Ways Bullying Stunts a Target’s Social Development

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Although social intelligence won’t necessarily keep you from becoming a target of bullying, it will most certainly lessen your chances of it.

Social intelligence always has and always will supersede book-smarts. It will get you much further than college degrees, awards, and credentials alone. It is the reason high school dropouts have become millionaires. It is also why many college graduates have ended up flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

Social intelligence is THE most important quality you can have. It’s the highest paid skill and most important asset in the entire universe.

For many years- even back during the eighties, when I was in school, people thought that it was the one skill that could never be taught. It was thought that you were either born with it, or you weren’t and if you weren’t, it was something that you had to accept and deal with. Thankfully, we now know differently.

Sadly, if you’re a target of bullying, the abuse you suffer can batter your self-esteem into oblivion and, as a result, you withdraw from the rest of the world. When you’ve been bullied for so long, you because deathly afraid of other people and come to believe that you’re inferior to everyone else- afraid to talk, afraid to mix and mingle, afraid of any social situations.

You retreat into yourself and live inside your own head. You create a fantasy world, where you feel safe, wanted, and loved- a world of imaginary people who accept you. As a result, you shut out the “real world” and live in this fantasy world- this safe haven you’ve created.

This is not good because, when this happens, you stop watching people and the world around you and you stop learning the social graces and nuances that you need to know in order to create a good life for yourself and nurture relationships. Before you know it, you become socially awkward- you become too quiet, shy, and reserved.

You look right through people instead of smiling and saying hello. You become sullen and spaced out instead of happy, upbeat, and engaging. You feel numb instead of the emotions you should feel at different times.

In short, it stunts your social development!

This is why it’s so important that you make a conscious effort to save your self-esteem. You do this by keeping your heart open, meeting new people and making friends- created positive interactions and experiences outside the bullying environment and away from your bullies (or anyone else who knows you from the toxic bullying environment. Do what you must do to keep your self-esteem intact and continue to grow your social intelligence.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

0 thoughts on “Ways Bullying Stunts a Target’s Social Development

  1. katiemiafrederick says:

    True Dear
    Cherie Social
    Intelligence Arises

    Most From

    Across The
    Life Span Walking
    Talking Dancing

    Singing in


    And Rising
    Again To Understand

    Smiles, Tears, Fears

    And The
    Never Ending

    Along With
    All The Never
    Ending Colors

    Of Heaven on
    Earth Some



    Yet That

    Is Only


    The Surface of

    All Of What Social
    Empathic Artistic
    S P i R i T u A L




    The Mechanical
    Cognition One May
    Be Fed Each Day in

    To Be
    A Well
    Oiled COG
    In The Machine
    Society Makes

    To Discount
    The Other


    Of Existence

    Is To Fall to Fall



    Being Human
    Inhaling Peace

    Love Naked
    Complete Whole


    The Water
    Its Place As
    Ocean And Waves 🌊🎁

  2. Matt The Happy Human says:

    Memories of bullying from my childhood still haunt me.

    That is my problem, and is an ongoing thing that I am working on.

    It is in the past and by living here, in the present, I know that I am safe, secure in my thoughts, and capable of dealing with whatever life throws at me.

    Thanks for the article, insight and wisdom.

    – Matt The Happy Human 🙂

    • cheriewhite says:

      You’re most welcome, Matt. And my heart goes out to you for what you endured. Know that you never deserved that kind of treatment. And know that their atrocious behavior said everything about their lack of character and was no reflection on you. 🤗

  3. poetthatlikesvellum says:

    I very much survived by building those fantasies; as my counselor says that was part of my defense strategy to survive the trauma. A string of problems arise. I don’t think some extortionists and power hungry individuals know how to survive other than doing others harm: that’s the other problem in social development too, individuals that think such bullying tactics will lead to more success. Also there is nothing wrong with play, and when your trust system is so tampered with what else are you suppose to do, other than entertain yourself, create stories, etc? We can talk about how damaging creating fantasies can set poor expectations in social interactions, but why do we have to force such socialization, and isn’t it okay to examine our social interactions and don’t we owe it to ourselves to be respected, and not taken advantage of? What’s wrong with play and imagination?

    • cheriewhite says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with play and imagination it’s what helped me survive. However, I lived in a fantasy world to the extent that I didn’t pay attention and observe the people or goings on around me, therefore, it left me in a vulnerable place. Had I saved my play and imagination for only when I was home safe, it might have saved me a ton of trouble. There’s nothing wrong with being imaginative, but to live in a fantasy world in a dangerous environment (like my school) was dangerous. If I only knew then what I knew now.

  4. Pursuit of Great says:

    Great article! You’re right about social intelligence’s importance. It’s what pulls all your other skills together so you can make use of them in the real world. That’s why I read from How to Win Friends and Influence People for a few minutes every day. Some of the most important skills we can have!
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • cheriewhite says:

      My heart goes out to your daughter. I’m so sorry she was bullied. This numbness and tuning out is a survival and defense mechanism. It’s what happens when the bullying gets so severe it’s overwhelming. Thank you so much for speaking out about your daughter. Please tell her that none of it was any reflection on her and that none of it was her fault. Blessings! <3

  5. thedataresource says:

    I agree with all of this. I will add one caveat if I may, and I know it may be a little controversial. Bullying is terrible, and there is no place for it, let’s get that straight right off, but in counterpoint, and simply stating here as a discussion point, I have found that getting bullied when I was younger helped me in a couple of ways.
    1. It helped my emotional intelligence, knowing that I never wanted to be the sort of person that the person bullying me was. I wanted to make sure I was extra nice to everyone around me.
    2. It taught me some humility.
    3. While I couldn’t see it at the time, and even now there will be some controversy around this, it did make me emotionally stronger as an adult, and able to identify and quickly deal with overbearing people in a way that I would not have learned had I not been a victim of bullying.
    I am not justifying bulling in any way shape or form. People deal with things differently, I am just stating my experience from it. Bullying is an absolutely unacceptable way for a person to behave, but also I am not 100% sure I would have gained the humility and respect for people and the ability to stand up for myself now as an adult, had that not occurred in my life.

    • cheriewhite says:

      I totally agree. 💯 Although bullying is horrible to go through. There are takeaways. I had the same lessons as you from bullying. But one more I want to mention. It also sharpened my lie detector. Because I was bullied, I can now spot a fake a mile away. Thank you so much for your thoughts! 🕊

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