gaslighting phrases

Gaslighting Phrases: 7 Most Common Statements to Be Aware of

Would you like to know gaslighting phrases so that you can see and hear gaslighting as it happens? These are the most common statements bullies will use to make you doubt yourself.

gaslighting phrases

When bullies hurl gaslighting statements your way, it can be twice as hurtful. Why? Because they victimize you a second time after you call out the initial abuse. As one who’s personally experienced this kind of behavior, I’m giving you the top gaslighting phrases to keep an ear out for.

You are going to learn the most common gaslighting phrases bullies use against their targets.

After you learn about all these statements, you will be better prepared with the proper comebacks to shut these creeps down. Moreover, you will have a greater chance of taking back control of your life.

This post is all about the most common gaslighting phrases that every target of bullying should watch for.

Gaslighting phrases:

Before we begin with the seven most common phrases used by gaslighters, I will mention the definition and goal of gaslighting for anyone who is new to this topic.

So, what is gaslighting?

Gaslighting comes from the 1940s film, “Gaslight,” in which an abusive husband exploits his wife by trying to convince her that she is going crazy. Another word for this type of abuse is “crazymaking.”

Gaslighting is a form of abuse that bullies and abusers inflict by saying things to cause their victims to doubt themselves and their own personal experiences. Moreover, the goal of gaslighting is for bullies to wield more power over the victim while diminishing their account of the abuse they suffer.

It is a sick and perverse mind game abusers play with their targets. So, what are the most common gaslighting phases bullies use and what do they sound like?

1. “You’re only imagining things.”

Bullies and abusers use this phrase to get you to doubt your own reality and question your own sanity. Furthermore, they aim to discredit you and to prompt bystanders and witnesses to question you as well. It’s so easy, it shouldn’t work.

But it does work, perhaps, a little too well!

By using this phrase (usually in front of an audience) the gaslighter attacks your ability to remember things accurately. Just as they do with the first statement, they discredit you by making you seem paranoid to others around them.

Moreover, they use this phrase to humiliate and silence you. Bullies hope that by doing this, they can silence you by making you so afraid of looking crazy that you’ll keep your mouth shut.

In short, this phrase has many goals: To discredit, embarrass, intimidate, and silence you.

This is why so many victims of this tactic eventually stop talking, while bullies and abusers only continue and escalate the abuse.

2. “That Didn’t happen.”

This is another deceitful response bullies and abusers quote to discredit you. This statement is also designed to make you look as if you have a faulty memory and can’t keep your story straight.

Moreover, when bullies make this statement, they make sure to look confident when they say it. They also say it with conviction. Here’s one thing you should know right now!

Abusers know that confidence (even false confidence) and conviction are THE two ingredients that will make any lie believable to bystanders.

So, be sure to keep this last bold sentence in the back of your mind! Always!

3. “You’re crazy!”

This is, perhaps, the worst of all gaslighting phrases.

Yep. There’s that crazy label again. Attacking your mental stability is the worst thing your bullies and abusers could ever do to you. The reason is that society believes those with mental illness the least, discredits them the most, and treats them the worst.

Moreover, hardened criminals and former prison inmates get better treatment than people who are believed to be mentally unstable. The reality is that people will take the word of a bank robber, rapist, or even a murderer over that of someone society has labelled mentally ill.

Bullies and abusers instinctively know this. And when they attack your sanity, they immediately shove you down to the bottom of the societal hierarchy. Furthermore, tearing off this label is the most difficult thing to do.

It’s much easier to exonerate yourself from accusations of a heinous crime than it is from the label of insanity or mental defect.

Additionally, your abusers only set you up to face a plethora of hate, discrimination, and prejudice in the future. Why? Because society, as a whole, even today, fosters an intense hatred of the mentally ill.

those perceived to be mentally ill are treated worse than hardened criminals.

And the hatred is so much so that even the mere perception that you are imbalanced can bring hatred to your doorstep. In fact, you may very well be the most sane and stable person on the face of the earth.

However, all it takes is for one person to paint you as “crazy,” spread the word to enough people, then kick back and let the court of public opinion take it from there. It’s that easy.

 As a result, your reputation will fall like a meteor. ‘You see? The sad thing is this:

Although it’s true that no one can ever prove that you are, in fact, crazy, there’s also no way that you can prove that you’re not. Mental defect OR fitness is, pretty much, impossible to prove.

