5 Lies You Probably Believe if You Were Bullied

Discover the lies victims of bullying often believe


If you were bullied as a child, there are probably several things that you believe no matter how many times people tell you otherwise. And even though your friends and family might remind you that you were targeted and that it was not your fault, you still don’t believe them. They can even reassure you that you are likable and have a lot to offer the world. But you still find it hard to be true.

Sometimes the mean words and actions of others can become so ingrained in your mind that it can be hard to change your thinking.

And even though none of these mean things are true, you still can’t stop yourself from thinking them. Here are the top five lies victims of bullying often believe.

Lie 1: “Everyone sees me the same way the bully does.”

It is not uncommon for victims of bullying to believe that what the bully said about you or did to you, represents what the entire world thinks. But rest assured that just because a bully called you a loser or a slut does not mean that the entire world agrees with him. Even if bystanders stood silently and watched – even if they laughed – this does not mean they believe what the bully said.

This, however, is exactly what the bully wants you to think. It is how he gains power and control over you. He makes you believe that no one likes you and that everyone shares his opinion. You have to remind yourself regularly that what a bully said to you is not true. In order to find healing, you have to recognize your value and your worth regardless of what a bully has said.

Lie 2: “What I went through wasn’t that bad.”

When you buy into the lie that bullying was not that bad, you are minimizing the situation as well as your hurt and pain. While it is never a good idea to engage in victim-thinking, it is important to your recovery to recognize the seriousness of the bullying you experienced.

It was painful and it was wrong.

Being able to say that bullying hurt is remarkably freeing. Once you have recognized that bullying is unfair and that you didn’t deserve to be bullied, you can begin to take positive steps toward healing from bullying.

Lie 3: “I should be over it.”

Bullying is a traumatic experience, especially if it is ongoing. And, it takes time to recover from it. In fact, research shows that the effects of bullying can plague victims well into adulthood. Just like any other significant life event, recovering from bullying takes time. It is a process.

And even when you have adjusted and are living a normal, healthy life, memories can still creep in and shake you up. When that happens, instead of beating yourself up for still being affected by it, be patient. It just means there is one more layer of healing that needs to take place.

Lie 4: “I deserved it.”

Too many times, victims of bullying falsely believe that there is something wrong with them and that is why they were bullied.

This statement is completely false. Bullies make a choice to bully others. And being different in some way would not have prevented the bullying.

It is very dangerous for victims of bullying to engage in self-blame for something that they have absolutely no control over. Taking on responsibility for something that is not your burden to carry only creates distress, which can lead to depression and even thoughts of suicide. It is very important for victims of bullying to realize that they are not to blame. And they definitely did not deserve to be bullied.

Lie 5: “I could have done more to stop it.”

It doesn’t matter at what age you were bullied or when it ended, victims of bullying always feel like they should have taken more action to stop the bullying. But this type of thinking only keeps them rooted in self-blame.

Remember, you did not make a choice to be bullied. The bully made a choice to bully you. And many times, it doesn’t really matter what you do, they still find a way to bully you.

It is important to let go of this lie and focus on what you can do now to heal from the bullying you experienced. You need to realize that the bullying you experienced was not your fault. You did not cause it; and you did not deserve it. 

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