something to matter, you must first value it.
Therefore, always counter the statements, including the unspoken ones. You’ll be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem and your spirit!
What is the environment that conditions and shapes you the most when you’re in school or working? I’ll give you a hint: It isn’t the home!
Our environments determine our mental health.
They have ways of molding and shaping us, especially during our formative years. For example, a child who grows up in an abusive environment is, more than likely, going to either grow up to be an abusive adult. Or worse, they will grow up to be weakened and powerless. Remember that a person’s formative years (childhood) is the most impressionable and it determines their future!
Yes, there are exceptions to this rule. There are a few kids who develop a strong sense of self, either through dogged determination or an outside mentor. Those are the kids who make it out and create successful lives from themselves. However, most do not, and it’s sad.
You have three types of environments:
Nourishing Environment (Very Healthy)
Neutral Environment (Somewhat Healthy)
Toxic Environment (Unhealthy)
Understand that the environment you spend most of your day in, will the one that will likely condition you. And if you spend most of your day-to-day life in a bullying environment, your mental health will suffer!
For example, a certain school kid lives in a loving and healthy home. But his classmates at school bully him mercilessly and without fail.
Now, let’s do the math:
A child or teen who is growing must have around 10 hours of sleep per day. So, subtract 10 hours for 24 hours and you’re left with a total of 14 waking hours. The average young student then spends about 8 hours per day in school. Subtract 8 hours from 14 waking hours and you have only six waking hours away from school.
Then we must figure in school bus time, or commuting time, which, for the average schoolkid, is 30 minutes to 1 hour, one way. Therefore, that’s 1-2 hours roundtrip (Keep in mind that most kids who are bullied at school are also bullied on the school bus).
Subtract that from 6 waking hours and the schoolkid in this scenario has only 4-5 waking hours at home in her loving and nourishing environment.
24 Hours (One Day)
-10 hours (Sleep)
-8 hours (School)
-1 or 2 hours (School bus)
= only 4 to 5 hours awake at home
So, that bullied child, although living in a loving and nourishing home environment, spends twice as many waking hours in a toxic school environment. Therefore, the bullying he suffers at school is likely to nullify the love and acceptance he gets at home. And he will be conditioned either to hate himself, or not to think much of himself. Because he spends more time with his bullying peers than he spends with his loving and accepting family, he’s still more likely to have self-esteem issues and lack confidence.
Now, do you see how this works?
Even sadder, the self-esteem and confidence of kids who are bullied at school and abused or neglected at home will take an even bigger hit to their mental health! Why? Because they never get a reprieve from bullying, as abuse at home is a form of bullying in and of itself.
In conclusion, how a student is treated at school has a huge impact on their mental health. It doesn’t matter how loving and nurturing their home life is. Granted, having a positive home life certainly helps, the bullying a child or teen suffers at school will likely negate any love and acceptance she receives at home.
So, how do we reverse the damage school bullies have caused a child?
We simple create opportunities for the child to make friends outside of their school. This will create more positive social experiences for them. It will help to create a more even balance between the bullying and negativity they suffer and the friendships and positivity they enjoy. Even better, it might even tip the scales and create more positive experiences and social interactions than negative!
Therefore, the resulting rise in positive experiences and interactions outside the school environment will serve to buffer person’s self-esteem and mental health from the blows of negativity they get at school.
You can help the youngster create these positive connections and experiences by sending them to summer camp. Also, you can do it by enrolling them in a martial arts class or attending neighborhood family get-togethers where there are other kids present. Attending church and church functions is another great idea.
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There are many, many opportunities available for the seizing! So, go for it! Give your bullied child these wonderful experiences! They will turn into awesome memories that will last a lifetime!
Bullying can be devastating to a child’s or teen’s self-esteem. And the damage can last a lifetime. It can have a negative effect on their progress even into adulthood.
No, it isn’t your fault. You and your child are innocent in this, but you still must do some damage control.
The parents of bullies should teach them kindness and empathy, yes. However, the targets’ parents also have work to do- they must teach their children confidence. Neither side gets out of this without some degree of responsibility.
I realize that it isn’t fair that most of the confidence-building work must be done on the target’s end. But nothing in life is fair and we can’t change that reality. We, as parents of bullied children still have to take action. We still must do our part to ensure our children’s confidence stays in tact so that they’ll be able to flourish. Therefore, it’s up to us to tip the mental health balance more in the target’s favor.
