7 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.

Never Suppress Your Humanness

be yourself

Why should I put on a veil of perfection?

Why should I hide my flaws? Everyone has them whether they admit it or not.

Why should I bend over backward to conform to being the cookie-cutter version that everyone wants me to be? It takes strength and bravery to be oneself.

Why should I be forced to suppress my emotions when the situation calls for it, and I’m rightfully sad, afraid, or (gasp!) pissed off?

Why shouldn’t I allow myself to make mistakes? That’s how we learn.

Why shouldn’t I, on some days, let myself lounge around the house in my pajamas and no makeup?

Why shouldn’t I allow myself to splurge on a tub of Ben & Jerry’s every now and then?

Why shouldn’t I allow myself to have my own opinion?

Why shouldn’t I allow myself to speak my mind when need be?

I’d rather be myself exactly as I am, the good, bad and ugly. I won’t suppress any aspect of me. I allow myself to be completely human, no matter who doesn’t like it.

To deny humanness is to be fake. Being fake is too much work, and I’m too lazy.

Reasons Bullies Hate Those Who Prefer to Be Themselves

Bullies are fake. They have to be to instill fear in those around them. And they resent anyone content with themselves and comfortable in their own skin.

Here’s Why:

1. Most bullies are highly insecure– more insecure than others; people who are themselves are usually more charming, seductive, and graceful. An authentic person will captivate others without trying. Because of his openness and fluidity, he draws people to him like a magnet. And bullies are jealous of anyone who enjoys good relations with others.

Understand that not only are bullies insecure, but they’re also vain. Authentic people outshine them without even trying and just their presence alone makes the bullies appear less alluring and charismatic to others.

Avoid these vanity bullies like the plague because they will find a way to destroy you if you stay around them. These people will only force you to suppress your natural charm and goodness, so you won’t look like you’re better than them.

be yourself

2. People who are themselves don’t have to make any effort because they are their natural selves. On the other hand, being fake requires a lot of work. There are also a lot of worries that go with it- worries that you might slip up and get your lies twisted, that you may accidentally expose yourself through your actions, and that your true personality will somehow seep through.

Bullies resent the fact that authentic people don’t have to work and worry as they do.

But no matter what these bullies may throw at you, never be afraid to be yourself. Never hide anything about you. Because if you do, you’ll only lose a bit of yourself each time you put on an act until you lose yourself entirely.

To be fake, you have to work too hard. I’m too lazy for that. And so is anyone who prefers to be themselves.

What is the Difference Between Assertiveness and Aggressiveness?

It amazes me how many people confuse the two. Many are under the false impression that bullies are assertive, when, in fact, they’re aggressive- too aggressive. So, how do we know the difference?

Here’s how:

1.Assertiveness is confident and respectful. It is never disrespectful, arrogant, or overbearing. When you’re being assertive, your state your case in a calm, cool, and confident manner, while, at the same time, being respectful of other’s different perspectives.

Aggressiveness is forceful and hostile. It’s abusive and it reeks of insecurity and unspoken fear of being ineffective and that the aggressor won’t succeed in getting what they want. When a person is being aggressive, they are dismissive, abusive, and threatening. They instill fear to get what they want because without the injection of fear, they’d be ineffective and irrelevant.

2. People who are assertive take time to listen. They listen to the other person before sharing a differing opinion.

People who are aggressive dominate conversations. These people only interrupt the other person and speak over them. They will even shout the other person down sometimes threatening harm to them if they don’t “shut up.” They will also undermine the other person’s ideas and belittle them with ad hominem (personal) attacks and name-calling.

3. When someone is too loud, an assertive person will ask the person to lower their voice so they can sleep, rest, enjoy a movie, hear their favorite song, etc.

An aggressive person, one the other hand, will demand that the other party “shut the hell up” and threaten physical violence if the person refuses to comply.

4. If an assertive person is in a McDonalds and gets fries that are cold and stale, they’ll explain the problem and ask for fries that are hot and fresh.

An aggressive person will only belittle the fast-food worker and demand hot fries with a threatening look. Some aggressive people might even climb over the counter and try to physically attack the person.

5. If an assertive person is asked for help, they will politely decline.

An aggressive person will shout a rude, “NO!” They will then berate the other person for having the audacity to ask for help.

You get the point.

Assertiveness is mindful and an assertive response is carefully thought out.

Aggressiveness is abusive and brutal.

The assertive person is confident, reasonable, and empathic. Whereas the aggressive person is unreasonable, self-serving, arrogant, loud, and highly opinionated.

Understand that being aggressive is unnecessary but being assertive is essential because if you aren’t assertive, people will only lose respect for you and use you as a doormat. That’s not good either.

You get so much more out of being assertive than you ever will being aggressive because being aggressive puts others on the defensive and will cause them to become resistant. But being assertive puts others at ease and makes them more likely want to fulfill your requests.

