6 Easy Steps to Reclaim Your Personal Power

confident women in her power

What do we mean when we mention, “personal power?” Simple. We mean the ability to influence the events that happen in our lives.

When bullies target you for bullying, they find ways of stripping you of your personal power. Most do this bit by tiny bit and gradually escalate the attacks until they leave you utterly powerless. However, there are simple methods you can use to reclaim your personal power and feel more in control of your circumstances. Here are 6 easy steps to reclaim your personal power:

  1. Have a strong set of beliefs and principles.

When you have a strong set of beliefs and principles, you’re least likely to fall for lies and name-calling your bullies try to bombard you with. Therefore, you’re least likely to allow them to influence how you see yourself or to cause you to make decisions and choices based on their approval. Instead, you will do what you know is best for you and what makes you feel happier and most alive.

  1. Be okay with who you are.

Realize that you are perfect just the way The Creator made you but know that it’s okay if you want to improve yourself. There’s nothing wrong with becoming a better version of yourself because there’s always room for improvement. That goes for you, me, and everyone. However, the problem comes when you allow others’ opinions of you to change the way you view yourself.

Never put yourself down because bullies and everyone else is putting you down. In other words, no matter what they say or how they act toward you, do not, under any circumstances, lose sight of your worth. Continue to value yourself and refrain from thinking that you should be like someone else. You are you. Be okay with it. The trick is to practice self-acceptance and self-love while you improve.

confidence, empowerment, smaller chess piece looking in the mirror to see bigger chess piece

  1. Follow your goals and dreams.

What is your passion- the thing or things you love to do the most? Whatever they are, follow them and do the things you absolutely love to do, that make you feel alive! Not only will you feel more in control of your life, but you won’t have time to worry about what anyone, especially a bully, thinks of you. Additionally, you’ll be so busy working on your goals and pursuing your dreams that they won’t even be an afterthought. And you’ll be much happier!

However, do be prepared for bullies to notice the positive change in you and put up some resistance to it. They will most likely intensify their attacks. Also, realize that they will do these things because this new you will threaten the power, they’ve held over you. Put simpler, this happier and more confident you will be something that your bullies won’t be used to seeing and it will throw them off balance. But don’t allow the fear of being bullied worse to stop you. Keep working on you and doing what you love. I guarantee that it will pay somewhere down the line.

Understand that your bullies have grown comfortable in seeing you depressed, miserable, and beaten down. Moreover, when you begin this positive change, you take your bullies out of their comfort zones. And most people love their comfort zones and will fight like the devil to stay in them.

  1. Replace negative self-talk with that which is positive.

In other words, stop beating yourself up because bullies and abusers have conned you into believing that you aren’t good enough. Realize that you are, in fact, good enough and that you’re just as worthy as the next Joe Schmo.

Instead of saying to yourself, “I’ll never be good enough,” say, “I AM good enough now and I’m only going to get better.”

  1. Walk away from toxic people.

Toxic people, AKA bullies, abusers, users, and losers, serve no purpose but to bring you down and keep you there. These people can also be fakes who pose as your friends. Therefore, know that anyone who even subtly insults, guilt trips, or gaslights you does not deserve one micro-second of your time. You’d much rather be alone than with fake friends who throw zingers and backhanded compliments your way. Moreover, you’ll be much happier and at ease without them in your life. Be patient and better friends will come along. I promise you!

  1. Get healthy.

When you’re healthy, you’re happy. Get outside and get some sunlight and exercise. I promise you that you’ll feel so much better! Also, you’ll have more of your personal power.

Taking these steps may feel strange at first. Trying new things always does. However, with time, it will become like second nature, and you will feel so much better about yourself. You will feel stronger, more confident and freer! And that is personal power. Most importantly, you will be surprised at how quickly your life will transform from depressing to amazing!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Fall in Love With Yourself First!

two fingers representing couple in love against red background

Females are hardwired to nurture, maintain, and enjoy relationships, And this is whether they be friendships, family, or romantic relationships. With teenagers, it is mostly about having close relationships with friends and romantic relationships.

Therefore, if a young girl isn’t getting those wants and needs met through peers at school or family at home, she may try a different route.

Sadly, some girls, particularly those who are targets of bullies, think that having a dating partner makes up for the lack of friends and positive relationships at school. I say this because, unfortunately, I was one of those girls with the same mindset. I leaned on dating and romance for comfort.

A Partner will Never Help You Achieve Wholeness

Being in a romantic relationship can feel like such a welcome change,. It’s like a soft pillow to land on during a fall. It can buffer the self-esteem from the bullying and take the sting out of the torment the target endures.