Again, bullies and abusers are fully aware of these things, which is what makes the crazy label itself especially brutal. It has totally ruined the lives of many good, honest, and hardworking people.

4. “this is why nobody likes you.”

Bullies and abusers are masters at isolating their victims. They very skillfully use smear campaigns to turn friends, and yes, even family members against their targets. Bullies do this by reversing the roles and claiming to everyone that they are the one who has long suffered from your abuse.

The reason your bullies slander you to anyone who’ll listen is because it gives them the confirmation they so desperately need that you are a bad person.

Moreover, it breaks down the support system you once had, which gives your attackers a green light to continue and intensify the bullying and abuse. Bullies can now abuse you more freely without fear of anyone butting in and trying to interfere.

In other words, they don’t have to worry about any of your friends/family trying to rescue you.

This is why bullies despise it when you have friends and people who love and care about you. It undermines their power and control over you.

With that said, once your controller has succeeded in isolating you, this is one of the main gaslighting phrases you will hear them say. You bullies will say this to make you feel devalued and to drive the point into your head that you aren’t lovable, wanted, worthy of friendship… take your pick.

The goal here is to break your confidence and lower your self-esteem. Understand that this, or any other gaslighting statements are meant to condition your mind over time.

The process of gaslighting is gradual and slowly wears you down until you feel totally powerless.

5. “You Bring It all On Yourself,” Is another one of the most obvious of gaslighting phrases.

This evil and self-serving statement is meant to take responsibility off the bully/abuser and place it onto the victim. In other words, bullies refuse to take accountability for their bad behavior and, instead, blame the target.

In doing this, they re-victimize the target and blame them for being bullied and abused. Other such gaslighting phrases abusers may use are:

“It’s your own fault.”

“You got what was coming to you.”

“You made me hurt you.”

NOTE: “You made me” statements are especially obvious gaslighting phrases. You should see them as such and cut ties with the gaslighter immediately if possible. If this isn’t possible right away, you may need to plan your exit slowly and carefully while waiting and watching for the opportunity to get out.

6. You’re over-reacting” or “You’re being too sensitive”

Gaslighting statements like these are used to trivialize reality, your feelings, and your response. Understand that bullies are experts at trivializing their bad behavior along with your feelings and responses to it.

The goal here is to undermine your voice and your word in front of an audience and convince others not to take you seriously. If your bullies can cause others to call you into question and perceive you as paranoid, they can bleed you of any outside support.

7. “Everyone is on my side!” or “Everyone Agrees with me!”

This is also one of the top 3 worst gaslighting phrases. The reason it’s so bad is because it makes you feel outnumbered and out-voted. In other words, by making this statement, the bullies want you to feel as if everyone is ganging up on you.

Therefore, the more people you think side with the bullies, the more likely you are to doubt and question your own judgement. Abusers hope you do because if you doubt yourself, it’s easier for the people around you to doubt you too.

In conclusion, if you want to preserve your self-esteem and mental health, it is imperative that you know who you are and what you experience. Stay strong and never doubt what you see, hear, and experience no matter what mind games and tricks your bullies play.

Also, if possible, you must leave the environment (the company, the school, the relationship) if you expect to begin healing and take back control of your life.

Remember that people have left their home countries to escape oppression. That’s what gaslighting is, it’s a form of oppression as is other kinds of bullying and abuse.

It won’t be easy. In fact, it will be tough for a while. But it will be worth it in the end! I promise!

This post is all about the most common gaslighting phrases to help you see gaslighting for what it is and find a way out of any bullying environment!

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

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

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

3. Gaslighting at Work: 5 Surefire Indicators to Watch Out for

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 You Regain Your Power

You regain your power by changing your mindset. Realize that a victim mentality only breeds a funky attitude.

I may have been a target, but I was never a victim. I thought I was during the entire time I was bullied and for a while after it was over. Understand that a victim mentality, when taken to extremes, serves no purpose. It only breeds laziness and entitlement. You feel that the world owes you something. It doesn’t.

I had the same attitude and it got me nowhere!

Also, if you hold on to it and let it define you, you’ll only attract more bullies and abusers in your life. We are what we think, and the universe will provide more of the stuff that matches our thoughts.