Teaching targets confidence involves teaching them never to look to bullies, or anyone for that matter, for confirmation of their worth and validity. Most of all, it means creating experiences for them that naturally balance out all the negative experiences they face at school. To neglect this work would be devastating for our children!
How do you do that?
By giving them opportunities to make friends outside their toxic school environment.
For instance, they can join a martial arts class, a scout troop, or go to summer camp, to name a few. There are so many options available for targets to forge lasting friendships. And you will be amazed at just how it will help build their confidence and self-esteem.
Yes, kind words, encouragement, and verbally re-enforcing positivity to your child is important. But giving them the positive experiences that back up your well-meaning words will work doubly well because it will serve as confirmation that they really are good and normal kids and give the self-esteem that extra boost.
So, give your bullied child fun, exciting, and positive experiences that they can look back on with confidence and assurance! They will thank you for it later! I guarantee it!
Too many women these days don’t value themselves like they should, especially women who have suffered past bullying and abuse. And many predatory men will take advantage. Take it from someone who made that mistake when she was young and naive. Shacking up isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
A woman who prefers marriage over living together knows her value and isn’t afraid of making it clear what she wants out of life. She is confident and a man who is worth her time will respect her and be willing to commit his life to her and make her his wife.
In no way am I telling people how to live. If you’d rather live together than to be married, then that’s your business and I won’t judge you for it. And there are couples who live together and eventually marry but that’s a rare occurrence these days.
Look at the underliers here and know that you’re worthy of so much more.
If a man wants you to live with him but doesn’t want to marry, how much does he actually think of you? Really think about it.
He expects you to cook, clean, and go to bed with him every night, and yet, he doesn’t think enough of you to make it official? Remember that you teach people how to treat you by what you accept. Seriously, don’t you think you deserve better?
Don’t be like the woman in the video!
Reasons why marriage is so much better than shacking up:
1. There’s much more security.
Marriage is more legally binding than living together ever will be. Understand that people who marry make much more of a commitment to their partners than those who only live together.
2. There are higher levels of trust between partners.
The average couple who is married trusts each other more than the average couple who lives together outside marriage.
I know that many will counter me with statistics of a high divorce rate. However, this should not deter you from getting married if that’s what you want.
When my husband and I were dating and the subject came up, I made it absolutely clear that the only man I would even consider living with would be the man I married. I knew what I wanted, and I didn’t fear speaking up about it. And, you know what? Mike loved and respected me for it. He thought a lot more of me, and eventually, he asked me to marry him. And the real kicker is that the first few times he asked, I said no because I wasn’t ready yet.
But he never gave up and eventually, I said yes.
Know your value. You are not free neither are you cheap.
There’s an old saying that was popular when I was growing up and it pertained to the attitudes of those who didn’t want the responsibility of marriage but wanted the perks of it:
“Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
Nothing is free. There’s always a price in some way, shape, or form.
If I perform the duties of a wife, then I’m damn sure going to have the title. If I’m going to wash some guy’s dirty underwear, clip his toenails, or wash his funky feet when he’s sick and cannot do it himself, you can believe I’m going to do it with a marriage certificate and a wedding band.
When two people are truly in love, the chances are high that they will marry.
Realize that you have value. If you want marriage and your boyfriend doesn’t want to step up to the plate after you’re together for a few years, then let him go. It won’t be easy, but don’t be afraid to walk away if your guy isn’t emotionally mature enough for marriage. Then you can make room for a man who deserves you. Trust me when I say that you deserve to be a wife, not a forever girlfriend.
Love yourself enough to walk away from a man of low quality. Value yourself enough to wait for a high-quality man who deserves you and who wants your hand in marriage. You’re worth it, don’t you think?
Have you ever had people seemingly mistake your confidence for conceit? Or worse, get offended by it? And you knew it but never understood why? Heaven forbid you actually have even a minuscule amount of self-esteem and take pride in your accomplishments.
Sadly, we live in a world that’s insecure, self-conscious, and unhappy and there will be people who resent your spirit and your happiness. There are environments that are very toxic and the toxic people within them have an intense hatred of those who are cheerful and have a strong sense of self.
