Do their actions reveal their bad intentions?

How to tell if someone has bad intentions

I am watching a mesmerizing show called Succession, where the parents are indifferent or have bad intentions toward their children. 

A lot of us have experienced bad intent in a relationship where somebody will say the right thing, but their actions convey something different.

What really matters is intentionality, which can be either

  1. Positive for someone 
  2. Neutral as in, I don’t really care what happens to you
  3. Firmly against someone


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As in a video game, there are non-playing characters who are neutral, and you kind of just ignore them as you go about your video game. 

There are characters that are allies who are with you, which would be a positive parent or friend.

And then your enemy is someone that’s against you. And if you do nothing to counteract it, you get blown out in the game. 

So similarly, in the game of life, if you pretend, that person is for you when they’re not, you can be left vulnerable and exposed. The worst thing is when you have someone in your inner circle who has negative intentions toward you.

In a video game, Instead of recognizing the bad intent and fighting the enemy with weapons, they’re basically just standing there and getting shot. Some of us feel like we are getting shot when someone makes a negative comment or continually crosses our boundaries.

bad intentions quote

5 traits of people with bad intentions

  1. People with bad intent  don’t care if their actions have a negative effect on other people’s lives.
  2. When a person has bad intent they try to get a rise out of you and push your buttons.
  3. People with bad intent try to triangulate and turn others against each other.
  4. People with bad intentions have an agenda when they meet someone for their own gain.
  5. A person with bad intentions doesn’t care if they hurt you.

Does anyone in your life act with bad intentions towards others?

So my question for you is do you have anyone who is acting with bad intentions towards you? Just be aware and observe them the next time you are around them and see if you can put the person in one of the three intention categories.

You may need to set up some boundaries, which will help you set some limits with those who can be difficult or have bad intentions. Setting boundaries with others can truly change your life.

You only have one life to live, don’t waste it spending time with people who have bad intentions towards you

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Do you have a tip for determining bad intent that you think others should know about? Leave it in the comments below.

7 strategies to help your child deal with teasing at school

Take the first step to bully proofing your child. Download the free 4 Steps to Bully Proof Your Child Quickly Guide to help you get started.

Most parents get very upset when they find out that their child is being teased at school. And it might even remind you of when you were in elementary school. 

If you grew up in a family who told you that you shouldn’t respond to being teased, it’s probably even more distressing for you. Because you were never taught the skills of how to verbally stand up for yourself. 
But there’s tons of different ways that you can help your child have a better experience if they’re getting teased at school, camp or wherever they go.

1.  Getting teased in elementary school is pretty much a given

I have received thousands of emails from parents and children about getting teased or picked on at school. And I want you to know that every child gets picked on at some point in time. And it would be very unlikely that your child will make it all the way to grade 12 without getting teased.

When your child expects to get teased at some point, then when it happens, it isn’t such a shock. 

Ask your child to come to you if they’re getting teased and let them know that you’ll help them come up with some ways to handle the situation.


Do you worry about your child being picked on? Our Bully Proof Your Child Guide will show you how to bullyproof your child QUICKLY.  It includes our letter template to report bullying to the school. It’s a game changer–get it free for a limited time!

2.  Don’t look at teasing with a victim mentality

A lot of times teasing isn’t personal. Sometimes it is, but a lot of times kids are just roaming the playground looking for someone to see who they can get a reaction out of. They’re just looking for potential targets. 

Make sure that your child knows that they’re not alone. Every child is going to go through getting teased at some point in time. And when we realize that it isn’t personal, it’s just something kids do. It’s a little easier to process and to handle. 

A mother who I will call, Caitlyn,was beside herself because her child was being bullied when in fact, it was just simple teasing on the playground. But she made it such a big deal. She made her son feel like a victim. And that he was a victim of bullying when it was simple teasing, she could have made it not a big deal and taught him how to respond and he would have been much better off.

Tell your child not to react when being teased

3.  Bullies are trying to trigger people

When bullies see a reactive kid, they’re like, Wow, perfect target. The bully is looking for how your child responds to being teased. So tell your child not to overreact when someone is trying to trigger them, let it roll off their back. 

Tell your child not to looked shocked or show a physical reaction when someone is trying to wind them up. If your child gets upset, the bully will probably continue

Tease your kids at home to prepare them for school

4. Allow banter and some fun teasing at home

You can tell kids whose parents don’t joke around or have any fun or teased at home, because when it happens to them at school, they’re absolutely shocked and flabbergasted. 

