5 Things Victims of Bullying Should Leave Behind in the New Year

How to rid your life of the things dragging you down

teens with fireworks/sparklers

We have all heard the saying "out with the old, in with the new." But really, you cannot enjoy the new if you do not actually get rid of the old.  And when it comes to the bullying you have experienced, this is especially true. If you want to experience a better year, here are five things victims of bullying must leave behind in the New Year.

1. Destructive relationships

Whether it is a bullying boyfriend or a controlling friend, resolve to leave behind any relationships that diminish who you are as a person.

If it’s a college roommate bullying you or a bullying boss, even family members that bully, you need to find a way to change these situations. Ask the college for a new roommate or look for a new job. Evaluate who is speaking into your life. The point is, you want to spend as little time as possible with people who make you feel bad for being you. If a relationship is unhealthy, you need to find a way to move on. 

2. Victim-Thinking

Leave behind the lies you keep telling yourself. You are not a loser. You did not cause the bullying and you certainly did not deserve it. Remember, words are powerful. You should never say that you will always be a victim of bullying or that no one will ever like you. This is victim-thinking and it is unhealthy and defeating. Instead, think positively and engage in positive self-talk. If you say positive things often enough, pretty soon you will start to believe them.

3. Fear of Standing Up to a Bully

No one deserves to be bullied, even you. So instead of enduring the bullying, do something about it. Take a stand. Sure, it’s scary to stand up for yourself. But once you have done it once, you will quickly realize how empowering it feels. What’s more, bullies count on you to be silent and say nothing.

When you suddenly have something to say about their mean words and cruel actions, they might think twice about targeting you again. And even if it doesn’t impact their behavior, at least you can feel better about yourself. No longer are you a doormat.

4. Self-blame

If you have been bullied, you are probably like most victims and have a tendency to believe that you somehow caused the bullying. Or maybe you believe that you are being bullied because you believe you are inadequate in some way. Leave behind this tendency to blame yourself for the bullying you have experienced. Instead, look for the things you like about yourself and focus on that. Accept every part of you even if you're still working on changing some things. It is the best thing you can do for yourself.

5. Regrets

It is not uncommon to have regrets after being bullied. Most of the time victims feel regret for not standing up to the bully or for allowing it continue. But you have to realize that while you could change how you respond to the bully the next time, you are human.

The important thing is that you learn from the situation. Instead of having regrets, be thankful for what the experience has taught you, but allow yourself to be human without regrets.

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