 

chain and heart-shaped padlocks representing love and romance

Having dating partners and suitors can act as a much-needed rebuttal to the daily degradation and humiliation you suffer daily. It provides assurance to the target that they are a great person and worthy of love and friendship no matter what. Affection from a partner can act as a testament to the targeted girl’s beauty and confirmation of her value.

Many of these girls look to a partner to rescue them. They see their partner as a refuge from a cold, cruel world that hates them. However, this is a very needy mentality and can backfire in the long run.

No One is Going to Rescue You.

During school, because I had no real friends, I turned to grown men of late teens and early twenties. Moreover, I did this to get the acceptance I wasn’t getting at school from people my age. Although I was gorgeous to look upon, bullies and their followers had destroyed my once-good name. With that, they also destroyed any prospects for dating and love among peers my age.

However, by dating guys who were already out of high school, I was able to get around my trashed reputation. As a result, I had an abundance of opportunities for romance. These college-aged men had never met me, nor were they aware of the falsehoods and labels tied to my name

I’m ashamed to say that, back then, I felt that my good looks and feminine wiles were the only things I had going for me, and often used them to get what I wanted. I thought I had to use trickery and charm to attain what most others seemed to come by easily and effortlessly. And thirty years ago, underage dating was more accepted than it is today.

I want you to understand that when a person is beaten down for so long, they grow afraid to ask for or pursue their wants and needs the right way. As a result, manipulation and deceit become a way of survival. Realize that this is a person who doesn’t need judgment; they get enough of that already. What they need is help . For bullied victims, partners are a proverbial band-aid to their feelings of hurt and inadequacy that come with the onslaught of bullies. Sexual partners and activity are a means to feel loved, wanted, sexy, and beautiful. And it works, if only temporarily.

Co-Dependency isn’t healthy

However, this is dangerous because it can easily lead to co-dependency. Relying on a dating partner for confirmation of worth is never good because the person eventually comes to believe that if he/she is not half of a couple, they are nothing and this kind of thinking is wrong.

encouragement

This mindset only sprouts desperation, and there is no dignity in being desperate for a partner. No one should ever see a romantic relationship as the end all be all. They should never look outside of themselves for happiness. Men and women come and go, and if the person continues to depend solely on them for their fulfillment, they’ll be in for a huge disappointment.

When someone looks solely to a partner to validate them, it’s a sign that the person doesn’t know their worth as a young lady or young man. Potential dates can sense this, and are either repelled or see them as someone they can use and degrade.

The person risks attracting a predatory partner of low integrity, one who will hang around as long as it takes to get what they want before dumping them and leaving them devastated. Also, people of quality and integrity do not want a partner they have to fix or rescue, and if they sniff out the slightest bit of neediness, they will disappear, and fast!

If you are a bullied girl or boy, I can’t stress enough how important it is to fall in love with yourself and with life before you fall in love with anyone else. Love should come from within and never from the outside. A relationship doesn’t complete you, and just because a person has sex with you doesn’t mean that they love you.

It’s Okay to Be Alone.

You are just as beautiful and whole without a partner as you are with one. Just because you’re dateless doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Single doesn’t mean defective.

In the meantime, do plenty of deep soul searching and make positive affirmations daily. Count all your good qualities, talents, and gifts. Continuously remind yourself that you have value, and soon, you’ll start to believe it with your whole heart.

Be patient. Be careful of the choices you make. Know that the right person will come into your life when you least expect it, and you aren’t looking for them. And when they do, they’ll be well worth the wait.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

2 Powerful Defense Strategies Targets Use

Being a target can be a lonely and terrifying existence. Because of the intense hatred people spew daily, you walk on eggshells because you don’t know what the bullies and their minions will do next. They could physically hurt you, or worse. Also, you feel desperate to correct what is wrong, but you have no clue what it is.

So many targets can relate. With that said, I want to tell you that if you are or have been a target of school bullies, you are not alone, and you will eventually overcome your tormentors just like I did.

So, what are two lesser-known defense strategies targets use?

1. They Dress up for school or work.

To keep their self-esteem from completely tanking, they may dress in flashy clothes, desiring to look like a million bucks for school or work. Clothes from Walmart just aren’t good enough for these targets. They feel they must shop at Maurice’s, or maybe even Nordstrom in order to feel good about themselves. And if they don’t dress to the nines at school, they feel less than. They also resort to this to alleviate some of the shame they feel.

Not that dressing snazzy is a bad thing. It isn’t. However, the reason these target do it is because they’re insecure inside and the clothes help to remedy that insecurity.

This has a lot to do with how poorly people have treated them. So, they then dress even better, only for the bullies and the rest of the student body or coworkers to label them “a poser.” However, the nice clothes and knowing that you look damn good has a way of buffering your self-esteem when bullies go on the attack..

Targets also feel that their attire provides them a sense of not only style but control.