Bullies are aggressive.

Confident and healthy people are assertive.

So, be assertive but don’t be aggressive.

This is not to say that being assertive works one hundred percent of the time. There will be times you will run into self-entitled bullies, narcissists, and psychopaths who will rebuff assertiveness and even retaliate against you for your honesty. But most people will respect you for it.

Again, be assertive but never aggressive.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Gruesome Twosome: 2 More Types of People You Should Avoid

After writing and posting, “The Dirty Dozen: 12 Types of people You Should Avoid,” it dawned on me that there were two more types of people that we all should avoid, and they are as follows:

1.The person who makes you second choice. If you have a so-called friend who only wants to talk to or spend time with you when their first option isn’t available, it’s time to walk away. Don’t be second fiddle. Don’t be somebody’s option B, C, or D.

I’ve been on both sides of this fence. I played second fiddle many times when I was young, and I caused others to do it too because I wasn’t very mindful of other people’s feelings at times. I was wrong for it. Get rid of the people who make you second choice. At the same time, don’t take the people who value you for granted because it hurts, and they deserve better from you.

 

2. The person who only comes around when they want something. Realize that this person doesn’t really love you for you, but only sees you as a convenience. They only love you for what they can get from you. These are the kinds of people who only show up when they’re in a jam and they need money, advice, or help with something.

You’re not a bank, you’re not Dear Abby, and you’re not a go-to person when someone needs help with something. You’re much, much more than that. Sure. It’s great to want to help your family, friends, and your fellow man. Nothing wrong with that. But if they only take advantage of you, it’s time to cut them off and cut them loose!

Remember. You create your own value by how you allow others to treat you. Always value yourself and never settle for people who don’t see your worth but only see the convenience you provide. It’s not your job to make other people’s lives easier for them and it’s not your responsibility to make them feel better about themselves. Know your worth. Take back your self-respect and your power.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Getting Older Does Have It’s Benefits

confidence self-esteem happiness peace getting older

No one enjoys the thought of getting older, I’m no exception. However, if we’re lucky to live long enough, it is an unavoidable reality we’ll all face eventually. And it sure as hell beats the alternative.

The reasons we fear the advancement of age is the loss of our youthful good looks, decline of physical strength and endurance and the rising possibility of illness and death…all very legitimate concerns.

I have often heard Judge Judy tell young litigants whom stood before her, “Beauty fades but dumb is forever”.

She’s right. And I believe her definition of “dumb” is not level of intelligence per se, but the refusal to learn anything new and hold on to beliefs and values which may never benefit us. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing and being from a small town, I’ve met countless people my age whom haven’t learned much and continue to hold prejudices which should have long been done away with, while lamenting about and dreading getting older.

happy confidence self-esteem confident peace beach

But getting older is certain. Why not be grateful for each day given you? And continue to learn and grow? As the old saying goes, “There’s no fool like an old fool.”.

Intelligence and the wisdom we’ve gained over the years always trumps beauty, strength, health, or anything physical because once we’ve lost all the physical blessings we once had, smarts and a good heart are the only things we’ll have left before we finally leave this world.

There are many positives to getting older. Here are my takeaways:

1. I feel very blessed to have lived this long. A lot of people never make it to be this age.

2. Being older has made me confident and comfy in my own skin, giving me the freedom to be myself without fear.

free happy confidence confident self-esteem peace

3. I have become choosy of the people I keep in my life, preferring family and a few of my closest friends. I prioritize the people I love, who love me and who mean the most.

4. I don’t waste time with people who are fake or who don’t have my back. I love myself enough to walk away from toxic people who would otherwise bring me down and I can do it free of guilt.

5. It’s much easier to say, “NO”.

6. I have gained a truckload of knowledge and wisdom!

I wouldn’t trade any of these benefits for all the beauty or money in the world, which is why I don’t toil over my age nor do I hide it because I consider it an asset and a testament to how far I’ve come.

Mary Kay Ashe once said, “A woman who tells her age will tell anything.”
I disagree.

Because, a woman who tells her weight? Now there’s a woman who will tell anything!

Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin: What It Means

positive always be yourself

To become comfortable in your own skin, it takes several years and plenty of life lessons and experiences. It takes being knocked down enough times by enough people before you can finally say, enough is enough and choose to be happy.

And when we choose to be happy, despite our imperfections and what others think or say of us, we choose to be truly free! Free from the constraints of longing to fit in- free from the constraints of conformity!

To be comfortable in your own skin means loving and accepting all parts of you- the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

It means doing what fulfills you and makes you happy.

It means living life on your own terms.

It means refusing to apologize for who you are.

It means allowing yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.

It means refusing to live up to standards and expectations other than your own.