That is why it’s so important that you shed this mentality of defeat. Only then will you re-empower yourself and win true peace and happiness!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Bullies Who Think They Can Predict Your Downfall

Bullies are notorious for playing fortuneteller to their targets. They laugh at your goals and dreams. They try to derail and sabotage your progress. And they do it because they’re so darned insecure in themselves. Why do you think bullies work so hard at bringing others down?

Realize that all this is very telling about the bullies’ own lives. In many cases, you’ll have the smart kid in your class who always makes straight A’s and makes high remarks and he’s targeted by bullies.

There’s also the girl who can sing like a professional, the boy who wins all the awards, the girl who writes the most beautiful poems and interesting stories, the guy who always gets the promotions at work, or the woman who always gets noticed by potential suitors.

One thing they all have in common is that they’re the ones bullies come for to make their lives as miserable as possible.

In school, I could sing, and the music teacher would pick me to sing solos in the school choir. I also write stories and poems back then and I cannot count the times my bullies told me:

“You’ll never make it in the music business.”

“You’ll never publish any books.”

“No book publisher will ever choose any of your lame stories.”

“You’ll never amount to anything.”

“You’ll never be anybody.”

“You’ll never get married.”

“You’ll never have children.”

“You’ll never be worth a damn.”

And the list goes on…

And each time I’d hear garbage like this from my bullies, I’d think of the sounds I’d hear every time I’d watch Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang and see them talking to an adult, whether it be their parents, or a teacher in class.

toxic brainwashing

I would think, “Wa-wa-w-wa-wa-waaaaaa.” That’s how little I valued their words when it came to things I enjoyed doing and my dreams and goals.

With bullies, it’s always the same old you’ll never this and you’ll never that. But, here’s the thing. People who haven’t accomplished much themselves will always try to drag you down when they think you’re striving for something. And because they haven’t tasted success, they don’t believe that anyone else will (or should) either.

Understand that when bullies predict your failures, they only reveal all their failures and disappointments. That’s right! They’re speaking from their own perspectives. Anytime they tell you that you’ll never succeed at anything, it’s because they’ve never succeeded at anything and likely never will.

What these bullies are also telling you is that they’re afraid that you will succeed and make them feel even more like the losers they are. Realize that your bullies are trying to wreck your optimism, kill your confidence, and crush your self-esteem. And they want to do it before you end up winning at something.

Bullies want you to fail and they want it so badly they can almost taste it. Because, if you do reach success, your win will only reflect back to them their own laziness, failure, and mediocrity. Therefore, they relentlessly try to drum their words of doom into your head to condition you to not even bother to try. Because they know that not trying only ensures failure. In trying to condition you to not try, they’re only trying to ensure your failure.

That’s why it’s imperative that you turn a deaf ear to your bullies’ bogus predictions of your future because they can’t possibly know what their own futures entail, much less yours. You must not allow them to discourage you and cause you to lose sight of your goals and dreams.

Let the trash they talk go in one ear and out the other. Tell them, “That’s your opinion” and laugh at them or maybe scoff and give your bullies a scornful eye-roll. Then turn your back to them and walk away snickering. Look on your bullies with scorn when they try to predict your outcomes because they only do it out of ignorance and stupidity.

Do these things because it’s the only way you’ll keep your power and continue to feel confident. Your self-esteem will thank you for it later!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What’s the Difference between Bitterness and Acknowledgement of Past Victimization?

Telling you to “get over it” is typical of bullies. The reason they tell you this is to shame and to silence you. In telling you to “let it go,” bullies make you out to be unstable or a drama-filled person who carries a grudge and can’t leave the past behind.

I don’t hate my classmates. I thank them. Because if it weren’t for my classmates, I might have never found my niche and the thing I enjoy doing the most. In their torment of me all those years ago, they inspired me to become a champion for the bullied, an author of 4 books, and a blogger whose niche is bullying. So, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. In truth, I can never thank them enough.

Here’s the thing. There’s a difference between holding a grudge and accepting that you suffered abuse. You can acknowledge what happened without holding onto bitterness and hate.

Grudges, bitterness, and hate – unhealthy

Grudges are unhealthy. A person who carries a grudge has anger, resentment, and hate boiling inside them and will often seek revenge. A grudge-holder handles any past victimhood he suffered in very destructive ways.

People who hold grudges only let the past hold them back from growing, from enjoying new friendships and relationships with others, and from success. Because a grudge holder carries so much anger and bitterness, they only repel people who would be potential friends and partners. They only attract more negativity and adversity into their lives.

