After being bullied for so long, targets can develop social anxiety. They withdraw from people because they fear future attacks. The target’s spirit has been beaten down and broken and the person has been abused to the point of losing faith in humanity. Also, they’re reprogrammed to believe the bullies’ lies that they aren’t worthy of love and friendship. They are under the presumption that it’s much safer not to engage in any social interaction.
But what the target doesn’t realize is, that in closing himself off from the rest of the world, he unknowingly limits himself in all aspects of life.
Humans were created to socialize and to have relationships. When targets create this invisible fortress around them, it doesn’t ensure their safety but only brings about more bullying. Bullies get their power from our fear. They are like ferocious animals who can smell fear from a mile away and believe me. They take full advantage.
Moreover, targets miss out on relationships that, otherwise, could be and would be fulfilling and rewarding. They unwittingly forego opportunities for friendship, dating, even good jobs that can produce personal success and financial well-being. Because if a person doesn’t believe in themselves, no one else will- that includes potential friends, dates, and company managers and supervisors. No one wants to be friends with, date, or hire someone who isn’t sure of himself unless they have low self-esteem themselves.
People recognize, if only subconsciously, social anxiety when they see it and not only through the more obvious signs, such as quietness, avoidance, trembling, blushing, stuttering or sweaty palms.
Social anxiety can also be more covert, showing itself in less obvious ways:
1.Excessive laughing and giggling
2. Appearing normal on the outside but nervous and shaky on the inside
3. Excessive humor and being overly funny or no sense of humor at all
4. Excessive sarcasm/having a smart-alicky attitude
5. Being overly friendly/too nice
6. Shutting down/freezing up- unable to talk or move
8. Fidgeting/can’t sit still
9. Lack of or too much eye contact
10. Poor posture/looking down all the time
11. Having a hard time keeping up with a conversation
12. Talking too loudly, too fast, too soft, too slow, or not at all
14. Excessive use of foul language
16. Wearing attire that is provocative or super-revealing
17. A sudden and drastic change of style.
The difficult thing is that those covert signs don’t always mean that the person has social anxiety. Many people just have their own sense of style or they may be naturally introverted. They may also have a boisterous personality. If you do not know the person or aren’t close to them, it’s hard to tell.
But one thing that is noticeable is if the person never exhibited this kind of behavior or look before and suddenly, or within a short amount of time transitions into it. And these kinds of changes can only be noticeable to those who are close to the person or have been around the person for years.
Therefore, if you know a person who is showing these signs, instead of pointing a finger and judging them cruelly, ask questions and find out why. You may not realize that person could be a target of bullying or another form of abuse.
And if you are a target of bullying and struggling with social anxiety, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in that invisible prison forever.
Bullies do not deserve value and you shouldn’t place any worth to their opinions of you. Understand that you are enough and that your bullies haven’t earned your respect nor your attention.
Only value the opinions or thoughts of the people who love you and whose opinions deserve your consideration, attention, and acknowledgement.
Start loving yourself and practicing self-care. Relax and be yourself. Embrace your flaws and quirks because we all have them whether we admit it or not. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. I promise you that you’ll be much happier and have more peace of mind when you do.
With knowledge comes empowerment!
0 thoughts on “Targets of Bullying and Social Anxiety”
My daughter was bullied all through middle school. Your articles are spot on.
Thank you so much, Michelle. My heart goes out to your daughter. How is she doing now? I hope she’s doing much better, has a circle of friends, and feels great about herself now. <3
She’s doing a little better. I’m a little nervous for her to back to in person school next year.
I completely understand. As a mother myself, I would be too. My son went through a stint of bullying and when I found out about it, I went to the school and talked with the principal. Needless to say, she didn’t impress me much. She continued to put the blame on Aaron, of course. We eventually moved him to another school and it was a complete 180! He did so much better and I’m glad I saw the signs and convinced his dad that changing schools would be good for him.
We had the same issues in middle school. Praying high school is better for her. Sorry your son had to go through that as well. It’s so hard to see our kids hurting.
Very hard, especially when you’ve been through it yourself and know how it feels.
For sure. I can empathize.
This is such an important post. Great job and so true. My son and I are trting to rebuild after constant bullying by my husband. He has stopped- I stopped him when I realized it though he still tries with little digs (I have to remain diligent). What you said is precisely accurate. Please keep up the great work!😀❤
Thank you so much, Tonya. I’m so glad this is helping. My heart goes out to you. It’s one thing to be bullied at school or work by classmates and colleagues, but it’s so much worse when it’s someone you love and who’s supposed to love you. You and your son are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you! Means so much. Difficult at times but better and better all the time as I am learning more from you and am being proactive. Prayers mean so much!!! God is my strength and rock. Keep up the truth!!😀❤
You’re so welcome sweetie! ❤
This was me!
I’m so sorry you went through so much evil, Michael. That was me too. Were you extremely quiet?
Yes, very quiet. With my Asperger’s as well, I was afraid that anything I said would be wrong.
I didn’t blame you. What did your bullies and teachers say about your quietness?
Most teachers were okay with it, except sometimes I would get talked to about lack of participation in class. As for the bullies, my experience of that hell is what made me so quiet. I kept my head down and mouth shut all throughout high school and no one really bothered me.
This is such a powerful post because it described me when I was in middle school. You’ve managed to put it all into words that make sense and even a convenient list. Great job, I could learn from your style of writing for my blog 👍
Thank you so much, Thaaer. This means a lot. 🙂
Keep writing the way you do! I’m enjoying and learning from your posts.
I sure will. ☺
Amazing article, You have hit the nail on the head.
Thank you. 😊
Hi Cherie, I am over 50 and never married. I wonder if being bullied in high school and my brother affected my ability to find a suitable husband. I’m still trying to find the right man and still haven’t given up hope that I will marry before I turn 60. I sometimes feel like a failure as a woman because I’m still unmarried at over 50
My heart hurts for you, Kathy. Sadly, being bullied was certainly a factor. Social anxiety is so destructive, sweetie, and it does have devastating consequences. I can assure you that you’re not a failure as a woman and as long as you’re alive and breathing there’s always hope. Sending you lots of love. ❤🙏
Thanks for your like of my post, “Revelation Chapter 7 – Jews And Gentiles Saved During The Tribulation;” you are very kind.
It was my pleasure! Thank you for writing it. 🙂
Thank you very much, for such kind words.
I’m a person who suffered bullying and is still going through social anxiety. Whenever I think about this, tears starts to flow from my eyes.. thank you for sharing this post..
You’re most welcome. I’m so sorry you were treated so badly. I feel your pain because I was severely bullied in school for six long years. Because I suffered from social anxiety as well. Know that you never deserve to be treated so badly and there is nothing wrong with you. Your bullies bad behavior was saying and revealing their own mental issues and illnesses.
Thank you for your kind words. I’m going through hard times right now, but I believe that it will soon be over. Continue to encourage and motivate many.
I sure will. Keep the faith and continue to hold your head high. Your blessings are coming. 🙏🙏🙏
Yes I will. Thank you once again..
My pleasure. ❤