What Is Bullying?
Bullying is recurrent physical, verbal, or relational aggression that can occur in-person or online, at school, at work, in the neighborhood, or even at home. Bullies are frequently unrelenting, engaging in repeated acts of aggression over extended periods of time. You may live in continual worry about where, when, what, and how far the bully will attack next.
Unless you have personally experienced bullying, you may not know how destructive it can be, particularly for children and adolescents.
- In addition to being emotionally painful, bullying may leave you feeling furious, terrified, powerless, alienated, embarrassed, and even responsible for the bullying. You may even feel suicidal.
- Your physical health is likely to deteriorate, and you are more prone to acquire mental health issues including sadness, anxiety, poor self-esteem, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- To escape being bullied, you are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
Never should bullying be condoned Whether you are the one being bullied or a teacher or parent who suspects a kid is being bullied or engaging in bullying behavior, there are measures you can take to address the issue and put an end to bullying’s harmful consequences.
Types Of Bullying
Physical bullying extends beyond striking, kicking, and shoving (or even just threatening to do so). It can also involve stealing, concealing, or destroying your belongings, as well as hazing, harassment, humiliation, or forcing you to do things against your will.
Name-calling, mocking, taunting, insulting, and other forms of verbal abuse constitute verbal bullying.
Refusing to communicate with you, banning you from groups or activities, spreading lies or rumors about you, or putting you into unpleasant or embarrassing circumstances are examples of relationship bullying.
Cyberbullying, in contrast to conventional bullying, does not involve face-to-face interaction and is not restricted to a small number of witnesses at once. Cyberbullying may occur anywhere and at any time, and the techniques used to injure and humiliate you can range from sending threatening or taunting messages via email, text, social media, or instant messaging to sexting, and uploading revenge porn, or stealing your online identity.
Workplace harassment is significantly more common than you would believe. Bullying is not confined to children and adolescents; it commonly occurs in the workplace, whether you work in an office, on a factory floor, or remotely. Workplace bullying may increase stress and leave you feeling furious, ashamed, and vulnerable.
Myths And Realities Of Bullying
Myth: Bullying only occurs when someone is physically harmed. Words are harmless.
Fact: Children and adolescents have committed murder and committed suicide as a result of verbal, relational, and cyberbullying. Words may have a terrible impact on the mental welfare of anybody, but particularly adolescents.
Myth: Good children do not bully.
Fact: All children make errors; it’s a natural part of growing up. Parents who deny that their child is capable of being harmful make it more difficult for bullies to receive the necessary assistance.
Myth: Bullies should be expelled because they are simply nasty people.
Fact: There are several reasons why children bully. Some are bullied at home or abroad, while others engage in bullying only when they are upset or overwhelmed.
Myth: Children cannot be both bullies and victims.
Fact: Kids can frequently switch positions, from victim to bully and back again. For instance, a fifth-grade bully may become a victim when he transfers to middle school, or a victim on the playground may seek retribution by becoming the bully online.
Why Am I Being Bullied?
Bullies may target you for a variety of reasons, but they typically target those who are “different” or don’t fit in with the majority. When you’re young and trying to fit in, your individuality might feel like a curse. However, you’ll come to appreciate it in time. Maybe you dress or behave differently, or perhaps your ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation distinguishes you. It might be because you are new to the school or neighborhood and have not yet established any friends.
Other reasons why kids bully:
- To make themselves famous or to garner attention.
- Since they are envious of you.
- To seem or feel formidable.
- Because they are the target of bullying themselves.
- To get away from their own issues.
Regardless of why you are being targeted, it is essential to know that you are not alone. Numerous individuals have been bullied at some time in their life. In reality, over 25 percent of children experience bullying, up to 59 percent of adolescents are tormented online, and almost one-third of adults are bullied at work. However, you do not have to tolerate it. There are several persons that can assist you in overcoming the issue while maintaining your dignity and sense of self.
How To Deal With A Bully?
There is no easy cure to bullying and no guaranteed method for dealing with bullies. But because bullying is seldom confined to one or two incidents—it is far more likely to be a prolonged attack over time—you may need to be as persistent as the bully in how you respond to and report each instance of bullying until it ceases. Remember that there is never a justification for you to tolerate bullying.
Do not fault yourself. You are not at blame. You should not be ashamed of who you are or what you feel, no matter what a bully says or does. The fault lies with the bully, not with you.
