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If you have ever suffered from bullying, you have healing to do, and so this post is for you to begin that process. I share what I’ve learned over the years. From overcoming bullying and social anxiety myself to the many clients I’ve helped do the same.
Here is what I will be sharing with you:
If you experience bullying or social anxiety, there are things you can do to change your situation. I’m sharing what I’ve learned with you so by the end of this post, you have real action steps you can take.
Sebastiaan: Hi my name is Sebastiaan van der Schrier. I’m an ex social anxiety disorder sufferer and I’m the host of the Social Anxiety Solutions podcast. Now I specialize in helping people overcome social anxiety, so they feel calm and relaxed in social situations. But in this video, I’m specifically going to focus on how to beat bullying and how to live confidently. And that’s important because according to… I haven’t memorized these properly so let’s look at my screen the ISE, Institute of Education Sciences and the BJS, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there’s about 28% of 12 to 18-year-old kids who report being bullied in school. And the mainstream solutions that are there to stop the bullying and also deal with the painful effects that it has that lasts a lifetime if you don’t address them properly. The solutions to that are not mainstream, so, that’s why is this video.
So, let’s, let’s have a look at how we can actually resolve this problem. My story with bullying actually starts out with me being a bit of the bully and you know, I wasn’t really very harshly beating people up and that kind of stuff, but I did quite make fun of people and you know it was pretty mean as well at times. Now we’re talking about me being you know 8-9-10-11 years old and I think the reason why I did that is because it made me feel powerful. Like it makes me feel like I was you know, above them and I was in control and you know nobody could touch me and that kind of stuff. And that was relatively easy to do for me because I was the strongest kid in class.
The reasons psychologically behind why I was that way I’ll get into you know, a bit later, but there’s actually a reason why bullies are being bullies. It’s not that they’re psychopaths typically. You know, they have a painful past and so they’re kind of acting out. So, for me my, my dad died when I was five years old and you know, my mom was left behind with me and then my one-year-old sis and me and my mom were always fighting, and I was the problem kid and bla, bla. So, I was acting out in school.
Anyway, I kind of switched over to the other side because all of a sudden, I had an experience where I was being teased by my teacher. So, I had a difficult relationship with my mom and I went to live with my uncle. I was going to be placed outside of the house and I was asked to go to a foster home, but my uncle was my dad’s best friend, they had made a pact and my uncle said that’s not happening, he comes to live with us.
So, I was living with my uncle and that was in a different village and there I had a really good relationship with my teacher there, Miss Godyla I still remember her name, of course. And I mean a very good relationship and like I was the teacher’s pet. And you know, I could go eat pancakes at her house and I just really loved this lady. And then one day she had seen me bullying other kids every now and then, so I guess she wanted to get back at me or maybe it was a joke, I don’t know. But we were, we were, I was sitting in the back of the class and it was throwing around you know, pens and pieces of paper or paper. I’m just being obnoxious, and she caught me, and I had to go sit next to her desk, so she could observe me. And then you know, after an hour later the TV rolled in and that was in front of the class and everyone’s gonna watch it and the teacher went to the back of the class so that she could observe everyone. And I was sitting with my face right in front of it.
And so, she then yelled from the back of the class, “Sebastiaan, move with your big Dumbo ears away from the television. Nobody can see anything”. And I because you know this was my favorite teacher now making fun of me, the guy was always making fun of us. So, I got a bright red face and I felt so humiliated and everyone was laughing at me because me with my big mouth now I was made fun of. And it was about my ears and that day really became a thing for me.
So, since that day forward people knew I had kind of like a weak spot. So, now the kids were, you know, making fun of my ears and it started out with one or two kids every now and then but you know, I’m threatened to beat them up or beat them up a bit and it would stop. But eventually I was very reactive to it, so it caught on and then it became like alright now groups of them are teasing me one after the other and I can’t beat up everyone all the time, that’s gonna end somewhere. And so, that kind of you know, became a big problem for me because now I was blushing all the time and that blushing got worse. Now whenever I was the center of attention, I would often blush, and whenever there was talk about attractiveness or you know, some, some, something being wrong about physical appearance I would already start to blush.
And then I was teased about that they nicknamed me Dumbo. They called me fluffy which is Dutch for you know, your ear standing to the front there’s no real translation for it in English. And it’s kind of funny for me to say it, now because it doesn’t bother me anymore but at the time this was excruciating. You know, this was very humiliating, and I was like if I just don’t have this these ugly-ass ears that make me ugly because I felt ugly then I won’t have any problems. And this is also the only thing that they can get me with and they tease me with this a lot and when that happened, I had nothing to say back. So, you know, I just felt very helpless there and out of controls like they had like they had an ace, you know. They had the ace and they could win any conversation but just bringing out my ears and I would blush.
