Conditioning: 5 Signs You’re Being Conditioned

Al’Want to know the signs of conditioning so that you can protect yourself from it? These are the surefire signs to be aware of.

conditioning

Bullies and abusers have ways of conditioning you without you ever being aware that they’re doing it. In most cases you won’t notice it until it has totally changed you and ruined your life. As someone who has been there and overcome it, I’m giving you the signs you must know to stay safe.

You are going to learn about all the early signs of conditioning so that bullies can no longer play these mind games with you.

After learning about the signs of conditioning, you will be prepared and no longer easy to manipulate.

This post is all about the signs of conditioning that every victim and target of bullying should have knowledge of.

conditioning

What is it? In simplest terms, conditioning happens when others brainwash and train you to believe or accept something you wouldn’t normally believe nor accept. Therefore, unscrupulous people will psychologically condition you to believe many falsehoods and accept all kinds of abuse.

This is how people become brainwashed and extreme evil and terrible abuses get normalized.

Therefore, when you’re a target of bullying, bullies will very deceitfully try to condition you to roll over and take their abuse. Also, they will slyly and slowly, over time, “Pavlov” you to believe any lie they say until finally, they convince you to turn on yourself.

Realize that conditioning doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow, incremental, bit-by-tiny-bit process that can also be soft and subtle.

In other words, conditioning starts out small and is barely recognizable when it first begins.  It is at this stage when you must know how to recognize it because, the longer it goes on and the bigger the abuses get, the harder it is to defend yourself against it and put a stop to it.

he one thing that will help you to recognize it is that your body will feel it and you’ll sense it in the vibes the people you’re dealing with put out. Pay attention.

So, how do you know your bullies are conditioning you?

Here are the signs:

5 Signs You’re being Conditioned:

You’ll know by the feelings you have.

1. You begin Feeling guilty for defending yourself, speaking out about the bullying you suffer, and reporting the bullying to authority

This most commonly occurs with empaths. However, if you’re an empath and you aren’t careful, you will likely be used and abused by narcissists, bullies, and abusers.

Remember that sometimes you must put your needs first. Also, there will be times when you will need to stand up for yourself.

You have a right not to be abused and you are just as good as the next person. You wouldn’t inflict pain on anyone else and you should never allow others to inflict pain on you either.

Self-care is never selfish. It’s essential.

Therefore, continue to stand up yourself. Don’t stop taking care of yourself. Because, if you don’t,  no one else will either. Remember that you aren’t responsible for their feelings.

In a situation of bullying, all you have is you and your greatest weapon is your voice. Use it! Don’t lose it!

2. Another sign of conditioning is Feeling that the bullying you suffer is all your fault.

Anytime you blame yourself for the bullying you suffer, you can be sure that your bullies have conditioned you. Therefore, understand this right now! It’s not your fault!

You are not responsible for your bullies’ behavior. Their horrid actions are a reflection of their choices, not yours. Moreover, you cannot control the behavior of another person. The only person’s behavior you have control over is your own.

So, when you blame yourself for being bullied, you are taking responsibility for the behavior of others, which are things you have no control over.

Do not allow them to condition you to believe that anything beyond your control is your fault! It isn’t!

3. You start feeling like a heel for saying no.

Saying “no” can be difficult and at times, even downright scary. If you’re a decent human being who believes in being civil to your fellow man, the last thing you want is to let someone down. However, there are situations when saying yes to someone else is like saying no to yourself.

When you say no, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person, especially when bullies are trying to force you to do something you don’t want to do.

But what if your bullies threaten either physical harm or worse social exclusion if you do not comply with their wishes?

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!”

Therefore you fall for the false promises that they will leave you be and stop hurting you. BUT!

Realize that bullies and abusers never make good on those promises. The harassment won’t stop. If anything, it will only get worse.

Why? Because your bullies have benefited from forcing you to say yes. And more than likely, they’ve been getting those benefits for a long time now.

Your bullies never stopped the harassment after all those times you said yes to them before. So, why would they stop now?

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, it’s essential for self-care!

Therefore, begin saying no, and do it often. However, realize that you can’t change a bully. And if the bullies resist (and they more than likely will), be ready for possible retaliation. And if they do act up, again, it isn’t your fault nor your responsibility.

The only time you should say yes to bullies is if they pull a gun. Otherwise, stick to your answer.

I’ll grant you that saying no is risky. It always has been. Your bullies may threaten you with the business end of their fists and you may come out of it with a shiner and a fat lip.

However, those wounds will heal. But the psychological injury of wishing you hadn’t let yourself down will last for years.

Again, you must say no, even if it makes others angry.

4. another hallmark of conditioning is when You feel like the biggest wuss on the planet.

You know the feeling. When you know you allowed someone else force you into something you neither wanted to nor agreed to. It left a psychological injury that took a long time to recover from.

You ended up asking yourself, “Now, why didn’t I tell those creeps to take a flying leap off the highest cliff head first?” That feeling of powerlessness can be worse than any physical pain you ever suffered.

 In other words, you blame yourself for not standing up to your bullies or abusers. You think that maybe you’re not strong enough, or this enough, or that enough. This is another sign of conditioning.

However, you must know that your bullies act up not because you aren’t firm enough. And don’t think it was because you aren’t any good at defending yourself.

It’s because your bullies are a bunch of pathetic, self-entitled turds. Bullies are abusers and abusers have a talent for conditioning their victims. Therefore, abusers expect the rest of the world to bow down and kiss their behinds and none of that is your fault.

Understand that their behavior isn’t your guilt to carry. Then, begin standing up for yourself and refuse to believe the lies your bullies try to drum into your head.

REPEAT!

Don’t fall for their power plays. Stand up, stand tall, and stand firm no matter what.

5. Your body will feel those icky vibes your bullies are putting out.

In other words. you’ll sense it by feeling that something is “off.” Moreover, you’ll feel it in the pit of your stomach. And sometimes, you’ll feel it before the first words are exchanged.

This is, perhaps, the most important sign of all. Why? Because, as mentioned earlier in the post, conditioning is soft and subtle in the beginning. So much so that it isn’t noticeable.

However, here’s your first clue: Your body will tell you if you pay attention to it. Your body, particularly, your gut, will pick up on these sickening vibrations your bullies put out.

Many targets of bullying often mistake this feeling for “just being paranoid” and ignore the feeling. But this is the last thing you should do.

Understand that God gave us all that “sixth sense” or, as it is more commonly called, the “gut feeling” or “instinct”, for a reason.

Therefore, anytime you get a bad feeling in your gut about someone, you are not being paranoid and you are not over-reacting. What you’re doing is picking up on that person’s energy. As a result, your inner alarm is trying to warn you about the person and keep you safe.

You must pay close attention to your gut and to other people’s energy because energy doesn’t lie and neither does your gut instinct!

If ever you catch bad vibes off another person, have nothing to do with them. Instead, get as far away from them as you can and as fast as you can! You will save yourself a lot of trouble, I promise!

This post was all about the signs of conditioning to help you to recognize these indicators early on and protect yourself.

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

1. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

2. Signs of Toxic People: 5 Tell-Tale Indicators

3. Gaslighting Phrases: 7 Most Common Statements to be Aware of

4. Phrases to Shut Down a Gaslighter: 9 Power Statements to Use

phrases to shut down a gaslighter

Phrases to Shut Down a Gaslighter: 9 Powerful Statements to Use

Want to know the best phrases to shut down a gaslighter? The phrases that you’re about to read are the most powerful statements you need to make the next time a bully tries to gaslight you.

phrases to shut down a gaslighter

When people gaslight you, it can leave you confused and feeling unnecessary guilt. If you’re like I was, you probably wish you knew powerful phrases to shut down gaslighting. As one who’s had multiple bullies, I’m giving you the most powerful statements you can use to shut your bullies down for good.

You will learn about the top, most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter.

After learning about all these cool comebacks, you are going to be a pro and on the ready the next time your bullies even attempt to gaslight you.

This post is all about the most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter. This is information that every person with integrity should know.

9 most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter

Before we get to the phrases, here’s a quick question. Have you ever had a situation when a bully was gaslighting you and you were stuck without a good comeback? I have and it was pretty humiliating.

Gaslighting can make it’s victims feeling not only confused and bewildered, but also embarrassed. It’s extremely difficult to pull out a good comeback, on the fly, when you’re in the middle of a gaslighting session.

However, one thing you should never, ever say to a gaslighter is this:

“I’m sorry.”

“You were right, it’s my fault.”

To bullies, apologies are not only submissions, but admissions of guilt. Moreover, telling the bully that they were right and admitting fault is surrendering to them. This is just how bullies think.

Although, it may tempting to go ahead and accept blame just to avoid further conflict or to keep the peace, I implore you. DON’T! Not under any circumstances!

Never take responsibility for a bully’s behavior, or anyone else’s for that matter. You are only responsible for your own words and actions, no one else’s.

The reason you should never capitulate like this is because the bullies will only take it and run with it. In other words, they will only weaponize it against you from here on out. And they will do it for the next several years or decades even.

