If someone has ever told you that you are worthless, that you’re ugly, that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, that you are too thin or too fat, that you should look and behave more ladylike or be more manly, that you won’t achieve anything, etc.; if someone has ever compared you to someone else in a negative way; if someone has ever bullied or humiliated you; if someone has ever physically abused you, then this article is for you! Here you will learn how to stop being a victim, overcome bullying and abuse, move on from bullying and abuse-related trauma and continue living a happy life with no signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The most important thing to understand about bullying and abuse
If something I mentioned above has ever happened to you, the most important thing you need to understand is that:
You weren’t the reason why those people treated you that way, I swear! How do I know that? Because psychology works the same way in all cases. The most important thing to note and remember for the rest of your life is that mentally healthy people are busy with their own lives, achieving their goals and making their dreams come true, they neither have time for it nor they feel the need to abuse anyone.
So, if someone used to bully or abuse you in the past or even if you still experience abuse, it is not because you are bad or worthless or whatever the abuser may tell you. People bully and abuse others because they have major psychological problems. Maybe they were or are going through hard times (and extremely hard times!) and they are too weak to handle the stress in a healthy way (or they don’t know what is healthy because they come from an unhealthy background), so the only thing they can do to ease their pain from their psychological state is to throw their negative emotions at someone else, make someone else suffer just as much as they do.
Abusers most likely were abused too, so they want revenge. It doesn’t really matter to them whether to revenge exactly those people who abused them (sometimes it’s impossible to do) or random people, so they find ANY other victim. I won’t lie telling you that it’s pure coincidence they chose you as their victim. Even if it was a coincidence, if they continue to bully and abuse you every day, it means that you let them do that. It means that you lack confidence to defend yourself. The purpose of this article is to explain how and why bullying and abuse happens and what you can do to stop being a victim and move on in life.
How to stop being a victim and overcome bullying and abuse
Stop believing the abuser
Stop listening to and believing what the abuser says about you is the first step. Realize that people don’t say to other people negative things whenever they want to. It’s not considered normal in society to say and hear offensive words. The only not normal person is the abuser and not you but they will never realize that there’s some problem with them and with their life. Saving them and explaining something to them is not your business, so just stop believing what they say if you still do and move on to step two.
Work on increasing your confidence
Do everything possible to become more confident. Watch lectures, read articles (here are several articles on confidence that I’ve created: How to Be More Confident and Succeed in Life, “Why Don’t People Like Me?” – Trick Your Mind Plays on You, 12 Things I Wish I Stopped Sooner, What’s the Difference Between Confident People and Unconfident People?), read books, improve something you believe you’re not very good at if you know that it will boost your confidence.
If you don’t respect yourself, people can feel it by the way you move, talk, by what you say, etc., so it’s utterly important to understand that you deserve respect just like any other living being. You must also learn to put yourself first – this is an integral part of confidence.
All in all, forget everything you’ve heard about yourself from your abusers. You’re worthy. You’re enough. You deserve respect. You deserve love. You’re strong enough to overcome your psychological issues. You are able to build the life of your dream. Your life doesn’t depend on any person in this world. You have yourself.
Distance from the abuser as much as possible
If the abuser is your classmate, teacher, colleague, any person you can distance from relatively easily – do it. Stop communicating with them or hanging out in the same company. If it’s someone from your family and you’re old enough to live alone – rent an apartment and move out. Don’t have money? Find a job, then rent an apartment and move out. Just please don’t rely on someone you don’t know well in this situation. I mean searching for random people you can stay at is not an option! Put your safety first. Plus, victims may become more dependent than other people and you don’t need to depend on a person you don’t know well. You may become dependent on another abuser. This is not what you want.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and there’s no possibility to run away or if you’re scared that your abuser will find you, call the national domestic violence hotline. Ask for help and you’ll get it. There’s always a way out. Don’t believe your abuser if they say otherwise. The aim of the abuser is to make your life just as miserable as theirs. But unlike them, you realize that there’s a problem, so you can work on it and eventually change your life.