And there’s a blogger who I really, really respect. And she demands absolute respect at home with her children. And I can see why she wants that. And I think it’s an admirable goal. But one of her rules is no teasing. And if the older kids tease, they’re sent to bed with no dinner for the night. And it’s to teach respect. 

Well, that’s all fine but her daughter is going to be a perfect target when she goes to school because she’s never been in a situation where there’s teasing and she’s not going to know how to handle it compared to someone who’s used to fun and banter at home. 

In our house we tease and we joke around all the time. It’s not malicious. It’s just in a fun way with wit and humour. And I’ve trained my kids that when somebody picks on them, it just bounces off their back and to say something fun back, preferably with humour. And usually when you have quick wit or you have a really clever comeback or reply, it just sort of stops the bully in their tracks because it’s not what they’re expecting. 

And bullies  like to pick on people who are going to make them look foolish. So they’re not they don’t want people who are clever with the replies because that’s not an easy target. That’s a lot of hard work. So allow fun banter at home. 

Teenagers tease and razz each other

5. Understand that as kids get older and they become teenagers, they will razz and tease their friends

A teenager was telling me a funny story the other day and he was saying that to one of his friends. They could throw pinecones at him and he would still be standing. I asked what does that even mean? And he said that they just teased him so much and it just rolls off his friend’s  back, he doesn’t have a care in the world. 

And because he doesn’t over react  he doesn’t get wound up even more. And that’s a great way to handle it.  Because your friend group who loves you will be teasing you and your child needs to be prepared for that. 

One girl, I’ll call her Jojo was the only child and she didn’t experience teasing in her household. It was just her and her mom. And she had a friend’s make a joke that she was dating this boy, and obviously, he wouldn’t have been her type.  

But they just kept teasing her and winding her up. And a normal person would have laughed it off and said, Yeah, right. Oh, yeah, I just liked him so much have said something silly. But she just started sending direct messages to all of her friends saying. “Don’t you say this about me!” And how dare you embarrass me! 

And she had just really were not developed muscle in the area where it comes to friends just joking around or having fun. And she didn’t know how to respond. And she didn’t know how to handle the situation, as a lot of people at her age group would have.

Know that this is coming down the pipeline with friend groups. So when your child is that age, and the friend group is teasing, and it’s not malicious, expected and understand it’s just part of being a teenager. And this is very different from malicious, hateful speech. This is just joking around.

Teach your child verbal self defense to help with teasing

6. Set yourself up for success by teaching your children verbal self defense to deal with teasing

Now, I have to tell you, running a large verbal self defense website, I didn’t even realize that I would have to teach my children verbal self defense in advance. One of my kids was getting picked on and it escalated because of a covert highly manipulative bully. And if I had taught him some skills, we could have avoided a big part of the problem would it have happened, I can’t say, right. What I did after the bullying is I taught my son techniques that I teach my students in verbal self defense, and that’s what to say how to say it, and how to respond and how to be prepared, and shut down a bully in any situation. 

And I think it’s one of the best things that parents can do, because it is a given, you’re going to get picked on at some point in time. And it just brings unbelievable confidence. And you know, people like people who don’t respond. 

If you need a step by step guide on how to help  shut down teasing and stop being made fun of, check out Verbal Self Defense for Kids Made Easy.

How to stop teasing quickly

So when your child knows what to say, there’s a pretty good chance, it’s not going to get worse, and escalate. And of course, there’s always the exception. But I think it’s the best investment parents can make to bullyproof their kids is teach them verbal self defense. And the other benefit of it is it’s really quick. You can do it in an hour and a half with our system. And it’s a skill that lasts a lifetime. 

A lot of people that buy my products are like middle aged people who’ve never been taught this skill, and it leads to years of frustration. So learning it at a young age is such a blessing. You do your kid a huge, huge favor. 


Get the BLUEPRINT that Enables any Parent to teach their child how to shut down teasing, and stop being a target for bullies in just 2 Weeks. Get started now with our FREE Bully Proofing workshop.

7. Teasing is a mental confidence game

So you want your kids to show up with unbelievable confidence. And the way you bully proof is you prepare children for events. So you tell them they’re going to be teased to tell them how to handle it. And they just show up with confidence and they know what to expect when things happen at school and they have a much better reaction than the kid who isn’t prepared. If you need a little bit of help bully proofing your child I’ll include a link to our free workshop.