It means making time for hobbies and interests.

It means making time for your family and closest friends.

It means not being afraid to say no or to set boundaries.

It means not being afraid to ask for what you want.

It means following your dreams.

positive free happy hope peace confidence self-esteem

It means working toward your goals.

It means celebrating your successes and accomplishments.

It means not being afraid to ask for help when you need it.

It means being selective of friends and who you spend time with.

It means accepting and embracing differences in people.

It means having empathy and compassion for others.

It means putting yourself and your health first.

It means being realistic with goals and patient with the time it takes to reach them.

It means being present in the moment.

It means knowing your limitations.

It means knowing what you want in life and going after it.

It means being clear on what you will and will not tolerate.

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

It means knowing that you’re worthy of respect, love, compassion, friendship, and peace.

Most of all, it means the freedom to be.

Choose Your Friends by How They Make You Feel About Yourself

friends

And no, I don’t mean the type of friends who only tell you what you want to hear. You can get that anywhere.

I’m talking about something that goes much deeper.

It’s not about how much money or prestige they have- the hot car they drive or the latest fashions they wear. It’s not about how good they look or how popular they are.

It’s all in how they make us feel about ourselves, and the space they give us to grow. Even better, it’s how they help us to grow and vice versa.

If the person makes you feel bad about yourself and makes you doubt yourself- if she makes you feel left out and discarded, that’s your first clue that this person is not right for you! They’re not worthy of your time and are a waste of energy.

Don’t walk. RUN!

Always keep company with those who make you feel the best about yourself- that means the people who want to see you do good for yourself, the people who point you in the right direction, and the people who remain loyal even when the chips are down.

dreamstime_xs_101678999

Associate only with the people who love, encourage and want your very best. Reserve your friendship only for those who have your back! Choose the friend who is willing to walk through the fire with you.

Never chase anyone who doesn’t care or makes you feel terrible about yourself. Because if they’re a true friend, they won’t tear you down and make you feel worthless.

They won’t block your path to success. You won’t have to fight for their time or their love. They will make time for you and give love freely.

Be selective of who you let in your life!

When You Look Good, You Feel Good: Why You Should Always Take Pride in Your Appearance

When a person is a target of bullies, it’s too easy for that person to stop caring- about everything, including his appearance.

The reason for this is that when someone gets bullied for so long- once enough people have told them so many times over that they are nothing, that they aren’t good enough, that they have no value as a human being, and that they’re a waste of time, space and breathable air, they begin to believe it subconsciously.

They won’t even know it’s happening until it’s too late, and the contrary belief of themselves has already taken a foothold on their psyche. And when they believe something of themselves, whether it be a complete lie or truth, they will unwittingly live up to it.

bully angry girl victim

Understand that this change in a target happens ever so slowly. And before the person realizes it, they begin to neglect themselves. They neglect their appearance, their housework, even their health!

1. Targets will often isolate themselves and become shut-ins.

2. They fail to make themselves presentable.

3. They stop exercising and forego physical check-ups.

4. They withdraw from people and social gatherings.

5. They don’t get adequate sleep and nutrition.

6. Some overeat for comfort and gain weight.

7. Some stop eating and lose too much weight.

8. Some even begin using alcohol and drugs.

In short, they let themselves go!

These are the reasons why, if you’re a target of bullying, it’s even more important that you take care of yourself.

bullying

Bullying and life – pictured as a word Bullying and a wreck ball to symbolize that Bullying can have bad effect and can destroy life, 3d illustration

When I was a target of bullying, I stopped believing in myself too, for a while, only I didn’t neglect my appearance.  Instead, I got mad. Damn mad! And in my anger, I grew more determined to take care of myself. The more I was bullied, the better (and more flashy) I dressed. I also exercised to keep myself fit.

It was my way of thumbing my nose at the bullies- a poke in the eye to them, or a proverbial middle finger.

I became as a peacock fanning out her tail to show her beautiful colors. It was also a means for me to maintain what control I did have, which was control over my body and appearance. Also, I wanted to keep my self-esteem from completely bottoming out.

It was only one of the ways I fought like hell to hang on to my dignity and to maintain what I could of myself. And today, I believe it saved me in so many ways.

I may not have had control over how others viewed me. No one has that kind of control. 

I may not have had control over how others treated me.

I may not have had control over my reputation.

And I may not have had control over my physical well being as I got the snot beat out of me a few times.

But, what I did have was control over my hygiene and how I looked!

That was the one thing those creeps couldn’t have control of!

However, I knew so many other bullied people who give up on themselves, and it breaks my heart for them!

So, please! Please, don’t give up. Hang on to what power you do have with everything in you! You’ll thank yourself for it later. I promise!