Here’s what you SHOULD say:

1. “The truth hurts sometimes.”

This phrase is brilliant because it does two things:

It infuriates gaslighters because it reverses the sting back onto the gaslighter by turning the tables on them.

Also, it exposes your bully’s inability to handle the truth.

Your bullies may become angry after hearing this comeback. However, it can only work in your favor because their emotions will only further give them away.

Why? Because bullies don’t get emotional unless they’re so afraid they’re losing control of the conversation that they begin feeling desperate. Always remember that.

2. “I don’t see it that way.”

This is a good comeback because you’re making it clear to the gaslighter that you don’t agree with them.

Keep in mind that gaslighters gaslight because they want you to feel crazy, or like their behavior is your fault. They want you to doubt yourself and think, “well, maybe she’s right. I probably did have it coming.”

No you didn’t. Remember that you aren’t responsible for anyone else’s behavior but yours. Your bullies’ behavior is a reflection of their choices, not yours.

3. one-word phrases to shut down a gaslighter:

“Whatever.”

This little one-word response is so potent and powerful. It’s short and sweet, and it’s the perfect blow-off to any gaslighter.

Why? Because it sends the message that you refuse to engage with them. Also, through that response alone, you communicate to your bullies that they’re a waste of your time. And really, they are!

Therefore, you end up taking the wind right out of the gaslighter’s sail. Why? Because, your bullies are excepting a big reaction from you and when you blow them off with a “whatever,” you stun them.

 Any time you calmly use this comeback, you send the message to bullies that they don’t hurt nor intimidate you, they only bore you. Ouch!

It’s very difficult to counter a response of, “Whatever.”

Moreover, another reason this little beauty of a response infuriates bullies so much is that there’s no way to counter it. It stops them dead in their tracks and leaves them looking dumb.

Bullies may verbally retaliate with a “whatever” of their own. However, it will only make them look like they’re not very creative. Additionally, the bully will also look childish and stupid.

Therefore, the trick with this little one-worded bomb is to draw first blood. In other words, he who says it first automatically wins the day!

Do it this way and you look calm, cool, and collected while making your bullies look defeated. Most importantly, you preserve your own sanity by refusing to argue or to agree with their drivel.

So, keep this on your list of comebacks because with it, you can’t go wrong! Just remember to say it calmly and coolly. Then watch your bullies’ reactions as they search and stumble to find a comeback without repeating you and looking utterly ridiculous.

However, whether they comeback with a childish response or not, your “whatever” has already shut down the toxic conversation. So, the only reason they respond is because they know they’re beat. Your bullies are only having to scramble to find a comeback, which is why they usually fail miserably.

This is definitely to your advantage.

4. I’m sorry you feel that way.”

This really ticks off bullies and gaslighters because, just like number 1, it turns the tables on the gaslighter. You send the unpoken message that you refuse to apologize for something you didn’t do or something that isn’t your fault.

Using this sarcastic comeback isn’t an apology. It’s a dig. It shows bullies and gaslighters that you could care less about their feelings. Also, it communicates to them that nothing they have to say to you is worth the effort you must put in to argue.

Again, this is how you respond to a gaslighter.  Gaslighters get no respect because they don’t give any.

5. “that’s your opinion, not mine.”

This comeback also turns the tables on gaslighters in that it boomerangs their initial words back to them. Also, it lets them know that you could care less about what they think of you or what they have to say.

Bullies will seethe when you use this gem of a comback. I guarantee it!

6. “You have your reality and I have mine.”

Gaslighters are notorious for trying to undermine your reality and call your perception into question. Anytime you give your bullies this response, you tackle the problem up front.

Moreover, they get the message that you’re not one to be swayed from your perception, which will shut them down completely. In other words, they’ll know instantly that you’re immune to any manipulative mind games they try to play.

And this is what you want so they’ll leave you alone and go find some other sucker to jerk around

7. Phrases to shut down a gaslighter can also be questions.

“How?” or “Like WhO (what, when, where)?”

What you are doing here is asking for details. You’re responding to the gaslighter with questions and they will absolutely hate that. Gaslighters always avoid details because when you ask questions, you change the focus from opinions and emotions to hard facts.

In essence, you force them to come up with hard evidence to back up their argument. Most gaslighting bullies can’t do that simply because they only speak from emotions rather than facts.

Ask a bully questions referring to context and evidence. Then, laugh as you watch them stutter and stammer, trying to come up with an intelligent-sounding answer.

8. “You’ll get over it.”

This is the perfect response in lieu of a direct apology.

Now, this may seem callous, unfeeling, and cold. However, the “you’ll get over it” response allows you to respond without accepting blame and

Always remember that bullies lack integrity and a conscience. Any of the two shown in the presence of those who don’t have it will be shot down.

Moreover, this comment will more than likely rile your bullies’ emotions up because they’ll get the message that you don’t take them seriously. And you shouldn’t. Therefore, they will expose themselves through their outbursts of anger and indignation.

Respond without taking responsibility for their bad behavior and do it with power!

9. The Softer version of one of the phrases to shut down gaslighters:

“Don’t worry. You’ll be alright.”

This response is the same as number 8 but with a softer touch. Again, this deflects the gaslighting away from you and back to the bully. The “Don’t worry” part highlights the bully’s anger or upset emotional state while buffering you from the bully’s initial attack.

It’s one of the perfect verbal boomerangs that can force bullies to expose themselves because most bullies will explode at this comeback even if it is a softer one. Why? Because they will get the message that you take their frantic gaslighting with a grain of salt.

So, what bully wouldn’t flip out at a response like this? Remember that bullies want you to get emotional. Or, they want you to hang your head low and walk away, feeling like you wronged them somehow.

Don’t do either of these things. Use these responses and pretty soon, no one will bully or gaslight you. These responses worked for me and they can work for you too.

the post was all about the most powerful phrases to shut down a gaslighter to help you stand up to gaslighting and preserve your self-esteem and overall mental health.

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

1. How to Respond to DARVO: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut It Down

2. Signs of Toxic People: 5 Tell-Tale Indicators

3. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

Coercive Control: The Top 5 Signs and How to Escape It

Do you want to know what coercive control looks like? These are the signs you must watch for if you want to stand against it or make your escape.

coercive control

Coercive control is harmful as it strips it’s victim of freedom and autonomy. As one who has experienced this in the past, I’m giving you all the signs to look out for. These are characteristics that I and many others have seen firsthand, time and time again.

You will learn the exact indicators so that you can decide early on the best recourse to take your personal power back.

After you learn about all these characteristics of it, you will better be able to take back control of your life and protect yourself from any future coercion.

This post is all about the signs of coercive control that every empathetic person with high integrity should know.

Signs of Coercive control

Before we go further, we must know that coercive control happens in all aspects of life. We most often hear of it running rampant between romantic partners and spouses.

Although true, coercive control also happens in school and on the job as well. Moreover, it is the main ingredient of school and workplace bullying and mobbing.

With that said, the first step in getting out of any controlling situation is to know the signs and what it looks like. Here are the signs.

Coercive control consists of behavior patterns that terrorize, punish, and harm its victims.

1. Ultimatums.

Ultimatums are the number one, most obvious sign of coercive control. They always include threats of some form of loss or harm to the victim. Moreover, they are meant to induce terror in victims and slowly chip away their confidence and self-esteem. Bullies use ultimatums to condition victims that they have no other choice but to obey.

Therefore, the goal of an ultimatum is to force the victim’s hand by threatening to take away something important to them. This could be the loss of a relationship, their home, or their children or family. Also, it could be their jobs or entire careers.

In other words, bullies wield power over their target by threatening the loss or harm to anything or anyone the victim loves or deems important.

Here’s an example. An abusive spouse threatens to take the children if the victim even thinks about leaving them.

Also, we have seem this form of control run rampant in the last five years. An example would be during 2020 and 2021, the height of the you-know-what.

It was, “do this within thirty days or you will no longer have your job.” Or it was, “If you haven’t done that within the next two weeks, we will have the state revoke your business license.”

Ultimatums are so insidious and blatant that there should be no question that they’re hallmarks of coercive control.

If people begin giving you ultimatums, know that they are trying to control you. Whether it’s an abusive partner, toxic boss at work, or bullies at school, you must stand against it.

Therefore, you have two choices, either say no and back it up by refusing their demands, or head for the nearest exit. Either way, you make a choice not to be controlled.

2. Physical Assaults and attacks.

Bodily harm is another one of the most blatant and obvious forms of coercive control.  Physical beatings are not only designed to harm the victim, they are also meant to induce intense fear in targets and as a tool for bullies to re-enforce their power and control.

Nobody wants to get brutally beaten. Bullies instinctive know this. Therefore, they use the threat of physical harm to get victims to obey their orders.

Therefore, if physical bullies ever attack you, it’s best to defend yourself. You have every right to do so.

If you can’t defend yourself because of size, lack of strength, or physical ailment, get the police involved. At least have them make out a report.

