13 Secrets to Unlock Your Social Potential

woman crowd-surfing

Close to ninety percent of our language is nonverbal. In other words, body language (actions) speaks louder than words ever will. All too often, when bullies have attacked you for an extended period, your self-esteem and mental health suffer. Even worse, people will see it through your everyday body language, and you won’t realize it’s happening.

Consequently, most targets only attract more bullies and bullying because their body language changes with time as they endure daily abuse. The target’s body language will transform from confident to diffident– meaning lack of confidence. This is the reason many targets have few friends.

Why do most targets of bullying have difficulty making friends?

This is because, others can spot insecurity a mile away, which makes it difficult to attract healthy people into your life. You’ll only attract users and more abusers. Why? Because, as a matter of human nature, healthy and secure people stay away from people who give off signals of low self-esteem and depression. On the other hand, you’ll attract predators- people who fake a friendship to either exert control over your life or to get something from you.

Moreover, nonverbal signals, such as lack of eye contact, looking down, fake smiles and closed body language make the target appear unapproachable.

It’s not your fault.

Naturally, this is not the target’s fault. It is just something that happens after a person has endured abuse for so long. However, confident body language is something that you can learn, even teach yourself, and practice. And once you perfect it, you will instantly attract faithful friends and better people into your life.

Here are 11 powerful tricks you can use to instantly win friends:

  1. Smile! And smile genuinely!

Smiling at people shows that you approve of them and are open to friendships. It also conveys confidence and confidence is where it’s at! However, a fake smile is easy to spot and a major turn-off. It only repels people, or worse, invites more bullying. Fake smiles only hurt more than help.

  1. Make good eye contact.

When you make good eye contact, you show others that you genuinely respect and are interested in them. People love those who take an interest in them. Therefore, when you’re engaged in conversation with someone, look them in the eye. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll seem creepy. Just find that happy middle.

  1. Stand up straight.

Bad posture, such as slouching and hunching only conveys insecurity and low self-esteem. So, stand up straight and walk with purpose. Also, throw in a few power poses when you stand- feet shoulder-width apart and with your hands on your hips with your thumbs on the front of your waist. This also signals confidence. Also, it can keep bullies away because when a bully sees someone do this, they think twice before messing with the person. Why? Because their body language is signaling confidence and, more importantly, power! And if there’s one thing bullies understand, it is power!

  1. Practice open body language.

This will instantly make you more approachable. Put simpler, open body language means keeping facing the people you talk to and keeping your whole body turned toward them. When you do this, you’re signaling that you’re interested in what the other person has to say.

  1. Slightly lean in when you talk to someone.

Again, this shows that you are fully engaged and interested in what the other person is saying. However, only do it slightly to avoid invading your interlocutor’s personal space. Make sure to do this properly and you will build rapport with the people you speak to. Also, they will be more likely to trust you.

  1. Nod when you agree with the person you’re talking to.

Nodding not only shows that you are listening and fully engaged. Also, it conveys understanding and agreement. Nodding is a very powerful form of communication and often gets amazing social results!

  1. Use hand gestures when you speak.

Using hand gestures can help you to think and express your thoughts and feelings more clearly. Moreover, it conveys understanding, energy and warmness.

  1. Relax.

If you want people to feel at ease around you, relax when you’re having a conversation with them. There is nothing worse than talking to someone who seems nervous and tense. It weirds people out big time! Therefore, always relax around others. Having body language that is relaxed conveys that you’re comfortable and confident with yourself and in turn, others will be comfortable and confident with you.

  1. Put away your phone.

There is nothing worse than talking to someone who has their face in their phone, texting. It conveys that they’re more interested in what’s on their screen and not what you have to say. It is downright rude and disrespectful. So, lose the phone when you’re in conversation with someone. It’s just good social etiquette.

Two silly friends

  1. Be aware of where your toes are pointed.

If you’re in a conversation with someone and your toes aren’t pointed toward them, it only conveys that you don’t want to be with the person and want to go elsewhere. Now, some people don’t think about the feet but those who are the most aware of body language cues will. Therefore, always stand with your feet and toes pointed toward the person you’re talking to. It signals that you want to move toward them, that you’re happy to see them and speak with them.

  1. Make sure your body language is congruent with your words.

This is so important! If you’re saying one thing and your body language doesn’t match, you will come off to others as fake and insincere. As a result, they won’t take you seriously and will be repelled by you. Nobody likes fake. So, more than anything else, be sure that your nonverbal cue are in line with your verbal ones.

12. Practice the art of small talk.

Talking about the weather, which team won the Super Bowl, your favorite rock bands, or  current news is considered small talk. In other words, never talk to potential friends about anything deep. Save that for later… much later! If you’re looking to make new friends, keep conversations light until after the friendship grows significantly.

13. Establish common ground.

Friendships come a lot easier with those we have something in common with. Find the people you have something in common with, such as other targets of bullying, and band with them. I guarantee that this works like a charm!

When you begin practicing these techniques, they may feel weird at first. However, don’t quit. Practice good verbal and nonverbal communication every day until they become second nature. Also remember that although words are important, others pay more attention to your body language than your words. So, improve them both, then, watch the magic unfold as people instantly become warmer and more receptive toward you. And you will make terrific friends in the process.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

4 Easy Ways to Avoid Being Gaslighted

Gaslighting is the worst form of abuse. It is the worst form of manipulation and psycho/emotional control and it happens when bullies and abusers consistently feed their targets lies that cause them (the target) to doubt their own experiences and what they know to be true. In other words, it undermines your perception of reality. Consequently, if bullies gaslight you often enough and for long enough, it can make you think that you must be going crazy.

Nowadays, narcissists, abusers, users, and psychopaths (BKA, bullies) are everywhere, and they will gaslight you. That is, if you don’t know how to avoid it. Sadly, many targets don’t have this knowledge and, therefore, end up brainwashed once the gaslighting has gone on for so long.