2. They act stuck-up and conceited.

Put plainly, targets may think to themselves or even say out loud, “I don’t care what they say. I’m awesome. They’re just too jealous to admit it.”

Does this sound arrogant? Conceited? Maybe. Does this sound downright narcissistic? Perhaps. Is it the right attitude to have? Both yes and no. Sometimes, a good defense is for the target to act conceited and like they just don’t need any of them.

In other words, their holier-than-thou attitude, however unattractive it might be, helps targets to preserve what little self-esteem and dignity they have left. It helps them to keep going when things were at their worst. Most importantly, it helps them to keep from being totally brainwashed and reprogrammed by evil bullies who would love nothing more than to destroy not only their bodies, and prospects, but also their minds.

A defense Mechanism to keep people away.

Targets may walk around with their noses in the air and refused to speak. Also, they may have a sassy and smart-alicky attitude. Moreover, I say this from experience. I was extremely sarcastic and had a snotty disposition. I even laughed at and bullied others to grab back some power. My attitude stunk – period.

Again, it’s the only way some targets know to stay strong and and maintain a little bit of poise.

Although, it’s only a self-protective behavior, the downside to this is that this attitude can easily get targets hurt or worse. It can also drive away people who otherwise could and would be great friends and allies. Nobody wants to put themselves at risk of being rejected, even people who aren’t targets of bullying. I don’t recommend you bully others like I did. However, if people are bullying you, you have every right not to speak to them and to hold your head high. Just be aware of the circumstances first.

Some targets of bullying can be really sarcastic. This sarcasm gives them a sense of power. In fact, it’s how they survive. But understand that this reaction to others is only out of fear and it’s no way to live. Therefore, I cannot stress enough that, if you’re a target of bullying, don’t let it change your overall attitude for the worse.  Pick and choose the times and people you show your snarky attitude to. Sometimes, it can be socially powerful, but at other times, it can get you into serious trouble.

What are your thoughts? Please feel free to comment on your experiences and what you did to cope.

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!

What Babies Can Teach Us About Confidence

Babies are so adorable! They have that charm and innocence that no other age group has. They don’t worry about what others think of them and they never try to impress others. These little darlings display sweetness, purity, complete authenticity, and hearts of gold.

Babies have not a care in the world what people think of them. They have no inhibitions whatsoever. They’re not afraid to cry and express their wants and needs. You can see it in the way little toddlers shamelessly coo, laugh, babble, skip, run, and dance. And they’ll do it in front of anyone. These little sweeties are fearless. They’re not afraid to show their emotions, express their thoughts, show their creativity.

Furthermore, their precious little souls are completely open. They give, share, and receive love with an open and grateful heart. They love being loved and doted on and will receive it with a soft coo or laugh.

Everything starts with self-love and babies are a perfect example of it.

Sadly, as time passes and these babies grow bigger, the ways of people and the world slowly and incrementally taint their little hearts. Many grow up in toxic environments and with parents who excessively criticize and abuse them.

Therefore, they build a protective wall around themselves to try and keep the contamination out. Because family members and others discount, ridicule, even punish them for their feelings, they learn to mask those feelings. They collect emotional baggage as they become preschoolers, school-aged kids, then teenagers, and finally, adults.

Also, many are raised by drug-addicted, mentally ill, and neglectful adults and they build walls to protect themselves from that as well. Therefore, many must learn to raise themselves.

None of us have low self-esteem and lack of confidence at birth. Either ell-meaning family members who wish to keep us humble and sweet, instill those characteristics in us or bullies and abusers force-fed them to us.

Consequently, many adults will cause a baby to grow up thinking that they are unlovable. They don’t feel they deserve to have their wants and needs met. Thus, they grow up filled with either anger and self-loathing, or sadness and depression.

Life Has Ways of Eroding That Confidence and Goodness We Were Born With.

We all go through these terrible changes, even those who aren’t bullied. Only few people in this world manage to keep that confidence and joy they were born with. Furthermore, life’s disappointments, hurts, and heartaches have ways of doing these things to all of us. However, the worse changes happen to targets of bullying and abuse.

They stop expressing emotions and give up asking for anything. Why? Because sometime during their childhoods, other people conditioned them. They conditioned them to think that they’re self-centered and wrong for ever needing or wanting anything out of life.

Therefore, they resign themselves to the attitude that, things are “just the way they are” and that there’s nothing they can do to change anything.

Consequently, when you tell them about self-love and how important it is, they wince at the idea because it makes them uncomfortable. But, again, other people program them to think that self-love is somehow self-absorbed and evil. I can relate to this because, when I was thirteen and fourteen years old, I did the exact same when I was first told about the idea of self-love and self-care.