The law may or may not do anything for you. However, if they make a report and you get a copy of that report, you have a paper trail. Also, you have established a history of abuse on the part of your bullies.

Moreover, you should also document each occurrence of physical abuse, even if it happens only once. Remember that documentation of bullying and abuse is admissible in court because it’s sufficient evidence.

You have a God-given right to be free from harm. Don’t hesitate to assert that right!

3. the signs of Coercive control also include Isolating the victim.

When controlling abusers isolate their victims, they do it deliberately to cut them off from any support they may otherwise receive from others.

For instance, abusive spouses and partners will stop their partners from having anything to do with their family and friends. They will talk trash about the other people that love the partner. Also, they will lay guilt trips on their victim for spending time with family and friends.

They will also claim that the other family members and close friends don’t really love the partner and plant seeds of doubt in their minds about them.

Moreover, bullies at school and in the workplace will use smear campaigns to turn the victims friends against them. They will also do everything they can to prevent the victim from making any new friends.

Even worse, they will go as far as to try to turn the victim’s family members against them too, if they can.

Again, they do this on purpose because their goal is to isolate the victim from support networks. This way, they can better keep their victim under their control.

This is why you must stand firmly against this kind of abuse if it happens to you. And if you can’t stand against it, document everything then leave the environment. Leave the company or the town if you must. But, get away fast!

Next, consult an attorney if you can afford it. Lastly, file suit against them if you have sufficient evidence to do so.

4. They watch you closely.

Bullies and abusers will watch you like a hawk! Abusive partners, school bullies and workplace harassers will stalk you online, going through your social media profiles.

They do this to see if they can find dirt on you to spread around.

Abusive partners will scroll through your phone to see if you are cheating or talking to potential mates. They will also text you to check up on you. They will ask where you are, who you’re with, and when you’re coming home.

Also, they will drive by your house to see who’s car is in your driveway, trying to find out if you have visitors. Moreover, they will also try to find out who those visitors are.

School and workplace bullies will also watch your house to find out the same things. These kinds of people have even been known to go through the victim’s trash. And they do this AFTER they follow them home.

And they usually do this while your garbage can is sitting on the edge of the street waiting for the next day’s garbage pick-up.

If possible, set up a home security system and dash-cam for your vehicle. Record these nosy psychopaths. Remember, stalking and invasion of privacy is illegal and you can press charges. You can also sue the pants off them.

However, you must first gather your evidence and enough of it.

5. coercive control can also come in the form of cutting off any financial support the victim may receive.

This form of coercive control happens mostly in relationships between romantic partners and spouses. And when it does, the abuser often prevents the victim from going to work or getting a job.

Bullying partners do this deliberately to keep the victim dependent solely on them for financial support. Thus, making it more difficult to walk out on them and compelling the victim to stay in the abusive relationship.

Moreover, abusive partners may withhold money from the victim to punish them for a perceived slight. In this, they cause the partner to go without food, shelter, or clothing as a punishment. This keeps the victim in line and gives the abuser continued control.

financial control doesn’t only happen in romantic and spousal relationships.

Although this happens mostly in relationships, school and workplace bullies can also exert this kind of control. For instance, school bullies will take the victim’s lunch money. They also may coerce the victim to hand over the money they brought for school pictures and yearbooks. Realize that this is also a form of financial control.

Workplace bullies may cause the company to demote the target, which usually comes with a huge pay cut. They may also deliberately get the victim terminated.

Also, as if that isn’t enough, workplace bullies will also attempt to blackball the target and prevent them for gaining employment anywhere else. Thus, they prevent their target from supporting themselves or feeding their families.

Understand that this is also financial control because it cuts the target and his/her family from any financial support. I know a few people that have endured this and it took a long battle before they were able to overcome it and finally regain financial stability.

In conclusion, it is better to leave the relationship, however difficult it may be, before it gets this bad. Also document, I can’t repeat this enough! Documenting is crucial!

Also, you must document every instance of bullying in the workplace as well. Then, leave the toxic workplace before your bullies have a chance to get you fired. You’ll know the signs early on if you pay attention.

This post was all about the top signs of coercive control to help you to know when it’s time to plan your escape and get out from under it.

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

1. Setting Boundaries: 3 Powerful Practices to Hold Your Ground

2. How to Respond to DARVO: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut it Down

3. Signs of Toxic People: 5 Tell-Tale Indicators

how to respond to DARVO

How to Respond to Darvo: 7 Powerful Ways to Shut it Down

Would you like to know how to respond to darvo that bullies use to discredit you when you report their bullying or speak out against it? Here are the most powerful ways you must know.

how to respond to DARVO

The DARVO method that bullies use is tricky. Many victims of bullying are at a loss as to how to respond to it. As one who has had this method used on me, I am giving you the most powerful ways to respond.

You will learn about how to respond to DARVO properly and the the best responses that will shut this method down for good.

After learning these points, you will be extra prepared the next time a bully uses this evil technique against you.

This post is all about how to respond to DARVO tactics that bullies use. This is important information every victim of bullying, even narcissistic bullying, should know.

How to respond to darvo:

1. learn what darvo is and how bullies use it.

The first step in learning how to properly defend yourself against any bullying tactics is to learn exactly what each of those tactics is.

What is DARVO?

DARVO is an acronym which stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.

Realize that this is a classic reaction bullies make any time the victim calls out their bad behavior.

If you are a victim of such tactics, it is imperative that you educate yourself on them.

Additionally, you need not only memorize the definition and textbook description of it. You must also know what DARVO looks like as it is happening.

For instance, a narcissistic bully may attack you and you may call them out on their rotten behavior. The bully reacts by telling you, “it’s no big deal.” Or, he may say something to the tune of, “you’re making something out of nothing.”

Understand that these are classic DARVO comebacks because they invalidate reality and make you out to have over-reacted. Don’t fall for it. You know what they did and that it was wrong. Therefore, continue to stand strong and stick to your guns.

the bully will project.

Moreover, the bully will become extremely aggressive and attacks your character and credibility. They may even attack your motives and intentions.

The bully may also dissolve into a puddle of tears or begin yelling in anger while attacking you. Bullies are expert at turning on emotions to achieve a desired result, which is to make it look like you instigated their abuse. In other words, they make it look as if they were only reacting to what you did to them.

Also, the bully may use insults, threats, and gaslighting to discredit your description of their abuse. Moreover, they will swear up and down that they’re being unfairly accused and that you are making false accusations against them to cover your bad behavior.

Put simpler, they will accuse you of doing to them the very same things they, in fact, did to you. This is classic projection and you should call it out as such.

As another attempt to deflect, bullies will also try to justify their evil behavior by shifting blame to you.

Understand that bullies do all this to reverse the roles and in hopes that others will see them in a more positive light. Bullies hope that others will see their abuse of you as a reaction to something you must have done to them first. All the while, they are continuing to inflict more abuse onto you.

2. whatever you do, stay calm.

This is an absolute must because your bully is hoping and praying that you will lose your cool. But don’t!

Why? Because bullies will use your emotions as confirmation that you are either cuckoo or a bad person. And, believe you me, they’re masters at this!

Also, they will misconstrue your emotions (crying, etc.) as a sign of guilt. Instead, remain calm and the bully is more likely to be the one flipping out because they can’t shake you.

I have found that by remaining calm and cool, you will drive them completely insane with anger. Therefore, you force your bullies to expose themselves.

Remember the quote in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.”

“Let the enemy destroy themselves.”

Again, your calm demeanor will arouse not only the bully’s anger, but also their fear. Your bully will be flabbergasted as to why you’re so calm. This will throw them off balance.

Moreover, they’ll flip out and begin yelling, shouting, and cursing. Don’t let this behavior intimidate you because his is what you want them to do to expose and embarrass themselves.

Remember that bullies have big egos and an image to protect. Also, they have an intense need for control. And they will do everything they possibly can to preserve their egos and maintain not only control, but also the image they have long ago crafted for themselves.

Although staying calm can be difficult when bullies abuse you, it can also be most effective in getting your bullies riled and bringing their true natures out in the open. The calmer you are, the crazier your bullies will get until they unwittingly expose themselves through their own behavior.

3. How to Respond to DARVO: Call the behavior out by name.

This is why you must first know what DARVO is, as well as the names of all the behavior that goes with it. This way, you can call it out by name and won’t sound as though you’re rambling.

Rambling makes you sound crazy and less believable. But naming the behavior and stating your case in a clear and concise manner makes you look more credible and makes the bully look unhinged. This is what you want.

For example, if the bully is projecting and accusing you of the very behavior they directed at you, Call it by name. Tell the bully in front of an audience that they’re clearly projecting to try and make themselves look like the good guy and that you are onto them.

If they are trying to justify their behavior, again, call it out. Say to the bully, “Don’t try to justify your behavior because there is no justification for it. Be an adult (or if it’s a child, you can say, ‘be a big girl/boy’) and take responsibility for your actions.”

4. Document, document, document!

This cannot be stressed enough! You absolutely must document everything in detail. Keeping a bullying journal is of the utmost importance, not only if you have a bullying partner at home but also if people bully and harass you at work or school.