One this happens, targets will then become victims. Gaslighters and brainwashers can be anyone- bullies in school or at work, abusive parents and spouses, satanic cult leaders, and crooked politicians and dictators. Although these categories of people are different kinds of bullies from different walks of life, know this! They all pull the same tactics and play the same game.

Moreover, they all have the same goal- power!

Therefore, it’s imperative that you learn how to avoid it to overcome it and protect yourself from any future gaslighting.

Here are three easy ways to avoid this evil tactic:

  1. First and Foremost, Know yourself!

This is the most important thing to do. It means knowing who you are, what you want out of life, and what you absolutely will not accept. You must yourself inside and out and be secure with who you are. Once you know yourself completely, you’ll have the courage to set firm boundaries. Additionally, you’ll feel even better about yourself for doing it.

  1. Recognize gaslighting tactics when bullies use them!

So, what are the tactics used in gaslighting?

  • Doing something abusive and then denying it when you call it out.
  • Attacking your self-esteem when you defend yourself against abuse, such as name-calling, minimizing the abuse, and ridicule.
  • Projection- when the bully projects all their shortcomings onto you.
  • Distraction- when the bully calls attention to your flaws to keep people from noticing theirs.
  • Victim-blaming- blaming you for their abuse of you. Saying things like, “You made me do it,” “You had it coming,” “You deserve it.”

bye, talk to the hand

  1. Distance yourself from the bully (if possible)

This means having as little to do with the bullies as possible. Avoid the places they may gather. Put your hand up and walk away from them if they approach you. Do everything you can to put distance between you and them. If they start running their mouths, don’t respond unless you see an opportunity for a good burn that will embarrass the bejeebers out of them.

  1. See the bullies for the pathetic chumps they are.

When you realize that bullies are really a bunch of cowardly blowhards and on a lower lever than you, their words will no longer carry any weight and their gaslighting is least likely to affect you.

I can’t stress this enough! Confidence is the number one deterrent of bullies and bullying. The more confidence you have, the less likely you are to fall victim to gaslighting. You may be a target of bullies and their gaslighting, but you will never be a victim. Therefore, after so long of gaslighting you and not getting the reaction they want, the bullies will more than likely get bored and move on to someone else.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

5 Body Language Mistakes You Should Avoid

Bullies are always on the hunt for targets. Therefore, they look for signs in a target person that screams “victim.” Bullies will study their quarry’s body language first and foremost. They also note their emotional reactions to certain stimuli. In other words, they watch how the person handles conflict and adversity. But first things first. Let’s talk about body language, particularly, body language you should always avoid and ways to correct it.

1. Lack of Eye-contact (Looking down or away)

Lack of eye-contact signals either dishonesty, or a lack of confidence, which is exactly what bullies look for.

Many targets get nervous in social situations, which is understandable. When people have bullied a person for long enough, that person no longer feels safe in social interactions and will often avoid them altogether.

A little nervousness is normal. However, when you’re nervous to the point of avoiding eye-contact with others, bullies may notice and peg you for a victim. Also, even people who aren’t necessarily bullies may mistake you for being deceptive.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to relax and look others in the eye when socializing. Realize that not everything is about you. Make the interaction about the other person or people in the conversation. Smile. Act confident.

Yes, acting confident may seem fake. However, personal experience has taught me that if you act confident, you will soon feel confident. And confidence is the best way to get through any social situation. Also, it lessens your chances of attracting bullies.

2. submissive body language

This includes poor posture, such as slouching and hunching down. Also, people-pleasing is another form of submission. Behaviors such as shying away from saying what you want to say and not seeking to achieve your needs are forms of people-pleasing.

You must stop this behavior right now. Begin standing and sitting up straight. Stop trying to please other people and instead, start achieving your own needs for a change. Remember that you deserve, just as much as the next person, to have your needs and wants met. Start working toward your own goals.

3. self-protective behaviors (closed body-language)

Crossing of the arms in front of you, crossing your legs, and hunkering down into the shoulders and hiding the neck are all self-protective behaviors. Bullies will instantly notice this behavior from a mile away and think, “fresh meat!” when they see it.

Instead, open up and allow yourself to take up some space. Lengthen your neck and hold your head high. Relax. Always relax!

4. Having a Sheepish Look On Your Face

That includes downcast eyes, holding your head down, and looking bashful. Again, hold your head high. Look people in the eye and smile. I guarantee you they will appreciate it when you do and think more highly of you.

5. trying to stay motionless to avoid drawing attention

This almost always gets you opposite results. Staying motionless won’t keep you from drawing attention. It just might get you the wrong attention- from bullies. You must move freely and I’m going to say it again… relax!

In closing, you must watch your body language if you don’t want bullies to spot you as a potential target, it’s imperative that you watch your body language. In other words, if you catch yourself looking down, correct this by looking people in the eye or looking ahead. If it’s slouching you find yourself doing, sit up straight. And keep doing this until it becomes second nature, no matter how long it takes. Because body language speaks louder than words ever will. Not only should you mind your own body language, you should also watch the bullies’ nonverbal cues as well.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

It Never Pays to be a People Pleaser

Grovel in business, employee sucking up to the boss

To gain acceptance, too many people think that they have to give more of themselves than what is necessary.

Moreover, they feel they must bend over backwards and go out of their way to make others value them. Others have conditioned them to believe that they must be someone other than themselves to win approval from others.

Sadly, most bully targets hold these beliefs.

“If only I was ten pounds thinner and had long, flowing hair, maybe my friends would like me”

“Maybe if I had bought front row tickets to the game, concert, etc. instead of regular tickets, he would love me.”

“If only I made a 4.0 instead of a 3.99, my family would be proud of me.”

“Maybe I should have bought her a dozen roses instead of a half-dozen, then she would love me.”

“Maybe if I worked sixteen hours a day instead of twelve, then my boss and coworkers would like me.”

