When I Stopped Caring What People Thought

When I stopped caring what others thought of me, I stopped apologizing for being me. Instead of judging myself, I began loving and accepting myself- all aspects, the good and the not-so-good. I started living up to my own standards and experiencing life on my terms.

When I stopped worrying needlessly about what people thought, I set myself free from the chains of fear and anxiety and was no longer a slave to others’ opinions and approval. I no longer felt the need to walk on eggshells and hide my natural humanness. I stopped feeling like I wasn’t good enough and comparing myself to others. I no longer allowed anyone else to dictate what I should say, do, think, or feel.

I began permitting myself to make mistakes because we all make them whether or not some of us admit it. Even better, I started learning from those mistakes and seeing them as life lessons, rather than defects or screw-ups. I finally accepted that I’m not and never will be perfect. Who is?

Silhouettes of hands are breaking the chain—freedom concept.

I learned that like, and dislike is subjective, never personal. I accepted that not everybody was going to like me and was not only okay with it but embraced it! Because if you don’t have people who don’t like you, you’re not doing something right- in one area or another, you’re not your true, authentic self.

I permitted myself to follow my heart, sing, dance, speak my piece, and yes! Even be a little weird. In all this, I took back control of my life and found freedom I’d never known.

The day I stopped caring what people think was the day I got my life back, and slowly but surely, my bullies began to disappear. I began to feel beautiful, smart, and, best of all, equal.

Positive things started coming my way magically and seemingly without effort. I began attracting the right people into my life- genuine people who were loving, caring, uplifting, and inspiring. Existing relationships drastically improved. An abundance of opportunities and blessings flowed into my life. I began seeing wins and successes that were very rewarding and fulfilling, which only encouraged me to stretch my imagination, take more risks, and try new things.

Today, I look back and ask myself why. Why did I even give a crap what my bullies and others- people who meant absolutely jack to me and could do nothing for me, thought of me?

They weren’t my family or friends.
They didn’t pay my bills.
They didn’t sign my paycheck every week.
They didn’t hold my life in their hands.
And they most certainly weren’t people I cared anything about.

I wasted a lot of time and energy, which I can never get back, worrying needlessly about what people thought of me. The truth of it is that most of those people nor their opinions were never even worth my consideration.

The only opinions that matter are those of my God, my family, my husband, and my closest and most trusted friends. And the only things that matter are my faith in God, my dreams, my morals, taking care of the people I love, my ability to be the best me I can be, and my desire to extend kindness and reach out and help those who need me. Anyone or anything outside of that is irrelevant.

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

I wish I had put myself first.

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

I wish I had been true to my own heart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Countering Your Bullies’ Attacks

That means maintaining a healthy and positive sense of self.

It means refusing to take in and accept your bullies’ assaults on your pride and dignity, no matter how powerful or influential they may seem. After all, they’re only people just like you.

Countering the attacks from a bully means being able to withstand the barrage of attacks or your humanity, personhood, and character.

It means not letting your bullies persuade you into thinking that they know you better than you know yourself.

It means being super-self-aware- so much so that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt who you are and that you’re a great person who doesn’t deserve shabby treatment.

It means having a clear vision of your value as a human being.

It means keeping company only with strong people who are positive influences in your life- people who consistently validate and affirm your positive qualities and the good you bring to the lives of others and this world.

Then, when a bully tells you that you’re ugly, stupid, evil, or crazy, you can stand with confidence and say, “No, I’m not. You are,” and walk away with more pride in yourself because you stood up to bullies.

Many targets fall for the garbage bullies feed them because there’s more to countering the attacks than words or fists. It takes mind and spirit power just as well. Most targets, sad to say, are either insecure in themselves, to begin with, or, over time, bullies succeed in making them that way.

They may do like I did in the earliest stages of bullying- “ignore the attacks without responding or fighting back. And we know how that usually ends.

Maintaining mind power and a healthy sense of self is the very foundation of self-defense and protection. Always remember that.

Your mind and your thoughts are free! Keep them that way!

What Bullies Want You to Believe v/s What You Should Believe

Understand that bullies thrive on power and control. If they can’t control you, they’ll control how others view you. They’ll also 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 a bunch of losers 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.

