In this post, we share why bullies bully and more importantly…
… we’ll give you the tools to stop the bullying, eliminate its negative affects, and build rock-solid confidence.
Here are some things you’ll learn:
- A brilliant strategy to end the cycle of bullying (leave the bully without ammunition)
- How to defend yourself like a martial artist
- How to (not) react to a bully and why
- How to heal what made you a target for bullies (so you’ll never be a target again)
- Three powerful healing tools that any therapist ought to know of
- Resources to take control of your situation
- Ways to build your resilience and increase your confidence
This is your powerhouse of inspiration and resources to beat bullying and skyrocket your confidence!
As social beings, it’s natural to want to make friends and feel supported, unless you’re being bullied, in which case you would likely settle for just being left alone.
Bullying robs you of your self-confidence and self-worth. You don’t feel the same as you did before. It’s hard to concentrate because your whole world is starting to revolve around this growing problem.
The world seems like a meaner place.
You think maybe you need to fix whatever it is they’re teasing you about. They’d just move onto the next thing if you did.
Maybe we all just need to be perfect. Then the bullying will stop right?
Fortunately, there’s another way.
By the end of this post, you’ll know why bullies bully and what to do about it. You’ll have the tools to overcome bullying and skyrocket your confidence.
Step 1: Stop Bullying in its Tracks
Unless you change something, the cycle is going to continue.
What if you could easily learn what not to do in response to bullying and how to completely break free from the viscous cycle? How might that change your life?
Beat Bullying Without Resorting to Plastic Surgery
I was living in a new town and going to a new school. I soon latched onto my teacher. I loved that teacher.
I’d been picking on other kids for some time and causing trouble. One day in class she told me to “move my big Dumbo ears away from the television” when I was in the way.
This bothered me a lot and everyone caught onto it. It soon became my hot button and snowballed into a bullying problem. I had earlier trauma with losing my dad and no longer living with my mom and now this kickstarted years of social anxiety.
At the time of the bullying, the solution seemed obvious to me:
I had an appointment and everything and all my problems were about to be solved. The bullies discovered this and laughed. They told me then they were going to call me Barbie.
I decided I was definitely not going to have that operation because I’d rather go through life as Dumbo than Barbie.
And then somehow this shifted something in my mind. I realized it was never about my ears. They just found what would get a reaction out of me.
If there is just one important takeaway from this article I can give you: Remember: seeing as it’s not what they are picking on that’s the problem, you don’t need to fix whatever that is.
You might be trying everything you can think of to outsmart a bully. But the harder you try, the meaner they seem to get.
And your confidence continues to take a hit and the viscous cycle continues.
Since reacting doesn’t work, why not try something else?
The One Thing You Must Avoid to Stop the Bullying Cycle
Bullies need to make you feel and look weak for one reason:
They select you because they realize you’ll give them the reaction they’re after to feel powerful.
A reaction is all the bully is after, so don’t give it to them. Stop playing their game.
Don’t get upset, keep your cool, agree with them.
Here is a great video on how to stop bullying by turning the tables when you’re being picked on. It brilliantly demonstrates this point.
Bullies will stop having fun and they’ll move on to someone who will give them what they want.
And faking it before you make it is ok here and at the same time, it’s a good idea to learn how to defend yourself.
Initiating fights is never the answer; good training will not only help you defend yourself, it will help you to become strong, confident and assertive. So you will hopefully never have to defend yourself.
Learn to Defend Yourself, So You Never Have to
A young boy named Austin McDaniel was viciously beaten unconscious by a bully at school and it was caught on tape. Rener Gracie saw this video and offered him a life-changing transformation at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
Here is a short documentary demonstrating the inspiring transformation he made in just one week. There’s a lot you can do, in a potentially short amount of time, with the right resources and tools.
Once you can defend yourself, you can be more empowered to resolve things non-violently.
Then you can work on completely eliminating the causes of why you are vulnerable to being bullied in the first place.
Step 2: Eliminate the Root Cause of Bullying
You might think the bullying is the problem itself; that when you just get this one bully off your back, everything will be resolved.
In my experience, there’s likely an underlying reason why you are more vulnerable to being bullied.
That underlying reason is what needs your attention.
Then you can dig into understanding and healing the root cause of bullying.
Bullies are on the lookout to take advantage of those who are vulnerable or afraid.
It’s likely not even related to physical reasons.
Listen to Mike Tyson’s take here on how his vulnerability was used against him and the profound effect bullying had on him.
It’s important to truly heal the root cause of the vulnerability.
The Easiest Way to Heal Bullying
You may have experienced some trauma, big or small, that laid the groundwork to making you more vulnerable or afraid.
That’s the thing that needs to be healed in order to break the cycle.
I have found many tools and techniques that can help you heal without feeling you have to forcefully face your fears. And they’ll get you there much faster, in my experience, than conventional methods.