Notice that these people already put in lots of effort and others don’t thank them for it. Or worse, they don’t even acknowledge it. Some of these scenarios may be a little exaggerated, but you get the point.

Man down on the floor kissing someone's feet, concept of people pleasing and sucking up

People-pleasing never works. It only produces the opposite of your desired result!

Therefore, anytime you sacrifice your own needs to please others and score approval, the exact opposite happens. People do not respect a people-pleaser. If anything, they look down on the person with a mixture of disgust, pity and hilarity.

In the minds of others, the pleaser is a pathetic case. The person is eager to kiss butt in his weak attempts to win friends. Also, the more the person gives of themselves at their own expense, the worse others treat him. Why? Because to others, they are ripe for using and abusing. There is nothing more pathetic than someone who simps for approval.

Think of the song, “Self-esteem” by The Offspring and if you haven’t heard it, hop onto YouTube and give it a listen.

People-pleasers only attract predators into their lives while repelling good, quality people of class and decency. Additionally, human predators have a spidey sense when it comes to picking out those who are weak and approval-seeking.

Toadying man

Don’t be a simp!

If you are a simp (derogatory word for people-pleaser), predatory people will see you coming a mile away. Also, they will bleed you dry of resources, time and worse…confidence and happiness.

You must give these people the boot and do it FAST! Because they suck the life out of you and by the time you realize you’ve been had, it will more than likely be too late. Your confidence and self-esteem will already be shot and you will have to work like hell to get to know yourself again and get it all back.

I want you to know that it’s perfectly okay to want friends- to want positive connections with other people. Human beings are social creatures and we all want that. However, no one should have to eat crap in order to achieve it.

Boy pointing to his butt that has a red lip print on it Concept of kiss my ass

You can say “NO” if you don’t want to do something.

It’s okay to put your foot down and tell someone to get lost anytime they use and/or abuse you.

Also, you can speak up when something does not feel good.

You can have your own opinions and beliefs.

And you don’t have to put yourself out on a limb to please someone else.

You do NOT have to be a doormat! Start today by being true to yourself. If something does not feel good, there’s no law that says you must go along with it.

Quote, "Saying no means yes to your rights"

After you stop people-pleasing, expect backlash and handle it accordingly.

However, be warned. The users you have been associating with will not like the change in you. They have been benefiting from your willingness to suck-up for so long and the last thing they want is for those benefits to stop.

They will resort to calling you “selfish” or “stingy”, among other names. Also, they will accuse you of being self-centered and all about yourself. They will lay all kinds of guilt trips on you. They will do everything in their power to make you look and feel like the lowest form of life on the face of the earth!

But don’t fall for it. No matter what others may say or how they may act toward you, you must hold firm. Instead of people-pleasing, begin asserting yourself. You must make the decision that you will no longer be used or abused by these people! Tell them to take a flying leap and mean it!

Give them the old heave-ho! You do not need them in your life! You have to love yourself enough to walk away!

A name sticker that reads, "Hello, I am a... SUCK-UP!"

be willing to discard these users if you must.

I can guarantee that once you have the courage to kick the garbage out of your life, you will attract better people, who will love you not for what you can do for them, but for just being you. You will have more loving, productive and fulfilling relationships!

Best of all, you will feel so much better about yourself…you will be so happy and at peace. It happened for me and it can happen for you too.

You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

3 Life Secrets Everyone Should Learn

When bullies are attacking you at every turn, it’s easy to lose that positive attitude you once had along with your self-esteem. If you aren’t careful, you’ll begin to doubt yourself and give up on your goals. Here are 3 Life Secrets that everyone (especially targets) should learn. And once you learn them, hold them close no matter how others may treat you. Also, use them to keep your self-esteem from tanking.

1. Positivity

Positive thoughts equal a positive mind. A positive mind brings positive opportunities. Positive opportunities lead to positive results. Altogether, they bolster confidence, which gives you a positive and extraordinary life! It’s a shame most people go through life without learning this little nugget of wisdom. They go to the grave never learning this and so many other life secrets.

Use the weaknesses others perceive you to have to your advantage. For instance, if you’re a female and you’re being bullied, use that to your advantage. Doing this is likely to garner you help from others, especially big, strong men. What real man doesn’t want to protect a woman. It’s in his DNA.

Moreover, if you are a petite and small lady, you can use your size to get protection as well. Remember that every weakness has it’s advantages. You only have to figure out what those advantages are and play them to the hilt.

2. Tenacity

Tenacity equals positive change and eventual success. To many people give up before they reach their goals. I’ve been guilty of this and it’s hard to admit to myself. But the trick is to go from where you are and never again give up. Keep working toward that goal until you reach it! You will be so glad you did!

Negative people will never see success, only hollow victories from time to time. Stay away from these type of folks. Because they will drag you down. They will deliberately derail you from your goals. And if you reach your goals, they will hate you for it. These people are not worth your time. Instead of focusing on them and the things they think or say. Focus on your goals and work toward them. It’s the only way you’ll keep these people from tearing you down.

Remember that attitude and self-belief are everything!

3. Beware of Jealous People

The reason most people find ways to discourage you and tell you that you CAN’T is because they’re very much afraid that you WILL. Moreover, if you continue to keep company with these people, they will bring you down to their level. Remember that misery loves company. Jealous people never win and they don’t want you to win either. So, stay far away from them.

Resting on your laurels for too long equals stagnation and and repels growth. It’s okay to take a short break every now and again. We all need breaks. However, the longer you put off working on your goals, the more chance you have of never doing it. Therefore, take a rest period. But get back to pursuing those goals as soon as you’re able.

With each major goal accomplished, raise the bar. You must continue to challenge yourself and flex those mind-muscles even more. You will set higher goals and you will reach them.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Physical Bullying: Should You Hit Back?

