Confidence is Everything!

Confidence is the most important characteristic you can ever have, not only during school to ward off bullies, but all through life. It does not matter how smart you are or how high your grades are.

You can have five PhDs and be the smartest person on the face of the earth. But if you don’t have confidence, you will not be able to effectively communicate nor interact with people. Your social/people skills will be lacking and you won’t get anywhere in life.

Whether you choose to believe this, the reality is that other people really do have control over whether we succeed or fail in life. Other people are the gatekeepers to our success and if you think otherwise, you are only fooling yourself.

I’ll give you a few examples: You can’t get that high position you want without being selected for the job by another person- the interviewer, who could be the owner of the company, an HR manager, or supervisor.

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Even during school, although the vast majority of teachers and professors are honest and grade students fairly regardless of how they may feel about the individual, it’s still not unheard of for a student to receive a failing grade solely because the instructor didn’t like them. It does happen, though not often.

Confidence= great people skills= charm= great friends and connections= success!!! Great people skills will always trump smarts, good grades, high marks, and college degrees! Always!

Confidence, or lack thereof, is something that people notice right away when they meet you for the first time. When you walk into a job interview and meet your interviewer, he is going to notice right away whether you are confident in yourself and if you’re not, chances are very unlikely that you will get hired for that esteemed position that you have been coveting. The reason for this is that if you’re not confident in yourself, how then can you expect others to be confident in you?

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Make no mistake about it. Confidence is the number one ingredient in all areas of your life. It’s the first trait that potential employers look for and not only potential employers but also prospective associates, prospective customers, friends, and dates. Whether or not you are confident is something that everyone looks at unless they are so low on confidence themselves that they can’t afford to be the least bit selective.

This is why you must never let a bully take away your confidence. If another person has already taken it away, you must fight like crazy to get it back. You do this by surrounding yourself with people who love you and lift you up, doing the things you enjoy and are good at, showing off your talents, taking care of yourself, and taking pride in yourself and in your appearance. Only then will you begin to see your own worth.

If a person steals your confidence, they also steal your potential for success and happy life. In short, they steal your future. Bullies are confidence thieves! Never surrender your confidence to anyone! This brings me back to Ralph Waldo Emerson. He said it best when he made this quote:

“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”

How right he was!

Always Love Yourself

When you are a target of bullying, loving yourself can be very difficult when it seems that the only thing you hear from others is negativity. Constantly being bombarded with ugly names, cruel taunts, and attacks over a long period of time can very easily have a cumulative and devastating effect on your self-esteem. If you aren’t careful, you too will begin to believe the cruel falsehoods that mean-spirited others tell you.

However, no matter how viciously others may treat you, you must do everything possible to hold on to self-love! Even if you have to look at yourself in the mirror every day and make positive affirmations.

“I AM an awesome person.”
“I AM beautiful.”
“I AM worthy of being loved.”

You must maintain your self-esteem and never let anyone brainwash you into thinking that you are less than.

You must love and respect yourself before anyone else can love and respect you. You must take care of yourself. You must command respect and love from others, including a few family members you love dearly, and be willing to make some tough decisions to receive that love and respect.

Sometimes, you have to walk away, knowing full well that there is always a chance that the person may never see your worth. And this means coming to a place where you no longer care even the slightest about the outcome.

However, there is a strong chance that your value will go up in that person’s eyes, and they will eventually see your worth and treat you better than you ever thought possible. It may not happen overnight. In fact, it may take up to several years, but it can happen.

If, by chance, it does not happen, realize that you did not turn your back on the person because you did not love them, but only because they did not love you enough to treat you with the love and respect that you know in your heart of hearts that you deserve.

You must love yourself, or nobody will love you. Never look outside of yourself for love and validation. Never depend on others for assurance of your value. Let love come from within your heart!

This is Why You Absolutely Must 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 a person doesn’t love themselves, we can tell. We can see it in his demeanor, his face, and his 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 love anyone else properly. 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 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 you fear 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’ll 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 smell 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 begin to repel predators and attract better people.

9. You’ll repel the people who 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 constant neediness.

Understand that when you do this, you automatically make them responsible for your happiness, and it’s not fair. Being held accountable 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 up 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 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 butt 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 worst 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! And never put your happiness in someone else’s hands! Ever!

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 playing last fiddle! I cannot stress this enough. It’s not selfish to make yourself numero uno! 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, taking their abuse silently, 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 or 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!

Be Careful What You Put Up With. Bullying Always Escalates. ALWAYS!

It’s best to begin standing up for yourself in the early stages or you’ll come across as a doormat to others and teach them how to treat you based on what they see. Sadly, many targets of bullying do not realize this until the bullying gets so bad and so out of control that their lives are in danger. By then, it’s usually too late to change anything and the only option left is for target to remove him/herself from the environment.

Understand that bullying always escalates and the more you ignore it, deny it, and tolerate it, the more emboldened, brazen, and full of themselves the bullies become until they become drunk on their own power. That’s when the abuse will get out of control and you’re most likely to end of getting severely hurt or worse.

