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Wow, Nini, I really, really feel for you. I didn't realize what you'd been going through for so long. That makes me really mad at all the insecure, mediocre people out there who somehow manage to identify the sensitive people (who won't stand up to their abuse) and target them for bullying. These are the same people who gathered together in high school, jealous of the really smart, attractive and confident people, and whispered bitterly about them while taking out their insecurity on people they viewed as easy targets...those insecure bullies are the followers/sheep of the world, I really can't stand those people. I wish I had some great advice for you, but all I can say is maybe you should start treating anyone who tries to "keep you down" like a bully, stand up to them and say, "don't talk to me like that, don't touch me like that, don't treat me like that." The reason they're so mean is they know they can get away with it, because they're bored and frustrated with their pathetic meaningless lives and wish they could be more like the people they admire. Ever noticed that happy, satisfied people don't need to beat other people down--in fact, they want to see everyone else be happy and confident as well?

I don't know if this will help you, but in some ways I know how you feel. Almost every girl I ever met hated me, for absolutely no reason, without ever even talking to me. Part of this is because I was always surrounded by boys, both friends and admirers. Part of it was that I wasn't interested in gossip, shopping, makeup, etc., and that even though I rolled out of bed and went to school every day without doing my hair or wearing any makeup, I still looked a whole lot better than them. I think it was mostly that while most adolescent and teenage girls feel insecure about everything, especially their looks, I always liked the way I looked and liked my body how it was. I was lucky in some ways just to look conventionally pretty naturally, and to have nice stylish clothes so I appeared to fit in. But the other girls hated me SO much for not playing their game. The clique of girls who considered themselves popular in my very small, academically demanding private high school, didn't have any friends but each other. They had a running contest who could eat less, and wondered why no guys asked them out (because guys hate to hear girls constantly blab about superficial stuff especially weight, and would rather hang out with each other and the very few girls that weren't hung up on looks and gossip). There was one other girl in the same boat as me, but we were only kind of friends because her best guy friend became a serious boyfriend of mine, and we eventually broke up. She kept to herself more, wasn't so obvious about not respecting or liking the other girls and not caring what they thought, and so I think they laid off her a little more than they did with me.

I would usually have only one girl friend at a time, who would end up stabbing me in the back, making up lies about me, and trying to steal my boyfriend of the moment. All the other girls sat around making up mean stories about me and telling everyone that I was this evil, horrible **** (I think they wished they had the opportunity to do some of those scandalous things, but maybe they were just bored). Probably they were just jealous, but it still really sucked. I was lucky enough to have a lot of supportive guy friends who cushioned me from all of this, but everyday when I walked through the hall girls would be whispering about me and snickering. The only thing I could do was put my nose in the air and act like I was better than them, which probably didn't help matters, but I don't think anything I did would have helped anyway. However, with that attitude, none of them would ever say anything to my face, and I think a lot of them were intimidated, so they instead picked on the shy, quiet loner girls. These girls didn't care enough to spend their whole lives obsessed with their hair, makeup, and expensive designer clothes. They also didn't have the confidence, or what may have appeared to be my arrogance, to shield themselves from teasing, and the "popular" (but only among themselves) girls would mercilessly pick on them. I am positive that if any one of those girls would have been like, hey, leave me the hell alone, how dare you talk to me like that!, the bullies, who were terribly insecure, would have been scared into backing down.

Anyway, I'm sorry for this long rant about myself, but the only thing I can think of that you can do to change how people to treat you is just refuse to allow it anymore. In order to get them to respect you, you may have to intimidate them. You obviously have much more to offer than the average person, which is why they try to "keep you in your place." I don't think this will stop unless you try and become more assertive, try to project more confidence (even if you have to fake it), to send the message that you won't tolerate being pushed around anymore. Next time someone tries to put you down, try saying, "don't talk to me like that again." Most people will be so shocked (remember, these aren't confident people) that they will move on to an easier target. Try being polite but firm, but don't feel bad about being rude or intimidating because after all, they don't feel bad about acting like that toward you. If you refuse to act like a victim and take abuse, they will realize that they can't get away with it anymore. Anyone strong and confident enough to stand up to that attitude wouldn't be putting you down in the first place! Again, sorry to be so long-winded, but I really think this approach is might help you turn your attitude around. You really deserve so much better than what the world has shown you so far. :angel:

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