Bullies are such people. But realize that, though they’d tell you differently, bullies aren’t happy people. They can’t be because anyone who’s truly happy wouldn’t try to make others feel lousy.
Moreover, they wouldn’t resent the happiness, confidence, or successes of others.
I’ve dealt with these types of people- people who resented my confidence, which was confidence that I’d worked hard to rebuild. I saw it written all over their faces- the scowls, how their eyes would narrow and turn into slits and brows would furrow anytime they saw a smile on mine or anyone else’s face. I can just imagine what they were thinking: “The nerve!”
I’ve even heard the disdainful remarks:
“She thinks too highly of herself and needs to be brought down a notch or two!”
“He’s an arrogant jerk!”
“She’s so uppity!”
“He loves himself too much!”
“She needs to bring herself down to earth with the rest of us!”
I could go on and on.
Many people act as if being confident and loving yourself is wrong. The message you get is that it’s “selfish,” and that you need to climb down off your high horse, or you’re too big for your britches. They try to make you think that having pride in yourself is something to be ashamed of. ”How dehhhhh you!”
Bullies tend to think that if a person has confidence and high self-esteem, he is pompous and sanctimonious- he’s the worst person in the world. In their minds, it’s horrible to have even a modicum of self-value and to believe in yourself. “Who do you think you are!”
As much as I hate to admit it, back when I was young and had self-esteem issues, I said the same thing about the same people. And do you know what else? I’ve since realized that I was wrong for it and that it was said out of pure stupidity.
So, I want you to know that, if you have the audacity to like yourself, there will be those who’ll try to tear you down for it. They will attempt to make you feel ashamed of it. Some will even punish you for it. But realize that these people aren’t happy, nor confident and they’re jealous of you because you are. Your bullies and others are bitter toward you because you have something they don’t have. And because they think they can’t have it, they want to take it from the people who do.
So, go for it! Be happy! Be confident! Believe in and love yourself! Treat yourself well whether anyone else likes it! And never let them take it away!
Don’t worry about the people around you. Know that how they act says nothing about you but everything about them. Their actions only expose them as the miserable, sorry pieces of crap they are. So, dig in those heels and double down on your positive sense of self.
Do everything you can to hold on to your joy and self-belief, and let the haters stew in their own juices.
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!
The words we hear from others can affect how we see ourselves, but they don’t have to if we don’t let them.
Targets of bullying are picked apart daily in every minute detail, and in every aspect of their existences. A bully may criticize something as minute as the way they write. Bullies may criticize a woman for sitting with her legs crossed or the way she applies her makeup. But I guarantee that it has nothing with the way the woman sits or puts on her cosmetics, it has everything to do with the bullies’ own insecurities that are buried within themselves.
In reality, the bullies may think the woman is awesome and their criticism could be taken as a compliment because the bullies know they can’t compete with her and certainly don’t deserve the time of day from her because they know they aren’t even on her level, so, they do whatever they can to tear her down and bring her to their level.
However, the criticism surely doesn’t feel like a compliment and can make you feel like crap, so, I’m very careful when I use my words here. Insecure bullies and abusers will say terrible things to us and they can stick with us if we’re not careful.
“Your clothes look like hand-me-downs!”
“Your hair looks too straight!”
“Your nose is too long!”
“Your ears are too big!”
“Nobody likes you!”
“You don’t have any friends!”
This doesn’t mean what they say is true, but so many times, we let the words of bullies get into our heads. When bullies assault us with hurtful words, targets often sit and wonder:
“Why don’t they like me?”
“Why am I not good enough?”
“Am I too fat?”
“Am I too short?”
“Am I too weird?”
“Is it my makeup, my hairdo, or my clothes?”
And they do it regardless of whether what was said to them is true.
Understand that our insecurities will scream at us from time to time but if we chose to listen to those pesky little voices, which are most often only voices from past abusers, it only serves to damage our self-confidence and self-esteem. Granted, there will be times when you will question yourself and this is perfectly normal. But when you make it a habit, then it becomes a problem.
There will also always be someone prettier, better looking, smarter, or financially better off. That’s just life. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything going for you because you do but again, there will always be someone with more.
Therefore, never compare yourself to another person because you do yourself more harm than good. Realize that each one of us is blessed with great qualities, although some may not know what they are.