Always counter the statements, including the unspoken ones. You’ll be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem and your spirit!

“Who Do You Think You Are!”

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.

How to Make Yourself More Powerful and Less a Target

Before we begin, I want to assure you that the bullying you suffer isn’t your fault. There’s nothing wrong with you, nor did you do anything to bring it on yourself. So, if you feel the title of this post has undertones of victim-blaming, please be assured that you’re not to blame. However, what it does say is that you’re not entirely powerless, which is excellent news! There are ways you can lessen the bullying and make yourself more charismatic.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Practice modesty. Targets of bullying will sometimes incessantly talk themselves up. I completely understand why they do this. When people are always putting you down, sometimes your first instinct is to build yourself back up and make yourself feel better and soothe your battered self-esteem. But doing this can make you a bigger target if you aren’t careful.

Never talk about yourself too much, and never try to bring too much attention to what you do. Nobody likes a braggart. And the more you talk about what you’re doing; the more suspicious of you people will be. Even worse, you’ll become a target of backstabbers and people who are jealous! Never toot your own horn. Be modest. Make it about others, not yourself.

  1. It’s better to be nonchalant. Make everything you do look effortless.
  1. Don’t pour on the flattery. Sometimes, targets of bullying will use excessive flattery to get in their bullies’ good graces, and it never works. I tried it when I was a kid to trick my bullies into leaving me alone. It only backfired. Too much flattery can make things worse because it makes you look like a suck-up. Or, your bullies might think you’re trying to run a con game on them, which will only get them angrier because they take it as your believing they’re stupid. Keep the flattery to a minimum, and for the love of Pete, don’t attempt to flatter the wrong people!
  1. Get noticed. But don’t overdo it with being flashy or flamboyant. Sadly, targets of bullying will do anything, and I mean anything to be seen. I can understand because no one wants to be made invisible. But being gaudy will only make you a bigger target, and the last thing you need is to draw even more negative attention to yourself. Subtly create a style all your own.

  1. Alter yourself to the people you’re around. But never too much. Keep enough style of your own so you don’t come off as a copy-cat. When you’re a victim of bullying, the last thing you need is for others to brand you a fake.
  1. Bring good news. Keep any bad news to a minimum because people will shoot messengers of negativity. And if you’re a target of bullying, people already associate you with enough negativity. Why not shock a few people by bringing positivity?
  1. Never criticize. Especially the wrong people. Being critical of others can make you seem like a drama king or queen and can escalate the bullying you suffer.

Doing the above things may not make the bullying stop entirely, but it can dial it down a notch or two. And the less of a target you are, the better!

Why It Pays to Know Thyself

When you know yourself inside and out, you are better able to define yourself instead of letting others, particularly bullies and abusers, do it for you. And when you learn to accept only your definition of who you are, you can more easily avoid bullying because you’re better able to recognize it. And when you’re able to identify abuse, you’re least likely to put up with it.

In other words, when you know who you are, you also know what you want and what you will and will not tolerate, which is why knowing who you are is of the utmost importance.

Knowing yourself means knowing your feelings, senses, and instincts and trusting them to guide you through this crazy thing called life. Tuning in to your feelings and instincts means tuning into your gut. As we all know, your gut can guide you out of dangerous situations and environments if you allow it to.

Knowing yourself also means refusing to allow bullies to shame or ridicule you into staying in situations and circumstances that don’t feel good to you or around toxic people. To know yourself means to trust yourself to make the right decisions.

For example, during the years my classmates bullied me, there were times when they would accost me, and I’d put my hand up to them and walk away. I didn’t have time for their drama and foolishness. Next, one of them would shout, “Hey! Where are you going, you big chicken!” or “Oh, that’s right! Walk away like you always do!” or “You’d better run!”

Understand that when you turn your back and walk away from a bully and he calls out these things to you, it’s only their attempts to control you by defining you- to shame you into sticking around and taking their crap. Or, it could be that they’re trying to bait you into a fight because they know the chances are that you’ll get blamed for it.

No one wants others to think them to be a coward. But people will try to define you as one to corner you and trick you into doing what they want. They know that you’ll feel compelled to hang around and you’ll do it for no other reason than to prove to the rest of the world that you aren’t afraid.