Keeping documentation helps you to keep a record of bullying in a more clear, concise, and organized manner. Moreover, it is admissible in court and during tribunal at work or school board meetings.

When you document, always use the 5W Method (What? Who? When? Where? and Why? Also, if possible, How?) This allows your story to make more sense. Also, it effectively calls out any perpetrators and produces possible witnesses.

In other words, write down what happened, who was involved, who was around to see what happened (the names of any bystanders and witnesses). Also, write down when it happened (the exact date and time of occurrence).

Additionally, include where it happened (did it happen in the school locker room? The workplace parking lot?) and if you know, why it happened (was it because you reported your bullies’ abuse of you?) Be as detailed as humanly possible when you document!

How to Respond to Darvo: do your own investigation!

This is how you gather your own evidence. How to respond to DARVO doesn’t include waiting for anyone else to do anything you can just as easily do for yourself.

Never rely on the school or your workplace to conduct their own investigation. This is where many victims get screwed because when entities do their own investigations (if they do them at all) it will only be to their advantage and your detriment.

The reality is that schools, workplaces, or any entities for that matter, usually side with bullies. Why? Because not only are bullies expert at covering their behinds, but also, they are usually stars in the who’s who at school or higher-up in the workplace or organization.

Therefore, always do your own investigation. Documenting is the most effective way to gather your own evidence.

Also, depending on the laws in your state or jurisdiction, you could secretly record the bullying you suffer. Again, make sure the laws in your state allow recordings.

In other words, If you live in a two-party consent state, you must also have the permission of anyone you record. However, if you live in a one-party consent state, you only need your own permission. Therefore, you are FREE to record!

Again, make sure you know the laws in your state before you do this. The last thing you want is for your bullies to have grounds to sue you for invasion of privacy. And you just know they would salivate over that opportunity. So, don’t give it to them.

5. practice self-care

In other words, be kind and compassionate to yourself. Make daily affirmations to yourself. Make I AM statements, “I AM a good person,” “I AM not wrong for standing up for myself,” “I AM lovable,” “I AM deserving of friends, family, and people who love me,” ” I AM worthy of God’s love because He loves me anyway, regardless of what I’ve done in the past,” etc.

And when you make these affirmations, believe them with all your heart.

Practicing self-care also means spending time with the people who love you and who want what’s best for you. Keep company only with those who lift you up and avoid people who bring you down. This is how you nurture your self-esteem and mental health.

Indulge in a good soak in the bathtub with bath bombs or treat yourself to a day at the spa.

Self-care is essential when dealing with this form of abuse.

this post was all about how to respond to darvo so that you can better protect yourself against this insidious form of abuse.

Related posts you will enjoy:

1. Setting Boundaries: 3 Powerful Practices to Hold Your Ground

2. Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

3. Defending Yourself from Bullies: 11 Best Defenses

signs of gaslighting

Signs of Gaslighting: The 7 Signs You Must Know

Would you like to know the signs of gaslighting so that you can better protect yourself against it the next time it occurs? Here are the most common indicators and examples you need to know.

signs of gaslighting

People can gaslight you without your even knowing it’s happening, which is not only harmful, but also confusing. As a former target of it myself, I’m giving you the sure-fire signs of gaslighting you must know so that you’ll recognize it and be prepared.

You are going to learn about the signs of gaslighting and examples of it as well.

After learning about all these tactics and what they look and sound like, you will better be able to defend yourself against them.

This post is all about the most common signs of gaslighting in both your abusers AND yourself you should be aware of.

The Most Common Signs of gaslighting

1. Bullies deny their behavior.

Denial is one of the most obvious forms of gaslighting.

Often, when a bully or abuser says something to insult you and you call them on it, they will flat out say, “I didn’t say that,” when you know doggone well they did. Understand that this is their way of covering up their behavior by making you look unstable.

Moreover, the bully has the chutzpah to lie and deny even when you present clear evidence of the truth. That’s what makes this form of gaslighting so astonishing.

The goal of this tactic is to cause the people around you to think that maybe you’re hearing things. Also, bullies do this deliberately to cause you to doubt yourself. The bully wants you to wonder if you heard them correctly.

In other words, their goal is to convince you that what happened didn’t really happen. Therefore, they plant seeds of doubt in your mind to trick you into thinking that it is all in your head.

Furthermore, there’s another thing bullies like to say when you call them on their behavior. “You’re only imagining things.”

Additionally, they might say that the bullying you report “is only in your imagination.”

Again, this is denial and it’s designed to make you doubt yourself and to make you look paranoid to any bystanders. And if you doubt yourself, it will inspire others to doubt you too.

Don’t fall for it. Chances are that you heard them correctly or actually saw what you saw. Counter the gaslighting by telling them, “You did say that,” or “I know you did because I saw you with my own two eyes. Don’t even try to gaslight me, buddy.”

Yes, call out the gaslighting. Then walk away and limit any future engagement with them.

2. Bullies questioning your memory IS ALSO ONE OF THE SIGNS OF GASLIGHTING.

Questioning your memory is another slick tactic bullies use to shirk responsibility for their questionable behavior. Bullies mostly pull this number on older adults. However, anyone at any age can be a target of this kind of gaslighting.

For example, when you confront an abuser on something they did in the past, the bully may ask you, “Are you sure that’s the way it happened?”

Just as it is with denial, bullies use this method to make you doubt and question yourself. Consequently, it’s so easy it shouldn’t work. But it does.

Again, don’t fall for this trick. Tell them right away and up front that your memory is just fine and that they’re only gaslighting you to cover their own butts. Also, when you tell them, do it with conviction. Then, again, walk away and have no further association with them.

3. They trivialize the way you feel or what you experienced

This is yet another tactic designed to make you look immature or mentally imbalanced.

For instance, you may report a bully for bullying you at school or a perverted boss at work for making a sexually suggestive comment to you. As a result, they may counter your complaint by making statements like:

“You’re just being a crybaby”

“You’re too sensitive. You need to toughen up a little.”

“Oh, shut up!”

“Awww, stop whining.”

or

“You need to lighten up.”

Bullies do this to embarrass and shame you into silence while, at the same time, covering themselves by minimizing their own behavior. In other words, they use shame and embarrassment, hoping you’ll shut up and allow them to keep abusing you.

They employ this tactic to cause others to doubt you too. When others don’t believe you and choose to side with your bullies, it’s even tougher to know when someone is gaslighting you.

Moreover, when others agree with them, you’ll feel even more compelled to keep your mouth shut and go along with it. The reason for this compulsion is fear.

Bullies and abusers hope you’re afraid that if you don’t clam up, you’ll only suffer more abuse as punishment for daring to open your mouth.

However, don’t stay silent. Keep speaking out and do it calmly but with a strong voice.

Never apologize for feeling hurt or angry at someone else’s abuse! Never! In these situations, you have a right to feel the way you do! Let no one tell you how you should feel when you know with utmost certainty that you’re being abused!

Just tell them to shove it, walk away, and have nothing more to do with them.

4. you constantly second-guess yourself

The signs of gaslighting doesn’t only show up in your bullies, they show up in you too.

Notice that you’re hyper-self-aware, self-conscious, and always on guard. You self-monitor to make sure you do and say the right thing.

Furthermore, you say something, make a judgement call,  or make a choice, then turn right around and begin wondering if you said the right thing or made the right decision. You’re confused all the time.

Should I do this or should I do that? Should I say it like this or like that? Do I make this choice or that?

Gaslighting does this to it’s victims. Understand that this is no way to live.

You can only solve this problem when you stop worrying about what others think and know that your first instinct is usually the correct one. Also, cut the toxic people out of your life.

5. One of the main signs of gaslighting: you constantly bend knee to keep from being further gaslighted

When bullies gaslight you on the daily, it can be tempting to apologize way too much. Again, understand that when bullies gaslight you they re-victimize you by countering you for calling them out or reporting them. In a sense, they re-victimize you a second time.

 Gaslighting is the main reason why targets are often programmed to apologize for things that don’t need an apology. And calling someone out on their evil actions is one of those things that doesn’t warrant one.

I understand that the apologies that victims make are often knee-jerk reactions that come from extreme fear of gaslighting. Moreover, the incessant apologies are ways to appease the bullies and make them go away and leave them alone.

However, bullies know this and that’s why they gaslight you and use it to their advantage. They also know that such an apology isn’t heartfelt and that you’re only trying to pacify them and keep them from harming you again.

never give an unwarranted apology.

As tempting as it is, you should never apologize for confronting anyone over their abuse because, when you do, you only take away your own power and hand it over to your bullies.

On the other hand, when you refuse to apologize where an apology isn’t needed, it’s a sign of greater self-esteem and increased feelings of power. It also shows that you have more dignity and integrity.

It pays to know when you should and shouldn’t apologize. So, do it only when you should. Not when others think you should.

This only gives the bullies an ego boost and makes you look like a simp.

