Knowing Yourself: Why it’s the First Step in Building Confidence

 ‘Want to know what the first step is to building confidence? It’s knowing yourself with every fiber of your being.

knowing yourself

Knowing exactly who you are goes a long way when people are bullying you. As someone who had to learn this the hard way, I can tell you that when you know yourself inside and out, the least likely bullies are to get under your skin.

You are going to learn how to get to know yourself as well as the importance of knowing yourself.

After you learn these all the powerful ways to do so, you will be next to invincible to any future attacks from bullies.

This post is all about the steps to knowing yourself to give you the confidence you need to counter your bullies’ attacks successfully.

Knowing Yourself

Before we get into the steps, let’s first discuss the importance of knowing yourself.

When you know yourself inside and out, you are better able to define yourself. In other words, you won’t allow others, particularly bullies and abusers, do it for you.

Therefore, when you learn to accept only your definition of who you are, you can more easily avoid bullying because you’re better able to recognize it. And when you’re able to identify abuse, you’re least likely to put up with it.

1. Know what your needs are, what you want, and what you will and will not tolerate.

Then refuse to accept what you won’t put up with. Also, focus on your wants and needs and work hard to achieve them. This means working on yourself. Moreover, it means working toward your goals and your aspirations.

This is of the utmost importance. Why? Because when you’re too busy working on yourself and pursuing your dreams and interests, you won’t pay attention to what your bullies have to say. In other words, you’ll care less about anyone’s opinions and verbal attacks.

Also, when you know who you are, you also know what you want and what you will and will not tolerate, which is why knowing who you are is of the utmost importance.

Knowing yourself means knowing your feelings, senses, and instincts and trusting them to guide you through this crazy thing called life. Tuning in to your feelings and instincts means tuning into your gut. As we all know, your gut can guide you out of dangerous situations and environments if you allow it to.

2. Knowing yourself: Begin trusting yourself to make the right decisions for yourself no matter what.

Here’s a little nugget you should know, your first instinct is usually the correct one.

For instance, any time you have bullies shaming and ridiculing you, your first instinct is to get away from them. However, when your bullies see that you’re leave. They may mock you for it.

They say something to the tune of, “Awww! Did you get your feelings hurt? Is that way you’re walking away?” or “Are you scared, is that why you’re leaving? Don’t be a wuss. Stand up and face us.”

Moreover, they may even tell you, “You’d better run!”

Know that it’s okay to walk away from a toxic situation. Also, know that you aren’t scared, but you aren’t going to stick around people who try to make you feel bad. When you know yourself, you know that walking away isn’t being afraid. It’s being smart!

In other words, your bullies definition of you won’t get into your head. Therefore, you’ll refuse to allow your bullies to ridicule or guilt you into staying in circumstances that don’t feel good to you.

Therefore, any time your bullies accost you, don’t be afraid to put your hand up and walk away. Know yourself well enough to know that you don’t have time for their foolishness and drama.

Understand that when you turn your back and walk away from bullies and they call out these things to you, they do it for two reasons:

a. to control you by defining you. In other words, bullies try to shame you into sticking around

b. to bait you into a fight because they know the chances are good that you’ll get blamed for it.

No one wants others to label them a coward. However, people will try to define you as one to corner you and trick you into doing what they want. Bullies know that most people will feel compelled to hang around and they’ll do it for no other reason than to prove to the rest of the world that they aren’t.

Again, this is why you must know yourself. When you know deep down that you’re not what people call you, you won’t feel any need to do any posturing. Why? Because you’ll know that there’s no need to prove anything.

Although the name-calling might sting a little, it won’t bother you as much.

3. Practice speaking out and showing your emotions.

 …in appropriate settings, of course.

Knowing yourself means that you won’t feel the need to hold back emotions. You’ll be able to recognize them better and allow yourself to feel them. In some situations, it may be okay to express them.

Therefore, you won’t let others tell you how you should feel or bullies to shame you into suppressing yourself.

However, there are times when expressing and suppressing emotions is the right thing to do. For instance, if you’re attending the funeral of a loved one and you feel sad, it’s perfectly acceptable to cry.

Whereas, you wouldn’t want to break down crying in front of everyone at school because a bully called you a name. Instead, you’d show annoyance and tell the bully to get stuffed.

Also, you wouldn’t cry publicly at work because the boss chewed you out or your project fell flat. You’d just stick out your chest and try to do better the next time.

4. Another step to knowing yourself is to Practice being yourself.

Know that you don’t have to put on a big front and try to act like someone you’re not. Also, there’s no need to try to fit in anyone. In other words, know that you don’t have to prove your worth to anyone.