Here are just three of them that are profoundly effective.
3 Clearing Techniques to Completely Heal Bullying
I used to suffer from a very severe social anxiety. It took me a long time to overcome it. All along that journey, I had a lot of insights and learned very effective techniques.
It’s possible to completely heal emotional wounds. You don’t even have to believe they’ll work to get the benefits.
And once they are dealt with, you won’t be able to even bring up the negative feelings anymore.
No shame, no fear, no humiliation, no anger.
Technique #1: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT Tapping)
This is a very strange-looking technique used by millions of people worldwide. It’s been on Dr. Oz. and there are more than a hundred peer-reviewed scientific studies on it.
It’s like acupuncture, but instead of using needles, you tap with the tips of your fingers.
You focus on the negative emotions you want to heal while you tap. It sends a little signal to the part of your brain called the amygdala which regulates your emotions. And studies have shown that it reduces the production of cortisol (your stress hormone), and increases the production of serotonin (your happy hormone). It’s amazing.
I’ve interviewed many of the EFT Founding Masters on my podcast, and some are in this article. It’s my primary tool for healing.
One of them, Tania Prince, I interviewed specifically about healing the negative effects of bullying and the steps you can take to overcome it here. It creates a sense of calm and releases those negative emotions from your body for good.
Technique #2: Tension & Trauma Relief Exercises (or TRE®)
This is a research-backed technique, created by Dr. David Berceli, PhD. It helps the body release deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma using the body’s natural reflex mechanism.
By using shaking or vibrating, your body releases tension and the process calms the nervous system back to its normal state.
It’s said to be a pleasant and soothing process leading to feelings of peace and well-being. The site also recommends that it be done in a safe and controlled environment.
Technique #3: Somatic Experiencing® to heal your trauma and stress disorders
Dr. Peter Levine introduced this body-oriented approach to healing traumas and other stress disorders as a way to release traumatic shock.
When he studied stress on the animal nervous system, he discovered that trauma is related to the survival response of freeze. When an animal freezes, it’s playing dead to become less of a target.
As with animals, the human body holds onto threats and the fear of them. Unless the fear runs its course and releases through shaking and trembling, it gets trapped. This method releases that trapped energy charge so you no longer feel under threat.
Bullying is traumatizing. It harms your ability to function. This is a way to treat the root cause of the trauma, increase your “tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.”
It’s much easier when you take back control of your situation without all of the negative emotions interfering and clouding you.
And, now you can introduce ways to boost your self-respect and inner peace: the true path to confidence.
Step 3: Take Back Control of Your Situation
Once you are free from experiencing bullying and stopping it’s root cause, you can begin to take back control of your situation by setting appropriate boundaries, overcoming your fear of rejection, and realizing that you are already good enough.
As long as your focus is on pleasing others, that’s really all you are doing. You’re not enjoying it and they’re not enjoying it.
The solution to people-pleasing is boundaries.
The Value of Boundaries
Boundaries will invite positive attention, reduce your stress, and put you in control.
Boundaries will help you get clear on who you are and who you’re not.
Therapist and founder of Transform Your Boundaries® workshop Sarri Gilman reveals in my interview with her here how to build these boundaries. She explains that you can use them to build your inner peace and self-respect.
I also interviewed EFT Founding Master Andy Bryce here. After struggling for years, he learned to clear negative emotions. He learned to build strong self-respect from the inside out using EFT.
Building up your strength and resilience will help you expand your comfort zone and overcome your fear of being rejected by others.
Overcome the Fear of Rejection
In my interview with Emotional Freedom Coach Rick Wilkes here, we discuss how to expand your comfort zone without feeling you have to push yourself harshly. You can build up a resilience and become stronger through EFT Tapping.
You can overcome the fear of rejection and learn when and how to filter out people who don’t support you.
“We coach around helping people build enough resilience so they can be out in the world with real people, but also have healthy boundaries that say “Oh, you didn’t like what I said? Oh, I wasn’t saying it for you”. -Rick Wilkes
The more you use tools that work, the more you will experience cumulative positive results. You create a forward momentum which continues to build and build your level of confidence.
And, no matter where you are in this process, always know that you are already enough.
Instill the Truth that You are Enough
Bullying is isolating. I interviewed therapist Mary Ayers, PhD here specifically about the feeling that you don’t belong.
We discuss where it comes from and how to get rid of it. She guides you through some EFT tapping to reduce it so you can try it for yourself.
Despite your circumstances, remember you are enough and to always persevere.
In this gritty Ted Talk here, poet Shane Koyczan shares the value of finding the beauty in yourself.
“…if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there’s something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit…our lives will only ever always continue to be a balancing act that has less to do with pain and more to do with beauty.” – Shane Koyczan
True confidence comes from the inside. Whatever your situation, learn to always tune into this.