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Do you have a tip for shutting down teasing that you think others should know about? Leave it in the comments below.

7 ways to help your child shut down teasing quickly

Why I started teaching verbal self defense

How I started teaching verbal self defense

One of the things that people always ask me is how did you end up teaching verbal self defense. And it is kind of an unusual story. 

I was at the planetarium with my two kids and they were ages five and seven years old at the time. And my oldest just innocently said to me, “Oh, the earth looks ugly.” And I don’t know if you have a child, but I can guarantee you, most children say silly things at some point in time, it’s not unusual. So he said, ‘the earth looked ugly.” I’m like, Okay, I actually think it looks quite beautiful. 

There was a little boy sitting next to us. And he mentioned to me pointing at my son, “he  said, the earth looked ugly!” because my son had said it again. And I’m like, “Well, yeah, he did. He’s entitled to his opinion”, thinking nothing of it, thinking it’s not a big deal. 

Well, about two minutes later, this man comes running or should I say stomping, across the room. And he says, “Don’t you, talk to my son like that, how dare you. And I can see why your husband left you!”

I didn’t have my wedding ring on that day. And I just couldn’t believe it. I was sitting there, and there were 20 families, everybody in the room was staring at me, including my two children. 

And I just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to say. And I responded with, “I’m still married.” I just couldn’t believe that I responded like such a buffoon. I was so angry, humiliated and upset. 

How I came up with the idea for the verbal self defense web site

For two weeks, I was walking around thinking I should have said, I should have said, and then I got the idea for the website. 

And I also had another relative who says, the most horrible abominable things, and this person has been saying them to me my entire life. It’s like it’s not anything new. This person is equal opportunity and says horrible things to everyone, everybody. So it’s not like I’m special! But I’ve had to deal with this. And I needed to have better skills to deal with it.

 And so I thought that I should have said the website would not only help me, but would just help so many other people that have to deal with verbal bullies, because this is something that we all have to deal with at some point in our life.

Do comebacks and verbal self defense actually work?

People will ask me, “Do comebacks actually work?”  And I tell you, it is like having a superpower, they really work. And they just shut people down because people’s brains just aren’t wired to respond. And we have a proven system that I teach people that leaves people speechless. 

And every day, I receive emails from people thanking me and I got one this morning, it was from a girl who said that she’d been teased her entire life for being called skinny by her family, and everyone would make fun of her. She’d learned how to stand up for yourself and have more confidence, which was my goal. I just love getting these emails, knowing that I’m helping people empower themselves and stand up for themselves. 

A lot of people are shamed by verbal bullies. And what verbal bullies usually do is they will pick on somebody who they think won’t respond. So if you’re a timid kind person, you’re a perfect target for a verbal bully. 

The goal of my I should have said website is to empower people just to give them the skills to feel good to feel strong to be able to stand up for themselves, and we are not for bullies, we are there to defend ourselves against bullies. 

And I actually had a couple of friends unfriend me on Facebook, because they thought I was creating something mean to hate on people. But that’s not the truth at all. I do not support that at all. I’m only there to help people who are being picked on because I know how it feels.

 And my kids also have have experienced verbal bullying and other people have experienced it as well clearly because at one point, my website was getting a million page views a month. And there are some very popular posts. And so on the website, the posts for what to say when people call you ugly has a worse I believe 73,000 votes. So you can tell that if enough people responded to a poll, I think only 10% respond to polls. It’s a pretty big problem. And a lot of people have had to deal with that. 

So if somebody insults you, you know, you’re not the only one and you’re in aren’t alone. 

You must be in a safe situation when using comebacks and verbal self defense

The only thing with verbal self defense I really want you to know is you must make sure that you are in a safe situation, you don’t want to be out at 3 am on the street using a comeback. Always make sure you’re safe if you’re going to use them. 

And it is like a superpower. So don’t use comebacks for harm. I always say that to people. You know, people are always amazed at how well it works. Our system shuts people down really quickly. And it is a superpower and you know, I’ve used it with relatives, I’ve used it at the grocery storage people who are obnoxious. The bullies didn’t think that someone like me would respond, you know, and they just, I see the shame in their eyes after for being abusive to like an innocent person who wasn’t doing anything.