Knowing yourself means also knowing your worth and that you are valuable no matter what people say and regardless of where you are in life.

Moreover, understand that people who don’t know themselves will follow the crowd and try to fit in. People who don’t know themselves will accept other’s definitions of them without realizing it.

They’ll build a fake identity based on how others view them and others’ expectations and ideas of who they should be.

Sadly, if a target is told by abusers that he’s stupid, no good, lazy and that he’ll never amount to anything, in many cases, they’ll live up to it. It will show up in their grades, performance, and how they interact with people.

Therefore, don’t be that person. Authenticity is key here. Be an original because originals are like famous paintings and artwork. They’re much more valuable than copies.

So, don’t be a cheap knock-off!

Knowing yourself is freedom!

5. Get rid of the temptation to blame yourself for any bullying and abuse you suffer.

Always be true to your own heart no matter the cost. Though it may not look that way to the outside observer, quietly dig deep and get in touch with your inner sensations and instincts. Moreover realize that you aren’t to blame for the abuse you endure.

Knowing yourself is to fully understand that other people’s behavior towards you is no reflection on you. It only speaks volumes about their own lack of morals, decency, and character.

Getting to know yourself will only bring absolute confirmation that what your bullies do to you is wrong. Now this inner realization may or may not stop bullies from attacking you. In fact, it may make the bullying worse.

However, instead of hating and blaming yourself, know in your heart that they are the bad ones. Realize that bullies are notorious for projecting their own faults and shortcomings onto others.

It’s true! A bully’s accusations is usually a confession.

6. Always trust your gut.

I can’t stress this enough. Listen to what your gut tells you and believe it. Also, pay close attention to the vibes you’re getting from the people around you.

The energy people put out never lies.

This is how you maintain your inner strength and sense of self. It takes listening to your instincts when they tell you that you have reason to be cautious around certain people.

Even better,  don’t be ashamed of it. Instead, pay close attention to how your body reacts when you’re around certain people.

Also, realize that you may not be able to put your finger on it and you may not know why you’re having these yucky bodily sensations.

Does your body automatically tense up?

Do you have that bad feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Does something just feel off about the person or people you’re with?

If so, know that any one of these symptoms is your cue to get away from these people… and fast!

Once you begin knowing yourself fully, bullies will no longer have power over you. As a result, you’ll be a much happier, freer, and healthier person for it.

Getting to know yourself may take time and lots of hard inner work, but it will be worth it in the end.

This post was all about knowing yourself and what steps to take to get to know yourself in order to help you raise your self-esteem and confidence levels.

Related posts you’ll enjoy:

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

2. Acceptance and Tolerance: 5 Best Ways to Know the Difference

3. Like vs Respect: What’s the Difference?

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

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

You Know Bullying When You Feel It

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One of the saddest things about bullying is the confusion it often brings. Many targets of bullying are confused and misled as to whether or not they are legitimately being bullied or only being paranoid.

Oftentimes, when an individual defends themselves against a bully, others may gaslight the person by either trivializing the bullying or dismissing it. They tell the target that “it’s only in your mind” or “you’re just being paranoid”. Half the time, people convince the target of the above statements, which only forces him to endure the torment in silence. Bullying cannot thrive without silence.

Bullying Cannot Thrive Without Silence

Therefore, the bully is let off the hook and is free to target the same individual again in the future. The bully gets the message loud and clear that it’s okay to target this person simply because they can – and with impunity.

After so long, the target begins to feel as if it is somehow wrong to report and stand up to bullies. the person then questions their own sanity, thinking, “Maybe it really is only in my mind.” and often grows silent for fear of being gaslighted and seen as “paranoid”, “crazy”, “overly sensitive” or other labels that undermine and steal their voice.

Bullying is Not Only In YOur Mind.

If you’re a target of these mind games, let me assure you: It’s NOT only in your imagination. You are not being overly sensitive. You are not being a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy or whatever else unsavory people may call you.

Always remember that bullies are very skilled and convincing liars. You always know when something does not feel good. Your brain and your gut always let you know when something isn’t right!

You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you.

You can see and hear them talking through their teeth.

Also, you can hear the short and cold tone in their voices.

You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude.

This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people, pronto!

Defending their rights concept

Anyone who causes you to feel bad does not deserve the time of day from you.

It does not matter if they are rich, smart, good looking, popular, successful, cool or tough. If they cause you to feel less than, ditch them! Weed. Them. Out! They are not worthy of even being in your presence. Never allow anyone to violate your boundaries, whether physical or psychological. Also, never allow anyone to silence you. Speak out! Refuse their gaslighting.

