Once a person suffers bullying for so long, changes in the brain occur- changes that aren’t good. Here are these changes:
1. The target becomes exhausted and loses the will to fight back. Being bullied is extremely tiring. Bullies know this and deliberately wear their victims down to take the fight out of them and wrest control over their lives.
Although at first, the target may defend themselves and fiercely assert their rights to human dignity and respect, most bullies don’t recognize any human rights but only see self-defense and protection as an affront to their power. They then only double down- intensify the hatred until they mentally and physically exhaust their target.
The target finally loses their will to fight back and acquiesces because he’s just worn slap out and no longer has the strength to fight anymore.
2. He loses the ability to recognize mistreatment. When we’re used to being treated well, we can more clearly see poor treatment and know the difference when it happens. But after so long of enduring bullying, the lines get blurred, and our eyes lose the ability to see aggression so clearly- especially if the hostility we face is subtle. We finally reach a point where we don’t recognize the bullying at all!
3. The target becomes conditioned to accept bad behavior from others. After so long, you come to believe what bullies tell you- that you’re a terrible person and that you somehow deserve to be treated shabbily.
These damaging self-beliefs happen after the bullies, their followers, and bystanders have repeatedly prevented you from defending and taking care of yourself. They have, for so long, drummed into your head that you are worthless, useless, evil, mentally unstable- take your pick. They repeat the same lies over and over until they force you to believe it too.
4. The target begins to punish himself subconsciously. The victim does this by engaging in risky or self-destructive behaviors. He may hang with the wrong people and befriend those who only tolerate them. Targeted girls may participate in risky sexual behavior or having relationships with abusive partners.
Understand that we must be vigilant to take care of our mental health and self-esteem if we want to avoid these results in the future. Make sure you have a friend outside of the bullying environment that you can talk to and that your family is supportive. Do things you enjoy and keep company with positive and uplifting people any time you’re away from the bullies.
Your goal is to balance the bullying you suffer by adding healthy and positive relationships and experiences outside the bullying environment. This balance will soften the blows to your self-esteem and provide a buffer to your bullies’ attacks.
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, 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 proves 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.
I love being me – positive affirmation – handwriting on napkin with a cup of coffee
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 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!
I’ve never been one to follow blindly. Never been one to conform without knowing what motives any authority figure had behind telling me to do so. I’m one to question everything. Always have been. And I’ve always done critical thinking and plenty of reading and research. That’s just me.
Through the years, this has gotten me into a lot of trouble. I’ve taken a lot of heat and lost many friends (or people I thought who were friends) for it. And it’s probably why I was bullied all those years in school.
But that’s okay. In fact, I embrace all of it!
I’d rather stand for something than fall for anything people feed me. I’m true to my beliefs and convictions and I’m not afraid of losing a few people over it. And I’m proud of that.
I’m not a follower.
No one ever said being a free-thinking person was easy and I don’t expect it to be.
And when people get pissed and withdraw friendship over my choice to question a narrative, I only see it as a weeding out of fake friends and people who aren’t meant to be in my circle.
To know who your real friends are, you must be your true authentic self, question status quos, trends, and popular narratives, then call BS when you see or hear it.
And I’m willing to accept it and everything that comes with it.
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.
Hit the road concept, road – 3D rendering
Realize that the bullies are the self-centered ones, in expecting you to go on being their doormat. No one has the right to expect you to put up with something they wouldn’t tolerate if it were happening to them.
To expect any differently from another person than what they’d do shows a complete lack of respect for people other than themselves and is sheer arrogance, self-entitlement, and stupidity.
There’s a name for this- double-standard!
Remember that we teach others how to treat us. And how we teach them to treat us is by how well we treat ourselves- by the boundaries we set, our ability to say “no,” and whether we continue to allow them to be in our lives.