It seems to be the question on everyone’s mind these days, especially in the notoriously politically correct climate in which we live. The media and politicians vehemently discourage fighting violence with violence. You’ll hear statements from others, such as:

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

I’ve heard them all.

self defense

Yes, you should try more peaceful ways first, like walking away from the bully or reporting it to someone in power. However, what if the more peaceful solutions don’t work?

If you don’t stand up for yourself, the bully will only continue to come after you and hurt you. Also, everyone who knows you will see you as a punching bag at school and everywhere else. Because when word gets around that one person can hit you and get away with it, everyone else will think they can too. They’ll peg you as the school or the community whipping boy. That’s no way to live.

In the middle of a physical attack, the last resort is the only option you take.

So, here it is:

When a bully physically attacks you, you have a God-given, primal, animal right to defend yourself from being harmed. I state this with full conviction!

Therefore, if a bully hits you first, haul off and knock his block off! And when you do, don’t just give him a love pat. Deck the creep with the strength of your entire body- hit so hard that the bully has difficulty getting back up. Then unleash a hail of hard licks so that he doesn’t get up. Because once the bully gets up, he will charge you!

Yeah. I know it isn’t the “politically correct” thing to do. But when someone is harming you, all that jazz about political correctness and being the bigger person goes out the window, and the gloves are off.

Make them Not want to put their hands on you ever again!

The only thing you should think of at this point is how to disable the bully. Additionally, you want to give him such a bad memory that he’ll never even think about coming for you again. You aren’t a troublemaker or a brute for this, folks! It’s called self-defense!

However, this doesn’t mean that you bring a gun or other deadly weapon. Lethal weapons will only kill someone, and put you behind bars for the rest of your life. Never EVER carry a gun to school! It’s much better to put up your dukes and throw down when you must.

Again, punch the bully’s lights out! School stuff may suspend you from school, and managers may fire you from work. You may even go to jail for a night or two. However, people are much more vicious with physical attacks nowadays. Furthermore,  if you just let someone smack you around, they’ll only intensify the beatings until they hurt you bad enough to send you to the hospital or worse! And I’d much rather them suspend me, fire me, or take me to jail than to spend a month in the hospital or end up six feet under.

You may not condone fighting but sometimes there’s no other option.

Nevertheless, you may not condone fighting. Although you may need to fight many times in school, you may hate it each time you have to. However, when you’re a 5’4″, 120-pound girl being jumped and most of the time by multiple assailants, it may be your only option. If you are a small-built male and the attacker is much bigger than you, it’s not the time to play patty-cake. There will be times when you’re boxed in and cannot go anywhere.

When there’s no other choice, it’s either fight or risk your bullies possibly maiming or killing you. Sometimes the last resort is the only way to protect yourself. You must let the bully know that you’re not the one to mess with and that you aren’t afraid to fight back if necessary.

There will be others who may disagree with this post, and that’s okay. I am very thick-skinned now and rarely do I get offended. I can agree to disagree. But I will do what I have to do to protect my well-being and my life if ever I’m in physical danger.

So, if all else fails, go ahead and whoop that ***!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Feel free to comment below.

Don’t Only Set Boundaries, Enforce Them

Setting boundaries is telling others what you will and will not tolerate and what they can expect from you if they violate one of your boundaries. Enforcing boundaries, on the other hand, is doing what you said you’d do if someone violates one of them.

In other words, you can set boundaries all day long but if you don’t enforce them, people will pick up on it very quickly. And soon, they’ll no longer take you seriously. They’ll only see you as making empty threats. People will then step over your boundaries deliberately, just because they can!

Setting and enforcing boundaries is never easy, especially if you’re dealing with bullies. Bullies, especially narcissistic bullies, despise boundaries and will retaliate and lash out at you for daring to have them. Therefore, when you decide you will no longer be controlled by your bullies, the power dynamic automatically changes.

Don’t Just Mouth It. Mean it!

They hate anyone who is their own person and not the person they want them to be. Bullies want conformers and followers, not original individuals. Again, bullies abhor boundaries because it shows that they can’t control you. Moreover, when a bully cannot control you, that bully goes into panic mode and will do very desperate things.

Why? Because they want things back to the way they used to be. In other words, they attempt to roll back that power dynamic by doing either one or all of the following.

1. They will be super sweet to you.

2. They’ll threaten you.

3. They may verbally or physically attack you.

4. Or they’ll resort to smearing you to others.

Bullies Hate Boundaries.

It’s been said that if bullies can no longer control you, they will control how others view you. Therefore, again, enforcing your boundaries will not be easy, especially once bullies have grown comfortable with controlling you.

And if they’ve grown comfortable with wresting control over you, you will automatically take them out of their comfort zones once you take your power back. Then you will have hell to pay.

Nevertheless, you must, for your own sake and the sake of your mental health, hold firm and stick to your guns. If you refuse to give in to your bullies, there’s always a chance they just might leave you alone. But be prepared just in case they don’t. You might need to remove yourself from the bullying environment and go to a place where you can make a fresh start.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Do Others Accept You or Only Tolerate You?

When people talk of tolerance, I immediately cringe. I don’t find the word very attractive because let’s be real here. The word itself has a bad smell. To put it bluntly, it sounds downright gross!

Sadly, many targets of bullying are so afraid of being alone that they settle for friends who aren’t friends at all. The people the target associates with may keep the target under the impression that he’s being accepted when, in fact, they may only be tolerating him. And you can tolerate someone without accepting them.

I know a few who assume that acceptance and tolerance mean the same but they don’t.

For example, you’re in polite company and the guy sitting next to you, (who happened to scarf three huge bean burritos for supper last night, then put away three eggs for breakfast this morning) covertly eases forth a silent but deadly fart. You catch the first nauseating whiff but can’t hold your nose nor leave the room without seeming rude to everyone else in the room.

Instead, you only sit there, trying to keep a poker face, and nonchalantly hold your breath until you’re sure the smell has dissipated. That’s what tolerance is.