Self awareness is key, as is awareness of everyone and everything around you. Setting boundaries is equally important. You must get to know yourself. Listen to your body and the sensations you feel.

It is imperative that you get absolutely clear on what you will and will not accept. Only then will you be able to tell the difference and send your bullies packing.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Your Gut Instinct: Why You Should Listen to It

At different times in my life, I have either met, or been around certain people whom my inner alarm tried to warn me about. I cannot explain the feeling I got. The only way I can describe this gut feeling is to say that something seemed to be “off” about these people and I would get a sinking, creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I could literally feel the bad vibes that seemed to pour fourth from these people.

When I was young, I would often mistake this feeling for “just being paranoid” and ignore the feeling, which is something that a whopping majority of bully victims do. And it proved to be to my disappointment…every time! I have since learned that had I listened to my gut and avoided these people, I could have saved myself a truckload of heartache.

God gave us all that “sixth sense” or as it is more commonly called, the “gut feeling” or “instinct”, for a reason. Anytime you get a bad feeling in your gut about someone, you are not being paranoid, you are not over-reacting. You are picking up on a person’s energy. As a result, your inner alarm is trying to warn you about the person or situation and keep you safe. Here are a couple of excerpts from my book, “From Victim to Victor” that explains this even further:

“…My gut feeling warned me many times about my classmate’s personalities or that someone was about to harm me in some way, shape or form. I did not listen to my innate alarm because the faith in my own intuitive abilities had been shattered. As a result, I often mistook it for being overly suspicious.

Another example of poor decision making was that I became a very MEAN and VICIOUS person. As a result, I often repelled the people who had my best interests at heart, who were genuine and would have otherwise been true friends. I missed out on a lot of opportunities for friendship because I had very quickly come to a place where I did not trust anyone.

It was much safer to put up a barrier and keep everyone, including my own family out than it was to take risks and learn how to trust the right people.

Being bullied and being stuck with unnecessary labels can very easily do this to a person. It cannot only cause you not to believe in yourself and your own abilities, but it can also enable you to trust your own innate intuition if you let it. It blinds you to people who are true as it completely zaps your senses of who is for real and who is fake, thus causing the loss of your ability to avoid dangerous people.”

“…You are not stupid. It is not only in your imagination. You are not being overly sensitive. You are not being a wimp, wuss, crybaby, crazy or whatever else unsavory people call you. You always know when something does not feel good. You can see it in the way certain people cut their eyes at you and talk through their teeth. You can hear the short and cold tone in their voices. You can feel, deep down in your gut, the nasty vibes they exude. This is why you should always listen to your gut feeling because it is never wrong. Eighty-six those people pronto!”

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Please don’t ignore this instinct. Never overlook that sinking feeling in your stomach because it could save you from so much trouble. It could even save your life!

Realize that you have more power than you think. It’s up to you to listen to what your gut is trying to tell you and act on it. No one else can do it for you. You owe it to yourself to avoid anyone who gives you a creepy vibe.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Pay Close Attention to Others’ Energy

I’ll start with a personal story of experience. During the six years I spent on the receiving end of bullying, I would pick up on the energies of each person in school. Even a few teachers. They energy of most of my classmates and a few teachers was bad. However, being a teenager, I knew squat about psychic energy and vibrations.

Back then, no one ever talked about those things and there weren’t many books written on the subject. Not like there are today. You only heard and read about that gut feeling, or the sixth sense, which is, as most of us know, triggered by the energy or vibrations the people around us put out.

When I would pick up on the yucky energy my classmates exuded, I would mistake my gut feeling for being paranoid. That little voice inside my head would admonish me, telling me, “Aw, C’mon! You don’t know that person. At least give them a chance.”

Therefore, I would give into that voice. I would give the person or people a chance and sadly, I ended up paying dearly for it.

Never Doubt Your Instinct!

Self-doubt is a tricky animal. It convinces you to go against your God-given instincts. It compels you to ignore your innate gut feeling. Self-doubt is what talks you into ignoring the bad energy you feel when you’re around unsavory people. Consequently, you open the door and let into your life people who are evil and nefarious.

If you ignore these things long enough, you eventually become blind to the terrible vibes and energy bad people exude. ‘You see, the ability to pick up on vibrations and energy is like your muscles. It must be exercised to become stronger. In other words, if you don’t use it, you lose it!

Your God-given gut instincts are the last things that you want to atrophy. In this crazy, mixed-up world, you cannot afford for these things to weaken.