Doing other things to appease the bullies, such as staying silent and doing what they want at your own expense is also bending knee to them. Because bullies don’t only gaslight you for speaking out about their abuse and reporting them to authority members, they also gaslight you for refusing to give in to their demands.

Therefore, never apologize for calling a bully out nor refusing to do what they want. Also, never cave in and obey if the bully demands that you do what they want. The only chances you have to end the gaslighting is to stand up to it, then ditch the gaslighters.

6. your bullies label you as “crazy.”

This is, perhaps, the cruelest form of gaslighting.

There is nothing that discredits victims like the “crazy” label. Even bank-robbers and former prison inmates get more believed by others than someone whom others have labeled mentally ill.

Labeling another person crazy is too easy because people have a strong tendency to see the worst in others, especially today. The label of crazy also has lots of staying power.

Moreover, mental instability is the most difficult to disprove. Why? Because although your abusers can never prove that you are, in fact, crazy; there’s also no way you can prove that you’re not.

Another reason it’s so hard to disprove is that any victim of bullying will more than likely be an emotional wreck because of the chronic abuse they suffer. And if your bullies can make you look loony, then who’s going to believe you when you speak out about the abuse?

The burden of proof falls on you.

However, know this. Any time bullies and abusers pull the “crazy” card, they do it as a last option. The crazy label is used when there’s nothing else they can pin on you. Bullies use this tactic out of desperation when they know you’re onto them and their true natures are about to be discovered.

Here’s something else you should think about.

when bullies label you crazy, they actually know you’re not.

When bullies label you as crazy, it doesn’t mean they actually think you are.

Remember that bullies are big cowards and if they really and truly thought you were crazy, they they wouldn’t come near you.

In other words, if a person with any common sense knows someone who is factually and legitimately bats*** crazy, their first instinct is to either stay away from the person or walk lightly around them and do their due diligence to keep from setting them off!

Why? Because a crazy person has no filter and no sense of right and wrong. Therefore, they have no reservations about seriously hurting someone or worse.

So, though they may label you as such, they know that you aren’t. What your bullies really think is that you’re weak. They only play the “crazy” card to discredit you.

Always remember that.

To counter this, you must point out exactly what they’re doing and why they do it. Reject the label, and continue to speak out no matter what they may call you. The key to doing this is not to care what people think and eighty-six anyone who sticks you with the label, or any label for that matter.

7. you feel you can’t do anything right.

In other words, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you stay silent and take it, they call you a wuss. If you report the abuse or stand against it, you’re either a bad person or you’re mentally ill.

This is a form of gaslighting because it’s designed to confuse you and leave you filled with doubt. That’s what gaslighting does.

The way to combat this type of gaslighting is to stand strong and never give relevance to your bullies or their tactics. Stand your ground and stick to your guns. Remember the trick is to not to care less what they say or think. Don’t give it any oxygen and put some distance between yourself and your abusers. That’s how you win against gaslighters.

Your bullies may not change their attitudes toward you but they’ll eventually disappear from your life if they can’t manipulate and gaslight you. Why? Because they prefer easy prey rather than someone who makes them work at it.

Also, you’ll feel much better about yourself knowing that you were wise to their games and stood up to them.

this post was all about the 7 most common signs of gaslighting to help you wise up to the mind games and gather the confidence to stand against it and put a stop to it.

Related posts you will enjoy:

  1. Defending Yourself from Bullies: 11 Best Defenses
  2. Important Facts About Bullying: 3 Truths You Must Learn

  3. Reasons Why People Bully – 7 Most Common Motives

Setting Boundaries: 3 Powerful Practices to Hold Your Ground

Do you want to know about setting boundaries and how it can improve your life and your relationships? These powerful practices have changed my life and they will change yours too.

setting boundaries

When you’re too afraid to set boundaries, you hand over your power. In that, you doom yourself to a life of use and abuse. But once you lose that fear and begin taking control of your life, I can attest that things will make a dramatic change for the better.

You are going to learn about the importance of setting boundaries and the best practices you can use to do so.

After you learn about all these practices and techniques, you will no longer be afraid to hold your ground when people try to push your limits. Even better, you will take back control of your life!

This post is all about the best ways of setting boundaries that every victim of bullying should know and use.

3 Best ways of setting boundaries

1. If someone violates your boundaries, speak up.

In other words, tell the person to stop and use body language to convey that you mean it. For instance, you could put your hand out like a traffic cop as you tell them to stop. This is good because it will most likely shock the bully.

However, if they keep it up, raise your voice and tell them, “I said stop it, now!” And when you say it, say it confidently and firmly while looking the bully in the eye and giving him a hard glare. Also, make a power pose (hands on hips and feet shoulder-width apart).

The last thing you want to do is to sit or stand in silence and say nothing. You must let the bully know that you aren’t one who will put up with them.

Remember that, In today’s world, bullies and abusers are everywhere and they will violate your boundaries if you allow them to.

Also, remember that bullies don’t respect boundaries because they don’t acknowledge them. In their minds, you’re the victim and you don’t deserve the same human rights as everyone else.

Sadly, many victims of bullying don’t have the confidence they need to set boundaries. They only keep their mouths shut, grin, and bear it while others wipe their feet on them.

Consequently, this only damages self-esteem and overall mental health. Just as you would protect your physical boundaries, you must also protect your psychological and emotional boundaries as well.

It’s your responsibility to put a stop to the abuse, no one else’s

It isn’t your fault if you’re a target or victim. However, at some point, you will need to make a stand. Do you want to spend your whole life being someone’s footstool?

Don’t continue to suffer in silence and obscurity. You should never allow people to use you as a rug. Realize that if people are bullying you, it is your responsibility to put a stop to the abuse, no one else’s.

Yeah, I know you look at schools everywhere and see anti-bullying policies on their websites and “Stop Bullying” posters on their walls in the hallways. Workplaces even have their own policies against bullying.

But the reality is that most anti-bullying policies aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Why? Because people in authority rarely enforce those policies. Also, in most cases, the institution will only take the bullies’ side over yours. It happens all the time.

That’s why I stress that if a person is being bullied, it’s their responsibility to put a stop to it.

I understand that setting boundaries is not easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things to do. Especially after people have bullied you for so long.

They may have brainwashed you into thinking that you’re to blame for their brutish behavior. Your bullies may have even conditioned you to take the abuse and allow them to ride roughshod over you. Or, you may even fear for your physical safety.

However, at some point, you will have to make a choice. You either stand up and defend yourself or you keep taking it and spend your entire life with people jerking you around.

That’s no way to live. So, again tell the person to stop while using body language and facial expressions that match your words. You’ll be glad you did!

2. Say “No.”

And mean it. Put simpler, if someone asks or tells you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, say, “no.” Then, back it up by refusing to do it.

“No” is a tiny word but has huge power behind it.

However, many of us were raised to believe that saying “no” is rude, self-centered and disrespectful.

Many of us grew up during a time when children automatically owed anyone over the age of eighteen respect. It didn’t matter whether or not the adult was being fair. Neither did it matter if they were self-serving and out to harm us.

Nevertheless, the adults in our lives often forced us to say yes. Abusive ones conditioned us to go against our own rights and welfare, or risk worse punishment.

It was “obey, or else.”

As a result, they ended up molding us into spineless adults. We get used and abused by partners, family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Why? Because, in the past, we were duped into believing that saying yes to everything everyone asks (or demands) means that we’re “good people.” We got the message that being agreeable shows that we’re being “respectful” and that we have “a good attitude.”

Only we ended up learning the hard way that it’s the exact opposite- what it really means is that we become easy targets for human vampires, leeches and predators.

“No” is not an easy word to say.

“No” is not an easy word to say, especially to bullies, abusers, narcissists, and psychopaths. Why? Because they despise it when you tell them no and, chances are that they will become enraged and retaliate.

However, realize that the offense these people take comes from insecurity and the feeling of rejection. It also comes from feeling entitled. This is why they take being told “no” so personally.

However, you must hold firm even if they retaliate, and even if they use tactics of emotional manipulation, such as guilt-tripping. Know that any indignation or anger the other person feels and displays is NOT your responsibility OR your problem.

Don’t cave in and eventually, they’ll give up and go find another stooge.

3. when someone physically attacks you, defend yourself.

To put it bluntly, if someone physically attacks you, you are well within your rights to haul off and punch them back. And when you do, do it with all your strength and make sure to go for that booger box. Hitting a bully in the nose will stun them. Then, when the bully is stunned, unload on them.

Physical violence should be a last resort after all else has failed, that much is true. However, it becomes necessary when someone is physically attacking you and the situation calls for self-defense.

Whether or not to hit back is the question on every bully target’s mind these days, especially in today’s climate of political correctness that we find ourselves in. Politicians, the media, and movies vehemently suggest not fighting violence with violence. You’ve probably heard statements such as:

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“Turn the other cheek.”
“Don’t stoop to the bully’s level.”
And,
“Be the bigger person and walk away.”

However, what if your bully won’t let you be the bigger person? What if your bully has you cornered and you can’t walk away? What do you do then?

