There was a recent incident in a school in Nova Scotia, Canada that called the publicís attention. This incident involved two high school seniors who arranged for them and dozens of their classmates to wear pink shirts to show support for another student who got bullied for wearing pink. Their actions have certainly brought light to the problems of a lot of students worldwide Ė bullying.
Bullying is a form of harassment perpetrated by an abuser of more physical and/or social power and dominance than the victim. Bullying is done with clear intentions of causing harm to the target through verbal harassment, physical assault, emotional blackmail, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation.
Bullying exists in any setting where social interaction is present. This includes schools, workplaces, inside the home, and around the neighbourhood. This may even between different social groups, social classes and even between countries. Like any kind of abusive behavior, bullying is a repetitive act done to gain power or control over another person.
Generally, bullying is classified into 2 types:
∑ Direct bullying. This includes physical aggression in the form of shoving and poking, throwing things, slapping, choking, punching and kicking, and beating.
∑ Indirect bullying. This is also called social aggression. This forces victims to go into social isolation. This is usually done by spreading gossip about the victim, refusing to socialize with the victim, name calling, mocking the victim, forcing other people to not socialize with the victim as well, and manipulation.
Why do bullies act the way they do? Some studies have shown that some bullies do it to be thought of as popular or tough, or to get attention. Bullies may also do it out of jealousy or may simply be acting out because they themselves were bullied. Some bullies are noted to have come from abusive families and neighbourhoods.
After-effects of bullying
Constantly being submitted to bullying may cause a person to develop inferiority complex. Inferiority complex, as the terminology implies, is a feeling of being inferior to others in one way or another. Always being mocked or negatively criticized by bullies may force a person to start believing the lies and second-guess themselves. Victims may also be more prone to developing stress related mental conditions such as anxiety and depression from frequently being bullied.
How does one cope with bullying?
Victims should always keep in mind that theyíre not the problem, the bullies are. Victims should not start second-guessing themselves just because of the comments being thrown at them by bullies. Everybody has a right to safety and security. If youíre different in any way, donít be ashamed of it and stand strong. Itís not your fault youíre unique. Always go out in a group with your friends, bullies wonít be able to single you out if youíre in a group. Thereís always power in numbers. You can always just ignore the bully, tell them to stop pestering you, and walk away. If these tips donít work, tell someone you trust.
Thinking back on how the two senior students had acted upon seeing a co-student get bullied, itís refreshing to know that even in the age where violence prevails, there are still people willing to help and stand up for whatís right. Bullying has been a long-time concern for schools and parents now, and its nice to hear of people taking a stand for those who are being bullied.
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