Therefore, you must trust your gut. Especially if you are a target of bullying. Never allow others to convince you that you’re “being paranoid.” Never listen when they tell you that you’re crazy for following your intuition.

If ever you pick up bad energy from the people around you, you must get away from those people, if possible. And don’t walk. Run!

Minding your Own Energy Output

Just the same, you should mind your own energy. Bullies are experts at picking up on other’s energy and they trust their instincts. In fact, they never even question them. Why do you think bullies are able to weed through large crowds and pick out potential targets with such accuracy?

For example, if you’re a self-conscious and nervous person with low self-esteem, you will put out those kinds of vibrations. Therefore, bullies will pick up on it and, make no mistake, they’ll milk it for all it’s worth! If nothing else, understand this- energy never lies! Vibrations never lie! You may be able to talk a good game and be a fine actor. But your energy will give you away every time!

That’s why it’s so important that you exude confident energy. This is not to say that you still won’t become a target of bullies. However, you will greatly lesson your chances of it. Know that we have more control over our energy than we realize.

So, how do we control our energy?

We control our emotions- our overall mood. But! How do we control our emotions and mood? Here are several ways:

    1. Listen to positive music- this means opting for upbeat dance music instead of emo rock. We should also listen to songs about dancing or about celebrating and having a good time. Never listen to songs about negative things, such as those about being cheated on by a lover, violence, or songs that bash women. Also, don’t listen to those about suicide or murder. Remember. You want to listen to songs that uplift your mood, not those that bring you down.
    2. Positive affirmations- remind yourself, every day, of your strengths and good qualities only. And do it loudly. Make positive “I am” statements.
    3. Watch a good comedy (no dark comedies). Watch one that is fun. Do this to make yourself laugh because laughter always drives away a crappy mood.
    4. Surround yourself with positive people who lift you up. That means staying away from bullies and abusers, people who complain, put you down, or bring you drama. Stay away from anyone who puts you in a foul mood.
    5. Exercise! It releases endorphins and makes you feel accomplished.

Focus on anything positive. It won’t be easy and may even feel unnatural at first. But keep it up and it will get easier with time. It will also begin to feel like second nature once you’ve practiced it long enough.

In closing, remember that energy never lies. Not only must we pay attention to the energy of the people around us and trust our instincts, but we must also make sure that we ourselves are putting out positive and confident energy.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

12 Signs You’re Being Gaslighted

Bullies are notorious for gaslighting their targets. As we know, when a target speaks out about the abuse and begins defending themselves, bullies are quick to paint the targets as crazy, try to reverse the roles to make the target look like the bully, or try to convince the target that what happened didn’t really happen- that it was all in the target’s imagination, or they’re being overly sensitive, overreacting, etc.

If you’re a target, understand that bullies will gaslight you to shut you up, so that they can keep their moral high ground. They do it to make you doubt your sanity because they know that if you doubt your own sanity, it’s a sure bet that others will doubt it too.

It’s tough to know when someone is gaslighting you because when others agree with them, you’ll feel even more compelled to just shut up and go along with it. The reason for this compulsion is fear. You know that, more than likely, if you don’t just clam up and go along, you’ll only suffer more abuse as punishment for daring to open your mouth.

So, how do you know that someone is gaslighting you?

Simple. You know just by how it makes you feel. Here are the symptoms:

1. You’ll constantly second guess yourself – It’s a brutal cycle. You say something, make a judgement call, maybe a decision, and then you turn right around and begin wondering if you said or did the right thing. This is bad because second-guessing ourselves can cause us to feel stuck in life, and there are few worse things than feeling stuck.

 You’re hyper-self-aware, self-conscious, and always on guard to make sure you do and say the right thing all the time. Also, too much second guessing can cause us to do and say the wrong things out of nervousness and that is no way to live life!

How you solve this problem is to stop worrying about what others think and to realize that your first instinct will usually be the correct one.

 2. You wonder if you’re imagining things or being too sensitive and you do it several times a day- They don’t call it “crazy-making” for nothing because it can drive you crazy. When people are constantly taking pot shots at you, you hesitate to make any comebacks because, again, you’re too busy doubting yourself and putting too much value on the opinions of others.

Again, the best way to solve this problem is to trust what you feel and go with it. You may get bullied harder for it, but wouldn’t you feel better about yourself later, knowing that you stood up to those creeps?

3. You over-apologize- You apologize for trivial stuff that anyone else could do and probably get away with. You apologize for other people’s behavior. You even apologize for having to go to the bathroom! In short, you apologize for everything!