Also, what would the person making the statements above do? Obviously, they’re not the one who’s bullied and facing a possible beat down. Therefore, what right do they have to make such statements?

Don’t you just love it when those who know so little talk so much, giving you all this free advice?

speak to the bully in the only language they understand.

Furthermore, bullies don’t understand nonviolent means. They don’t understand talking it out, reasoning, politeness, and diplomacy. The only language they understand is brute strength and raw power.

Therefore, you speak to the bully in the only language they understand.

You throw up your dukes and punch the bully’s lights out. Remember, this isn’t about a competition of “Who’s the Toughest Kid on the Block.” It isn’t about any pissing contest.

What it’s about is protecting yourself. It’s about keeping someone else from harming you and it’s also about safeguarding your physical health and well-being.

Also, it may be about survival. I can’t count the stories I’ve read about school fights where bully victims have been beaten to death. These days, there are countless news stories about bullies murdering their victims during a fight.

So, why just let another person use you as their personal punching bag and leave everything up to chance?

This post was all about setting boundaries to help you gather the courage to stand your ground when dealing with bullies and human predators.

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

The Empowering Feeling of Saying No

Quote, "Saying no means yes to your rights"

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. Sadly, 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, they would threaten me and yes, even physically attack me.

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. Moreover, 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!

Low Self-Esteem is Taught.

Newborn baby held in father's arms

Insecurity and a lack of confidence are not characteristics that we’re born with. They are taught! Not only by bullies or abusive family members but can also unwittingly programmed into us by caring family members who call themselves trying to teach us humbleness and humility.

These characteristics are both good virtues to have, but only in moderation. However, too much of it can cause us to suppress a little too much of ourselves and hide our own awesome personalities, talents, and gifts, which can grow into insecurity and, in worse cases, self-loathing.

a little girl hiding behind her mother's skirt

Each and every one of us is born with confidence and a heart of gold. However, over time, our environments, circumstances, and sadly, the people in our lives can slowly erode the natural confidence and goodness we were born with.

After being hurt for so long, we withdraw from others and put up a barrier to protect ourselves. We turn cold and began to harden ourselves to numb feelings of rejection and the pain that comes with it.

The Slow Erosion of Self-Esteem
Young girl bending down, covering her face with her hands, trying to protect herself from men's' fists, finger guns, and hands pointing at her.

Young girl bending down, covering her face with her hands, trying to protect herself from men’s’ fists, finger guns, and hands pointing at her. Women’s rights. Violence against women. Domestic violence.

Before long, we regard others’ feelings and suffering with indifference. In other words, we just don’t give a crap about anyone, how they feel, or what they think. Sometimes we even grow cold toward the people who love us because we have lost the ability to trust.

We no longer have any respect for others, much less ourselves. Lastly, we come to that evil place where schadenfreude takes hold of our personalities. In other words, we secretly or openly take pleasure in seeing others, especially those we despise, suffer.

We must make a conscious effort not to allow negative outside influences to make us cold and mean. Just as we take steps to protect our health, finances, property, etc., we must also take steps to protect our self-esteem. And we do that by how we allow others to treat us. We protect our self-esteem by setting boundaries and standards.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why Bullies Sometimes Call You “Uppity”

Snobby group of cliquey girls with their ringleader pointing at you

Ever wonder why bullies sometimes call you “uppity?”

First, let’s examine the word, “uppity.” Uppity means arrogant, haughty, or pompous. It’s used to describe a person who thinks they are better than everyone else. However, a bully may label you “uppity, even though it isn’t who you are.

Understand that a bully’s definition of the word goes much deeper. You must look at the context in which the term is being used. Also, look at the circumstances which prompted the bully to make such a judgement of you. What would motivate a bully to refer to you as “uppity?”

Here are 3 reasons why bullies often accuse targets of being uppity:

Woman screaming and pointing an accusing finger at you

  1. The target displays confidence.

Confidence is power. When a person is confident and knows who they are, they’re least likely to allow others to control them. This is a huge threat to the bully’s power. Therefore, bullies will give targets the “uppity” label in hopes that the target will question themselves or worse, believe it, then feel guilty for it.

If the target falls for this BS and believes it, he will automatically “tone it down.” Consequently, he will unwittingly give the bullies the green light to gradually heap on more and more abuse.

Remember that a bully’s opinion of you means nothing unless you allow it to. Never buy into it! Keep your confidence no matter what!

Marginalized man putting out hands to block the fingers that are pointed at him

  1. The target refuses to comply with the bullies’ demands.

 Defiance is a huge threat to the bullies’ power. When a target refuses to comply with the bullies’ demands, mandates, or orders, he, in essence, gives the bully the middle finger. Then, he goes on doing what he wants and not what the bullies want him to do.

Ouch! This is painful to bullies. Why? Because, if the target doesn’t comply, then others just might feel emboldened not to comply. Defiance has a way of spreading and, once it spreads, the bully loses power. Bullies know this and, therefore, double down by labelling the target as uppity (among other labels).

Kids fighting with the quote, "Never fight until you have to. But when it's time to fight, you fight like you're the third monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... and brother, it's startin' to rain."

  1. The target defends himself.

When the target stands up for himself, this is also a threat to the bullies’ power. Why? Because the target just might put them in their place and make them look like punks. Therefore, the target takes back his power, leaving the bullies looking slack jawed and stupid. As a result, some bullies will retaliate to reinforce their dominance.

Therefore, you must keep your power. Resist the urge to comply. Push back when bullies attempt to abuse you. They may retaliate, but in you dig your heels in and continue to stand your ground, you keep your personal power, and with it, your self-esteem.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Be Careful What You Put Up With

Quote, "I deserve the best in life."

It’s best to begin standing up for yourself in the early stages or you’ll come across as a doormat to others. You will 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 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.

Furthermore, 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. As a result, the abuse will get out of control and you’re most likely to end of getting severely hurt or worse.

Quote, "Be good to yourself today."

bullying is addictive because its all about power.

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. Afterwards, they always want more. Likewise, 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.  When the bullies get the reaction they want, they get that initial 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. First, they need one milligram, then two, then four, then eight, and on it goes. It’s no different with bullies. Just as it is with drug addicts with their drugs, bullies escalate the bullying, then escalate it further to keep getting that rush of power.

Quote, "Be real, be true, be yourself."

Bullying only escalates because, with time, bullies need bigger and bigger doses 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, they escalate to yelling, cursing, and severe name-calling. Therefore, the verbal assaults become more blatant and hurtful.

Next, when blatant verbal abuse loses its luster, the bullying progresses to borderline physical abuse. Bullies will (accidentally on purpose) trip the target, lightly shove him, or run into him in the hallway.

Later, when bullies can no longer get their power rush from light physical bullying, they take it up, yet, another notch. They’ll progress to more obvious physical beatings- slapping, punching, choking, kicking, etc.

Once they get bored with this, they’ll begin using weapons. Bullies will hit with textbooks, slam heads against lockers or the sides of vehicles. Afterwards, they’ll use sticks, bottles, pipes, baseball bats, and so on.

Quote, "A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect."

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!

The best time to stand up to bullying is during its earliest stages.

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.

You must stand up to bullies and abusers before they’ve had time to grow accustomed to abusing you.

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.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

18 Ways of Adult Survivors of School Bullying

Brain inside stomach to represent the gut instinct

Targets of school bullying often learn tough lessons- lessons that they carry into adulthood. Bullying shapes their personalities, and the ways they do things once they leave school and move away from their tormentors. Because I’m an adult survivor myself, I can tell you what I and most other survivors took from it. School bullying changes targets. It changes the ways they do things and their attitudes, and the way they handle people because, again, it teaches them many hard lessons, which they carry into adulthood. Here are the 18 ways of adult survivors of school bullying:

1. ADult Survivors of school bullying Watch other People Closely.

Their experiences with bullies during school sharpened their emotional and social intelligence -Because they learned very early on how truly evil people can be, they know how to watch people without looking like they’re watching them. Adult survivors of bullying note body language, facial expressions, micro-expressions, tonality, delivery, and demeanor. Their people-sense wasn’t fully developed during school years. Therefore, they often let those in their lives who were only there to do harm and paid dearly for it. Therefore, as adults, former targets watch closely and avoid such people.

Saying no means saying yes to your rights

2. They don’t fear saying “no” and will sometimes say it simply because they can!

When they were schoolkids, bullies violated their boundaries to such an extent that they (the bullies) silenced them and never allowed protest when something didn’t feel right. People either duped or forced the targets to take a lot of abuse. Now that they’re adults, they get to decide what they will and will not tolerate. Adult survivors of school bullying exercise that freedom and autonomy every chance they get! Moreover, they get a feeling of empowerment from saying no.

3. they are no-nonsense adults.

They’ve learned early on the games people play, and you won’t dupe them easily. Adult survivors of school bullying  live by the old, “fool me once…” saying and hold it close to their hearts.

positive bullied victim says NO

4. they’ve a very open and solid refusal to take any crap from anyone, no matter the consequences they may face for that refusal.