If you need some help standing up for yourself, our free guide How to Sand up for Yourself the Easy Way can help you out.

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Do you have a tip for verbal self defense that you think others should know about? Leave it in the comments below.

Do you have a problematic person in your life?

Dealing with a problematic person

We’ve all had problematic people in our life that caused us problem after problem and it’s not fun and it can be incredibly stressful.

When you look at a problematic person, look at the wake they leave behind them. Look at the aftermath, it’s like a boat with a ripple effect. 

You can look at their life and see a trail of strained relationships behind them, whether that be friendships that have turned sour, bad romances or how they have handled work situations.

How you do anything is how you do everything. If you think it is OK to treat your parent badly, then you probably think that it is OK to treat the other people in your life poorly.

Problematic people leave a wake behind them

Problematic people have a pattern of bad relationships

They may have had many issues with a lot of their key relationships. My cousin had a supervisor who joined her company a year and a half ago. Since the new boss arrived, three people who have worked with her have gone on medical leave, and the rest of her reports resigned within the last four months. The data doesn’t lie… the boss clearly has issues.

Problematic people like to blame others for their troubles, and are quick to make it known that it’s not their fault. Don’t blindly accept the blame from a friendship, a bad boss or a bullying situation with a difficult person. Most likely, you are not at fault.

Have a look at a person’s past and see if there’s a pattern. When we are dealing with a problematic person we are only responsible for our part of it and how we respond.

Ten Traits of Problematic People

  1. Problematic people are friends with someone one week and then falling out the next. They are constantly unfriending and refriending friends on Instagram.
  2. They ask you not to to speak to someone that they had a falling out with. Just because they don’t like someone doesn’t mean that you have to have an issue with the person.
  3. They cycle through their friendships quickly. It’s hard to keep up with their new best friend or boyfriend.
  4. With problematic people It’s never their fault. Someone is always to blame and they are never accountable for their actions.
  5. Problem people badmouth others behind their back even though they are nice to the person’s face.
  6. They lead smear campaigns against other people to make them look bad.
  7. They have a bad character and when things get stressful, their true personality is revealed.
  8. Problematic people tell you how you should be living your life even though they don’t have the results that you want in your life.
  9. They are dictators when you hang out with them. Problem folks have a my way or the highway approach.
  10. Everything is a big deal and they major in minor things. They get angry over the smallest thing, and you feel like you are walking on egg shells constantly.

Shutting down a problematic person

If you have someone in your life who doesn’t respect boundaries there is a pretty good chance that you are going to have to say something to get them to stop saying inappropriate things to you.

Our free guide How to Sand up for Yourself the Easy Way can help you out.

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Do you have a tip for dealing with problematic people that you think others should know about? Leave it in the comments below.

How to respond when someone tries to push your buttons

How to respond when people try to push your buttons or wind you up

I think we’ve all experienced this where someone is purposely trying to push our buttons. Then they turn around and they try and they play the innocent victim. 

The best way to respond to a situation like this is not to give the person the response that they’re looking for. 

Don’t get upset, that’s what they want. Instead, use a polite comeback that lets them know that their behaviour is not acceptable.

And once you can see how they are trying to manipulate you, and you’re prepared, they will no longer hold any power over you.

people who try to push your buttons
Photo courtesy of @understandingthenarc

I shared this screenshot about a narcissist who purposely tried to wind you up in a Facebook group and it resonated with a lot of people, and had 191 likes. 

A relative used to do this to me all the time in public. She would even have a sly smile as she gained satisfaction from publicly humiliating and hurting me.

People who push buttons are looking for a reaction from you

The term “dog-whistling” gave me a lot of clarity about the game that this person plays. From now on, I will be able to easily identify when someone has this kind of behaviour.

It is like the person is trying to poke you with a stick to see how upset they can get you. 

Don’t give them the satisfaction!

Here are some things you can say when people are trying to wind you up or push your buttons

  1. If you’re waiting for me to care it’s gonna be a while.
  2. Don’t push me to the point that I don’t care. Even I have my limits.
  3. Enough already! Do I need to duct tape your mouth today?
  4. Honestly, you remind me of a migraine.
  5. I  need to cancel my subscription to your issues. 

The best thing about it is that you can always be prepared for people who try to push your buttons, and expect it from them!

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Do you have a tip for dealing with people who push buttons that you think people should know about? Leave it in the comments below.