Do not berate yourself. Do not make an episode of bullying worse by concentrating on it or rehearsing it in your mind. Instead, concentrate on the great experiences you’ve had in life.
Be confident in who you are. Despite what a bully may say, you possess many admirable qualities. Remind yourself of all the distinct characteristics that make you who you are.
Learn to deal with stress. Finding healthy strategies to alleviate the stress caused by bullying can make you more resilient, allowing you to deal with unfavorable events without being overwhelmed. Exercise, meditation, positive self-talk, muscular relaxation, and breathing techniques are all effective anti-bullying coping mechanisms.
Spend time performing enjoyable activities. Bullying will have less of an impact on your life the more time you devote to enjoyable things, such as sports, hobbies, and socializing with individuals who do not engage in bullying.
Managing A Bully: Determine The Optimal Response
Bullies want to know that they can manipulate your emotions, thus your response to their taunts and provocation is crucial. Do not respond with hostility or physical force. If you walk away, ignore the bully, or tell them in a calm and firm manner that you are not interested in what they have to say, you demonstrate that they have no power over you.
However, if you are unable to move away and are being physically harmed, you should protect yourself so you can escape. Your safety is the first concern.
You can also:
- Consider laughing it off. Depending on the circumstances and your comfort level with cracking jokes, this is a terrific method to demonstrate to a bully that you will not allow them to dominate your emotions.
- Report the bullying to an adult you can trust. If you fail to report threats and attacks, a bully will frequently grow increasingly hostile. In many instances, adults may assist with the situation without letting the bully know who reported them.
- As often as necessary. You might need to be relentless, just like the bully. Report every instance of bullying until it ceases. There is never a justification for you to tolerate bullying.
Reframe The Problem Of Bullying
By altering your perspective on bullying, you might restore a sense of control.
Consider viewing bullying from a new angle. The bully is an unhappy, disgruntled individual who wishes to exert control over your emotions so that you experience the same level of distress that they do. Do not provide them satisfaction.
Consider the bigger picture. Bullying can be quite hurtful, but consider how significant it will appear to you in the long term. Will it matter a year from now? Is it justified to become so upset? If the answer is no, redirect your efforts elsewhere.
Accentuate the good. Consider all the things in your life for which you are glad and appreciative, including your own excellent traits. Finding thankfulness in even the smallest of daily pleasures — a kiss from your dog, the sensation of the sun on your cheek, a friend’s nice words — may help you break the negative cycle and raise your mood and self-esteem. Try maintaining a thankfulness journal, and at the end of each day, a record of even the little things for which you are grateful.
Seek for the funny. As previously said, comedy is a powerful tool. If you are able to identify the ridiculousness of a bullying scenario and comment on it with comedy, the bully will likely lose interest in you as a target.
Do not attempt to control the unpredictable. Many aspects of life are beyond our control, including the conduct of others. Instead of worrying, concentrate on the things you can influence, such as your reaction to bullies and how you treat others.
Find Support From Individuals Who Do Not Engage In Bullying
Having trustworthy individuals to whom you may turn for encouragement and support will reduce your stress and increase your self-esteem and resiliency when you are being bullied. Talk to a parent, teacher, counselor, or other trusted adult; doing so does not indicate weakness or a problem. And make an effort to connect with genuine friends (those who do not engage in any form of bullying).
There are many methods to establish new friends whether you are new to a school or community, or if you do not feel you have anybody to turn to. There are many individuals who will love and respect you for who you are, even if it may not always appear that way.
Disconnect from technology. Taking a vacation from your smartphone, computer, tablet, and video games might increase your opportunities to meet new people.
Find others who share your interests and beliefs. A youth group, a reading club, or a religious organization may allow you to establish new acquaintances. Learn a new sport, join a team, or acquire a new interest such as chess, painting, or music. Or, donate your time; helping others is an excellent way to boost your self-esteem and broaden your social circle.
Share your thoughts about bullying. Communicate with a parent, a counselor, a coach, a religious leader, or a reliable friend. Even if it doesn’t alter the circumstance, expressing what you’re going through can have a profound effect on how you feel.
Boost your confidence. Physical activity is an excellent approach to increasing self-esteem and relieving stress. Run or join a kickboxing class to release your rage in a healthy manner.
