What Bullies Want You to Believe & 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. 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!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

That Empowering Feeling of Saying “No!”

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Saying “no” can be difficult and at times, even downright scary. Like when bullies are trying to force you to do something you don’t want to do.  You know the feeling when they threaten either physical harm or worse social exclusion if you don’t do what they want you to do. I know the feeling because I’ve been there.

Nobody wants to get hurt. The natural human response is to submit and make the pain, torment, or the threat of, stop. In your mind, you’re thinking, “Alright, alright! I’ll do it if you’ll go away and leave me alone!” I get that because it’s what I did. I submitted to my bullies many times, too many times. I fell for the false promises that they would let me be and stop hurting me. But-

Saying yes to them meant saying no to myself.

They never made good on those promises. The harassment didn’t stop. If anything, it only got worse! Anytime I did say no, I got threatened and yes, even physically attacked.

Saying no to a bully is never an easy option. Bullies don’t take no for an answer, least of all from their targets! However, not only is it necessary, but it feels darn good sometimes!
If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve said the word “no” a lot more than I did. I wouldn’t have cared about the retaliation I might have faced. Unless one of my bullies had done something drastic, like pulled a gun, I’d have stood firm.

In no way would I advice anyone to risk their life. If someone pulls a gun on me, I will do what I must do to stay alive! I’ll do what he wants and tell him what he wants to hear. I’ll dance a jig wearing fluorescent orange and white polka-dotted bell bottoms if it keeps me from dying!

I’ll grant you, saying no is risky.

But if they only threaten me with the business end of their fists, I know I’m only going to come out of it with a shiner and a fat lip. In a situation like that, it’s much safer to say no. Those wounds will heal. But the psychological injury of wishing I hadn’t let myself down will last for years.

However, if you do choose physical safety first, I want you to know that you’re not wrong for that. In no way will I ever think less of you if you submit to your bullies’ demands. As I mentioned earlier, a natural reaction is to obey to keep from being harmed.

And the winner is...

Today, I say that little two-letter word a lot more and will continue to say it in the future. It doesn’t matter what people say, how they feel about it or what they do. I would much rather get the crap kicked out of me and still feel good about myself for taking a stand. Today, I’d rather take a beating than to cave under pressure.  I’m funny about letting myself down by doing something I didn’t want to do. To me, that’s worse than getting my butt kicked! But that’s just me.

Many times, I let myself down by saying yes.

My physical wounds healed. But knowing I let someone else force me to do something I neither wanted to nor agreed to, left a psychological injury that took a long time to recover from. I ended up asking myself, “Now, why didn’t I tell those creeps to take a flying leap off the highest cliff head first?” That feeling of powerlessness was worse than the physical pain I would have suffered.

So, permit yourself to say that tiny little word because it can be so empowering! You may indeed get your tail kicked, but at least you’ll feel good knowing you got hurt because you stood for something! Those psychological benefits will significantly outweigh the embarrassment of any beat down! Besides, you forced a bully to do something foolish and which will likely get him in trouble with an adult or the law! So, I ask you! Who’s the real winner here?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

3 Reasons Targets Fear Setting Boundaries

All too often, targets of bullying have a hard time setting boundaries. Many just keep their mouths shut, grin and bear it while others wipe their feet all over them. They suffer in silence and obscurity, which only further damages their mental health. If being used as a rug hurts so much, why do they allow it to continue?

There are several reasons:

1. They don’t have the confidence.

Many targets of bullying feel helpless and simply think it wouldn’t do them any good. So, they see no point in speaking up because they know that they’ll likely get bullied worse for it. It takes confidence to set boundaries, which, sadly, is something a few bullying targets have.

Also, as we know, bullies don’t respect boundaries because they don’t acknowledge them. In their minds, you’re a target and, to them, a target has no rights and deserves no human dignity. Bullies don’t see targets as human beings deserving of the same human rights as everyone else. That’s a fact.

2. They feel powerless to stop the abuse.

Again, setting boundaries is anything but easy- it’s one of the hardest things to do after people bully you for so long and brainwash you into thinking you’re to blame for their horrid behavior.

Many targets have been abused for so long that they’ve “gotten used to it.” In other words, bullies and their sycophants have conditioned the targets to take the abuse and allow them to ride roughshod over them. Many times, targets have been fooled into believing that setting boundaries is selfish.

