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Inner Bully

Updated on August 13, 2015

Who is the inner bully?

We all have some negative thinking that distracts us from being positive. It's ok to be negative at times because we can appreciate the positive. However when we have constant negative thoughts then it's much more then having a bad moment or lousy day. It's what I like to call, the Inner Bully.

Who is this Inner Bully? This side of us we're not really aware of but we seem to have a close personal relationship with because we hear it, believe in it but then we feel lousy. Similar to a ghost because you can't see it but it haunts and harasses you day and night. Its this constant criticism that we can't seem to turn off. I use to think I was going crazy or just being sinister but what I have also learned and have been enlighten by, is that the inner bully came from an outer source and it's someone else's junk. That's right, it's junk that's been dumped on us as children by our caregivers or/and influences.


How does the bully work?

The inner bully knows us, up close and personal. Therefore, it knows how to push our buttons and pick on things that will bring us down and then kick us while we're down. The inner bully has an advantage that outside bullies may not have and uses it very well against us. This kind bully lives within us and has distorted thoughts about us. Thoughts such as I can't do it, I'm not smart enough, I'm too fat, too skinny, ugly, I don't deserve good things, I'm not loved and anything that keeps us down. Most of these thoughts were created during our childhood when we were learning about the world and the people within it. We picked up behaviors, patterns and beliefs from our parents, older siblings, teachers, caregivers and anyone who influenced us. We picked up other people's energy and made it our own. If our caregivers were depressed or angry and took it out on us as children we easily grabbed on to that energy and internalized it. Meaning we made that negative energy our own and it then became our feelings. People project their negative feelings onto others all the time, not knowing it's their own inner bully making them hurt others and themselves. The bully works inward and spills outward into the world, it's a cycle that spread like wild fire. In other words the inner bully attacks its host then attacks others like a disease. When a person bullies, its because they've been bullied also.

How to tame the inner bully?

If we don't tame the inner bully it'll keep beating on us, hurting our self-esteem, self-worth and lives. We need to do something about it to provide a sense of safety within ourselves.

When I was about 8 years old, I was bullied by two older and bigger girls. It was scary and I felt helpless. I remember while I was walking home from school bullies walking beside me calling me every name in the book. I tried to ignore them and walk home as fast as possible because I knew I couldn't fight them without getting seriously hurt. So I just did what I thought was best and ran home. I worried about it happening again and I didn't know how to physically protect myself the next time, so I told my older cousin who was tough and very popular. She confronted the bullies to leave me alone or she'd kick their butts and they listened. I had a hero, I was instantly relieved and felt protected. I never had to deal with them ever again but how do we save ourselves from our inner bully?

Just like my childhood bullies I had to keep myself safe from getting beat up. I knew I couldn't fight those older and bigger girls that were taking advantage of my age therefore I just kept quiet and ran home. Then I figured out how to tame the bully by getting help from someone I could trust, who was older and tougher. That was my realistic solution at the time, sometimes you're going to have to ask for help. Dealing with our inner bully will take a similar approach which are:

  • Become aware
  • Learn
  • Find a realistic solution
  • Rewrite
  • Help from a professional

Awareness is the key to realizing that the inner bully are old recordings, past thoughts, feelings, words and beliefs. When you're aware of those thoughts, words and how it makes you feel you can begin to examine it. Which leads to the second step, learn where it come from. If you can trace back who told you and who made you feel bad, then you can see where you got those ideas from. You got those negative thoughts and feeling from someone's energy and made them your own. That energy has nothing to do with you because when we're children we absorb energy like a sponge. Third step find a realistic solution to getting rid of those negative thoughts that's weighing you down. When you realize where they came from you can then let go of that energy, let it stay where is came from, the past. Ask yourself does this apply to me or is this someone's energy I've absorbed. If you remember someone in your past telling you harsh words or being rude and mean then right there you can solve it by choosing to leave it in the past because it had nothing to do with you. It was their opinion, pain, anger and issue. They just shared it with you by yelling, cursing, using words that came from their negative energy. Their "Negative Energy" which had absolutely "Nothing" to do with "You". You just happen to be there at the wrong place and time which means it could of happened to anyone and it's not personal. Look into "Forgiving" those past bullies by having compassion that they also struggled with their own inner bully and they didn't know better. When we're children we have a instant tendency in blaming ourselves and taking on feelings of others and taking responsibly for their feelings. Therefore when we become adults we continue to believe those same feelings, words, ideas that we absorbed and took ownership of as children.

However now your solution is to find your hero, which is your true-self. That happy child, who accepted all and expressed freely, still lives within you. Your job as an adult is to protect your inner child from the inner bullies of the past. You can rewrite those negative words into positive thoughts and beliefs, to create a real happy feelings. Now that you have examined the negative thoughts and learned where it came from, you can find a solution and rewrite new healthy thoughts, such as positive affirmations. Now you know the truth and that is powerful knowledge.

The 5th step "help from a professional" is for when you have tried all the four steps and you are still being haunted by the ghost of past. Sometimes negative thoughts are engraved in our brains and it'll take getting help from a professional to set them free. I personally have received help from a counselor and it is helpful talking to someone who can provide coping tools and understands. Sometimes we need to ask for help to tame the inner bully. You're still a hero by asking for help because you're protecting your inner child regardless. It takes courage to stand up to a bully and sometimes you need support to do it. Professional help is a good choice that will help you tame your inner bully and gain control.

What did you do to cope, when the inner bully attacked?

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In conclusion you are powerful and you can control what to accept in your life. You can protect yourself by choosing what to belief or not. Our inner bully is only an illusion, residue of past negative energy. Next time you hear those negative thoughts, feel anxious, depressed that's the inner bully making you relive someone else's junk. Become aware of it. learn and figure out a way to let go of the energy. Then rewrite that dialogue and be your hero.


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    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      19 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Good reminder for me of how powerful negative self talk is. It's good to identify where the bully comes from so you can categorize it when it does appear. I'm still working on this process.

    • AliciaAH profile imageAUTHOR

      Alicia Alarco-Hernandez 

      3 years ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      Thank you Mrod, I appreciate your comment.

    • mrod profile image

      Monique Rodriguez 

      3 years ago

      Great article. You are so right about the inner bully being in reality someone else's junk. That is why we have to be very careful in our interactions with children since adults have such a great influence on how children ultimately perceive the world, and themselves. Thanks.


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