The thought of looking at myself in the mirror every day and telling myself “I love you” or “You’re beautiful,” “You’re Smart,” “You’re awesome,” etc., felt both weird. In fact, it felt downright sickening because I was under the impression that it was all a sign of sheer vanity.

It’s Sad When People Can Successfully Condition You to Believe that Self-love is Vanity

Self-love can feel downright painful after you’ve wasted years and decades hating and degrading yourself. After all, it’s not something you’re accustomed to practicing. Anything new and out of the ordinary feels painful at first. Like all things, it must first become a habit. And it can only become habit through rigorous learning and practice.

‘You see? My bullies and a few abusive others sold me on the idea that any form of self-care or self-love was abhorrent and self-serving. I was under the misguided belief that self-degradation and self-criticism was a virtue. It was a sign of being humble and meek. Therefore, I thought that was what normal people did, as I watched a few family members do the same thing.

Some of my family members still do this at times and it breaks my heart. If only they could see, I mean, truly see their value. . In my eyes, their worth is more than that of gold.

The truth is that self-hatred is the equivalent of having a millstone hung from your neck. You drag it around everywhere you go because it’s exhausting. Therefore, it zaps your energy. It takes the magic, wonder, and excitement from your life. And it keeps you stuck and worse, invites more disrespect and abuse from others.

Self-love doesn’t equal Vanity, It equals Virtue!

Self-love can only come from within, never from without. It doesn’t come from a partner, a spouse, or a boatload of friends. It can’t come from a banging body or fancy clothes, hairdos, or makeup. Money can’t buy self-love. Power doesn’t give it to you and neither does prestige. Self-love comes from the heart and only the heart.

Additionally, self-love is about self-acceptance and being perfectly okay with your imperfections. It comes from being comfortable in your own skin and not caring even the slightest what others think or say of you.

In order to find peace and joy in life, self-love is a must-have. It helps you to achieve your goals and realize your dreams and aspirations. It determines your outcomes- whether you succeed or fail. Also, it helps you to better re-frame bad situations and see them as learning experiences. Self-esteem and self-love give you peace of mind.

In a nutshell, self-love gives you complete freedom! It is the key to happiness and joy!

Don’t you think you deserve to be at peace with yourself? Don’t you think you deserve happiness and joy? I do.

So, be like a baby. Love yourself. Know that your true colors are vibrant and never be afraid to show them. Dance like you’ve never been ridiculed. And play like you’ve never fallen and scraped your knee. Express your emotions. Love, laugh, and live.

You’ll be surprised at how everything will change for the better! I promise!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What is That Coveted Je Ne Sais Quoi?

Charming older woman smiling

What is that Coveted je ne sais quoi? Je Ne Sais Quoi is French, and it means, “I don’t know what.” The term is used to describe a special but indescribable characteristic that someone has – a characteristic that is hard to name. It’s that unnamable characteristic that attracts people, especially suitors, and puts them under the person’s spell.

When someone has a certain je ne sais quoi, people will usually say things like, “There’s just something about him/her.” Someone who falls in love will often use that phrase when those outside the relationship can’t understand what the love-stricken individual sees in the person they’re in love with.

Some people were born with this mysterious allure and come by it naturally. These lucky people seem to attract people easily and effortlessly. Others, like most bullying targets, were not blessed with it and have great difficulty making friends. Shy people and those on the autism spectrum tend to have the most difficulty in this arena.

can this je ne sais quoi be taught?

Businessman schmoozing colleagues at a social gathering

Therefore, if you’re a target of bullying and you’re having difficulty making friends or finding love, the secret to getting that je ne sais quoi is to understand exactly what it is. Thankfully, it is something you can learn, and, once you learn it, you can use it to your advantage.

So, what is it exactly?

Simple. It’s social intelligence, which is a combination of confidence, charm, and charisma, or The Three C’s. The most precious thing in the universe isn’t money. It isn’t gold or silver. It’s these three traits because they set you on a path of success in every aspect of your life. However, to have the three C’s, you must first have healthy self-esteem.

Sadly, many targets of bullying don’t realize this. They want these traits so badly but don’t have the self-esteem to back them up.

As a result, they live a lonely and unsuccessful life. They secretly resent those who have that je ne sais quoi as they sit on the sidelines and watch them have a blessed life. Also, they may resent God for not blessing them with it, which only makes things worse.

man with confidence

Healthy Self-Esteem always comes before je ne sais quoi

Moreover, when a young target asks an adult how to learn that certain something that attracts people, the adult may only laugh them off and tell them,

“That’s something that can’t be taught. It’s something you’re born with. You either have it or you don’t. And if you don’t, you’re just shit out of luck.”

Adults give them those types of hurtful responses because either they themselves don’t know, or they do know but would never tell them for obvious reasons. Consequently, young targets believe the lies and stop trying – at everything. They stop trying to make friends and move up in the world.