Bullying is like a drug. As we know, it takes one smoke, one drink, or one snort or two for a person to become hooked and once he/she gets that first high, they always want more. It’s the same with bullying. All it takes is one backhanded compliment, one offhand comment, or one insult or two to get the target to react and give the bullies that first rush- that first power high, then they always come back for more.

Also, drug addicts slowly build a tolerance to the drug, and, as time goes on, they need a bigger dose, then an even bigger dose to catch that high. First, they need one milligram, then two, then four, then eight, and so on! It’s no different with bullies. With time they escalate the bullying, then escalate it further to keep getting that rush of power.

First, they start with offhand comments, backhanded compliments, and petty insults. Also, they may smear you to others and give you the silent treatment. When these lose their thrill, the insults become more blatant and hurtful, escalating to yelling, cursing, and severe name-calling. When that loses its luster, the bullying progresses to borderline physical abuse- accidentally on purpose running into the target in the hall, light shoves, and tripping.

When bullies can no longer get their power rush from light physical bullying, they take it up, yet, another notch and progress to more obvious physical beatings- slapping, punching, choking, kicking, etc. Next, they use weapons like textbooks, slamming heads against lockers or the sides of vehicles, then sticks, bottles, pipes…and so on.

boundaries, respect yourself

boundaries, respect yourself

So, understand that bullying and abuse always- always…escalates! In other words, it always gets worse and more severe. It also becomes more frequent!

I’ve said it before, bullying is best countered and quashed in the earliest stages of it. The best time to stand up for yourself is during the “testing phrase”- when bullies are testing you to see what how you will react and what you’ll allow them to get away with.

Treat yourself better by not allowing others to abuse you, because how you treat yourself shows in how you allow others to treat you. Remember that you deserve better and you don’t have to put up with abuse from anyone.

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!

Affirmations That Help Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem

I love being me – positive affirmation – handwriting on napkin with a cup of coffee

Affirmations That Help Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem

NOTE: Parts of this blog post references the following:

(“Stopping Wife Abuse,” Jennifer Baker Flaming, 1979, p.64)

(“The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” Patricia Evans, 2010, p.149)

1.I am not to blame for being bullied.

2. I am not the cause of someone else’s abhorrent behavior.

3. I deserve to be free from bullying and abuse.

4. It is okay for me to say “no” to what I don’t like nor want.

5. I do not have to take it.

6. I am important.

7. I am worthwhile.

8. I deserve to be treated with respect.

9. I have the power to create a good life for myself.

10. It’s okay for me to take care of myself.

11. Only I can decide what’s best for me.

12. I’m not alone. I have people who love me.

13. I am worth fighting for.

14. I deserve to be safe.

15. I deserve to be happy.

16. I am beautiful.

17. I am smart.

18. I am a good person.

19. I can live my life the way I want and on my terms.

20. I am loved.

21. It’s okay to love myself.

22. It’s okay to celebrate myself.

23. It’s okay for me to make mistakes.

24. It’s okay to put myself first.

25. It’s okay to protect and defend myself.

26. It’s okay to ask for help.

27. My life matters.

28. I matter.

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.

Only for Purposes of Self-Preservation

“I could never be that desperate and you could never be that lucky.”

That was my comeback to a group of male bullies after one called out to me as I walked past them, “Hey! My buddy says he’s madly in love with you!” Being in the seventh grade and the smartass that I was, I made sure not to miss a chance to deliver a snappy and scathing one-liner to someone acting like a total arse.

I knew that this was his cowardly way of instigating a conflict between me and his buddy, then standing back, at a safe distance to watch. It was also his way of baiting his buddy into insulting me in front of everyone and getting his kicks from my humiliation. Only it backfired in his face.

Those that heard it either shouted, “BURN!” and laughed at the boys, or scowled at me and reminded me of how I’d “stooped just as low as them”, by countering with such a scathing return-fire.

Why am I telling you this story, you may wonder? It’s to make a point.

And my point is that sometimes, you have to go just as low as the bullies- you must not be afraid to get down and dirty and you mustn’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

Understand that with bullies, sometimes there’s no being polite and no being the bigger person. There’s no such thing as “playing fair” nor being nice about it.

Bullies don’t comprehend the meaning of class or couth. They don’t understand morals and scruples. They have no concept of decency and respectability. The only language bullies understand is a language that is cheap, tacky, and unsavory.

Bullies (and anyone who is even remotely impressed by them) are a dime a dozen. They really are. And sometimes you must speak in the only language they understand before they’ll get the message and back the hell off!

I understand your discomfort with this. It sucks when you must get down and wallow in the bullies’ foulness and filth with them. But for purposes of self-preservation, sometimes there’s no other choice but to lower your own moral standards.

The good news is that you don’t have to stay in the mud but only reserve the nastiness for emergencies like the one in the above story.