Tolerance means that people allow the target to be around but secretly wish he’d go the hell away. And it has a way of seeping through in how they think of the person, how they act around him, and how they behave toward him.

So, how is the target to know if he’s being tolerated?

Here are the signs:

1. The target will be excluded from any events or social gatherings.
If you’re the target, you’ll often hear the rest of the group talking about the barbeque or sleepover they had over the weekend. You know, the one that none of them thought to invite you to? Show these morons you have a modicum of self-respect and walk away. You don’t need them.

2. The target will feel left out because the other members of the group will be communicating with all other members except her. You’d much rather be alone than to be lonely. Alone is when you’re physically by yourself. Lonely is when you’re among people, yet you’re still alone because to them, you don’t exist. You can be alone but not be lonely. Realize that if you ever feel lonely and you’re in a group, that’s the time to tell them to go kick rocks and be on your way.

3. The target will feel as if he’s tagging behind the group.
Again, if they seem to always leave you behind, eighty-six them and bid them goodbye.

dreamstime_xs_48711241

The Difference between Acceptance and Tolerance is huge!

4. Other members of the group will voice their hatred of the target anytime he isn’t around to hear it. The target will then hear about it later. If they stab you in the back, it’s time to ditch them. You’d much rather be by yourself and keep your dignity rather than stay among those toxic people and lose it.

5. There’s always that sickening “elephant in the room” feeling.
Feeling awkward around these people is a sure sign that they don’t deserve your friendship. Understand that this is only your gut trying to warn you about these people. Listen to it!

If people tolerate a person, they only permit having them around when there’s no other choice. And they’ll take every chance of voicing their seething hatred of the person when he/she isn’t around to defend themselves. They allow the person to be around because there’s no way they can make them go away or say anything without looking like a heel. When the tolerated person is present, the rest just grin and bear it.

Here’s why the target should drop these people:

1. By continuing to be around people who tolerate him/her, the target decreases his value as a person. That’s right. Anytime you must crawl behind people who don’t give a crap about you, you make yourself look like you have no other options. People who see this lose all respect for you and think you’re weak and worse, desperate. Therefore, your value will drop like a meteor!

Nope refuse

2. You’ll risk being used and abused. Any time you’re desperate to have friends, you’ll settle for any crumb of human connection. You’ll be willing to put up with shabby treatment just to keep from being alone.

Users and abusers will take notice of this and hang around only to get something from you. And those who are decent people and would otherwise be good friends will want nothing to do with you because desperation is so off-putting and only repels them.

3. You’ll only embarrass yourself and further erode your self-esteem. If you don’t have respect for yourself, no one else will either. No one respects anyone they deem pathetic.

You need to muster up some pride and stay away from people who make you feel bad about yourself! Begin rejecting them and have nothing more to do with them. Then watch your value rise again and see how much better you feel about yourself afterward.

Tolerance just plain sucks! For both parties!

It sucks for the others because they don’t want to be around the target but don’t know how to get rid of them without looking like a bunch of jerks. Also, it sucks for the tolerated person because he/she in a place they’re not welcome and in a situation in which they’re mistreated and even abused. It sucks for everyone involved because the energy in the room is bad.

bully disgust repulsion

Anytime a Person in a Group of People is only Tolerated, Everyone Feels it. Tolerance includes resentment. It’s gritting your teeth, sitting there with contempt on your face, and drumming your fingers until the person finally leaves. Tolerance makes the tolerated person feel crappy because it’s begrudging and there’s suffering on the part of the tolerating people.

We only Tolerate People We Find Disgusting and Abhorrent.

Acceptance is a much better term. With acceptance, people are at least willing to see the value the disliked person brings to the table although he’s a person they wouldn’t have chosen. It’s receiving the person and allowing them a degree of freedom and respect despite differences.

Acceptance is sitting quietly and letting the person just be. It’s embracing her good qualities regardless of your dislike of him.

With that said, understand that you don’t deserve to be around the people who only tolerate you. Better yet, they don’t deserve the privilege of even being in your presence. It’s much better, not to mention healthier, to be by yourself until you meet people who will not only accept you but celebrate you.

I can’t stress this enough! You deserve to be among those who love you and who care deeply about you. Never, ever settle for people who only tolerate you just to keep from being alone.

Sometimes life tests us and we must be alone for a while before it finally rewards us with people who are meant to be in our lives. In the meantime, use this time of solitude for a deep self-evaluation and for getting to know yourself again. You just may discover strengths and qualities you never knew you had!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

There is Life After Bullying

Rear of man in hat relaxing on beach chair at beach with sea and blue sky background. vacation in summer.

People may bully you now. They may taunt you, call you ugly names, physically beat you, humiliate you, and turn others against you. Those around you may make you feel sad, alone, unattractive, and rejected in the present.

But rest assured, it won’t always be this way. 

Take it from someone who has been there. I had no friends in middle school nor high school until I finally transferred to my new high school during my senior year. Once I left *Oakley High School and began attending *Roseburg High School, that’s when life began. And I took back my power and started rebuilding every part of me that my bullies from the old school had torn down. Leaving Oakley was the free feeling you get after walking away from a toxic and abusive boyfriend.

As an adult, my confidence and self-esteem blossomed. Today, I’m a very happy forty-something and have so much to be thankful for. I have a family of my own. I enjoy my job and am comfortable in my own skin. I’ve accomplished more than I thought I ever would.

I also have grown to love myself- imperfections and all. I don’t worry about what others think of me, and I permit myself to be me and to say no when I don’t want to get involved in or do something that doesn’t feel right to me. These are freedoms that I will never again give up. Not without one hell of a fight!

Don’t Give Up! There’s Beauty on the Other Side of Bullying

I want you to know that the bullying you’re subjected to now will not last, and there’s a beautiful life waiting for you once it’s over. So, whatever you do, don’t give up! Stay your course, and keep fighting. Hold on to your faith and your dignity with everything you have. Because it may not seem like it now, but the best is yet to come, and the right people will find you.