This is why many targets cave in to the bullies’ demands. They feel it’s safer just to give them what they want and pacify them.

3. They fear the bullies will retaliate.

If you’re a target of bullying, you may badly want to tell your abusers to knock it off. You may want to tell them to get the hell away from you and stay away. You may even want to fight back, but you don’t know how they may react.

Another thing you don’t know is whether they’ll accept your boundaries, nor if they’ll want to accept them. You know that there’s a chance the bullies may act violently toward you for having the chutzpah to speak against their abuse.

Bullies despise even a hint of opposition because they see it as your challenging their power and perceived authority. And they’ll do whatever they can to tighten their grip if they suspect you’re defying them. And sometimes, things get dangerous, and you must do it scared.

But what they don’t realize is this. When you set boundaries, you enact your autonomy and speak from a place of self-care and self-love. You decide what you will and won’t tolerate. You take your power back.

However!

Before you’re able to do that, you must be clear of what you will not accept.

It takes uber-confidence to stand up to a bully. It would be best if you also gave up your old self-protective behaviors – those you tried in the past that failed, which are ways your bullies and a few other abusers in your life probably conditioned you to respond.

1. You must stop over-apologizing.

2. You must stop trying to explain yourself to anyone.

3. You must stop trying to figure out what made the bullies so hostile.

4. You must stop wondering what you did wrong.

5. You must stop wondering if something’s wrong with you.

6. You must stop asking, “why me.”

Before you can stand up to abuse, you must squash the mentality that compels you to do any of the above mentioned.

You must understand that all the why me, why this, why that, gets you nowhere. And all the wracking your brains wondering and trying to figure out what’s wrong also serves no purpose. It’s a complete waste of time and only makes you feel worse.

Instead, be real with yourself and conclude that your bullies are just a bunch of ignorant, moronic jackasses who lack character and live fake existences. You must also learn to trust yourself, which includes trusting your body and how it feels. Trust everything you see, hear, feel, sense, and the vibes you pick up from the people around you. And finally, trust your decisions.

It also takes dogged determination:

1. Even if your bullies rationalize and justify their behavior, you won’t take their crap.

2. Even if they blame you for their despicable behavior, you won’t take it.

3. Even if they tell you that you’re crazy or mentally imbalanced, you won’t take it.

4. Even if they call you a bitch, an asshole, or any other degrading name, you won’t take it.

5. Even if you made a mistake and your bullies call it out in an abusive manner, you won’t take it.

6. And, for the love of Pete! If the bullies commit physical violence, you definitely won’t take that! Get the police involved, file charges, and sue for any damages! Or, put up those dukes and throw down if you need to!

And it’ll take calling your bullies out every single time they cross the line.

You can say:

“Stop it!”

“Cut it out!”

“Knock it off!”

“Get away from me!”

“Get out!”

positive bullied victim says NO

You get power just by loudly giving either one of these commands. And who knows? I’m not making any guarantees here, but you might shock your bullies back to reality and make them leave you alone. There were times when I was pleasantly surprised, and it worked for me.

You do not have to walk on eggshells around anyone! Know that you do have a choice and a voice. You can choose not to accept the bullies’ behavior. You have more power than you know.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

The Value of a Wedding Band

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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?

Benefits Of Marriage: 23 Advantages That Prove Matrimony Is Bliss

https://www.thelist.com/41041/surprising-benefits-married/

Instead of Wondering Whether They’ll Like You, Start Wondering Whether You’ll Like Them

When you walk into a room, you shouldn’t wonder if the people there will like you; you should wonder whether you’ll like them. Whenever you get nervous upon meeting new people, the root of the nervousness is that you’re afraid they won’t like you. Don’t do that! Understand that when you worry about how others will perceive you, you’re taking value away from yourself and giving them too much of it! Not good!

Stop giving people you don’t know the worth they haven’t earned!

That’s right! When you meet new people, they (and you) are starting with a clean slate, and as far as you’re concerned, it’s up to them whether they fill that slate with negatives or positives. They must prove to you whether they’re people that you want in your life, not the other way around.