I’m no exception. Former targets of school bullying took enough crap in school from classmates and a few rotten apples, who called themselves school staff that they’ve become even more determined as adults not to let others violate their boundaries.

5. they don’t give people many chances. To them, first impressions are important, so you’d better make it count.

One red flag, I’m gone!
One bad vibe, goodbye!
Any attempts to bullshit, see ya!

This is due to having been too forgiving of others when these former targets were young. Others took them for granted and mistook their kindness taken for weakness. They then exploited that kindness, much to the targets’ humiliation. And adult survivors refuse ever again to be put back in that position.

girl walking away from fake friends

6. adult survivors work their asses off! they’re tenacious when it comes to getting what they want and will stop at almost nothing to reach success.

Adult survivors of school bullying had enough of what they didn’t want while in school. Others called them “failures” so many times that it lit a fire under them. It made them that much more determined to succeed at everything they set out to do, if for no other reason than to show the haters and naysayers (even our ex-school bullies) that they can! Show them up and shut them up is another motto of the former target of school bullying.

7. they like having control over their own lives and will do anything to keep that control.

Survivors of school bullying had enough of others taking control of their lives long ago, and they will shut down the first person who tries to take away their personal power.

8. they can spot a bully five miles away in the dark.

Yes! Adult survivors are that good! For years, they dealt with bullies in school on a daily basis. They know the signs by heart. So, naturally, they would be good, nearly expert, at pointing them out.

Businessman with X-ray vision

 

9. As adults, they either avoid bullies like the plague, or, they take extreme pleasure in putting bullies in their places.

Adult survivors of school bullying looove standing up to bullies and they will call them out every chance they get. They love to make bullies feel like the losers they are. Adult survivors do this, remembering all the times they didn’t or couldn’t defend themselves in school.

10. they have thick skins that has become difficult for others outside their circle, to penetrate.

That’s the power of the former target of bullying. They love being unpredictable and keeping others on their toes to try and figure them out. It’s fun to them.

11. they can’t stand to watch others being made fun of and will rush to their defense.

Former targets of school bullying are not afraid to get nose to nose with a bully if need be. They do it not only to help the person being bullied but subconsciously, to make up for all the times they felt helpless. This compensates them for all the times they didn’t or couldn’t defend themselves against their bullies in school.

Two men and a woman getting kicked out

12. adult survivors of school bullying can smell horseshit like a bloodhound.

If someone tries to feed them a load of hogwash, they know it instantly and instinctively. Adult survivors see it as an insult to their intelligence and become highly PO’ed. Why? Because they know the lying person must think they’re too stupid to figure them out. And they won’t hesitate to call the person out!

13. They can More easily pick up on the emotions of others.

They cannot stand the thought of causing emotional or physical harm to another person, but only if that person isn’t trying to harm them first.

14. they place extra value on their families and friends.

Adult survivors of school bullying take extreme care not to take those they love for granted. They know what it’s like to be completely alone and not to have any friends. Therefore, they cherish family/friends and time spent with them.

Sky writing that reads, "Actions speak louder than words."

15. Adult survivors of school bullying are, in some ways, selfish.

I know I am. Former targets put a lot of value on themselves and their wants, needs, and interests- all because others didn’t value them as kids during school. So, they make it a point to put themselves first in almost everything. Their children and parents may be the only people they put ahead of them.

16. Words don’t convince them. Only actions and patterns do.

Back in the day, others duped them. Adult survivors of school bullying heard a mountain of empty promises and cheap words and paid dearly for believing them. They’ll be damned if they ever repeat that mistake.

Speech bubble that reads, "Get out!"

17. they live by our gut instincts-

Even better, adult survivors trust them because they paid a heavy price for ignoring them. They now have a sixth sense. Adult survivors of school bullying are excellent at picking up vibes (especially bad ones) and reading people and their intentions. If something or someone doesn’t feel right, they won’t hesitate to either walk away or tell the suspicious person to take a long walk off a short pier.

18. Tell them they Can’t and the adult survivor of school bullying will do it anyway.

And they’ll do it just to show you they can. Tell them not to do something and they’ll do it and take pictures. When another person tells them that they can’t do something, anything, the adult survivor will see it as a challenge. And they’ll do it anyway, sometimes right in front of you, just to show you up.

Speaking for myself, being bullied as a kid in school has not only made me a very powerful adult; it has also exponentially sharpened my people-senses, which in turn has afforded me not only scores of friends who love and respect me, successes, and even more opportunities, but ultimately, an enriching life!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

3 Signs that Verbal Abuse will Turn Physical

There are three signs that verbal abuse will turn physical. Moreover, you would be surprised at how quickly and easily a bully (or any abuser for that matter) can change from letting their mouths do the talking, to letting their fists and feet speak for them.

here’s a scenario you’ll probably recognize

Bullies have been verbally abusing you for quite some time. You remember how they began with subtle digs and zingers. Next, you noticed that they progressed to openly screaming at you, cursing you out like a dog. Now, they are making threats of violence against you. You’ve begun to feel afraid because you’re not sure when the bullying will become physical and what they’ll do to you when it does.

Understand that your bullies are still pushing your boundaries. Little by little, they up the ante to test you and figure out how you’ll react and see what you’ll let them get away with. So, they always start small. And they ever so gradually turn it up in teeny tiny increments.

So, how do you know when the bullying you suffer is about to become physical? Here’s how:

1. they invade your personal space

When bullies invade your space, it’s a surefire sign that things are about to get physical. They get a little too close. They’ll follow to close behind you as you’re walking down the hallway or street. They’ll stand too close to you in the lunch line or while you’re punching the time clock. They may even step in front of you and block you from going any further.

Therefore, to prevent a possible physical attack, the time to act is now! You must tell them in no uncertain terms to back off. And if they don’t, it’s time to strike first. Yes! You heard me correctly. I’m not beyond hauling off and punching someone in the nose if they get in my face and refuse to back up off me.

However, be aware that you may be in a place that isn’t suitable for punching a bully, like on the job or in class. In lieu of fighting, I recommend that you look the bully dead in the eye with the hardest glare you can muster. Then tell them in a low, growling voice to knock it off. And keep glaring at them until they avert their eyes away. Make sure you’re standing absolutely still and facing them in a power pose. (More on power poses later) The goal here is to put the fear of God in the bully.

2. they lay claim to your things and your territory

Also, bullies may also sit at your desk, pick up your belongings, or lean on your car. Understand that in touching your belongings, bullies are laying claim to what is yours. This is the time to assert yourself firmly. Tell them to keep their slimy, grimy paws off your stuff!

Messing with your belongings or destroying them is also considered to be physical bullying.

However, be forewarned that most bullies will see this as a challenge and dare you to do something about it. In this case, don’t be afraid to throw up your dukes. It’s your stuff they’re messing with and they’re doing it to see how far they can push you!

But, just as I mentioned earlier, if you use fisticuffs, make sure the time, place, and conditions are as close to right as possible. If not, do what I suggested at the end of the last section.

3. they will begin assaulting you and making it look like an accident

Bullies will begin their physical assaults through“accidental” shoves, pushes, and bumps. They may do things accidentally on purpose– “accidentally” running or bumping into you in the hallway or parking lot, “accidentally” tripping you or knocking you down, or “accidentally” knocking things out of your hands. They will say, “Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to (trip, shove, run into you, etc.). And they’ll say it knowing damn well they did it deliberately. Also, you’ll know it too.

Moreover, they do it, thinking that maybe, just maybe, you won’t notice it’s escalating. After all, accidents happen all the time. No harm, no foul. Right?

The problem is that if bullies get away with these types of games, they’ll only escalate it until it gets out of control. And once bullying gets out of control, it’s almost impossible to stop or even slow it down. Again, it’s time to throw up those dukes! Remember not to doubt yourself and what you know and feel. And you always know when something is done on purpose. You can sense these kinds of things.

Like any other form of abuse, Bullying will only get worse if you don’t act.

Understand that bullying, or any form of abuse, always- always gets worse if you let it slide. Because it’s a dark part of human nature to push, push, and push further to see how far one can go.

Again, tune into your body and intuition because they will tell you whether what the person did to you was deliberate or an accident. If your senses tell you they did it on purpose, call it out and tell them to stop it right when it happens. If that doesn’t work and the bully keeps it up, it might be time to throw down. But, whatever you do, put a stop to it because it’ll only get worse if you don’t.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When You Assert Boundaries, Get Ready for People to Accuse You of Having “an Attitude.” (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1 last month)

Your boundaries and standards are the invisible fortresses surrounding you with protection. They keep you safe from harm. When you set boundaries, it means that you don’t allow others to take advantage of you. It also means that you refuse to be a pushover and won’t let other people make you do things that aren’t in line with your goals, values, morals, or convictions. In short, you don’t allow yourself to be manipulated.

And it requires that you call out anyone who tries to stick so much as one knee, one foot,  or one toe over those boundaries. You’re assertive but not overly aggressive. You’re strong but not overbearing. When you say no, you mean it, and you say it without feeling guilty over not saying yes. And when you do say yes to others, you can do it without saying no to yourself.