Step 4: Boost Your Confidence from the Inside
Use your gifts and your life experiences to find your place.
Pay attention to when you feel a sense of flow with what you are doing, and be willing to take that first step. You never know where it will lead.
Use your Scars and Talents to Find Your Tribe
Everyone has a place, you just have to find it.
Anna Kopelman talks about feeling like there was saran wrap separating her and others and that she just couldn’t connect.
She dealt with the pain and isolation from her experience with dyslexia and bullying by tuning into her talents. She found her voice and wrote about her experience for MTV.com and Huffington Post.
“I knew that no matter how awful school was, there was a world outside of school and I just needed to find that world. If it’s hard to connect with kids at school, if I’m nervous when I talk, maybe I should try improv. If it’s hard to share feelings, what if I try doing (slam) poetry. If I have this feeling of sadness, what if I just write about it and see who can connect with it.” -Anna Kopelman
It’s a very powerful and empowering approach.
So, follow your interests outside of yourself in the bigger world to find your tribe. Check out Anna’s inspiring interview about this with James Altucher here.
How to Find Your Sense of Flow
Is there something you like to do where you lose all sense of time?
Pay attention to those things; it will start to connect.
In a TEDGlobal 2011 talk here, actress Thandie Newton talks about how she grew up feeling different. She learned to connect to moments where she could lose a part of herself to connect to her true self.
“For a start, we can think about all the times when we do lose ourselves. It happens when I dance, when I’m acting…In those moments, I’m connected to everything…. All my senses are alert and alive in much the same way as an infant might feel — that feeling of oneness” -Thandie Newton
You too can tune into your true, authentic nature to discover and be your true to self.
The Value of Taking that First Step
After experiencing cyberbullying, Bethany Mota experienced anxiety, isolation, and insecurity. In an interview with Lewis Howes here, she shares how at one point she didn’t want to make friends or socialize because of her experience. She overcame these feelings and became a YouTube sensation and a voice for young women.
She shares the value of not being held back by fear or putting your happiness in someone else’s hands. The value that allows you to take your guard down, have a voice, and be confident in that.
She also says if she was never bullied, she probably would never have created her YouTube channel. She took her first step by just making fake videos for fun and it led to a massive following.
It can be scary to try something new. Be willing to venture out to see where it leads by just taking that first step.
Step 5: Build a Rich and Meaningful Social Life
Go easy on yourself. If you don’t have many friends, just start with people who have your back.
And then you can begin to build a rich and meaningful social life from scratch, while being yourself.
Build a Support System of People who Have your Back
This is an inspiring story on Facebook here about 10 year old Xander who wanted to become a biker. He started to dress like one until his classmates started to bully him.
It got to a point where he didn’t want to get out of bed to start his day. After finding no support, his mother reached out to a biker group against child abuse.
What followed was 200 bikers escorting him to school, saying they will help any kid being bullied.
“We are going to provide them with a wall of leather and steel.”
We all deserve to find people who have our back. It’s important.
How to Build a Social Life from Scratch
Hear my interview with my friend Olivia Pino here as she offers what she learned about making friends while being true to herself.
She shares a simple and effective way to start a social life from scratch. She has built up a satisfying social life in various countries in the world.
“I now know myself more. And it doesn’t really matter what they think of me as long as I’m true to myself and that I’m speaking my truth. Why would I be worried about what they think if I’m OK with myself?” -Olivia Pino
The Way to Rich, Meaningful Friendships
After experiencing bullying and not feeling like you belong, instinct might tell you to never let your guard down.
The problem with that is that unless you are vulnerable, you’re not going to be yourself. How will anyone really get to know you?
In the beginning, it might be a struggle to form strong bonds and friendships.
Tom Woodfin is an ex-professional MMA fighter who practices a combination of Energy Psychology and intuitive physical therapy to create deep acceptance.
He grew up in a place where sensitivity was considered weak.
We talk here about the necessity of getting to a place where it’s safe to be vulnerable, to feel more connected and more comfortable socially.
In another interview here, we discuss the influence of social status and how to be authentically YOU while experiencing different cultures.
If people don’t accept you when you are being yourself, find other people who do. That’s the way to rich and meaningful friendships.
Move Forward with Your Confident Life
It all comes down to keeping yourself safe and building a life that is yours.
Stop the cycle of bullying by knowing how to respond.
Protect yourself from harm.
Heal old wounds.
Build up your resilience and confidence with the right tools and techniques.
Know that you belong and are already enough.
You can start to use your gifts and experiences to find your place and just take that first step because you never know where it will lead.
Find people who will have your back and build a rich and meaningful social life around that by being true to yourself.
You now have a powerhouse of inspiration and resources you can return to time and time again.
No one deserves to be bullied. Each person deserves the freedom to be themselves.
Are you aware of other resources or inspiration that could help others? Please share in the comments below. Let’s form a community of help here!
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