Many targets of bullying get into the habit of comparing themselves to others. For example, a bullied kid sitting in the lunchroom at school may look a few tables over and see the very kids who bully him surrounded by friends, yucking it up and having a good time. They seem to be enjoying friendships while the bullied kid is left in the cold. And watching causes an ache in the poor kid’s chest. He thinks to himself:
“I wish I were like him, because if I were, I’d have friends too. I hate him because he’s a creep and doesn’t deserve to be so lucky! Why him? I deserve it more than he does? It’s not fair!
But when is life ever fair?
Here’s another example:
A coworker at a company sees another coworker who hasn’t put in as much time getting a promotion. He immediately gets angry and thinks that the only way the other guy must’ve gotten that promotion is by sucking up to the boss. He then begins to wish the other coworker all kinds of bad luck.
Comparing yourself to others is a real self-esteem killer. But sadly, people do it all the time. When you compare your life to someone else’s, it only breeds all kinds of toxic emotions, two of which are anger and jealousy.
Understand that you cannot judge a person’s outward appearance or the appearances they keep up and accurately judge what their life is like. Because people are notorious for showing only the best parts of their lives and keeping the less-than-desirable parts hidden.
Also realize that some people, bullies especially, making it a point to flash the positive aspects of their lives to those around them for the sole purpose of provoking envy. Because knowing that others are jealous of them is a huge boost to their egos, giving them a sense of power and that they’re better. Realize that the appearances these people keep up are only a show.
An example of this would be:
You see someone decked out in fancy clothes and drives a hot sports car. They have a six-bedroom house in the ritzy part of town. But! Although they look like they’re rolling in money, they’re more than likely only living beyond their means. Chances are that they’re in debt up to their eyeballs and feeling terrified inside because they know that if the slightest setback happens, they’ll lose it all!
Here are more examples:
You see a seemingly happy couple in a shopping mall and you’re still single. They look so happy and so in love, and they have friends around them. But you don’t know what goes on in their house. The husband might be abusing his wife behind closed doors (or vise versa) and they’re only putting on airs. They might be on the brink of divorce.
Portrait of happy teenage guy surrounded by pretty girls
You may look on social media and see pictures of one of your someone you know lying on the beach in the tropics. But what you don’t know is that they had to clean out their savings just to take that trip.
Here’s my point. Never judge anyone who seems a little luckier than you, because, in private, they could be fighting battles you know nothing about.
They may have a mother at home dying of cancer, a father who went off to war and never came back, or be buried in legal issues.
And many times, you feel so content with your life until you spot these people. All of a sudden, you’re feeling less than. This should be a good indicator as to how useless envy and self-comparison really is.
How you fight this is to take your attention off these people and count your blessings. Because although they may be luckier than you in one aspect, you are most likely better off than them in other ways. Think about it.
Understand that anytime you feel jealous of another person, it only means that deep inside, you have a deep-seated spirit of lack and failure and you want to take the other person’s good fortune away from them and keep it for yourself.
It’s a sign that you don’t feel that you can ever reach those goals yourself. Stop it! Because if they can, you can too.
Stop comparing yourself to others because it’s a waste of time and energy. It also drains you of confidence.
Know that you are enough and your life is enough. And you never know what the future holds. You too may someday buy your dream home, find a loving partner, or get the opportunity to go on a tropical getaway.
For now, be happy for those who are presently getting those opportunities. Instead of provoking jealousy in you, these people should inspire you and give you hope for the future.
I won’t kid you. Being alone can sometimes make a person vulnerable. However, being surrounded by negative people makes you just as vulnerable if not more so. Therefore, being alone can be much better than keeping company with spiteful people who only bring you down.
As difficult as it may be, sometimes you must weed out all these ungrateful souls who don’t see your worth to make room for more positive, caring and loving people to come in.
Get rid of anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself and only keep company with those who love and respect you. Keep the people in your life who value your opinions, even when those opinions are strong.
If someone is not treating you like you deserve to be treated, never be afraid to let them go, even if it seems that they’re your only options at the moment.
Remember that we must do things that don’t feel comfortable and that are downright scary for any positive change to happen.
If you don’t love yourself, who will? And how can you love anyone else if you don’t first love yourself?