Again, this is why you must know yourself. When you know deep down that you’re not what people call you, you won’t feel any need to do any posturing nor virtue signaling because you won’t have to prove anything. Although the name-calling may sting a little, it won’t bother you as much.

Another good thing about knowing yourself is that you won’t feel the need to hold back emotions. You’ll be able to recognize them better and allow yourself to feel them. You won’t let others tell you how you should feel or bullies to shame you into suppressing them.

You don’t have to put on a big front and try to act like someone you’re not.

To know yourself means freedom!

Understand that people who don’t know themselves will follow the crowd and try to fit in. People who don’t know themselves will accept other’s definitions of them without realizing it. They’ll build a fake identity based on how others view them and others’ expectations and ideas of who a real person should be.

Sadly, if a target is told by abusers that he’s stupid, no good, lazy and that he’ll never amount to anything, in many cases, they’ll live up to it. It will show up in their grades, performance, and how they interact with people.

During school, I lost knowledge of who I was only for a little while, and that was before the suicide attempt. Later, I become angry at myself for allowing them to define me.

It was later when I decided that I was going to be true to my own heart. It may not have looked that way to the outside observer. Still, inside, I got in touch with my inner sensations and instincts and began to realize that I wasn’t to blame for what was happening to me. I realized that their abuse was no reflection on me but spoke volumes about their lack of morals, decency, and character.

Getting to know myself brought confirmation that what they were doing was wrong. Now this inner realization didn’t stop me from being bullied and may have made it worse. But instead of hating and blaming myself, I listened to what my gut told me. I paid close attention to the vibes I was getting and maintained a strong sense of self while enduring the pain of not being accepted.

I decided from then on that I was going to maintain my inner strength. I would listen to my instincts when they told me that I had reason to fear certain people. Even better, I was no longer going to be ashamed of it. I began paying attention to how my body tensed up when I was around certain people and realized that it was only a cue for me to get away from those people.

And today, I trust myself enough to reject others’ definitions of who I am. In that, bullies are no longer able to have power over me, and I’m a much happier person for it.

And I want you to know that you too can get to that beautiful and peaceful place.

Stop Worrying About What Others Think

I urge targets of bullying to get comfortable with themselves, practice self-love, and to stop worrying about what others think of them.

When you finally stop caring about the opinions of others, bullies will eventually get tired of waiting for you to screw up, get bored, and go away.

Believe it or not, there are huge benefits to not giving a crap.

And here they are:

  1. You save your energy for better and more important things. Consistently seeking approval gets exhausting. You worry needlessly over people who aren’t even worth your time. You send the message that you need them more than they need you. And once you do that, you unwittingly tip the scales of power in their favor.

Indifferent.

Never, ever feel that you need anyone more than they need you. Put the value on yourself instead. And save your energy for only people who love you and who deserve you- your family and closest friends. They are the only people whose opinions should matter. Anyone outside of that circle of people shouldn’t be an issue.

  1. You take your power back. When you stop caring, what people think, you permit yourself to be yourself and to think independently. You stop apologizing for your flaws and learn to embrace them, knowing that we’re all human and that everyone has flaws. You take back control of your life and begin calling your own shots. You start doing the things you enjoy, and you also start looking down on and avoiding the people who make you feel bad about yourself. And believe it or not, those people will notice the difference in you. And they’ll disappear.

 Understand that anyone who you have to work to gain approval and acceptance from has no business in your life. Show this person the door. Fast! People like that, you can’t get rid of fast enough.

The more you know.

What It Means to Begin Seeing Your Worth

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

It means eliminating drama from your life.

It means not settling for less than you deserve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It means not being afraid to fail.

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

It means being comfortable in your skin.

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

Steps to Having Confidence When Others Bully You

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

1. Watch and Listen – Because bullies get talked about too. Believe me when I tell you. Bullies have enemies and lots of them. They have 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. They’ve figured out what worked and what didn’t, and they’ve had many 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 get more detailed in 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.

5. Keep company with and make friends 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 sing, 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!

Do all these things and you’ll be able to add a good balance of happiness in your life to minimize the negative.