Acknowledgment of Past Victimization – healthy

On the other hand, acknowledging or accepting prior victimization and how it hurt you is one of the healthiest things you can do. The person who does this doesn’t hold a grudge and doesn’t hate the people who abused her. She only feels sorry for them.

Survivors who accept the past realize that there can be valuable lessons learned from being a past target of bullying and abuse and often use it as their rocket fuel. Like I have done, they do years of research into bullying and into bullies’ mindsets and the victims they select. They consistently search for answers as to why bullies bully, what bullies look for in victims, and much, much more.

They then speak out about their experiences and the pain they suffered to bring awareness to the world- consciousness that, yes, such evil does exist. A former victim who accepts the past freely talks of and spreads awareness of bullying and abuse only grows and acquires wisdom. She then uses that wisdom to reach out to others who endure the same or prevent others from experiencing the same pain.

You would be surprised how rewarding this is to a survivor. Through using past pain for good, many survivors have achieved healing and gotten closure. Also, these people often make fulfilling and life-long friendships and connections through their work toward their cause.

Expect your old tormentors to come for you if you raise awareness.

Sadly though, it’s easy to get these two things confused. Former classmates from school have accused me of being bitter and full of hate. They have blasted me for having the gall to speak out and write about the brutality and the vile and downright devilish behavior they displayed years ago. Luckily, I see right through them.

‘You see? Even years after the fact, abusers despise it when you take the pain they caused you in the past and turn it into something that can help people. And when you take something that was meant to defeat you and turn it into something that helps others and only makes you stronger, oh man, do they hate that!

All that time, they tried to tear you down! All that combined effort! And still! You didn’t drown! You only took it and turned it into something positive, and all that work they put forth to bury you ended up wasted! Understand that bullies become furious when they realize they weren’t able to destroy you.

Anytime you speak out about any past abuse you suffered, it should be not only accepted but expected that your old tormentors will come for you, telling you to get over it. Not only are they angry at you because you didn’t crash and burn, but they’re also very much afraid that you’ll expose them somehow or that you’ll succeed. Don’t take it personally.

Instead, take it as confirmation of their guilt- as proof that they were and still are the ones who have the problem. When old bullies bash you for speaking out, they only out themselves. Don’t let them silence you, nor allow them to stop you from reaching out to those who need to hear your story because you might end up saving a life!

Turn your pain into power! Be a friend and advocate for the bullied!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Always Mirror the Bully to Disarm and Intimidate Them into Leaving You Alone

If a bully cuts their eyes at you, return the gesture. If she tries to stare you down, never look away because she will only take that as fear, and from then on, you’ll be her new source of power. Always glare back without blinking and stand with your feet apart and arms akimbo to take up some space. This is known as a “power pose.”

You may have to stand that way and stare for a while if she sees your response as a challenge, but if you hold your position long enough, she’ll finally get tired and move on.

Understand that any time a person uses this type of body language toward you without provocation, they are clearly saying that they’re superior to you and attempting to dominate you. So always, always reciprocate any dirty looks and dominate or intimidating body language. Assert your power this way, and soon, the bully will get the message that you’re confident, fearless, and not one she should mess with.

independent 20s girl with threatening body language

It’s not what you say. It’s what you do. Nonverbal communication is over eighty percent of communication. Talk is cheap, and if your words don’t match your body language, bullies will pick up on it, and they will eat you alive!

If you’re the timid type, there are plenty of books you can read to learn confident body language and power pose. Once you read, practice, and learn what nonverbal cues convey power, you must practice those poses until they become comfortable to you.

Remember that bullies always target someone they perceive to be lacking in confidence, timid, and insecure because that person is least likely to fight back. To look confident, fearless, and secure, practice open body language.

Stand with your feet apart and arms uncrossed (crossed arms are closed body language and make you look insecure and untrustworthy). When a bully confronts you, never look down or away. Always look the bully in the eye, and she will see that you aren’t afraid and likely move on to someone else.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

8 Things Bullies Will Tell Others When the Target Puts Their Foot Down

Any time a target gets tired of the abuse and calls a bully’s bluff. The bully will more than likely justify their behavior to others. Here is a list of the most famous statements you’re likely to hear, from most popular to least.

1. “She’s crazy.” or “She’s unstable.”