Sadly, it can be hard to set boundaries and standards, especially when dealing with overly-aggressive bullies who have anger issues. Our first instinct is to protect ourselves any way we can- even if it means we must appease these people to ensure our safety.

Many targets have zero boundaries and feel that to keep from being bullied worse than they already do, they must always bend over backward to make sure the people around them feel comfortable and at ease, which is wrong and a horrible way to live!

And sadly, that only works temporarily because bullies and abusers always come back for more.

Many targets don’t feel strong enough to keep invaders out of their bubble. And it’s because of this that they feel guilty and like failures when they’re unable to enforce their boundaries and standards. Targets also feel as if they’ve let themselves down, and, let me tell ya! It’s the worst feeling in the world.

I want you to understand that, no matter what others may tell you or how they may act, it’s okay to refuse their mistreatment and disrespect. It’s okay to say no to bullying by those who insist they have the right to cross your boundaries and invade your space physically, socially, psychologically, or spiritually. Know that you deserve a seat at the table of life, not one in the corner.

Setting boundaries and standards is not having an“attitude.” It’s your right! It would be best if you accepted that any limitations you put in place will get a ton of resistance. So, take this as a given! And again, look at it this way. The resistance you will get will be a sign of who your real friends aren’t.

Resistance is soooo telling! It can help you find out who’s really for your good and who isn’t.

It’s never good to be a yes-person, nor is it smart. Caring about others is great but caring too much is unhealthy. Boundaries and standards are needed because, without them, you subject yourself to living your life on autopilot- you’re a car without a steering wheel- a ship without a rudder!

But with them, you have a rudder, and you can chart your life’s course. The winds and currents may change, and the waters get rough, and you may indeed go off course, but you’ll still have some degree of direction. In setting boundaries and standards, you’re not completely powerless over what happens to you. You have some say over your destiny.

That’s why it’s so crucial that you stand in your power and speak your truth. Never dumb yourself down and make yourself less than the awesome person you are. Never settle for less than what you want and deserve.

Put yourself first instead of everyone else before you. Stop being a people pleaser. Stop putting your wants and needs on the back burner to keep others satisfied. It would be best if you practice self-love and self-care.

Accept that people won’t handle it well and be willing to let them go because they don’t deserve a seat at your table. And once you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better life gets and how many people of integrity and sound quality come into your life. And I can say this from experience.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When You Assert Boundaries, Get Ready for People to Accuse You of Having “an Attitude.”

Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus

Many times, when we set boundaries and refuse to lower our standards, we’re accused of having “an attitude.” Lord only knows how many times I got that response when I either said no to something I didn’t like or refused to be manipulated or to take abuse. Therefore, it’s better to accept, even embrace, the reality that others will see you as doing just that- having an attitude when you stand on your principles.

Toxic teachers will assume that you’re insubordinate. Abusive managers and supervisors will think you’re not a team player, and bullying peers will see you as a ‘difficult’ person to be around, and that’s only a very mild version of what they may call you.

Understand that anytime we enforce our boundaries and standards, we become threats to abusers. We expose the manipulative people in our lives through the limits we set and see them more clearly. Why? Because we force them to tell off on themselves through their very reactions toward us.

Through having boundaries and standards, we can better tell the difference between real friends and fake ones. We can better see which people are truly for us and value our friendship and which ones are only in our lives because they want something from us.

Like all abusers, bullies feel entitled to devalue you and expect you to “just go with the flow” and not object to it. With these types of people, your healthy boundaries and standards are an insult to them. Why? Because they don’t recognize limits.

In their minds, anything goes, and the world and everything in it is one big free-for-all. In other words, any rules, laws, or limits don’t apply to them.

Bullies and frenemies believe they should have carte blanche to treat you any way they choose. They get super offended when you get enough of their abuse and finally have the courage to put your foot down. Accept that you will lose people you think are friends when you establish boundaries and standards. And they will often be the people you’d never expect.

But realize that these peoples’ condescension and dismissal are only proof of their discomfort and their only recourse. Bullies can’t handle an assertive person of incredible strength because they can never meet them on their level.

Also, understand that you cannot grow, be safe, or be free if you don’t set boundaries, and in many cases, people go out of their way to prevent targets of bullying and abuse from imposing any limits. It seems that boundaries and standards are okay for anyone else but strictly prohibited for targets.

But realize that you cannot continue to live your life as a doormat. Therefore,  you must dig deep and pull out the courage to establish your boundaries, which include,

Physical boundaries

Psychological boundaries

Time boundaries

No entry sign with barrier tape

Material boundaries

Intellectual boundaries

You are a flesh-and-blood human being who has rights! And sometimes, you must “cop an attitude” to defend those rights and enforce your boundaries from relentless bullies and other fakers who won’t take no from an answer and continue to violate them.

When you set firm boundaries and standards and enforce them, you protect your physical well-being, emotional health, self-esteem, and identity from anyone who seeks to destroy them. You make yourself an individual human being who asserts your right to make your own choices and decisions.

(Continued in Part 2 Next month)

The Strongest, Bravest, and Purest Souls!

…are the mentally disabled people with special needs.

If you’re from my generation, I’m sure you remember the series from the early ’90s, “Life Goes On.” And if you remember this television series, then you automatically think of Corky Thatcher, the mentally challenged middle child of the Thatcher family, played by Chris Burke. He, in real life, has Down’s Syndrome.

I’m not writing this for personal gain. The chances are that neither Chris Burke nor any of the other cast members or producers will ever read this post, which is only proof that I write strictly from my heart and about what I’ve noticed on many, many occasions throughout my lifetime.

The Mentally and Intellectually disadvantaged have the purest and sweetest of hearts, yet they live in a world that looks down on them. They’re unwanted- shunned, ridiculed, and brutalized. Yet, most of them maintain their smiles and their unconditional kindness. Their moral compasses never waiver. They’re innocent, childlike, and have hearts of the purest gold.

They Exhibit the Most Resilience

I write books about unsung heroes, who are different and who bullies target daily. But I’ll tell you this:

These courageous, amazing real-life heroes are the best of the human race! I admire their unbreakable will, unshakeable courage, dogged determination, and amazing ability to keep smiles on their faces even under the most challenging of circumstances!

These are the people who have the fortitude to overcome odds that would be overwhelming to a cast majority of people. And I state this with full conviction.

These beautiful souls also work the lowliest of jobs- jobs that most people think are beneath them. They display the best work ethic, the most dedication, and the most pride in their work. Yet, others treat them the worst and supervisors and coworkers devalue the mentally disabled.

Most Others Don’t Appreciate nor Value Them

These angels have more heart and soul than those who are “normal” and twice their ages.

You have to wonder how they do it. How do the mentally and intellectually disabled find the resolve to go up against such tremendous odds every single day? How do they keep pushing amid jeers, jokes, and cruel insults? Situations under which most “normal” people would’ve thrown in the towel?

Another reason why I salute the mentally and intellectually challenged is that they don’t let on that they even realize it when the rest of the world is showing it’s booty to them. They’re the people who never complain nor seem to feel sorry for themselves like most “normals” do any time life gives them a one-two punch. Yet people give them the least respect. Others devalue and abuse these people the most- all because they see them as having the least power of all!

The mentally and intellectually disabled don’t retreat into drugs and alcohol. Instead, they retreat into their work and hobbies. They keep their minds occupied with things that interest them.

They Display the Most Talent

I’ve found that these people show the most talent in the arts. Many of them draw and play musical instruments like professionals! Yet, others overlook those talents because of who they belong to!

I don’t claim to know for sure, so I can’t speak for all the mentally and intellectually disabled. But through my observations over the years, I’ve come to realize that, maybe, the reason the mentally and intellectually disabled seem to handle adversity with such grace and aplomb is that they’ve accepted it as their normal.

I’m not saying that they don’t get hurt by it because they have feelings too. They have the same desires as everyone else- to be loved and accepted for who they are. We all have the desire to be apart of something and to be included. Humankind is hardwired that way.

But the mentally and intellectually challenged have such a way of bouncing back from years of repeated rejection- back to their cheerful selves much quicker! And they forgive much more easily!

They Forgive the Quickest

That’s what makes them such beautiful souls! They’re the brightest and most brilliant lights in a very dark world! And it will go to their credit and be celebrated in The Afterlife!

Therefore, all I can say to the millions of earth angels is this:

Keep up the good fight! Keep being a shining example to the rest of the world! I love you all!

My novel, “Kids Under the Latch Key,” is a first-person narrative about a mentally handicapped young man named Randy and a group of neighborhood kids who take him under their wings and protect him from the cruelty of several people in a small Southern town, who bully and label him because he is different. It is narrated by a now middle-aged Grace, who is one of the kids who befriended Randy and tries to protect him before an unexpected and tragic turn of events intervenes. The tragedy prompts Grace to question God and gives her a new perspective of the world and of people in general.

“Kids Under the Latch Key” by Cherie White