Today, I’m surrounded by family and friends who love and accept me for me, not only what I can do for them. I have friends I never have to explain anything to and who love my flaws and quirks along with my good qualities. I’m so secure with being myself that I can make fun of myself and have a good time doing it.

I’m relaxed, worry-free, and best of all, safe! I’ve found my tribe, and you will find yours. And once you find them, they’ll be well worth the wait!

You’re worth fighting and living for. Don’t give up now. Stick around! It gets better! Much better!

With Knowledge comes empowerment!

The World Through the Eyes of a Target

After you’ve been a target of bullying for any length of time, the world becomes a terrifying place.

You begin avoiding people and social situations like the plague because you’ve become afraid of people- all people. In short, you’ve lost all faith in humanity. Everything becomes threatening. You’re stuck in defense mode and constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The ability to think becomes blurry. You drown in self-doubt and lose the ability to distinguish fact from opinion and truth from lies. Therefore, you lose the ability to make smart decisions. You’re always on guard and trust no one. Again, everyone becomes a threat. Even total strangers become threatening.

You can’t give anyone a chance because you’ve become so afraid of being hurt again. And why not? Your classmates or coworkers have done extensive and deliberate harm for so many months or even years. So, who’s to say that others won’t do the same.

Knowing that anyone could bully you at any time, you must always watch your back and cover your behind. And you must continually look over your shoulder and observe those around you for signs of hostility.

You come to believe you have a mark on you that everyone but you can see, and it’s why others always seem to come after you. As much as you want to get rid of that mark, you’re not sure how to do it.

You don’t think you’ll ever stop being a target.

There’s the feeling that there’s no possibility of ever overcoming it. Other victims might rise above it, but you never will because you think that love, success, and anything good is for anyone who isn’t you.

You’ll never be the same person you were before bullies began targeting you. When you’ve been a target of bullying and continue to be, jokes stop being funny because you automatically feel they are somehow aimed at you. Bullying makes a person paranoid. And with good reason.

You lose all confidence, and your self-esteem hits rock bottom. Therefore, your mind is poisoned with the belief that you can never do anything right. You see yourself as a failure. You think that anything you touch, you’ll only screw up.

There’s the expectation that you’ll fail in social situations and that everyone will see all your flaws, real or perceived. You start having unexpected and uncontrollable emotional meltdowns and outbursts. Why? Because you’re in constant fight or flight mode. Your mind is in overdrive, and you’re hyper-vigilant. Your physical body suffers splitting headaches and violent bouts of nausea.

You don’t know who you are anymore. You’ve become a stranger to yourself- this person you don’t even recognize.

You’re shaky inside. You feel tired and run down all the time now. Even worse, you pass out from panic attacks, and you can no longer sleep at night. Your weight drops and your hair falls out due to the overwhelming stress. You feel as if people are torturing you.

In essence, you turn against yourself because you feel the entire world has turned against you.

I was there at one point. Then, I got mad! I didn’t only get angry at them for driving me into that dark pit of hopelessness, but I got mad at myself for allowing it! And when I got mad at myself and started working on changing my self-perception, that’s when things began to change!

The good thing is that I wasn’t down for long. Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying, and this describes how you feel now, I want to give you a big hug.

I also want to tell you that regardless of how things are looking now, there’s hope. You will see the sun again.

‘You see? It’s one thing to have people look down on you, but it’s another when you allow them to cause you to look down on yourself. If nothing else, hang on to your self-love and your strong sense of self. Please don’t allow your bullies to force you to see yourself through their eyes. Believe in yourself, even when no one else does. Never ever give up.

Bullies may turn everyone else against you. Just make sure they never turn you against you.

Know that no matter what, you’re worth it! And you deserve friendship, love, and happiness just as much as anyone else!

5 Signs You’re “Too Nice”

bullied victim too nice sappy too much sugar

Too much sugar is never good because it doesn’t only eat away at your teeth, it eats away at your self-esteem and your life. In a world with so many evil people, it isn’t wise to be a pushover because too nice equals no backbone and no boundaries.

And there will be many people who’ll take your kindness for being a fool. And don’t think they won’t take advantage of you.

Be kind, yes. But don’t be “nice.”

Here are signs that you’re too danged nice:

1. You tolerate crappy behavior from people.

And because of it, others think you’re pathetic.

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2. You over apologize.

You apologize for things that aren’t your fault and that you have nothing to do with. Keep this up and others will find it too easy to lay guilt trips on you whenever it is that you can’t give them what they want. They will blame you for the tiniest of things because they know that you’ll bow down and take the blame. Apologies should only be given when they’re warranted. Here are 8 things you should never apologize for.

3. You end up a slave to the whims of others.

You bend over backward to take care of everyone else and often, they don’t appreciate it. They only demand more of you. You always feel tired and exhausted because you’re so busy pleasing others that you don’t have time to take care of yourself.

4. You say yes when you really want to say no.

You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or piss anyone off, so against your better judgment, you say yes rather than no. Here’s an example: You’re dog tired and want to go to bed, then someone shows up at your door at eleven o’clock at night with a problem!

They need help and you passively agree to help them with or solve their problem. What’s really bad is that this person has done this many times before. What you should do is tell this person to take a walk. These types of people should never darken your door at such a ridiculous hour!

You’ll also rescue people from bad situations that are self-inflicted. You’re an enabler.

5. You take on others’ moods.

Instead of refusing to let some Negative Nancy get you down, you let their funky moods rub off on you. Not good!

Understand that the reason some people are too nice is that they feel they’re not enough. They feel they have no right to say no to anything- that they don’t deserve to take care of themselves. And it’s because they’re terrified of conflict.