And so, I had the brilliant idea to get a plastic to get plastic surgery that was my solution and at the time I was visiting you know, when I was younger I had visited a psychotherapist because my dad had died, and you know. I got there. So, I went there, and I talked to these people and I said, “Hey, you know, I want to have my ears fixed because I’m being bullied with it and that if my ears and things they can’t bully me anymore”.
And then I went with my mom. I told my mom about it. I went with my mom to plastic surgeon they measured my ears and everything they’re actually not that bad when you think about it. Well, my I guess my head was smaller. Anyway, we went to a plastic surgeon and the insurance was gonna cover it. We had a date that it was going to happen and now they then teased me again about my ears and I said, “Well, whatever tease me all you want because in two weeks I’m gonna get my ears fixed and then my ears are normal. You have nothing to tease me about anymore”. And then they had to laugh and they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They said, “Oh, then we’re gonna call you Barbie”. I was like, “What?” And then somehow just shifted something in my mind that’s like alright well first of all definitely I’m not gonna have that operation because I don’t want to go through life as Barbie. I’d rather go through life as Dumbo.
And it also changed something in my mind because I realized it’s not about my ears, it’s just about them having something that gets a reaction out of me. I then also spoke to an older friend that I was hanging out with at the time and he told me that they used to tease him for his ears being the opposite of me. So, too close to his head. And he’s like he just needs something to get you with. And you know, these experiences kind of reframe things in my mind and now I was like, “Okay. Alright, I don’t care anymore.” And because I didn’t care anymore when they teased me kind of the fun got out of it for them and you know, that then wasn’t a problem for me anymore.
Now the blushing actually didn’t stop but the bullying stuff, the teasing stopped. Now the blushing itself that I addressed later with a technique called EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques, tapping techniques. I’ll tell you more about that later.
Now I used to suffer from a very severe social anxiety and it took me a long time to overcome that but throughout that journey of overcoming it, I had a lot of insights and I also learned some very effective techniques. Now one of these techniques is EFT but I’ll elaborate on it in a bit but really sure what it is. It’s a very strange-looking technique which is kind of like if you’ve ever heard of acupuncture with all the needles. This is psychological or emotional version of it but instead of using needles you tap with the tips of your fingers and specific action pressure points in the body.
Now if this is the first time you see it you probably think I’m crazy or this is some kind of a scam or I’m trying to sell you something or whatever, but you know, look it up, you know. It’s used by millions of people worldwide, it’s been on Dr. Oz. There more than a hundred peer-reviewed scientific studies done on the technique, it’s really amazing. Anyway, what it does is the tapping however funny it looks it sends a little signal to your brain, to the part of your brain called the amygdala which regulates your emotions. And studies have shown that it reduces the production of cortisol and it increases the production of serotonin, your happy hormone. And cortisol is your stress hormone. And these biochemical responses create a sense of calm.
So, when you think about something that upsets you and you feel the negative emotions so maybe you think about a time that you were bullied, and you feel that shame or you feel that fear or you feel that anger. When you focus on that and you stimulate these acupressure points simultaneously at the same time as you’re thinking about it, it starts to create a sense of calm. And the negative emotion that you experience start through starts to release. It starts the process and it starts to release. So, your negative emotions start to become disconnected from wherever it is that you’re thinking about. And so, you stop reliving the past and you get to live in the here and now.
Anyway, more about that in in a bit. What I found because I’m actually a social confidence coach. I’ve been coaching people with social anxiety for the past eight years logging close to 5,000 sessions now. And so, I see the same thing happen over and over and over and I often work with clients who have had a lot of bullying experiences in their past that kick-started their social anxiety. So, they didn’t have any social anxiety they get bullied for a period of time and now their social anxiety starts. And often they’ve been living with social anxiety for decades. And it all started with the bullying. And what they often tell me is like the bullying is the thing that is my problem, that is what kick-started it.
But what I found is it’s actually, yes, the bullying is what kick-started the social anxiety but there’s, there’s something that happened prior to the bullying experiences that make you more vulnerable to being bullied, to being picked on.
And that’s kind of you know, what I was just saying my story. I started out as a bully and being a bit of a dick. And you know, that came from my difficult childhood, my dad dying earlier, always fighting with my mom, being placed outside of the house you know, not feeling accepted, not feeling respected, not feeling loved.