2. “He’s just mad because I called him out!”

3. “She’s so fake.”

4. “She’s too sensitive.” “She’s overreacting.”

5. “He’s a crybaby.”

6. “She doesn’t want to admit when she’s wrong.”

7. “I was just trying to help you.”

8. “She’s just jealous of me because of…”

Always listen to your gut feeling- it will always tell you the truth. If something doesn’t feel good, your gut will tell you. Remember that the sensations of the body never lie. You should expect bullies to act this way when you finally assert yourself; it only goes to show what kinds of people they are- and who you should avoid.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

10 Bad Things That Will Happen If You Don’t Learn to Love Yourself

If you don’t love yourself, who will? And how can you love anyone else if you don’t first love yourself?

These are valid questions.

When a person doesn’t love themselves, we can tell. We can see it in his demeanor, his face, and his posture. We can hear it in their tone of voice and the way they talk. Why do you think these people attract users and abusers to them? Why do you think they end up with people who mistreat and control them?

Here’s what happens when you don’t love yourself:

1. You’ll never be able to love anyone else properly. You will be codependent- always searching to get love from another source- a source outside yourself, instead of letting love come from within. When you finally find someone who does love you, you won’t love them the way they need to be loved. Instead, you’ll only smother your partner to death because you’ll always have to be right there under the person’s nose.

Also, you’ll be suspicious of others, wondering if your partner’s going to leave you, wondering if they’re cheating, etc., you’ll wonder if your friends like you or if they’re only pretending to. In essence, you’ll end up making a new partner or friend pay for something someone else did in the past, and it’s not fair. Being in constant worry and suspicion is no way to live!

2. You’ll rely too much on others to make you feel loved and wanted and you fear being alone. You will always believe that to be happy, you must always be one half of a couple. But understand that if you aren’t happy single, you won’t be happy in a relationship either.

3. You’ll move too quickly into a relationship. Once you are in a relationship, you’ll love your partner more than they deserve, and before they’d had time to earn that love.  Also, you’re likely to scare the other person away. Realize that love needs time to grow.

4. You’ll give away your power. When you give away your power, you automatically put yourself at the mercy of someone else. And believe me, they take full advantage. You’ll put your own needs on the back burner and always put your partner before yourself, doing all the giving in the relationship in exchange for your partner’s love. You’ll even do things you really don’t want to do just to satisfy the other person.

You’ll stop making your own decisions and allow someone else to choose for you. You’ll also agree to every single thing he or she says. When you do this, you leave nothing for yourself. After a while, the feeling of unfairness will slowly build. Soon, you will become resentful after so long of not getting anything in return. Never give another person that kind of power! You must have your own mind and be your own person.

5. You may become a little too controlling of others. You can never control how another person acts nor how they feel about you. What happens when your partner gets tired of you and decides he/she no longer wants to be with you? It will devastate you. It’s only natural that the end of any friendship or relationship is painful. But it should never be crushing. It should never feel like the end of the world.

6. You’ll be on an endless search for love and friendship. You’ll spend your whole life searching for love. That in itself is not only off-putting to others, but it’s also exhausting to you. You’ll waste your time, hopping from relationship to relationship.

When one partner gets bored with you and leaves for someone who challenges them, you’ll be on yet another search for someone else to take their place. And this cycle will only continue to repeat itself. Then before long, you’ll have a string of broken relationships behind you. Not good!

7. You’ll settle for just anyone. And you’ll get even less than what you settled for. No one should settle. Ever! If the person isn’t the person you want or is less than what you thought they were, you’ll be much happier if you move on to something you really want. Always be selective of the friends and partners you choose and of the company you keep.

8. You’ll attract takers instead of givers. Predatory people have a keen eye for those who are desperate to be loved and accepted. And they’ll smell you from a mile away. These people will be more than happy to befriend or date you just to get what they want from you.

Once they’ve used you long enough and bleed you dry of resources and dignity, they’ll only drop you and move on to the next poor sucker. When you stop being afraid of aloneness, you begin to repel predators and attract better people.

9. You’ll repel the people who would otherwise love and accept you. If, by chance, you happen to find someone who truly loves you, you won’t be able to relax and enjoy it. You’ll be so scared of losing the person that you’ll be too clingy and likely run them off because of your constant neediness.