When it’s safe, tell the truth about your feelings
It’s a way of boosting confidence. Whenever possible, whenever it’s safe, try telling the truth if you don’t like something. You can practice this in absolutely safe environments. For example, if you’re unsatisfied with something in a meal you paid for, don’t be afraid to ask the waiter to get it redone. If your colleagues enjoy joking about you and you feel offended, tell them that you don’t like such jokes and ask them to stop. Maybe they joke about you because you’ve never told them that you don’t like it? Maybe they think that you really don’t mind it. Set boundaries: tell what treatment you won’t tolerate and what you’ll do in case your boundaries are crossed (for example, leave, file a complaint, etc.) and if your boundaries are crossed, apply the measures you’ve promised. This may teach the abuser to behave in a socially acceptable way.
Ignore verbal abuse as much as possible
If you’ve already told the abuser that you don’t like what they say about you or if it’s not safe for you to tell them something like that, then ignore this verbal aggression. For example, some stranger in the street verbally abuses you. Most likely it’s a mad person or a deeply miserable person and they crave your negative emotions in return. Some of them may even want to start a fight with someone (and luckily they see you). Don’t give them what they want. Don’t let their words get to you and don’t start a fight that will drain your energy. You need your energy for building the life of your dream, for big goals. Abusers will always stay at their miserable level. Even if they ever become successful with help of tyranny, they will never become happy because they have too many psychological problems for that. Leave them drown in their problems alone and keep moving forward.
Don’t provoke the abuser
As I said before, abusers crave to get your reaction, some of them even want to start a fight and hurt someone. So, if it seems to you that the situation is not safe, don’t escalate it with your words or actions. The abuser doesn’t want to know the truth you might want to tell them, the abuser is unable to accept the truth because they don’t even see a problem in their behavior. For them their behavior is normal because they were treated the same way by someone else (that’s why they are deeply miserable people). You can’t change the abuser because they don’t want to change. Save yourself!
Never settle for less
You don’t deserve to be in a relationship with an abuser. You don’t deserve to hear offensive words about yourself. You don’t deserve to be treated in such a way. Stop letting people turning your life into a nightmare. Stop letting them tell stuff you don’t want to hear. You deserve respect. If some people are unable to give you respect, leave that toxic environment. Preserve goodness in yourself. Don’t let someone change your mindset to the worse and ruin your world.
Mind your own life
To increase your confidence, always mind your own life instead of being interested in the lives of other people. Stop being a fan of other people, become your own fan! Always have your own point of view, your own goals, be as independent as possible.
Share what you’re going through with someone who can help you
Especially if you are a teen who experiences bullying or abuse, I beg you to tell someone who can help you. It can be parents, teachers, anyone you trust. Many teens don’t tell their parents about bullying because they think that they should handle this on their own. If your parents learn about your problems, they can help you overcome them. How? They can help you boost your confidence, find a good psychologist who will also help you work on your confidence, they can find a better school with a less toxic environment for you, they can talk to teachers and ask them how come this is happening in their school, etc. You don’t have to put up with bad treatment. You deserve to be treated with respect.
Move on from bullying and abuse-related trauma
And remember, when you finally stop being a victim, when you overcome bullying and abuse, when you stop letting people treat you without respect, when you become confident enough to protect yourself, don’t become as bitter and angry at this world and people as your abusers were as it won’t help your soul heal. Abusing someone weaker than you won’t make you feel less pain. If you truly want to leave your painful story behind, feel no anger, no regret, no offence, no embarrassment, then you need to get rid of victim mentality, stop holding on to painful memories and forgive your abusers. That’s not easy to do but for your own good, do it! Your abusers were mindless, weak, miserable, very unhappy people. Most probably they are still like that which means that life for them is super hard. Now when you know this, don’t you feel pity for them? These people can’t control their emotions, so it’s very difficult for them to succeed in life.
I don’t say that you should try to befriend your abusers, NO! Distance, remember? Forgive them in your soul and leave what happened between you and them behind. It’s just a memory that doesn’t define you and doesn’t determine your future life. From now on your life will be full of positive emotions and opportunities.
Struggling to deal with manipulative people? Read The Truth You Should Know about Manipulative People and How to Deal with Manipulative and Toxic People and Reduce Stress.
Follow Mindfulness Inspo on Pinterest and stay tuned!