The resulting mentality becomes this: “Why do all that work if it isn’t going to get me anywhere? I’d only be spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.”

As a result, these people accumulate long strings of failed friendships and relationships and jump from job to job. Also, they run around with ne’er do wells. In short, they relax their standards and become content to cruise through life without extending any effort. Many targets end up on welfare and public housing and it’s because their self-esteem is shot to hell.

man holding a card that reads, "Low Self-Esteem"

Therefore, I often stress doing everything you can to salvage your self-esteem because, again, in order to have charm and charisma, you must first have a healthy self-esteem. Thankfully, you can also learn this. I repeat, no matter what others have told you, social intelligence can be taught and you can go from anti-social to social ninja in just a few years.

Here are a few things you can do to raise your self-esteem and with it, your je ne sais quoi:
  1. Smile! And by smile, I mean do it authentically. A real, genuine smile is one complete with the crinkles around the outer corners of the eyes. If there are no crinkles around the eyes, the smile is fake.
  2. When you’re talking to a person, say their name. According to Dale Carnegie’s book, entitled, “How to Make Friends and Influence People,” a person’s name is music to their ears. Saying their name when you speak to them just makes them feel that having a conversation with you is all the better.
  3. Engage in small talk. Never talk about anything deep. Great small talk conversations discuss topics such as the weather, sports, movies, music, and current events (just don’t go to deep on the current events).
  4. Realize that it’s not about you. One thing I want you to know right now. People care more about themselves and their lives than they do about you. It’s just the reality of human nature. Therefore, become interested in other people and their lives. People always love someone who’s interested in them.

Confident man reach out to shake your hand

Start with doing the above practices and don’t be afraid to learn new tricks. And realize that you will probably need to fake it, at first- fake it until you make it! It’s what I had to do. However, I discovered that when you act confident, you will soon feel confident. And when you feel confident, the fake becomes real.

Practice these things and you will soon be able to raise your je ne sais quoi and draw people to you. And once you do that, you might even be able to schmooze like a pro!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Gruesome Twosome: 2 More People to Avoid

After writing and posting, “The Dirty Dozen: 12 Types of people You Should Avoid,” back in July, it dawned on me that there were two more types of people that we all should avoid, and they are as follows:

1.The person who makes you second choice.

If you have a so-called friend who only wants to talk to or spend time with you when their first option isn’t available, it’s time to walk away. Don’t be second fiddle. Don’t be somebody’s option B, C, or D.

I’ve been on both sides of this fence. I played second fiddle many times when I was young, and I caused others to do it too because I wasn’t very mindful of other people’s feelings at times. I was wrong for it. Get rid of the people who make you second choice. At the same time, don’t take the people who value you for granted because it hurts, and they deserve better from you.

 

2. The person who only comes around when they want something.

Realize that this person doesn’t really love you for you, but only sees you as a convenience. They only love you for what they can get from you. These are the kinds of people who only show up when they’re in a jam and they need money, advice, or help with something.

You’re not a bank, you’re not Dear Abby, and you’re not a go-to person when someone needs help with something. You’re much, much more than that. Sure. It’s great to want to help your family, friends, and your fellow man. Nothing wrong with that. But if they only take advantage of you, it’s time to cut them off and cut them loose!

create your value

Remember. You create your own value by how you allow others to treat you. Always value yourself and never settle for people who don’t see your worth but only see the convenience you provide. It’s not your job to make other people’s lives easier for them and it’s not your responsibility to make them feel better about themselves. Know your worth. Take back your self-respect and your power.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Self-Esteem and the People You Spend the Most Time With

One thing that few of us think about is that we each are the sum of the types of people we spend the most time with. In other words, if the people you spend most of your time with are negative, then negative is what you become.

On the other hand, the opposite is true also. If you spend most of your time with people who are positive and uplifting, then you will feel and be the same.

Likewise, when a target is surrounded by bullies eight hours per day, whether it be at school or work, this takes up most of his day. It’s even worse if the target has negative family members at home. Therefore, he spends most of his day with bullies which will, over time, turn him into a negative person if he isn’t careful.

So, if you’re the only positive person in the room, you’re in the wrong place! If you’re around people who drain you and make you feel bad, you must find a way to fix it without hanging around and trying to fix them.

Realize that each person has a mind of his/her own and to try and “fix” them is a waste of your time and energy. It’s up to the other person to improve themselves and they must be the one to do that. Moreover, you wouldn’t want that responsibility. Understand that any internal fixing is their job, not yours.

You can only fix things by removing yourself from their company.

You always know when you’re with the wrong people because you will immediately sense that something is off anytime you’re around such negative folks. You will feel exhausted just being around them because it will be as if they’re sucking the oxygen out of the room. You’ll feel yucky because they’re killing your good vibes. Therefore, you must get out of there… fast!

