From Bullied to Bold

Bullying has become commonplace in our society. It’s an epidemic in junior and high schools and beyond. Social media and anonymous online comment sections have become the new coliseum into which people are dragged and mauled.

We now have all too much evidence that proves bullying can have disastrous effects if not taken seriously. Loss of confidence, withdrawal, mental health issues and even suicide can result if the bullying isn’t taken seriously.

Being bullied can take a terrible toll on young people and even adults. Believe me I know. As a young person I was pretty popular and often stepped in to protect other kids who were being bullied. But as an adult, out of the blue, I found myself the target of a high-profile, media-driven public shaming.   I was eviscerated online. I received death and rape threats. I lost 90 percent of people I believed had been friends or at least colleagues.

There’s simply no way to be prepared for the emotional and psychological hit that comes from being bullied and exiled. As human beings we are genetically hard-wired for connection with fellow human beings. When we lived in roaming tribes being exiled was usually a death sentence because it was almost impossible to physically survive alone against the predators and elements. That cellular memory is still alive within us, which is why being shunned, ridiculed and exiled evokes such a deeply primal terror.

Being humiliated or shamed in front of others, especially entire social groups such as classmates, colleagues, one’s hometown or the public at-large is a terrifying, devastating experience. Neoroscience reveals that the psychological wound of being exiled stimulates the same part of the brain that is stimulated when we suffer a physical wound. These experiences create tremendous anxiety and feelings of being isolated, alone, panicked, and hopeless. It’s easy to believe that our lives, relationships and place in society have been irrevocably damaged and there is no real way forward. This is dangerous territory and needs to be taken seriously.

Cylvia works with bullying and public shaming victims to help them reclaim their power and place in society. She focuses on helping clients find ways to release attachment or identification with the bullying trauma, understand that they were not to blame and discover the strengths that can be gained from the experience. There are concrete strategies for navigating bullying that can help you come out the other side bolder, braver and shining even more beautifully.

Coaching is not a substitute for psychotherapy and some clients are advised to undergo professional psychotherapy instead of working with our coaching program.

Here is a link to some several informational resources for those facing bullying.

Here is a link to an article with good information to help you keep things in perspective if you are facing a bullying situation.

To schedule a free reinvention consultation click here or send an email to

For a peek into Cylvia’s personal public shaming and overcoming experience view her TEDx talk here.