They want to be approved of, liked, and loved and feel that the only way to do it is to bust ass for others. Sadly, the opposite usually results because people lose respect for you! No one respects a pushover!

bootlicker suck-up kiss ass kiss butt

Unfortunately, most don’t realize all of this until they reach your limit and get fed up! But you don’t have to waste years of your life being a doormat if you follow the guidelines below:

1. Never put up with shabby treatment.

Life’s too short for that. You must stand up for yourself when someone violates a boundary, whether it be physical or psychological. Realize you deserve to be treated well and you deserve it just as much as the next person. Always speak up for yourself.

2. Stop apologizing so much.

Realize that some things don’t warrant an apology. And standing up for yourself and saying no are only two of those things.

bullied victim walked on doormat

3. It’s okay to put yourself first.

Take care of yourself first. Only then will you have enough energy to take care of others.

4. Again. Say no if you don’t want to or don’t feel like fulfilling a request.

Don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t want to do something or don’t feel like doing it.

5. As difficult as it might be, don’t let the moods of others around you affect your mood.

If you have a Debbie Downer who is always negative, there’s nothing wrong with calling them out on it or staying away from them. Whatever you do, don’t try to rescue them or argue with them. It won’t work.

bullied victim doormat

Sometimes, taking care of yourself means facing conflict because some people will be selfish and demanding. They won’t be able to see past their own needs and desires.

Never be afraid to stand up for your rights. It’s okay to take care of others. But don’t forget to take a little back for yourself. Only then will people respect you and recognize that you also have feelings and rights.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

3 Reasons Targets Fear Setting Boundaries

All too often, targets of bullying have a hard time setting boundaries. Many just keep their mouths shut, grin and bear it while others wipe their feet all over them. They suffer in silence and obscurity, which only further damages their mental health. If being used as a rug hurts so much, why do they allow it to continue?

There are several reasons:

1. They don’t have the confidence.

Many targets of bullying feel helpless and simply think it wouldn’t do them any good. So, they see no point in speaking up because they know that they’ll likely get bullied worse for it. It takes confidence to set boundaries, which, sadly, is something a few bullying targets have.

Also, as we know, bullies don’t respect boundaries because they don’t acknowledge them. In their minds, you’re a target and, to them, a target has no rights and deserves no human dignity. Bullies don’t see targets as human beings deserving of the same human rights as everyone else. That’s a fact.

2. They feel powerless to stop the abuse.

Again, setting boundaries is anything but easy- it’s one of the hardest things to do after people bully you for so long and brainwash you into thinking you’re to blame for their horrid behavior.

Many targets have been abused for so long that they’ve “gotten used to it.” In other words, bullies and their sycophants have conditioned the targets to take the abuse and allow them to ride roughshod over them. Many times, targets have been fooled into believing that setting boundaries is selfish.

This is why many targets cave in to the bullies’ demands. They feel it’s safer just to give them what they want and pacify them.

3. They fear the bullies will retaliate.

If you’re a target of bullying, you may badly want to tell your abusers to knock it off. You may want to tell them to get the hell away from you and stay away. You may even want to fight back, but you don’t know how they may react.

Another thing you don’t know is whether they’ll accept your boundaries, nor if they’ll want to accept them. You know that there’s a chance the bullies may act violently toward you for having the chutzpah to speak against their abuse.

Bullies despise even a hint of opposition because they see it as your challenging their power and perceived authority. And they’ll do whatever they can to tighten their grip if they suspect you’re defying them. And sometimes, things get dangerous, and you must do it scared.

But what they don’t realize is this. When you set boundaries, you enact your autonomy and speak from a place of self-care and self-love. You decide what you will and won’t tolerate. You take your power back.

However!

Before you’re able to do that, you must be clear of what you will not accept.

It takes uber-confidence to stand up to a bully. It would be best if you also gave up your old self-protective behaviors – those you tried in the past that failed, which are ways your bullies and a few other abusers in your life probably conditioned you to respond.

1. You must stop over-apologizing.

2. You must stop trying to explain yourself to anyone.

3. You must stop trying to figure out what made the bullies so hostile.

4. You must stop wondering what you did wrong.

5. You must stop wondering if something’s wrong with you.

6. You must stop asking, “why me.”

Before you can stand up to abuse, you must squash the mentality that compels you to do any of the above mentioned.

You must understand that all the why me, why this, why that, gets you nowhere. And all the wracking your brains wondering and trying to figure out what’s wrong also serves no purpose. It’s a complete waste of time and only makes you feel worse.

Instead, be real with yourself and conclude that your bullies are just a bunch of ignorant, moronic jackasses who lack character and live fake existences. You must also learn to trust yourself, which includes trusting your body and how it feels. Trust everything you see, hear, feel, sense, and the vibes you pick up from the people around you. And finally, trust your decisions.

It also takes dogged determination:

1. Even if your bullies rationalize and justify their behavior, you won’t take their crap.

2. Even if they blame you for their despicable behavior, you won’t take it.

3. Even if they tell you that you’re crazy or mentally imbalanced, you won’t take it.

4. Even if they call you a bitch, an asshole, or any other degrading name, you won’t take it.

5. Even if you made a mistake and your bullies call it out in an abusive manner, you won’t take it.

6. And, for the love of Pete! If the bullies commit physical violence, you definitely won’t take that! Get the police involved, file charges, and sue for any damages! Or, put up those dukes and throw down if you need to!

And it’ll take calling your bullies out every single time they cross the line.

You can say:

“Stop it!”

“Cut it out!”

“Knock it off!”

“Get away from me!”

“Get out!”

positive bullied victim says NO

You get power just by loudly giving either one of these commands. And who knows? I’m not making any guarantees here, but you might shock your bullies back to reality and make them leave you alone. There were times when I was pleasantly surprised, and it worked for me.