4. You’re confused all the time- Should you do this or that, say this or that? You live in constant confusion.

5. You’re never happy but you feel you should be- that’s a dead ringer that you’re being gaslighted. Because when people gaslight you even for feeling a certain way, this is what happens. And your feelings are right. You should be happier. Only you have a bullying gaslighter in your life holding you back from the happiness you so richly deserve.

6. You make excuses for other people’s behavior- this especially happens when you have fake friends who only use and abuse you. You don’t want others to know what they’re doing to you because you already know, and you’re riddled with shame over it. And it can be embarrassing when the people you call friends disrespect you because you end up looking pathetic to others. Therefore, you make excuses for them not only to hide the shame of being abused, but to keep your abusers from being angry and making you pay for it later.

But the only way to stop this is to face the truth and, even better, ditching these fakers. Because if you must make excuses for someone who’s bullying and abusing you, they can’t be a friend.

7. You lie to avoid being ridiculed or put down, even about things you should have nothing to worry about- when you feel you must lie about things that are not a big deal, that’s definitely a red flag!

Here are a few more symptoms to be aware of:

8. You feel that you’ve changed- that you’re no longer the confident and outgoing person you used to be.

9. You feel like you can’t do anything right.

10.  You feel hopeless.

11. You wonder if you’re good enough.

 12. You know something’s wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it.

Realize that being gaslighted day in and day out causes you to eventually lose yourself- to lose sight of who you are and once that happens, bullies and abusers will have you exactly where they want you.

Understand that some things are not so clear and that there are situations that we won’t get direct and easy answers to. That is why it’s so important to go with how you feel. Listen to your body- listen to your gut.

“Trust your feelings, Luke.” – Yoda (Star Wars)

There are times when the way you feel will be all the answers you need.

And once you go with your feelings, find a way to rid yourself of the life-leeches in your life (if possible). It’s the only way you’ll be able to heal, get yourself back, and live a peaceful, happy, and purposeful life.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

One Situation Where People Are Likely to Accuse You of Being a Bully

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It’s when you don’t feel comfortable around a particular person. Understand that just because you prefer not to be around someone doesn’t necessarily make you a bully and you may have legitimate and justifiable reasons for it. Let’s face it, we like who we like and we dislike who we dislike.

What if the person creeps you out? What if you just don’t feel safe around the person? What if the person is toxic and constantly dogs your mood?

Naturally, you will try to avoid this person. In fact, no sensible and healthy human being would want to be around such a person. But be prepared for a few clueless others to throw the label of “bully” in your face.

Know that, anytime the internal alarm in the pit of your gut sounds off because you sense that something is “off” about a certain person, you have every right to ensure your own safety. You not only have a right, but an obligation to yourself to steer clear of the suspicious person.

Today, we live in a culture of fruit-bats who are so quick to cry “bully” anytime you listen to your own intuition and avoid a potentially dangerous person. Be that as it may, you still have a right to protect yourself from creeps, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, grifters, and other such nefarious people.

And you can bet that those “clueless others” who judge you wouldn’t stay around someone who gave them the heebie-jeebies either, only they’d never tell you. Sadly, the world is full of hypocrites.

And the unspoken messages these people send are clear:

“Safety and protection for us but not for you.”

“It’s bad when you do it but it’s okay when we do it!”

Don’t let these types of people confuse you. Realize that you don’t have to justify yourself to them or anyone! When you’re only trying to keep yourself safe physically or psychologically, no explanation is needed! And if others unfairly judge you for being uncomfortable around someone, then perhaps, you should really piss them off by adding their names to your checklist of idiots to avoid.

Again, not wanting to be around someone isn’t bullying. You are not seeking to hurt them, you just prefer not to be near them for your own peace of mind. It’s only when we seek to repeatedly and ritually harm that person that it crosses the line into bullying.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

When Bullies Discount The Target’s Pain and Suffering: The Subtext of It

Bullies are notorious for abusing their targets, then turning around and discounting their normal, understandable, and justifiable sadness, fear, anger, and depression that result as a direct cause.

But understand the subtext of your bullies’ actions and discounting of your pain-

“Your feelings mean nothing.”

“Your pain and suffering aren’t real and don’t matter.”

“You’re not allowed to be sad, angry, scared, or depressed when we abuse you.”

When bullies discount your pain and suffering, they may make statements such as:

“You’re too sensitive.”

“You’re such a crybaby.”

“Can’t you take a joke?”

“You’re jumping to conclusions.”

“You’re blowing everything out of proportion.”

“You’re always on the defensive.”

“You’re taking stuff too seriously.”