And so, I was very reactive. And with clients I work with I find that as well. Actually, the cause of what makes them an easier target is because they had a difficult relationship with their mom or difficult relationship with that dad. And when I tell them that they’re like no that’s not it and I can, I can hardly remember that but what’s front and center in my mind are the bullying experiences. And what I tell them and as I guide them through the tapping experiences is we need to address both. Yes, we need to deactivate the bullying experiences. Well, we actually also need to go back to relationship with your mom, relationship with your dad you know, a mean teacher or you know, something that happened to over and over again in your early childhood that made you feel not so worthy, that make you make you feel not as good as others, that made you feel not worthy of respect.
Whatever happened early on in childhood over and over and over again example are very critical parents or an alcoholic dad or very strict parents, whatever. Something happened over and over and over again that made you feel there’s something wrong with me or I’m not okay the way I am, you know. Something with your self-esteem something with your self-acceptance and if that hadn’t happened you were more resilient, and you wouldn’t be so reactive to bullies. So, in my experience that what is what makes you more of a target to bully.
Alright. So, that said let’s look at some actual solutions to overcome bullying.
Alright. Let’s first talk about how to actually stop bullying. So, what do you do if you are being bullied? Well, what I already said earlier. When the bullying was happening for me I was reacting to it. It was really getting to me. You know, I was pretty, I was attacking them back or I was trying to be clever, but they always had something because it would hurt me so much, you know. That this and it was when you’ve been reacting to it a couple of times now it’s funny for them. And so, that reactivity is actually what keeps them going.
So, how do you… how do you stop that? Well, there’s this concept in in judo. Like I did judo from age six to eighty eleven is you take the force of your opponent and when they attack you, you go with the force and you revert it. Or maybe it’s Aikido and I’m quite sure to be honest. But basically, you don’t go against it because if you go against it, you give them more to push against but if you go with it, it just goes along with you.
So, what that might look like is when someone says, “You’re a real piece of shit” and you say, “No, I’m not, you know, I’m great”. Then they say, “No, you are not.” And if someone says, “You’re a real piece of shit” and you say, “Yeah, I know”. Then it’s like what? Then they’re kind of flabbergasted and they don’t really know what to do so well.
Now there’s a great video that I found recently on YouTube and it’s about how to defuse bullying and the guy gives a great example on the stage with a bully that he picked from the audience. And you know, he gives a much better example as I’m showing here. I’m just giving you like a quick, a quick little you know, mindset to take. And you know, that video will be in the article that we’re releasing. We’re releasing this massive article, “How to stop bullying with resources?” where we interview bullying experts where we’re interviewing you know, people who have overcome their bullying and what worked for them, what are the techniques that they use to get rid of the pain of the bullying and so on. That’s coming. This is just a quick, quick tip.
So, go with the flow. And we you might even do, once you’re comfortable enough doing so, if you agree with them in there and you blow it up, so they say, “You know, you’re really a dork”. And you say, “Yeah, I know I’m the biggest dork around”. Alright what are you gonna say now? No, you’re the… Yeah, they might say you are… and your loser as well. And you might say thanks for noticing, I agree. Whatever you agree with whatever they’re throwing at you that takes away the angle, right? They don’t have something to push against anymore.
Anyway, I hope that’s helpful.
I want to get to the next point which is actually to start living confidently.
I should really learn how to write faster. Confidently. I’m trying to keep this entertaining. So, ah, yeah. So, start living confidently. So, what might be a problem for you is like it was for me when they tease you, you actually react emotionally and it’s very difficult for you to just go with the flow and not be affected by it. But that’s the best advice. Just ignore them and pretend it’s not happening.
Of course, if you’re in an unsafe situation you want to get the help that you need in order to keep yourself safe or make yourself safe. But it’s easier said than done to say, “Don’t react, just ignore it” because if your emotions on the inside are riling up, now that’s the problem. And that’s what we want to address and that’s actually what you can do. So, here’s how you do that.
Start living confidently. How do you do that? Well, you want to make peace with the past.
So, you have been bullied. You know, it’s likely that that’s already over or maybe it’s still ongoing. If it’s still ongoing you know what to do, get some help. And you know, start using these techniques. But if you, if you were bullied in the past and those and if you were wounded in the past then it’s likely that these memories are still very active for you. And what I mean by still very active is, the emotions that you experienced back then are still getting retriggered over and over and over. So, even though you might be 28 right now and when you were bullied you were only 14, you in the moment when someone you’re around a certain person that kind of looks like he might be a bully, you start the feel just like when you were 14 years old. Because to your brain this situation is just like before.
And it gives you the feelings of when you were 14 to kind of warn you is like, “Hey, careful this situation is just like back then”. So, you know, watch out. But that’s the fear response in the anxiety response that you that you get. So, what you want to do is you want to use the tapping, learn about it. And I’ll give you a link about where you can get some free videos to learn the technique. You want to learn about the tapping and then go back to these experiences where you were bullied and start using the tapping on those experiences to deactivate the emotions from back then.