These are valid questions.
When someone doesn’t love themselves, we can tell. We can see it in their demeanor, their face and their posture. We can hear it in their tone of voice and the way they talk. Why do you think these people attract users and abusers to them? Why do you think they end up with people who mistreat and control them?
Here’s what happens when you don’t love yourself:
1. You’re never able to properly love anyone else. You will be codependent- always searching to get love from another source- a source outside yourself, instead of letting love come from within. When you finally find someone who does love you, you won’t love them the way they need to be loved. Instead, you’ll only smother your partner to death because you’ll always have to be right there under the person’s nose.
Also, you’ll be suspicious of others, wondering if your partner’s going to leave you, wondering if they’re cheating, etc You’ll wonder if your friends really like you or if they’re only pretending to. In essence, you’ll end up making a new partner or friend pay for something someone else did in the past and it’s not fair. Being in constant worry and suspicion is no way to live!
2. You rely too much on others to make you feel loved and wanted and be afraid of being alone. You will always believe that to be happy, you must always be one half of a couple. But understand that if you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship either.
3. You move too quickly into a relationship. Once you are in a relationship, you’ll love your partner more than they deserve and before they’d had time to earn that love Also, you’re likely to scare the other person away. Realize that love needs time to grow.
4. You give away your power. When you give away your power, you automatically put yourself at the mercy of someone else. And believe me, they take full advantage. You put your own needs on the back burner and always put your partner before yourself, doing all the giving in the relationship in exchange for your partner’s love. You’ll even do things you really don’t want to do just to satisfy the other person.
You’ll stop making your own decisions and allow someone else to choose for you. You’ll also agree to every single thing he or she says. When you do this, you leave nothing for yourself. After a while, the feeling of unfairness will slowly build. Soon, you will become resentful after so long of not getting anything in return.
Never give another person that kind of power! You must have your own mind and be your own person.
5. Because you can never control how another person acts nor how they feel about you. What happens when your partner gets tired of you and decides he/she no longer wants to be with you? It will devastate you. It’s only natural that the end of any friendship or relationship is painful. But it should never be crushing. It should never feel like the end of the world.
6. You’ll be on an endless search for love and friendship. You’ll spend your whole life searching for love. That in itself is not only off-putting to others, but it’s also exhausting to you. You’ll waste your time, hopping from relationship to relationship. When one partner gets bored with you and leaves for someone who challenges them, you’ll be on yet another search for someone else to take their place. And this cycle will only continue to repeat itself. Then before long, you’ll have a string of broken relationships behind you. Not good!
7. You’ll settle for just anyone. And you’ll get even less than what you settled for. No one should settle. Ever! If the person isn’t the person you want or is less than what you thought they were, you’ll be much happier if you move on to something you really want. Always be selective of the friends and partners you choose and of the company you keep.
8. You attract takers instead of givers. Predatory people have a keen eye for those who are desperate to be loved and accepted. And they’ll sniff you from a mile away. These people will be more than happy to befriend or date you just to get what they want from you. Once they’ve used you long enough and bleed you dry of resources and dignity, they’ll only drop you and move on to the next poor sucker. When you stop being afraid of aloneness, you magically begin to repel predators and attract better people.
9. You’ll repel the people who either do or would otherwise love and accept you. If by chance you happen to find someone who truly loves you, you won’t be able to relax and enjoy it. You’ll be so scared of losing the person that you’ll be too clingy and likely run them off because of your incessant neediness.
Understand that when you do this, you automatically make them responsible for your happiness and it’s not fair. Being held responsible for another person’s happiness is a heavy load for anyone to carry! You’ll only zap the other person’s energy as you expect them to fill a void that can’t be filled by anyone but you and God. Realize that only you are responsible for your happiness. No one else.
10. You stay in a toxic relationship and put up with shabby treatment and abuse just to keep from being alone. You’ll likely end of with an abuser who’ll physically or mentally abuse you. Love and friendship shouldn’t be painful.
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!