You do not have to walk on eggshells around anyone! Know that you do have a choice and a voice. You can choose not to accept the bullies’ behavior. You have more power than you know.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

5 Negative Outcomes of Being Targeted for Bullying

As a survivor of bullying, people often ask me, “What’s the worst thing about being bullied?” Here are my answers:

1. It’s the pinned up fear and rage you feel but don’t dare show. It’s the paralyzing social fear that sets in. It shuts you down and leaves you withdrawn from the rest of the world. Once people have bullied you for so long, you become intensely paranoid and suspicious of every person you meet. Any laughter you hear, you automatically think, is directed at you.

2. It’s the confusion. You know that you should take a stand against the bullies. You know that you should speak out about it, only you don’t know how to do it, and you’re terrified that it will only make things worse.

3. It’s the unanswered questions that play in your mind a thousand times a day. “Why me?” “What have I done to these people” “How do I fix this?” are the questions you have in your head every time bullies surround you and harass you. You know what you want to say to the bullies. “Look! Leave me the &%$# alone!” you scream inside your head but don’t’ dare say it because you know what’s likely to come next.

4. It’s the feeling of loneliness and isolation. When we suffer bullying, not only do bullies smear us to keep us isolated and from making any new friends, but we- WE automatically put up walls of protection to keep other people out, which only reinforces the separation from others.

5. It’s the loss of your entire personhood. You forget how to smile, laugh, and have a good time and how to connect with and interact with others. You’re no longer that vibrant, happy, and healthy person you once were. And each insult, each back-biting rumor, each physical attack, each joke, and each prank cuts a little deeper, chips away at your self-esteem, and brings you lower. You feel trapped. You feel as if your bullies are holding you hostage!

Bullies can ruin a target’s life! And they can alter your entire life if you don’t make the changes needed to take your life back.

I won’t kid you. To get out of the hole that your bullies have forced you into, you will have to work hard.

You’ll first need to get out of that environment (if possible), then focus on healing, and lastly, change your entire mindset, which means altering your thought patterns, your attitude, and your whole demeanor. And this change won’t happen overnight but may take years.

However, you must be patient and put in the work and time to take back your confidence and happiness. But I promise you, it will be worth it in the long run, and you’ll be so glad you put in the time and effort!

With knowledge comes empowerment.

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!

Bullying and Plausible Deniability

Most bullying is emotional and psychological torture. Sure, there are many physically violent bullies out there and they are psychologically traumatizing enough using their fists. However, physical bullies are either (a)not very socially intelligent and persuasive, (b) attack in groups wearing masks over their faces to give them anonymity, (c) so well-connected that they’re almost untouchable, or (d) couldn’t care less about the consequences they will face.

The reason most bullies prefer psychological violence is because there are no bruises, cuts, wounds, scars, or any visible marks on the target’s body. And without visible marks, there’s no proof of the abuse. Therefore, when you report the abuse, the perpetrators aren’t likely to get into trouble for it and you stand more of a chance of being accused of being too sensitive, paranoid, or mentally ill.

These are the reasons I recommend being prepared when you know you must walk into a snake pit.

Here are ways to gather evidence:

1. Document the abuse- I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it many more. It’s crucial to document each bullying incidence and do it in detail. Use the 5W method- (What, who, why, when, where…and sometimes how) write down what happened, who was involved, who were the bystanders and witnesses, why the bullying incident happened (retaliation for reporting a prior bullying incident?) when it happened (date and exact time of incidence) and where it happened (school bathroom, locker room, gym, behind the school, the parking lot, etc.).

2. Wear a body camera- If you live in a one-party consent jurisdiction and the laws permit you to wear one, I recommend you wear a body camera. In fact, I can’t stress it enough! Body cams that record both video and audio are your best bet, but if you can only get a cam that records video, that’s fine too as you can still capture physical attacks and body language. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video is worth a thousand pictures because if bullying is caught on video, there’s no question that it’s happening and it’s the best evidence you can get!

3. Keep a digital recorder handy- These are good for recording verbal altercations and many of them today can play recorded sound that is clear and not muffled.

4. Make 3-4 Copies of your evidence- Whether it’s documentation, body cam recordings, or digital audio recordings, it’s always best to make several copies of the evidence because schools, companies, and other entities are notorious for (deliberately) misplacing and losing a target’s evidence of bullying. Yeah, I know. Convenient, isn’t it?

5. Keep each of your copies in different (undisclosed) locations- This is so important! Because, if you think school districts and companies haven’t snooped through a target’s office, or worse, hired people to break into their houses to search for evidence they can dispose of, you’re wrong! When it comes to the threat of being sued, schools and companies will resort to anything, and I mean anything!

6. Screenshot and save any nasty and abusive emails, texts, or private messages- Very important! Any time bullies resort to cyber-bullying you via email, text, or private message, they automatically leave a paper trail! Screenshot it, save it, and, if need be, print them all out. Make copies of them and the files. Store each copy in an entirely different place (your house, your grandma’s house, your lawyer’s office, etc.) Store them in a fireproof safe!

They snoop through your garbage when you put it out on the street for the trash-men to pick up the next morning, break into your vehicle, and other nefarious things to cover their butts. I’ve read many an article about these things happening to targets of bullying, whether in school, the workplace, or community. And in today’s world, bullies are now targeting their victims for surveillance drones and school boards are targeting parents with electronic surveillance as well, then spreading their private information and pictures of children to some evil entities.

It’s a very dangerous world nowadays and you never know what sick people you just might be dealing with.

gavel and soundblock of justice law and lawyer working on wooden desk background

I can’t stress enough how important it is to gather your own evidence. Quietly do your own investigation. It’s pointless to rely on the school or workplace to investigate for you because the results will only be in the bullies’ and the investigating entity’s favor, not yours! Never, ever trust anyone else to gather evidence or investigate for you. When you’re targeted for bullying, you cannot afford to trust anyone but yourself and I’m not joking! When you’re bullied, it’s not the time to be lazy. The only person you can depend on is you. Only you can gather the evidence you need to prove that you’re targeted by bullies, take legal action, and get justice.

With knowledge comes empowerment!