So, you might have a memory when you’re 14 years old and someone you know humiliated you in front of the class and everyone was laughing at you and they were all against you. When you think back to that, you know, you feel shame, you feel humiliation, you feel regret, you feel insecurity, you feel fear and anxiety. All of those emotions can be released and let go of. So, you would focus on the memory and you would do the tapping technique and you get rid of that. That’s gonna be very, very powerful and that’s gonna build up your resilience in your confidence.
If you can also go back to what made you more vulnerable to start with so, you know, what whatever it was that made you feel bad about yourself, the repetitive negative things growing up in your early childhood using the technique and you probably want to get some help with that or learn more about it to use the tapping to get rid of the emotions there. To get rid of the idea that you’re not as worthy as other people. That, that’s going to be very, very beneficial.
So, in that work what is really important is to be compassionate towards yourself because typically if we’ve been bullied we, we also were also angry with ourselves like we’re angry because you know, we didn’t stand up for ourselves or were angry that we didn’t beat this person up or we were angry that we just didn’t, you know, confidently spoke what was our truth or walked away or make the other person look like an idiot. And so, you know, we want to deal with those anger feelings and we want to be compassionate towards ourselves coming from the mindset that, “Hey, I was doing the best I could, given the resources and the mindset and the experiences I had. If I could have done better, I would have done better”. And you know, that mindset of compassion is going to be really helpful.
Then the other thing that you might want to hear that is helpful and it’s been helpful for me is that right now, you’re a different person. What happened back then with the bullying, alright, that happened. That’s over. You’re not the same person anymore. You’re more resourceful, you’ve got, you’ve got more resources, you’ve got more skills, you’ve got more abilities and so on. And what happened back then doesn’t matter. Even though it feels like it matters, it actually doesn’t matter. And you know, that’s why I can freely talk about how I was bullied and made fun of and look like a dumbass and all that kind of stuff. I’ll share a lot more humiliating stories in other videos because that’s the past. The past is not relevant. That was me back then and I was doing the best I can but that’s over now. And you know, you’re here, right now. And that’s what the tapping does. It actually makes you get to a place of being at peace with the past.
Now, once you’re at peace with the past, you want to start building your self-respect. And that’s something you do over time, but you know, someone who is respecting himself is not going to be bullied. If you know, when other people respect you they’re not going to bully you but in order for other people to respect you, you first need to respect yourself. And here are some ways to get to that place. So, stop. Yeah, all right. So, what do we need to stop? We need to stop needing approval. Approval. We need to stop feeling less than others. You know, feeling less worthy, feeling less good enough, feeling less everything. We need to stop pleasing everyone all the time. We need to stop trying to prove yourself. Right. Oh, man, do I have a history with that. It’s why I purposely making a lot of mistakes in this video. I’ll do my best to be as imperfect as I can which I’m succeeding it very well as you can see.
So, and the last one is come on magic marker. Stop, oops, taking yourself so damn serious. Oops, that’s another and serious. Okay. Alright. Okay. So, it’s normal to want people to approve of you. Okay, that’s fairly. That, that’s okay. That’s not a problem. Well, wouldn’t you need other people’s approval? You know, people can feel that and it’s not it’s not a nice energy. And then that makes them more likely to disrespect you. Feeling less than others. You know, if you’re like, “Aw, he’s so amazing or she’s so amazing” that person is less likely to really appreciate who you are.
Pleasing people. It’s like trying to do everything correctly and making sure that the other person likes you and all that kind of stuff. Not good for respect. Proving yourself, feeling that you have that you owe, you owe it to prove yourself. What that translates to is, well, just being myself is not good enough, you know. I got to prove myself by being the best, being the funniest, making the most money, being the most popular, being the coolest, all that kind of stuff.
And the last one is my favorite. Taking yourself so damn serious. You know, if you actually take yourself very serious, it’s easy for people to poke fun of you. You know, you don’t take yourself so seriously and you know, like that like I spoke about earlier, if you’re just okay with people making fun of you then all right, so what? So, they tease you, now you can go with it, right? Now these things are much easier said than done, right? It’s, it’s nice, it’s a nice thing. Like okay, well, I should just stop needing approval feeling lasting, you know, take myself less seriously. Duh, it’s not revolutionary information. It isn’t. However, what is revolutionary is to understand that these kinds of things all come forth from a particular insecurity that was developed earlier on in life.
So, you go through life and you experience whatever you experience.