Insecurity is a tricky animal because it has a way of hiding in obscurity. Sometimes, we don’t even know we have it. Bullies are such people. Most bullies are bogged down with insecurities, which is why they always point out the shortcomings of others in attempts to hide their own and the self-esteem fix they get from it is only short lived. Then bullies will only come back for more.
Another reason why insecurity is so tricky is because the insecure person not only doesn’t realize it exists, but they also don’t know when they became insecure nor what caused the insecurity.
We aren’t born with insecurities. They are given to us by other people, those who unfairly criticized you during your early years. Maybe someone called you stupid, or ugly. Maybe someone told you that you didn’t look good enough or, weren’t smart enough to pass that class.
Maybe you had an abusive parent or family member who told you that you would never amount to anything. Maybe your dad left and never cared to spend any time with you. It could be that you had an older sibling who bullied you. Maybe your classmates repeatedly told you that you weren’t good enough and never would be. Maybe others trivialized your successes and told you that they didn’t matter. They stem from many different factors.
Nevertheless, there had to be that first person who berated you- that person who planted that seed of insecurity and they repeated the same behavior and nurtured that seed so that it would grow. Maybe others helped to grow that seed and it’s only festered inside of you. And that seed has negatively affected your relationships with others and continues to do so today.
But understand that we all have flaws and the best way to get comfortable with them is to own them and accept that you have them. You might as well get comfortable with your flaws if they’re things you can’t do anything about. Also, once you embrace your flaws, no one can hold them against you any longer. By accepting and embracing your flaws, you take back your personal power and squash any power that bullies ever had over you because the insecurity ceases to be.
Many bullies have also been victims of others. This is the reason they try to break your confidence, only bullies refuse to have that discussion because it would only cast them as being vulnerable. Also, bullies never took the time to acknowledge and heal their own hurts and insecurities.
Therefore, bullies will tear you down with their actions and words because they feel either inferior to or threatened by you.
Once and for all, I want you to understand that there will be that partner who tells you that you dress like a floozy even though you dressed the same when your partner met you and you actually dress rather conservatively. There will be classmates who criticize your laugh or your smile. There will be people who flat out tell you to shut up when you speak even if the words you speak make sense.
The criticisms that hurt us the most and have the potential to destroy us come from spouses, family, and friends- people we love and trust the most. It is those remarks that can do the most damage because these are the people who are supposed to love us, take care of us, and protect us. And we believe they do. We believe they only want what’s best for us so we attempt to modify and change who we are to satisfy them and gain their love and approval. And the more they berate us, the more we shape-shift, trying to attain that allusive approval, until we twist ourselves into a pretzel!
It amazes me how many broken children there are out there who don’t yet understand that there was never anything wrong with them. These children become bullies and grow up to be angry and bitter adults who will only spread their toxicity to others.
It’s much easier to make others feel small than to deal with what others have done to us. I was broken for a lot of years, brainwashed into thinking I wasn’t worthy of being treated well. I always thought I was vermin compared to others because that’s what I’d been told repeatedly by others.
It took me a 2 ½ decades to realize that there was nothing wrong with me and that none of the bullying, abuse, and torment people subjected me to was ever my fault. I was not defected, and I was never a bad person. In fact, I now realize that I’m an awesome person and if people who don’t know me choose to judge me and have issues with me, it’s their problem not mine.
And I hope and pray they get their mental stuff together before it’s too late because it takes someone who lives a miserable existence to go through life making other people feel like dog shit to feel superior.
Insecurity is a seed that plants itself deeply, which is why it can be difficult to deal with. But in order to heal, you must cut out the roots of it too.
And if you don’t take the time needed to deal with and heal it, you will continue to carry the insecurities that someone else gave you and they will affect the way you handle people and your future relationships- every one of them, whether they’re romantic, friendships, or family.
Realize that the insecurities you have were caused by other people who wanted to look and feel better and more powerful than you. They saw a good quality in you that threatened to overshadow them somehow. So, they went on a mission to tear you down to keep you from stealing their spotlight.
Always remember that the bullying and abuse was never about you, it was about them. It was about their fear of you overshadowing them. It was about their being afraid that you’d reach success and leave them in the dust. It was about something they saw in you that threatened their fragile egos.