Always demonstrate respect for others. Remember that despite our differences, we are all deserving of respect. Never condone the bullying of others, and always pause before saying or doing something that might be hurtful to someone else. And if you make a mistake, apologize. No matter how badly you have been bullied, you have no right to bully others.
Tips For Parents And Teachers To Identify And Stop Bullying
No matter how much it hurts, children are typically hesitant to report bullying to their parents or instructors due to a sense of shame associated with being a victim. Bullies are extremely good at concealing their conduct from adults, so if a child is being bullied, it may not be immediately apparent to a parent or teacher. Therefore, it is essential to detect the indicators of bullying.
Warning Signs Of Bullying
Your child may be the target of bullying if he or she:
- Withdraw from family, friends, and formerly cherished activities.
- Experience an unexplainable decline in grades.
- Refuse to attend school, certain lessons, or group activities.
- Changes in mood, behavior, sleep, appetite, or depression or anxiety symptoms.
- They avoid conversations or are discreet about their mobile phone and computer use.
- Become depressed, angry, or agitated while or after using the Internet.
- When perusing a text, email, or social media message, you should appear worried.
How To Prevent Bullying?
When it comes to preventing bullying among children and adolescents, parents and teachers can take certain measures.
Inform children against bullying. Just discussing the issue may be a tremendous stress release for a victim of bullying. Listen to a child’s sentiments without judging, criticizing, or blaming them.
Eliminate the bait. If your child is targeted by a bully, for example, for his or her lunch money, phone, or iPod, propose that he or she bring a meal and leave the devices at home.
Find assistance for a youngster who is terrified of a bully. Ensure that other teachers, coaches, and counselors are aware of the child’s bullying situation. No youngster should face bullying on their own.
Aid the victimized youngster in avoiding solitude. Children with friends are better prepared to deal with bullying. Find methods to expand their social circles, such as joining youth or religious groups or clubs.
If Your Child Is A Bully
It can be distressing for any parent to discover that their kid engages in bullying, but it is crucial to intervene before your child suffers major and long-term repercussions. Children who bully:
Have a greater risk of alcohol and drug abuse.
More prone to engage in physical altercations, vandalize property, and drop out of school.
Are twice as likely as their classmates to get adult criminal convictions and four times as likely to be repeat offenders.
Are more prone to abuse their love partners, spouses, or children as adults.
If your kid has difficulty regulating strong emotions such as anger, hurt, or frustration, consult a therapist about teaching your child good coping mechanisms.
Bullying Is Often A Learned Behavior
Some bullies get their violent behavior from their upbringing. By hitting or otherwise striking your children, verbally or physically assaulting your spouse, or demonstrating bullying behavior such as:
- Abusing your child’s sports coach, umpires, referees, or rival team members.
- Cursing at other motorists on the road.
- Mistakenly humiliating a waiter, store employee, or taxi driver.
- Negatively discuss other classmates, parents, or instructors so that your youngster believes it is normal to intimidate others with verbal abuse.
- Sending or sending internet communications that are abusive and directed towards coworkers or acquaintances.
Tips For Parents Dealing With A Bullying Child
Discover your child’s life. If your actions at home do not influence your kid negatively, it is probable that their peers or friends are supporting the bullying behavior. Your youngster may have difficulty fitting in or forming relationships with other children. Dialog with your youngster. The more you know about their lives, the easier it will be to pinpoint the cause of the issue.
Inform your youngster about bullying. Your youngster may not comprehend how detrimental and painful their actions may be. Encourage your child to examine his or her behavior from the victim’s point of view in order to cultivate empathy and awareness. Remind your youngster that bullying can have severe legal ramifications.
Control stress. Teach your youngster effective stress management techniques. Your child’s bullying behavior may be an effort at stress relief. Alternatively, your own tension, anxiety, or concern may be contributing to an unstable home situation. Exercising, spending time in outdoors, and playing with a pet are excellent stress-relieving activities for both children and adults.
Observe your child’s usage of technology. Inform your youngster that you will be monitoring their phone and Internet usage. Limit your child’s access to devices until their conduct improves, if required.
Establish consistent conduct standards. Ensure that your youngster is aware of your rules and the consequences of breaking them. Children may believe they do not require discipline, but a lack of rules gives the message that they are unworthy of their parents’ time, care, and attention.
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