Understand that when you do this, you automatically make them responsible for your happiness, and it’s not fair. Being held accountable for another person’s happiness is a heavy load for anyone to carry! You’ll only zap the other person’s energy as you expect them to fill a void that can’t be filled by anyone but you and God. Realize that only you are responsible for your happiness—no one else.

10. You’ll stay in a toxic relationship and put up with shabby treatment and abuse just to keep from being alone. You’ll likely end up with an abuser who’ll physically or mentally abuse you. Love and friendship shouldn’t be painful. You may also end up with someone too lazy to work and who expects you to keep their worthless ass up.

No one has to work that hard to keep any relationship, and if you do, it’s a sign that you need to show somebody the door- and fast. The last thing you want is to be tied down to some broke chump who treats you like crap or won’t get off their dead butt and work to help pay the bills. I’ve seen this happen to so many people I’ve known in the past.

Being alone is a part of loving yourself. It’s not the worst thing that can ever happen to you. It’s very healthy sometimes because you get to know yourself during times of solitude. But when you’re afraid of being by yourself, you’re likely to give others control of your life and put yourself at their mercy! STOP THAT! Never cheat yourself by settling for anything less than what you deserve! And never put your happiness in someone else’s hands! Ever!

With knowledge comes power!

A Target of Bullying Must Think Ahead

When you’re a target of bullying, you learn very quickly that to be prepared for battle requires thinking ahead. You must be ready for things that haven’t even happened yet. You must focus on what could happen and consider every possible scenario.

All the above requires observing the bullies and the people around you, being quiet and listening to every conversation (without making it evident that you’re listening). It also requires paying attention to body language, micro-expressions, and micro-aggressions; and making a mental note of their reactions to specific actions, statements, and events. You’d be amazed at what you find out about people by being observant.

The word Answer on a puzzle piece to symbolize the quest for understanding in answering questions and concerns

It’s what kept me from being fired when I worked in a toxic environment years ago and allowed me to stay ahead of the bullies in that environment. I talked about this in more detail in my blog posts about how I triumphed over workplace bullying.

I want you to understand that the more you silently pay attention, the more information your bullies will unwittingly give you because many seasoned bullies are overconfident and arrogant- which equals loud, obnoxious, and they have big mouths.

The more information you gather, the better you will be able to predict their next move or reaction, and the better you’ll be able to avoid any blunders that might bring about more bullying. You’ll prevent a great many attacks and, ultimately, be better able to protect yourself.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

7 Ways to Make Yourself Less a Target

Before we begin, I want to assure you that the bullying you suffer isn’t your fault. There’s nothing wrong with you, nor did you do anything to bring it on yourself. So, if you feel the title of this post has undertones of victim-blaming, please be assured that you’re not to blame. However, what it does say is that you’re not entirely powerless, which is excellent news! There are ways you can lessen the bullying and make yourself more charismatic.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Practice modesty. Targets of bullying will sometimes incessantly talk themselves up. I completely understand why they do this. When people are always putting you down, sometimes your first instinct is to build yourself back up and make yourself feel better and soothe your battered self-esteem. And understand that sometimes, you have to do this to feel better. However, doing this can make you a bigger target if you aren’t careful.

Never talk about yourself too much, and never try to bring too much attention to what you do. Nobody likes a braggart. And the more you talk about what you’re doing; the more suspicious of you people will be. Even worse, you’ll become a target of backstabbers and people who are jealous! Never toot your own horn. Be modest. Make it about others, not yourself.

2. It’s better to be nonchalant. Make everything you do look effortless.

3. Don’t pour on the flattery. Sometimes, targets of bullying will use excessive flattery to get in their bullies’ good graces, and it never works. I tried it when I was a kid to trick my bullies into leaving me alone. It only backfired. Too much flattery can make things worse because it makes you look like a suck-up. Or, your bullies might think you’re trying to run a con game on them, which will only get them angrier because they take it as your believing they’re stupid. Keep the flattery to a minimum, and for the love of Pete, don’t attempt to flatter the wrong people!

4. Get noticed. But don’t overdo it with being flashy or flamboyant. Sadly, targets of bullying will do anything, and I mean anything to be seen. I can understand because no one wants to be made invisible. But being gaudy will only make you a bigger target, and the last thing you need is to draw even more negative attention to yourself. Subtly create a style all your own.