Don’t stifle your own peace, happiness, and, most of all, growth by continuing to hang around. Make it your goal to get out of that environment!

Take the steps needed to find a pleasant environment filled with people who are either just as or more positive than you. Then soak up their uplifting personalities, dispositions, and vibes. In doing this, you allow yourself to grow and continue to move toward self-betterment.

Realize that people can only meet you from the place they’re at. In other words, if the person is negative, they can only meet you from a negative place. And if your places contradict, it can only cause division and conflict. Therefore, you must go where you get the most positivity and that also means choosing your friends wisely.

And once you do, you’ll be glad you did!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Why You Should Befriend Other Targets

The old saying that “birds of a feather flock together” rings true. The Law of Similarity dictates that in order to find good friendships, you must establish common ground. Understand that those who share the same activities, experiences, perspectives, and attitudes have a high probability of developing close friendships. Humans are naturally drawn to those who share mutual interests.

How targets make friends is to find like-minded people to bond with. And nothing bonds humans like a shared contempt for the same things, people, and groups. Therefore, developing connections with other targets is not only necessary but wise.

When a target finds others who have been bullied by the same bullies, it not only confirms that he isn’t alone in the fight, but it’s a juicy opportunity to make friends and allies. And these new friends just might back the target up the next time her bullies come calling.

Commonalities Attract

Also, it reinforces the fact that the target is not a bad person. It says that, despite what bullies and most others have told him, he can make friends. It sends the message that the target is a likeable person and automatically discredits the bullies. Therefore, having friends who share the same experiences is a real self-esteem booster.

When targets unite, they share sameness and, therefore, are least likely to face conflict with one another. Each target in the group finally feels understood.

Case in point, sameness will always attract people to one another. People tend to become friends with those most like themselves. When targets begin to associate with and create ties with others whom the bullies have targeted, they immediately establish common ground. It is this common ground which quickly develops rapport.

A “Target Rich Environment”

If you’re a target of bullying and you find it difficult to make friends, you can create a “target rich environment” for  yourself by staying among other targets.

I cannot say this enough- we develop the best friendships with those who resemble us the most. We’re attracted to people with the same desires and pursuits. If you can find common ground, developing a positive relationship will be a cake walk!

So, how do you know that there’s common ground before you even talk to the person?

You start by noticing how the person dresses. Are there any similarities? If the person is wearing a tee shirt with the logo or picture of a rock group you like, there’s shared interest. And if they only have a slight interest in the group, you, at least, share a love of rock and roll music.

What a person is doing also gives clues. Also, their posture also has many tells in it. For example, if a person is sitting at the lunch table alone, slumps in their chair, and doesn’t interact much with others, you know that they have low self-esteem. And low self-esteem comes from bullying and abuse. So, don’t be afraid to go over and talk to them. You just might be the friend they’re looking for!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

A Deeper Reason for Self-Acceptance

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Today, we live in a world that consistently judges us. It seems that people feel they have carte blanche to point a finger at someone else.  They love to announce their flaws and weaknesses. Sadly, this seems to be the norm.

Everyone is trying to be (or look) better than the next person and lord it over them. You see it in the media. Also, you see celebrities calling out other celebrities in the Twitterverse. And everyday people do it on the street, in the supermarket, workplace, and at school.

What bullies don’t realize is that in pointing a finger at someone else, they only reverse it back on themselves. Because they’ve got to be pretty darned insecure with their own life to feel the need to disparage another person.

Anytime you come at another person without provocation, here’s what it says about you.It says that you’re trying to hide or distract attention from your own shortcomings by trying to redirect the negative attention to someone else. In short, it’s only proof of your own lack of self-acceptance. It also shows a lack of self awareness.

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Self-acceptance has always been a must-have but nowadays, it’s even more essential than ever before.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t be self-aware because we should. But too much self-awareness isn’t good. Why? Because, when we’re hyper-aware, we focus too much on our weaknesses and not enough on our strengths. Sadly, this is what targets of bullying are conditioned to do after so long.

There are two extremes to everything but there’s also that happy middle that we should stay in.

We must work on changing the way we see ourselves and begin loving ourselves more because only then will we be able to love others.

If you can’t accept yourself, you won’t be able to accept others either. Being a bully doesn’t score any points and it doesn’t make you feel any better in the long run. It only makes you look like an insecure little coward.

As the old saying goes, “You do you and let me do me.”

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Self-Love Irrespective of What Others Think

No lie. This can be hard to do, especially if the people around you hate you and are bullying you. Loving yourself in the midst of bullying and in a room full of people who think horribly of you takes a mountain of hard work when all you hear from others is:

“You aren’t worth a damn!”

