If someone physically assaults you, there’s usually evidence of the attack. There’s a noticeable mark that will heal with time. Unfortunately, the physical consequences of bullying are minor compared to the emotional pain that’s left behind.
Being bullied leaves deep, emotional scars whether any physical harm actually occurred. The taunts and insults stick with the victim and manifest into self-doubt or even self-hatred. What the bully may interpret as harmless teasing can have a serious impact on someone’s self-esteem. Most people already live in fear of being judged. So when another person judges them harshly, they trust their criticism must be true.
Constant bullying chips away at a person’s self-worth. It makes them question their own value and they assume the verbal or physical attacks are warranted. If someone is always pointing out your mistakes and calling you stupid, you assume that you must not be as smart as you thought. You end up believing their assessment of your intelligence over your own. Even long after the belittling and bullying ends, the bully’s cruel comments remain fresh in their victim’s minds.
Overcoming the aftermath of being bullied requires intentional confidence-building exercises. It won’t go away on its own until you reprogram your mind to trust in your own self-assessment again. It may sound silly, but you need to tell yourself that you are beautiful, smart and worthy of respect. Focus on the things that you do well, remind yourself of everything you’ve accomplished and conscientiously rebuild your self-esteem.
Letting a bully win means allowing their behavior to affect your own view of yourself. The only way to conquer the aftermath of being bullied is to remind yourself that you do not deserve the criticism and that the bully does not define your worth. You define your worth in this world. Never let anyone else hold that power.
Permission to post by author Jenn Sadai
Jenn Sadai is a Canadian author and advocate who’s just crazy enough to think she can change the world. Jenn shares her stories of surviving domestic violence, depression, and workplace bullying in hopes that it will help others cope and heal. She is the author of Dark Confession of an Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman, Dirty Secrets of the World’s Worst Employee, and Cottage Cheese Thighs. Website