The Love Club – Kick Your Emotional Bully’s to the Curb
I have always been a People Pleaser. I don’t like to admit that, but I am. It’s a behavior trait that makes me very good at my various jobs in the wellness and fitness industry. I am service minded, and I take care of my clients. I want them happy when they are with me, and feeling good when they leave. I treat people the way I want to be treated.
But in my personal life, being a people pleaser can be problematic. I’ve found that being someone who wants everyone around me to be happy and comfortable can actually put a big old “kick me” sign on my back. Sometimes, people who are careful of treading on other people’s feelings are seen as weak, inferior, and “easy” pickings. People who target People Pleasers are Emotional Bully’s.
Nevertheless, when you come across an emotional bully, it’s best to know how to dispatch them directly, or like any bullying situation, the problem will grow. Before proceeding, step back and look at the situation. Is your side of the street clean and clear?
If the answer is yes, then use this little checklist to remind you how people who are caring and respectful speak to each other. This list can be used in any kind of relationship;
- People who care about and respect you don’t want to hurt you. Or your feelings.
- People who care about and respect you about you don’t intentionally throw you off balance, just because they can.
- People who care about and respect you want to see you happy and successful.
- People who care about and respect you don’t use you as their emotional punching bag, yell at, or belittle you. Even when they are having a very, very bad day.
- When in doubt, reverse the situation. Would you treat someone the way you were just treated? If not, you don’t deserve it either.
- People who care about you don’t pull power trips.
- People don’t dismiss the feelings of someone they care about and respect with the words “You are too sensitive.” You are allowed to be sensitive.
Now that you know the abuse is real. It’s time to set some boundaries.
It takes practice, but once a pleaser is able to set boundaries, the bully begins to see that you are no longer an easy target. Don’t worry, a person can be open and authentic and still have boundaries. It took a while for me to understand boundaries were not being “mean”, it was about letting people know that whomever they were to me, friends, family, co-workers, that they were not allowed to be abusive. I just wasn’t going to tolerate it. Period.
After a while of not reacting as if i had been hurt, of not buying into the digs, it became easier to shut the bullies down without having to sacrifice my own standard of not acting like an a$$hole towards people.
Next step is a little mantra that is extraordinarily helpful and so simple that I just want to kiss it:
“I am Enough”
Repeat this like you breathe, over and over. Steep yourself in the words. Imagine yourself being just enough as you are, right now. To all things, to all people, children, parents, your co-workers, your siblings. You are enough. There is nothing lacking, nothing owed. Beyond the human foibles that we all share, the dings, the shortcomings, the mistakes we make and make right later, we are still enough, right now, right here.
“I am Enough”
This handy dandy little phrase changes the playing field, it is a great equalizer. Your bully won’t get the same satisfaction out of poking you any longer with cruel words or actions, because you will no longer be profoundly hurt, which is their big payoff. When you know that you are enough, your People Pleasing ways will turn into more of a talent than of a way of coping and convincing people you are allowed on the planet. You will carry a different vibe, of strength and assuredness. You will hold up a mirror to your bully that makes them understand that you are no longer their bitch, thank you very much.
Practice makes perfect. Stay at it. Your tender little heart deserves love, respect, and acceptance.
Welcome to the Love Club. We are all enough here. We are nice to each other here.
Drawing Credit: Liza Forster