“It’s only in your imagination.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’re always trying to start something.”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”

…and the list goes on

The target may wonder why it is that he’s always in the wrong when he doesn’t mean to be. Understand that this is victim-blaming. And the bullies must blame you to keep from having to take responsibility for their behavior.

If nothing else, remember this:

You always know when something doesn’t feel good. So never doubt what you feel. Never second guess what you feel in your gut. Always listen to that jab in the pit of your stomach because your body never lies.

Then respond accordingly.

Why I Won’t Attend My 30th High School Reunion

If you’ve read this blog for long enough, I’m sure you can already guess the answer to that question. “Why not?” you may ask?

There are several reasons:

1.I’d be a fool if I ever trusted them again. And I’d be a damn fool to put myself into a situation where I’d either get sucked into any petty drama or worse- hurt! And if they expect any trust from me, it’s too late. They should’ve have earned it by acting better.

2. Most of my classmates haven’t changed a bit since high school. Many are still the same drama-filled buffoons they were in high school. Only they’ve gotten older and less attractive over the years. They’ve gone from being obnoxious and self-absorbed punks to being angry and bitter mid-lifers who are resentful and crotchety because their lives didn’t turn out like they had thought. And they wouldn’t think twice about causing harm if it meant they could relive the glory days of high school.

3. Also, at high school reunions, people tend to regress into kids again. This little gathering would only be an opportunity for most of the classmates to compare themselves and their lives with one another.

4. Most of them will probably be drinking excessively, which, at our age, equals unattractive, obnoxious, and stupid. And it also means a higher intolerance of liquor than the good old days and being hungover and puking the next day. No, thank you! ‘Not my scene!

5. The reunion would, more than likely, be nothing more than a circus of posturing, showboating, and one-upmanship, where, figuratively, all the women would only talk about who’s gotten fat, who’s got the most wrinkles, and who’s had facelifts, tummy tucks, and boob-jobs. The men would probably only brag about who’s made the most money, who has the most sex, and who can still achieve an erection. And I have no time to listen to a bunch of drunken, and middle-aged adults compare bank accounts, waist measurements, or penis sizes.

6. I forgive my classmates, yes. But it doesn’t mean I desire to play footsie with any of them. Again, many of them will probably be getting sloppy drunk and puking their guts out around a huge bonfire, and they will probably talk about the same boring crap over and over again. And I’ve got better things to do.

So, with that said, anytime you don’t feel safe going to a particular function, trust your instincts and don’t go!

If anyone tries to talk you into going to a gathering of any kind and you know specific people are going to be there- particularly people who’ve brought you drama and those you wouldn’t trust to shovel manure, there’s nothing wrong with rejecting the invite.

Self-care is of the utmost importance. And if going to any function means that you must be around people who’ve given you no reason to trust them, then you have not only a right, but an obligation to yourself not to go!

And if they get offended or angry with you for declining, all the more reason you shouldn’t go! Remember that your safety and peace of mind comes first!

When Bullies Suddenly Act Like Buddies

You know what I’m talking about. People who treated you like garbage in the past then suddenly, just up and decide that you’re the best thing since sliced bread? Yup! Those!

They’ll gush over you and pour on the compliments, and man! Do they lay it on thick! These people tell you how wonderful you are and that they got you all wrong and misjudged you. They’ll show you excessive attention and laugh at your jokes with their counterfeit laughs. Yet, your internal alarm is going off in the pit of your gut because something feels “off” about these little encounters.

These bullies act so sappy, stand a little too close, and gush over your small wins and accomplishments. They seem to latch on to you like a tick to a dog.

I’ve had bullies do the same to me in the past, and when they did, my first thought was, “Ewww,” “Yuck,” or any other utterance of total disgust. It was downright sickening, and as hard as it was not to look them in the eye and say, “Okay. What do you want,” I only humored them for a while.

But sooner or later, they got careless and stupid. The bullies ended up showing their cards without realizing it until it was too late.  I’d say something that rubbed them the wrong way or have a belief they didn’t share. Then, all hell broke loose.

Isn’t it funny when bullies let their emotions tell the truth about them?

The point is that the nice act doesn’t mask evil intentions. Ever. Bullies will try it, but they end up giving themselves away eventually. But there’s more. Before they give themselves away, you can often tell that something isn’t right. You can hear the fakery in their voices, and you know they’re trying a little too hard to sound convincing. It’s as if they aren’t only trying to convince you; they’re also trying to convince themselves!

My advice is to get away from these people. Fast! Because they’re up to something. You might not know what that “something” is, but for your safety, ditch these fools and have nothing to do with them. If something feels wrong, listen closely. Your instinct never lies.

