Tough Love with Kerwin: The blame game, rejection and bullying

The truth can hurt, but sometimes it’s what you need to hear in order to get off your butt.

In my new series, Tough Love with Kerwin, I do exactly that, and serve up some home truths that are bound to make a mark, leaving you with ZERO excuses not to make it happen.

Here’s one of the questions that came up in our recent Tough Love with Kerwin Facebook live.

They say honesty is the best policy so I’m not holding back.

“I was hurt by what bullies said to me so I avoid showing up to protect myself from being blamed, rejected or criticised – I lost a part of who I am.” – Sarah

Sarah, you’ve developed a strategy to be safe. And it’s worked, BUT it’s come with consequences.

The strategy you’ve used to stay safe is to not show up, because if you don’t show up then there’s nothing to criticise, there’s nothing to reject and there’s nothing to bully.

The challenge though now is it sounds like you’re living in a victim’s world. But it’s important to understand that when you choose to live as a victim, you attract people who victimise.

Now I don’t know all the details, but I know bullying sucks.

I was bullied at school. I was given shit and I got beat up. One time I was actually beaten up by a 30-year-old when I was only 13! I had the shit kicked out of me, so trust me, I know what it’s like to be bullied both physically and mentally.

You can’t let that define you though. It’s very important to now walk away from the identity you have with being a victim.

Because in order to be the victim, who has to show up? There has to be someone that shows up to take advantage of you. The role of the victim is non-existent without the role of the victimiser. So when you play the role, the characters show up. The question is, are you conscious of the role you’re playing and if you aren’t, wake the fuck up.

Tough Love with Kerwin: The blame game, rejection and bullying

I’ll make this really fucking simple. Start focusing on the things that empower you.

You might not want to hear this, but you’re going to have to start showing up.

And guess what that’s going to produce? It’s going to produce anxiety, it’s going to produce stress and in some cases it’s going to produce emotional triggers.

And guess what? You’re going to have to suck it up.

Because the reason why we have stress and emotions is so we can learn how to regulate them. And chances are, if you’ve been hiding for a long time, then you might have forgotten how to regulate. So, the consequences of starting to show up again means it’s going to be uncomfortable and it’s possibly going to trigger stress and anxiety.  

But now that you know what you’re up for you can look at what tools you will need to get stronger at regulating these emotions when they surface.

You’re going to have to treat this like interval training. Show up for a little bit and when you start to get overwhelmed, retreat. And then every time you show up again, see if you can show up for a minute or two more.

Remember to breath and allow yourself space and time to process thoughts and feelings so you’re able to tap into a higher level of awareness.

Realise that you need to shift your perspective and change the way you’re thinking about whatever it is that is causing you the pain.

But the advice is useless unless you get the fuck on with it. The truth is, you’re stronger than you think, you’re smarter than you say, and you can do a lot more than you will ever know if you just get off your fucking ass

Good luck. Go get ‘em.

Kerwin Rae