“You suck!”

“You’re a drain on society!”

“You’ll never amount to a hill of beans!”

I understand. If you hear that long enough and from enough people, it can break your spirit if you let it. And how you refuse to let it get to you is to see it for what it is- noise pollution!

Here are a few more ways you can refuse to let their abuse get to you.

Give yourself permission to be yourself.

Know that’s it’s okay for you to be you.

Train your inner voice, through practice, to love you unconditionally.

Know that it’s okay to have needs, wants, and desires.

Deny the urge to compare yourself to others.

Understand that it’s okay to walk away from drama, and that it’s not out of fear that you do so, it’s out of smarts and self-care.

Allow yourself to make mistakes and to learn from them.

Realize that it’s okay to leave if you’re in an environment where you aren’t valued.

And lastly, know that it’s okay if people get angry with you.

Realize that if you don’t love yourself no matter your circumstances, it can have negative consequences later. Therefore, it’s so important that you do!

Although you can never control how others view you. And you can’t control what others say to you and how they act toward you. We must realize that another person’s behavior is beyond our control. However, what you can control is how you behave. In other words, you can control how you respond to the behavior of bullies and other idiots who try to steal your joy.

Loving yourself in the face of bullying is revolutionary!

Therefore, you must do what you can to drown out this noise pollution. And how you do it is to see your bullies for the creeps they truly are, think good thoughts of yourself, and remind yourself of your good qualities. Believe it or not, working to think highly of yourself when nobody else does is the greatest act of rebellion against bullies!

Again, see it for what it is. The judgements and verbal abuse you consistently hear from the cowardly creeps around you, is nothing but a bunch of racket. In other words, it’s noise pollution!

When you work to like yourself when others don’t, you refuse to let bullies get into your head. In that, you train your brain to filter out other’s negative comments and remarks that serve no purpose but to damage your self-esteem. Also, you silence that inner critic that would otherwise nag you night and day.

Moreover, when you love and accept yourself, others outside the bullying environment and strangers who have no history with you will be inclined to also love and accept you. No, your bullies and abusers won’t like or love you even if you love yourself, but who cares about them?

So, love yourself despite what others think of you. You will be surprised at how it will protect your self-esteem. When you work to feel good about yourself, even while bullies are tearing you down, it will work as a buffer to the psychological attacks they launch.

You may come out of it bruised but not broken.

With knowledge comes power!

Choose Your Friends Wisely

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And no, I don’t mean the type of friends who only tell you what you want to hear. You can get that anywhere. And many people will tickle your ears just to manipulate you or soften you up.

It goes much deeper.

It’s not about how much money or prestige they have- the hot car they drive or the latest fashions they wear. Neither is it about how good they look or how popular they are.

It’s all in how they make us feel about ourselves, and the space they give us to grow. Even better, it’s how they help us to grow and vice versa.

Therefore, if the person makes you feel bad about yourself and makes you doubt yourself- if she makes you feel left out and discarded, that’s your first clue that this person is not right for you! They’re not worthy of your time and are a waste of energy.

Don’t walk. RUN!

Always keep company with those who make you feel the best about yourself- that means the people who want to see you do good for yourself, the people who point you in the right direction, and the people who remain loyal even when the chips are down.

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Associate only with the people who love, encourage and want your very best. Reserve your friendship only for those who have your back! Choose the friend who is willing to walk through the fire with you.

In closing, never chase anyone who doesn’t care or makes you feel terrible about yourself. Because if they’re a true friend, they won’t tear you down and make you feel worthless.

They won’t block your path to success. You won’t have to fight for their time or their love. They will make time for you and give love freely. Therefore, be selective of who you let in your life.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Which Would You Rather Be?

Hated for Being Smart or Pitied for Being Dumb?

I ask this question because many intelligent people try to hide their smarts for fear of hatred and bullying. They let others convince them that, because of their smarts, they come off as know-it-alls. Others tell them to dumb down because they “don’t want to make others feel bad about themselves.” They may even tell them to tone it down a little or they just might offend some people.

This is total BS!

I want you to know one thing right now! It is not your responsibility to make someone else feel good about themselves. Whether your intelligence offends others is not your problem. Their hatred of you is also not your problem.

Continue to be Your Smart Self

Understand that the reason why your intelligence may offend some people is because they are either jealous, intimidated, or insecure. It’s because of their own unaddressed psychological issues- issues that they’re trying to lay off on you.

Your intelligence may inspire some to doubt their own smarts and mental capabilities. Also, it may provoke others to compare themselves to you. Again, not your responsibility. They are the ones doubting and questioning their own intelligence. They are the ones who are making comparisons. You aren’t doing these things to them. They are doing it to themselves!