With knowledge comes empowerment.

Why You Should Learn to Read People

Closeup portrait of a skeptical man looking suspicious, some disgust on his face mixed with disapproval isolated on gray background. Negative human emotions, facial expressions, feelings

I have a Spidey-sense when it comes to people. I automatically pay attention to others’ non-verbal communication and also their silences. I notice the clothes they wear and the arrangement of objects in their homes and workspaces.

I also notice patterns in their breathing, tensions they have in certain muscles (mainly the neck and jawline), and read the subtext in conversations. I even pay attention to their feet! In participating in or listening to conversations, I home in on what is implied rather than what is said. There is no such thing as an action that doesn’t communicate something.

Having been bullied in school ended up making me a very accurate people-reader. If there’s anyone who will teach you of the level of evil human beings are capable of, it’s bullies.

Once you have suffered the vicious onslaught of a bully or group of bullies over an extended period of time, your people senses sharpen tremendously, allowing you to better pick up on body language, facial expressions, tonality, and the hidden emotions/intentions of others around you. Even better, you learn to read those split-second flashes or micro-expressions most others miss. Why? Because it’s key to your survival!

This is only natural. An example of this would be a person who has lost their sight. We’ve heard stories of people who have suddenly gone blind. These same people reported that the other four senses automatically sharpened to compensate for the lost ability to see, which is only a natural survival mechanism of the body. It is the same when someone is bullied.

A victim of bullying is in a constant state of being threatened, both physically and psychologically. To survive, the person’s “sixth sense” and the ability to even better read non-verbal communication heightens to near perfection. Again, this is only the brain’s and body’s way of protecting them.

Understand that what compels a person to hon certain powers is always…ALWAYS necessity. If we feel that our survival depends on how well we read the emotions, moods, and intentions of those around us, we will find a way to tap into that power, learn it, and learn it forward, backward, upside down, and sideways!

Understand that people-reading isn’t only about doing it with your eyes and ears. It goes much deeper. It’s also about using your gut, tuning into their moods, and feeling those moods. You must learn to sense the vibrations that others put out!

Close up of examining a test sample of microchip transistor under the microscope in a laboratory.

I can automatically feel others’ moods, sensing every vibe they emit, and honestly, some of what I’ve felt in those around me didn’t feel good and was downright scary! However, I consider myself blessed to have this ability because it keeps me safe. As an adult, I now know how to avoid unsavory people. Even better, I no longer am bullied and haven’t been in years!

Learning the art of people-reading is an absolute must if you find yourself on constant defense against bullies. All it takes is to stand back and quietly observe the people around you, and you don’t have to stare a hole through them to do it. You can always watch people without looking directly at them by using your peripheral vision to do so. So, why not start today?

survivors x-ray eyes

The sooner you begin, the sooner this will become like second-nature to you. The more and the longer you practice, the better you will become. Know that everything people do- the way they walk, talk, stand, sit, eat, arrange things in their environment, the types of people they associate with…EVERYTHING they do gives clues as to their moods, their character, and most importantly, whether or not they are for or against you.

So, keep your eyes, ears, AND spidey-senses peeled!

That Sick Feeling in The Pit of Your Stomach

When I see a bully from my past, I get that nauseating feeling in the pit of my stomach even now. I don’t even want the person around me. I have no ill will toward the person, and I don’t hate them. I only wish for the person to stay away.

Understand that these body sensations never lie. They are there to warn you of impending danger, and you should always listen to them. That gut feeling is there to protect you. There are other names for the gut feelings we get. We also call it our instinct, a hunch, or sixth sense.

There’s a good reason God gave this instinct to us. It serves as an internal alarm to warn us when something is wrong. Animals have these instincts, too, as do babies and children.

Instincts in animals are a lot keener than in humans because they must survive in the wild. And the instincts of babies and children are much keener than in adults. The reason for this is that the world hasn’t yet tainted children and conditioned them to tone down that sixth sense.

To stay safe, we must reteach ourselves to obey what our senses try to tell us.

Your heart will deceive you, and so will your mind. But your gut is always honest. Listen to it.

When Bullies Discount the Target’s Pain and Suffering

Bullies are notorious for abusing their targets, then turning around and discounting their normal, understandable, and justifiable sadness, fear, anger, and depression that result as a direct cause.

But understand the subtext of your bullies’ actions and discounting of your pain-

“Your feelings mean nothing.”

“Your pain and suffering aren’t real and don’t matter.”

“You’re not allowed to be sad, angry, scared, or depressed when we abuse you.”