When you worry needlessly whether other people will like you, you give them all your power and leave none for yourself. And you’ll likely go out of your way to prove to them that you’re worthy of their time. Bullies will sniff that out, and they’ll take advantage of it.

Stop! It’s too much work, and it’s beneath you!

When I was a young teenager, I did the same because I didn’t know any better. And it cost me! Today, I’m the opposite. When I meet a new person, I wonder if I’m going to like them. If a person wants my friendship, trust, and my time, they have to earn them.

Be picky about who you allow in your life because you don’t want to let just anyone in! And you don’t want to let them in right away. Observe them first. Note their demeanor and how they carry themselves because it will tell you a lot.

Realize that when you make friends and associates, it’s because you chose them out of a vast number of people you’ve met.

Selectiveness adds value to a person. So, always value yourself.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

10 Things that Happen if You Don’t Love Yourself

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.

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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.

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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!

Reality Check: Not Everyone You Meet is Going to Like You

Like is subjective.

Not everyone is going to like you. Some may even hate you. But remember this! It’s their problem, not yours.

No matter how good, talented, famous, great, or small you are or who you are, it’s estimated that 10-35% of the people you know will not like you.

But always stay true to yourself, your beliefs, and your convictions. Use your God-given talents to the best of your ability. Be the best you can be and you will be happy.

Realize that everyone- EVERYONE, has someone who doesn’t like them. And if you don’t have enemies, then you’re doing something wrong.

If those who are exceptional, like celebrities, politicians, and athletes have people who dislike them or hate them, it should be proof that there’s nothing wrong with you.

So, feel good about yourself. Embrace everything about yourself. Appreciate the people who love you. Let love in and let yourself shine!

The Roots of Insecurity

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.

“You’re ugly!”

“You’re fat!”

“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.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Self-Care Means Looking Out for Number One

One thing I learned the hard way: If you don’t start looking out for number one, you’ll only continue playing second fiddle to others. Or worse, you might end up coming in last! I cannot stress this enough. It’s not selfish to make yourself numero uno, which means second only to God! Especially around bullies and people who don’t value you.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re a parent raising children, or you have an ailing mother who depends on you, it’s only natural that you would put your family ahead of yourself- that’s a given. We all have an obligation to our families.

It’s also a given (or should be) that you always put God ahead of everyone else, including yourself. Again, that’s completely understandable, and more than that, it’s expected.

But when you’re in a toxic environment, around people who want to use and take you for granted, understand that you are top priority and to hell with them if they don’t like it.

Understand that when you’re being bullied in school or the workplace, the only person you have is you! So, be good to yourself. How you do this is to set firm boundaries and say no- and do it early-on and often!

You have to look out for number one, because, if you don’t, no one else will. In fact, they just might use you as a rug.

I know many, many people who were conditioned to think that putting yourself first is selfish or greedy- that taking care of yourself only means that you’re self-centered. They were raised being told that self-centeredness is a huge turnoff to others and in some cases, that’s true.

However, I’ve also noticed that bullies and abusers also tell their targets and victims those things only to shame them into staying around, silently taking their abuse, and accepting their inferiority to them (the bully/abuser).

Know that there’s a difference in being self-centeredness and self-care.

Self-centeredness means that you think you’re better than everyone else and that you think that any rules don’t apply to you. It means that you’re entitled- that you think everyone else is inferior to you and they should bow down and let you treat them however you deem them worthy because they have no boundaries.

Self-centeredness is one of the roots of bullying and abuse!

Self-care, on the other hand, means that you know that you’re no better than anyone else, but you’re just as good as the next person. Self-care means that you know that you’re equal to the next person and that you don’t deserve to be bullied or abused. Therefore, you know your rights and you’re not afraid to stand up for those rights.

It means that you hold yourself in high regard, just as you hold your family, friends, and the people you love and that you treat yourself just as well as you would another human being deserving of dignity.

It’s funny how quick bullies are to call us selfish or self-centered if we dare to stand up to their abuse. In fact, it’s part of the bully’s (or abuser’s) playbook. Accuse the target of that which you are guilty of yourself. Right?

If you have bullies and abusers who abuse you, always know that if they accuse you of anything- anything at all, you can bet that they are doing it themselves.

So, continue to look out for number one, even if you must find a way to do it on the sly. Don’t you think you’re worth it? I do.

With knowledge comes power!