Here’s something which most targets of bullying don’t realize. Not even I knew this at the time I was being bullied.
You teach people how to treat you. And how do you teach them this? By how well you treat yourself– by what you will and will not put up with and by the boundaries you set.
Sadly, after being bullied and abused for so long, a person can be conditioned to accept and allow bad behavior and disrespect from other people. Remember that prolonged bullying is a form of brainwashing and hypnosis. It slowly rewires your brain and forces you to “let” people walk over you.
However, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You can retrain your brain and reclaim your dignity and the life you so deserve.
To put it plainly, you can either allow unsavory people into your life, letting them abuse and degrade you or you can put your foot down, call them on their unacceptable behavior, and give them the old heave-ho. You decide.
I have to admit. When I was being bullied years ago, I unwittingly let my classmates tear me down. I gave them the power to determine how I felt about myself- the power that never belonged to them in the first place.
I didn’t have the courage to stand up to them properly and I let the hurtful words and the physical assaults make me feel terrible about myself.
I gave up on schoolwork and my grades plummeted. I gave up on my talents and stopped doing what I enjoyed. I allowed them to turn me against myself.
I can’t even pretend it was all their fault. Because I allowed them to steal my confidence- without knowing it or meaning to, of course. Nevertheless, I let it happen, so some of the blame is on me.
But the good news is, they may have brought me down but they couldn’t keep me there. Eventually, I wised up and saw my value as both a human being and as a woman.
I can’t stress enough the importance of loving yourself first and foremost. Love should come from within and you should never look to any outside source for it. Love yourself and all of your imperfections, for we are all “perfectly flawed.”
Accept and respect yourself. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do to be accepted and for someone to love you. If a person does not want to see you for the beautiful person that you are, you can’t make them. However, you do have the choice of whether or not to keep them in your life.
With bullies, however, this may or may not change their behavior toward you, and the worst-case scenario might even make it worse. However, you aren’t looking to change anyone’s attitude, you’re looking to take care of yourself and to achieve your own peace and happiness.
It’s not about changing them, it’s about looking out for yourself and keeping your dignity and self-respect. It’s about taking appropriate measures to make you feel good.
Know your worth. Open your eyes to your value. And treat yourself better. Because if you don’t treat yourself right, no one will.