What Babies Can Teach Us About Self-Love and Confidence

Babies are so adorable! They have that charm and innocence that no other age group has. They don’t worry about what others think of them and they never try to impress others. They’re sweet, pure, completely authentic, and have hearts of gold.

Babies have not a care in the world what people think of them. They have no inhibitions whatsoever. They’re not afraid to cry and express their wants and needs. You can see it in the way little toddlers shamelessly coo, laugh, babble, skip, run, and dance in front of anyone. These little sweeties are fearless. They’re not afraid to show their emotions, express their thoughts, show their creativity.

Their precious little souls are completely open. They give, share, and receive love with an open and grateful heart. They love being loved and doted on and will receive it with a soft coo or laugh.

Everything starts with self-love and babies are a perfect example of it.

Sadly, as time passes and these babies get older, they slowly and incrementally become tainted by the ways of people and the world. Many are raised in toxic environments and by parents who are critical and abusive to them. So, they build a protective wall around themselves to try and keep the contamination out. Because their feelings get discounted, ridiculed, even punished by family members and others, they learn to mask those feelings. They collect emotional baggage as they become preschoolers, school-aged kids, then teenagers, and finally, adults.

Many are also raised by drug-addicted, mentally ill, and neglectful adults and they build walls to protect themselves from that as well. Many must learn to raise themselves.

Low self-esteem and lack of confidence are not the characteristics we’re born with. They’re instilled in us by either by well-meaning family members who wish to keep us humble and sweet, or they’re force-fed to us by bullies and abusers.

As a result, many babies grow into people who are under the false belief that they are unlovable and don’t deserve to have their wants and needs met and thus, people who are filled with either anger and self-loathing, or sad, depressed, helpless victims.

We all go through these terrible changes, even those who aren’t bullied, and only few people in this world manage to keep that confidence and joy they were born with, that is, IF there is anyone who does. Life’s disappointments, hurts, and heartaches have ways of doing these things to all of us. However, people who are bullied and abused suffer the worst changes.

They stop expressing emotions and give up asking for anything because, sometime during their childhoods, they were conditioned by other people to think that they’re self-centered and wrong for ever needing or wanting anything out of life.

Therefore, they resign themselves to the attitude that, things are “just the way they are” and that there’s nothing they can do to change anything.

And when you tell them about self-love and how important it is, they wince at the idea because it makes them uncomfortable. But, again, they have been programmed to think that self-love is somehow self-absorbed and evil. I can relate to this because, when I was thirteen and fourteen years old, I did the exact same when I was first told about the idea of self-love and self-care.

The thought of looking at myself in the mirror every day and telling myself “I love you” or “You’re beautiful,” “You’re Smart,” “You’re awesome,” etc., felt both weird and downright sickening because I was under the impression that it was all a sign of sheer vanity.

Self-love can feel downright painful after you’ve wasted years and decades hating and degrading yourself because it’s not something you’re accustomed to doing. Anything new and out of the ordinary feels painful at first. Like all things, it must become a habit first and it can only become habit through rigorous learning and practice.

‘You see? My bullies and a few abusive others had sold me on the idea that any form of self-care or self-love was abhorrent and self-serving. I was under the misguided belief that self-degradation and self-criticism was a virtue and a sign of being humble and meek. I thought that was what normal people did, as I watched a few family members do the same thing.

Some of my family members still do this at times and it breaks my heart. If only they could see, I mean, truly see their value and that they’re wonderful people who are worth more than gold.

The truth is that self-hatred is the equivalent of having a millstone hung from your neck and having to drag it around everywhere you go because it’s exhausting. It zaps your energy. It takes the magic, wonder, and excitement from your life. It keeps you stuck and worse, invites more disrespect and abuse from others.

Self-love only comes from within, never from without. It’s not something you can get from a partner, a spouse, or a boatload of friends. It doesn’t come from having a banging body or wearing fancy clothes, hairdos, or makeup. Money can’t buy self-love. Power doesn’t give it to you and neither does prestige. Self-love comes from the heart and only the heart.

Self-love is about self-acceptance and being perfectly okay with your imperfections. It comes from being comfortable in your own skin and not caring even the slightest what others think or say of you.

In order to find peace and joy in life, self-love is a must-have. It helps you to achieve your goals and realize your dreams and aspirations. It determines your outcomes- whether you succeed or fail. It helps you to better re-frame bad situations and see them as learning experiences. Self-love gives you peace of mind.

In a nutshell, self-love gives you complete freedom! It is the key to happiness and joy!

Don’t you think you deserve to be at peace with yourself? Don’t you think you deserve happiness and joy? I do.

So, be like a baby. Love yourself. Know that your true colors are vibrant and never be afraid to show them. Dance like you’ve never been ridiculed. And play like you’ve never fallen and scraped your knee. Express your emotions. Love, laugh, and live.

You’ll be surprised at how everything will change for the better! I promise!