So, maybe a critical father or you know whatever kind of difficult childhood thing there was and it’s always for people’s like, “Well, my childhood was okay. It was the bullying”. Look further you know, I’ve been doing this for eight years close to 5,000 coaching sessions, so I see the same patterns over and over. There’s usually you know high expectations from parents. That’s it, that’s a big one.
A parent being perfectionistic. Not you know, being frowned upon when you’re making mistakes, not allowing, not being allowed to express your emotions, being compared to your brother your sister and not measuring up. You know, having mean teachers, being put down by an uncle all the time, being made fun of by your dad. Whatever. There’s something and it can be quite subtle. It doesn’t have to be like beatings, though that’s definitely one. There’s something that made you basically think that it’s not okay to be yourself, that it’s not safe to be you and that vulnerability, that insecurity leads to these kinds of behaviors.
All right. And you know, with the tapping you go back there you address the underlying insecurity and bit by bit over time you start to get rid of these kinds of behaviors and as you do your self-respect starts to increase. And that’s not something that’s gonna happen today. You know, you’re not gonna go from not respecting yourself to fully respecting yourself in 24 hours typically.
However, what you can experience is significant improvement really quickly because when you start to address these painful experiences where you were bullied, if you get rid of a memory the worst memory where you were humiliated, if you get rid of that, if you use the tapping to neutralize that, your self-respect is already gonna go up. You might feel 10-20-30-40-50 percent better but to get to all the way the other, to the other side there’s typically a bit of a process involved in order to get to that place.
But you know, what is the alternative? Not respecting yourself?
You know, aren’t you done with being treated like that? Aren’t you done with treating yourself like that. Isn’t it time to take charge of your life?
Now, the cool thing about actually doing this work is, every time you do some of this inner work, you’re gaining more confidence. You’re becoming more resilient. You’re feeling better than you felt before. And if you compare yourself to where you were, now you’re feeling good because you can see that you’re making progress. And the even cooler thing about doing this work is the results last you a lifetime. Once you, once you deal with a particular memory and you neutralize it completely, you cannot get upset about it anymore. You’ll remember it, but you won’t be able to relive those emotions anymore and that will be done forever, boom, done. Dealt with.
And that increase in self-respect and self-confidence will be will be with you for the rest of your life. Okay. So, very powerful.
Alright. So, that was a whole bunch of information, hope it’s been helpful. But you know, that’s just information.
It’s time to take some action.
Action steps. You know, if you don’t change anything, if you don’t think any action nothing is gonna change.
So, here’s what I suggest you do. I have a bunch of free videos that teach the tapping to you. So, this strange and odd technique that I’ve been talking about, you can get a video series of it for free where I teach you how to use the tapping and you can then already start to get rid of the pain of your past. To go back to these bullying experiences and deactivate them and to start to become okay with who you are right now even though you had those bullying experiences.
Alright. So, in order to get that just click on the link below this video somewhere. I’m sure it’s somewhere, I don’t know where it is but it’s somewhere. And then that’s gonna be very helpful.
Now, also this video is the first video of the month, the bullying month. So, it’s social anxiety solutions, we’re doing the bullying solutions month.
And the second week, this is the first week, we have a really killer article with interviews with famous people. The best bullying tactics that we, that we’ve been able to find. Some article that took us six weeks to put together. It is really, really good. Interviews with people on how to build self-respect, interviews with psychologists on how to have solid boundaries. The video from Facebook that I mentioned on how to stop bullying in the moment. Various other techniques and tools in order to deactivate the past. Like this is a real jam of information that you’re gonna get in the second week.
In the third week, we’ll have an interview with someone who was bullied before and the way to overcame it. And he’ll be introducing you to this amazing breathing technique to release the trauma and all that kind of stuff. It’s going to be really spectacular. The fourth week is a surprise, all right? We’ll leave something in the open.
Anyway, so, I just wanted to tell you about that. Now, what I’d like to ask from you is what was helpful from this that you didn’t know before? And please leave that in the comments below so we can start up a bit of a discussion about this. Or if you have a particular tip or mindset or inside that really helped you with your bullying problem, leave that in the comments below.
Okay. Cool. All right. Well, in closing you can really overcome, you can you can stop the bullying in its tracks and you can really overcome the effects of bullying very quickly, alright? And the tapping and various other techniques can really help you with that. So, go and check out these free videos. You can get on my website. Actually, start using them, don’t just watch it. Actually, start using them, trying them out. Nothing is going to go wrong.
And you know, get rid of those bullying experiences, start creating that self-respect because once you respect yourself, other people will follow suit. They’ll start to respect you and the bullying will stop.
Alright. Hope this has been helpful, and I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.