BULLYING; a known DEVIL

One of the biggest problems that people face these days is bullying. Right from children to adults everyone has faced bullying some or the other way. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

To be considered bullying, the behaviour must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviours happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumours, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighbourhood, or on the Internet. People usually think of bullying as taking place between children at school. However, it can also occur at work and include aggressive behaviour’s like verbal abuse, sabotaging the victim’s job or work relationship, or misusing authority. Adult bullies who engage in these behaviours are males 60% of the time. While men who bully tend to victimize both genders equally, women bullies target other women about 80% of the time.

Types of Bullying

There are three types of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing means things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm
  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumours about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Cyberbullying

As the social life of young people has moved onto the internet, so has bullying, with electronic bullying becoming a significant new problem in the past decade. Whereas bullying was once largely confined to school, the ubiquity of hand-held devices affords bullies constant access to their prey. Cyber harassment can be especially disturbing because it can often be carried out anonymously; victims may have no idea who the perpetrators are.

How has the internet changed bullying?

The anonymity of cyberbullying removes many restraints on meanness and amplifies the ferocity of aggression. It’s easier to inflict pain and suffering on others when you don’t have to look them in the eye. Constantly evolving digital technologies enable new ways of spreading false information about targets.

How do bullies harm others on the internet?

Both direct harassment and relational aggression thrive on the internet. Cyberbullies can spread false rumours with viral speed on social media. They can falsely impersonate someone and conduct all manner of mischief in someone else’s name. Sexual harassment and cyberstalking particularly target women. And long after the active bullying has stopped, malicious information can linger on the internet and continue to harm.

How can people reduce their risk for being bullied?

Since low self-esteem tends to be a risk factor for becoming the victim of bullying, interventions that promote confidence and self-esteem are important ways to reduce the risk of being bullied. Confidence builders can range from engaging in activities at which the person excels (for example, theatrical performances, sports teams, and special work projects) to engaging in psychotherapy. As isolation is both a risk factor and result of bullying, helping the person feel less alone by lending a listening ear and/or engaging in a support group can go a long way toward providing the community needed to prevent a person from being bullied. The government has launched a helpline to take care of bullying please do not hesitate to take help.