5. Alter yourself to the people you’re around. But never too much. Keep enough style of your own so you don’t come off as a copy-cat. When you’re a victim of bullying, the last thing you need is for others to brand you a fake.

6. Bring good news. Keep any bad news to a minimum because people will shoot messengers of negativity. And if you’re a target of bullying, people already associate you with enough negativity. Why not shock a few people by bringing positivity?

7. Never criticize. Especially the wrong people. Being critical of others can make you seem like a drama king or queen and can escalate the bullying you suffer.

Doing the above things may not make the bullying stop entirely, but it can dial it down a notch or two. And the less of a target you are, the better!

The One Thing That Gets Targets of Bullying in The Most Trouble

Overreacting. Any overreactions to the taunts, insults, and attacks of bullies only bring more problems targets would otherwise avoid if they stayed calm. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson through time-consuming trial and error, and it could’ve gotten me either maimed or killed. But you don’t have to.

Overreacting can have a boomerang effect because when you get overly excited, the chances are that the bullies will too- especially bullies who are overly aggressive. Overdoing the response could cause the altercation to escalate into something you may not be able to walk away from. Also, the bullies could use your overreaction against you.

The target’s overreaction is how bullies feign victimhood and make the victim look like the aggressor. It’s how bullies bait their victims. So why not use a different strategy?

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

The smart thing to do is to fake a surrender or submission. Make it look as if you’re giving in to your bullies’ demands. I realize this may feel a bit cowardly to you, but you aren’t caving in, you’re only making your bullies think you are. So, remain calm and make them believe they have the upper hand. Doing so will stabilize the bully’s temper.

But wait! There’s another benefit! Your bullies more than likely expect or even want you to react with a high degree of aggression. But you don’t, and it will throw them off guard. It will surprise, even shock your bullies, because you remained calm and agreed with them. The surprise is a powerful weapon if you know how to use it.

Use your fake surrender as part of a bigger plan once you fool them into thinking you care. On the inside, you continue to stand your ground, but on the outside, you give in to their desires. Doing so can give you time to quietly plan a countermeasure that will bring the bullies down. Smarts will always trump aggression every time!

However, understand that this takes a truckload of self-discipline and self-control. And, as mentioned earlier, you may feel like a big old wimp when you use this technique. Just remember this: You’re not giving the bullies what they want. You only look like you are. You’re only playing dead to save your life!

Here’s a third benefit. By faking your submission, you also allow yourself time to study your bullies and carefully plot any future moves. And when the bullies are satisfied and lay off you, you’ll finally have room to make your countermove.

So, go ahead—fake your submission. Get close to your bullies and learn their ways. Give them no reason to react, nothing to prepare for, and no cause for resistance. Then when the time is right, BAM!

They won’t know what hit them.

Any time you make it look as if you submit to your bullies, you’re only mocking them. It’s silent disdain – like expelling a silent fart in their direction, only they don’t know they’ve been farted on.

You turn their own power against them and make them look like idiots. But they can’t retaliate because you did what they told you to do. Right?

With knowledge comes empowerment!

It’s No Use Trying to Change Other People

Many targets of bullying try so hard to get others to like them, only to drive them further away instead. It all boils down to this: You are trying to change them.

Don’t. Because you can’t. I say this because anytime you try to change someone, they will sense that and only double down. Stop thinking about them because they aren’t worth the extra time and energy.

And why would you want the approval of people who only use and abuse you? Why do you even want those people in your life? I want you to realize that anyone who bullies you is the last person who deserves a spot in your life.

Or you could look at it another way: Would you want another person to try and change you? How would you feel if the roles were reversed? You’d feel even more resentment toward the other person, wouldn’t you? I would.

No one wants to be force or made to feel compelled. Including you. Besides, your bullies are already trying to force you to feel bad about yourself. They’re already trying to exert control over you. Do you really want to crawl behind people like them? Yuck!

Instead of focusing on them, focus on yourself and your goals and dreams. Get busy doing you. Be a little selfish. This is the time when you should make it all about you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why Should Your Bullies’ Opinions of You Matter?

Indifferent.

As we all know, bullies talk a lot of crap and put on a fake persona. They’re loud and obnoxious, which translates to thirsty for attention and admiration.

“Hey! Look at me! Look at me!”

Their lives are so pathetic that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to make others feel bad. It only translates to the bullies’ being insecure and afraid that someone else is either going to outshine them somehow or make them look inferior. Should what they think of you ever matter?