When bullies discount your pain and suffering, they may make statements such as:

“You’re too sensitive.”

“You’re such a crybaby.”

“Can’t you take a joke?”

“You’re jumping to conclusions.”

“You’re blowing everything out of proportion.”

“You’re always on the defensive.”

“You’re taking stuff too seriously.”

“It’s only in your imagination.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’re always trying to start something.”

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.”

…and the list goes on

The target may wonder why it is that he’s always in the wrong when he doesn’t mean to be. Understand that this is victim-blaming. And the bullies must blame you to keep from having to take responsibility for their behavior.

If nothing else, remember this:

You always know when something doesn’t feel good. So never doubt what you feel. Never second guess what you feel in your gut. Always listen to that jab in the pit of your stomach because your body never lies.

Then respond accordingly.

Why It Pays to Know Thyself

When you know yourself inside and out, you are better able to define yourself instead of letting others, particularly bullies and abusers, do it for you. And when you learn to accept only your definition of who you are, you can more easily avoid bullying because you’re better able to recognize it. And when you’re able to identify abuse, you’re least likely to put up with it.

In other words, when you know who you are, you also know what you want and what you will and will not tolerate, which is why knowing who you are is of the utmost importance.

Knowing yourself means knowing your feelings, senses, and instincts and trusting them to guide you through this crazy thing called life. Tuning in to your feelings and instincts means tuning into your gut. As we all know, your gut can guide you out of dangerous situations and environments if you allow it to.

Knowing yourself also means refusing to allow bullies to shame or ridicule you into staying in situations and circumstances that don’t feel good to you or around toxic people. To know yourself means to trust yourself to make the right decisions.

For example, during the years my classmates bullied me, there were times when they would accost me, and I’d put my hand up to them and walk away. I didn’t have time for their drama and foolishness. Next, one of them would shout, “Hey! Where are you going, you big chicken!” or “Oh, that’s right! Walk away like you always do!” or “You’d better run!”

Understand that when you turn your back and walk away from a bully and he calls out these things to you, it’s only their attempts to control you by defining you- to shame you into sticking around and taking their crap. Or, it could be that they’re trying to bait you into a fight because they know the chances are that you’ll get blamed for it.

No one wants others to think them to be a coward. But people will try to define you as one to corner you and trick you into doing what they want. They know that you’ll feel compelled to hang around and you’ll do it for no other reason than to prove to the rest of the world that you aren’t afraid.

Again, this is why you must know yourself. When you know deep down that you’re not what people call you, you won’t feel any need to do any posturing nor virtue signaling because you won’t have to prove anything. Although the name-calling may sting a little, it won’t bother you as much.

Another good thing about knowing yourself is that you won’t feel the need to hold back emotions. You’ll be able to recognize them better and allow yourself to feel them. You won’t let others tell you how you should feel or bullies to shame you into suppressing them.

You don’t have to put on a big front and try to act like someone you’re not.

To know yourself means freedom!

Understand that people who don’t know themselves will follow the crowd and try to fit in. People who don’t know themselves will accept other’s definitions of them without realizing it. They’ll build a fake identity based on how others view them and others’ expectations and ideas of who a real person should be.

Sadly, if a target is told by abusers that he’s stupid, no good, lazy and that he’ll never amount to anything, in many cases, they’ll live up to it. It will show up in their grades, performance, and how they interact with people.

During school, I lost knowledge of who I was only for a little while, and that was before the suicide attempt. Later, I become angry at myself for allowing them to define me.

It was later when I decided that I was going to be true to my own heart. It may not have looked that way to the outside observer. Still, inside, I got in touch with my inner sensations and instincts and began to realize that I wasn’t to blame for what was happening to me. I realized that their abuse was no reflection on me but spoke volumes about their lack of morals, decency, and character.

Getting to know myself brought confirmation that what they were doing was wrong. Now this inner realization didn’t stop me from being bullied and may have made it worse. But instead of hating and blaming myself, I listened to what my gut told me. I paid close attention to the vibes I was getting and maintained a strong sense of self while enduring the pain of not being accepted.

I decided from then on that I was going to maintain my inner strength. I would listen to my instincts when they told me that I had reason to fear certain people. Even better, I was no longer going to be ashamed of it. I began paying attention to how my body tensed up when I was around certain people and realized that it was only a cue for me to get away from those people.

And today, I trust myself enough to reject others’ definitions of who I am. In that, bullies are no longer able to have power over me, and I’m a much happier person for it.

And I want you to know that you too can get to that beautiful and peaceful place.