You are Not Responsible for Someone Else’s Feelings

Again, you are not responsible for another person’s self-esteem. Only they can do the inner work needed to raise their confidence levels. Therefore, if they’re too lazy to do that inner work, that’s on them!

Here’s another point I want to make: The hate that’s directed at you never feels good and can be frightening. But always remember that there’s dignity in being hated, but none in being pitied.

Yes, you read that correctly. When people hate you, you still have your dignity. But when they pity you, you’ve lost all dignity and respect!

Others hate smart people, but they pity the stupid.

Therefore, never hide your intelligence from anyone. Let yourself stand out and shine. And never feel tempted to hide your brilliance because you’re afraid of being bullied, ridiculed, or hated by others. Instead, ask yourself,

“Would you rather be hated for being smart or pitied for being dumb?”

I rest my case.

You Don’t Lose Friends, You Lose Frauds

When you’re a target of relentless bullying, losing so-called friends becomes the norm. Sadly, this is the reality for many who fall into this category.

Most targets of bullying suffer deprivation of human friendship and therefore, they have no sense of belonging. We humans are hardwired for socialization and connection. When bullies meticulously strip those things away, it can be devastating. After they’ve suffered this deprivation for so long, targets can become desperate for even the tiniest crumb of affection.

Neediness always invites abuse.

In life, there will be people who come into your life not to help you but to harm you. Not to love you but to leave you.

Understand that when bullies target you, they beat you down,  and render you sad, lonely, and worst of all, desperate! Add all this together and you have a stinking, toxic cocktail of vulnerable.

Realize that evil always attaches itself to those whom bullies have weakened and made most vulnerable. People smell desperation from a mile away and the target will repel those who are emotionally healthy and attract only the lowlifes whose only intentions are to use and abuse.

Predatory users love to catch you when you’re most vulnerable. When you are rendered powerless, you will draw in fake friends. They’ll be those whose only intentions are to use you until they get all they can out of you. Many will act as friends to hurt and humiliate you.

These people may use you for money or material things or they may simply use you for social benefits. Also, they may use you for the psychological payoff of taking domination of you. Whatever it is, know that they aren’t here for your benefit, they’re here for theirs.

So, when do these frauds show their true colors?

Many targets of bullying are shocked and dismayed when the monster finally shows its face. The target may say something totally innocent, but something the fake friends doesn’t like. Suddenly, the mask falls off and the poor target finds out the hard way that this person really isn’t a friend at all. The fake friend then turns their back and becomes an enemy. They may even bully the target like everyone else.

Here’s when they show their true colors:

1. When you stand up for yourself.

2. When you’re not afraid to be yourself.

3. When you speak your truth and stand on it.

4. When you let your opinions, beliefs, and convictions be known.

5. When you call them or someone they like out on their bullshit.

How do you recognize a true friend?

A true friend may not necessarily agree with you, but they’ll always respect your opinion. They will always accept that you’re a different person with your own set of values. And they’ll never turn their back on you or get hateful toward you for those differences.

True friends will allow and even encourage you to be yourself, speak your truth, and stand behind it. They wouldn’t want you to be fake for the sake of pleasing others.

Understand that if at any time, a person who claims to be your friend doesn’t allow you to be yourself. Or if that person doesn’t allow you to speak your mind, or show your emotions, that person is not a friend. Therefore, you should re-evaluate that friendship and give this person the old heave ho.

Know that you deserve better friends than them. That’s why it’s so important that you love yourself enough to know when it’s time to let go and move on. Because some people just aren’t worth your time. Always remember, you don’t lose friends, you lose frauds.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

What Bullies Want You to Believe & What You Should Believe

Understand that bullies thrive on power and control. If they can’t control you, they’ll control how others view you. Also, they’ll use redundancy and repetition to make you believe their lies too. Here’s what they’re most likely to try and get you to think of yourself and what you should believe:

1.What bullies want you to believe

Apart from us, you can do nothing, you are nothing, and you never will be.

What you should believe

Apart from you, I’m better off. I can do anything I set my mind to do, I’m somebody, and later down the line, I’m going to be great and do great things.

2. What bullies want you to believe

You’ll never find happiness without our permission.

What you should believe

I don’t need your permission to be happy. I’m much happier without losers like you in my life.

3. What bullies want you to believe

Nobody will ever like or love you.

What you should believe

Maybe you never will, but I don’t mind because you don’t matter. There will be others who’ll love me for me. I’ll find my tribe.

4. What bullies want you to believe

You’re nothing without our approval.

What you should believe

I’m nothing with it because you are nothing. I don’t need your “approval” because it will never define me. Your opinion matters not because, for something to matter, you must first value it.

Therefore, always counter the statements, including the unspoken ones. You’ll be surprised at what it will do for your self-esteem and your spirit!

With knowledge comes empowerment!