What if I told you that your bullies’ negative thoughts of you only reflected those they secretly have of themselves?

Would you believe me if I said that their hatred of you is only a reflection of their own pathetic self-loathing and that they’re only trying to put it off on you?

Crazy young man in white shirt standing and screaming at woman in pink dress. woman dont care and looking at camera with toothy smile. indoor studio shot, isolated on light brown background.

Understand that bullies put on quite a show to look significant and relevant, and they must work damn hard at keeping up their images. When you stop and think about it, it’s just as pathetic as when someone stuffs their bra or puts a sock in their crotch. Anyone who must expend such an enormous amount of effort to keep the less-than-perfect parts of them hidden can’t be a person who likes themselves much and it’s sad.

Why should you value the opinion of some buffoon who’s a big-time one-upper and desperate to be seen and adored? Realize that this person’s opinion has no merit whatsoever, and their hurtful words carry little weight if any at all.

If you know what to look for, you’ll see these people for what they are, and you won’t take them so seriously. And when you do, it will serve as a buffer to any psycho/emotional harm they may cause you, and your self-esteem will skyrocket!

Beware! Bullies Can Get Intel from Information That’s Meant to Help Targets!

intel spy information eavesdrop

There are many positives to bullying and suicide awareness, one of which is the ever so slow change in attitudes en masse about bullying, bullies, and victims over the last twenty years. More and more people are coming to the realization that bullying is not “just a normal rite of passage” or “just a part of growing up” like previously thought a few decades ago.

People are finally seeing it for the huge health hazard and the threat to human life that it truly is and perhaps, always has been. Unlike thirty years ago when I was in school, there is a vast wealth of knowledge, resources, and programs readily available to anyone who finds themselves on the receiving end of such harassment.

We now have a treasure trove of articles, books, and videos on what victims can do to bully-proof themselves. Today, we know that victims of bullying are not weak, too sensitive or to blame for the treatment they receive like previously thought decades ago.

Intel spy information eavesdrop listen in

We have made great progress for victims of bullying and I cannot thank enough all those who contributed to this progress. However, I want to stress something that I’m positive very few have considered:

Bullies also have access to this widely available information!

Although the data available is meant to help and empower victims, bullies can use this data as counterintelligence and turn it against their targets. And they can do it by using the information to tailor any future attacks.

For instance, since bullying has been shown to cause suicide, there has been a drastic uptick in cases where bullies have told their victims to “kill themselves”. A few have even talked them into it.

Remember that the most talented and seasoned bullies are cowards at heart and always commit their evil undercover and with subtlety. Bullies are smart, stealth, meticulous, and worst of all- patient! They will not risk being caught.

eavesdrop nosy

Anytime a victim attempts to assert their right not to be mistreated and to better their lives, bullies only escalate the harassment to punish the target and keep him/her silent and, in essence, enslaved.

I want you to understand that any power the victim regains for him/herself is power the bullies must lose! And when bullies see a threat to the power they have over a target, they will only tighten their grip and escalate the torment.

Bullying is a slow death by psychological, emotional, and physical torture. It is systematic, subtle and sadly, escalation of it is sometimes so gradual that it often goes unnoticed by bystanders and authority until the victim dies by their own hand.

When a target of bullying commits suicide, the bullies have committed murder without laying a finger on the target. And because there’s no physical contact or weapon discharged by the bully or bullies at the time of the target’s death, the bully gets away with this murder.

intel spy information eavesdrop watching

Bullies murder their victims by gently and over time, persuading and influencing them to do it for them. Now, this is how they get away with murder! What better way is there to kill someone without ever touching them, without firing a single shot, and without fear of ever seeing the inside of a prison?

Bullies know this instinctively! I say this with full conviction and being fully aware that I might be giving a few evil and unsavory souls a few ideas! Of this, I am truly afraid!

The best I can do is to hope and pray to the goodness that no one with evil intentions comes across this blog post!

In closing, if you are a target of chronic and relentless bullying, I urge you to never give up on yourself. Never let a bully convince you that the world would be better off without you! It wouldn’t!

Never let a bully convince you that you would be better off dead because chances are that they only target you because you are doing something right! They bully you because you stand out! You somehow outshine the bullies and they only mistreat you out of jealousy!

Know that you’re worth living for!

Believe it!