Written by Joe Zhou
Bullying / Cyberbullying is definitely a big issue that can harm the environment in schools, workplaces and friend circles. It doesn’t only happen between children but also between adults.
Bullying can happen literally anywhere. It can happen in schools, at home, at work, in online social spaces, via text messaging or via email. It can be physical, verbal, emotional, public statements and behaviour online intended to cause distress or harm (also known as cyberbullying).
But no matter what form bullying takes, the results can be the same: Stress and pain for the person being bullied!!
Types of Bullying:
There are three different types of bullying such as:
Verbal Bullying: saying or writing mean things like teasing or threatening to cause harm.
Social Bullying: includes hurting someone's relationship or reputation such as spreading rumors or embarrassing someone in public.
Physical Bullying: involves hurting someone physically or their things.
What is Cyberbullying?
Just as the use of technology itself has evolved, so has the ability to bully. Bullying, once only happening in school or neighborhood, has now moved into the online world. Bullying online is referred to “cyberbullying.”
Young people used to spend time playing with friends in the neighborhood, now they are engaging with each other in the cyber world as well, talking with and about each other, often without parental monitoring.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can happen through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sharing negative and mean content about someone else. Sometimes it can even cross the line to criminal behavior.
The most common places where Cyber Bullying can happen:
- Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram etc.
Issues of Bullying and Cyberbullying:
Cyberbullying can lead to serious problems. It can possibly create dependable issues related to mental health such as a constant state of anger or sadness, increase the feelings of depression and loneliness, can affect your energy and loss or interest in activities once enjoyed, the appetite and even sleep. And if the person affected also suffers from depression or anxiety it can become even more serious leading to suicidal thoughts.
Also people that suffered cyberbullying or any kind of bullying will more likely have risky behaviors using drugs and alcohol. These problems won’t go away until the bullying stops, it can persist for a very long time bringing social and emotional issues.
People who are bullied are more likely to experience:
- Depression and anxiety
- Health complaints
- Decreased academic achievement. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
The ways to reduce the effects of bullying:
How to behave as a parent when your child is being bullied?
- Parents play a key role in responding to bullying. If a parent knows or think that their child is being bullied, there are several resources that may help.
- Parents have to recognize warning signs that the child is involved in bullying. They could be being bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying. Many times kids won’t ask for help, so it is important to know what to look for. If the child is at immediate risk of harming himself or others, the parent should get help right away.
- If the parent knows that bullying has occurred, it is important to find out what exactly happened with the child. Communicating with school or community officials can also help in these situations.
- If the bullying is happening at school, it is important to learn about what the state requires schools to do in the state’s anti-bullying law.
- Kids are often too scared to tell adults about bullying as they feel embarrassed and ashamed, or are worried that their parents might be disappointed. If a child tells the parent about being bullied, the parents should listen calmly and offer comfort and support.
Tips on how to make the child feel better:
- It is important to praise the child for doing the right thing and talking about the bullying.
- Reminding the kids that they are not alone because a lot of people get bullied at some point in their lives. It is the bully who is behaving wrong and not the child.
- Making the child feel that the parent will help to make the bullying stop is one of the most important parts of reducing the effects of bullying.
How to behave as a person that is getting bullied?
No matter what the age, a cyberbullying experience can incur significant damage, but there are a few things that can be done to help with the situation.
- Let it go:
Sounds pretty hard right? If it’s not being let go this horrible feeling of hate or even anger against the bully, will always hold some kind of power over the person that got bullied. Understanding that a person that spent its precious time of life to bully others, shows that this person has a lot of self-issues, this can help to forgive the bully and let go. Forgiveness will free from all thoughts of anger, hate and even revenge.
- Not being tempted to bully back:
The last thing someone in this situation wants to do is to sink to the bully’s level. While it is helpful to point out why they’re bullying and find holes in their argument no one should sink to their behaviors. That’s just another way of giving them power. It makes someone as bad as them.
- Reporting all bullying to an authority figure:
Considering parents, school guidance counselor, principal, boss, the police, or someone else who can deal with or punish the bully. For people who are being bullied it is important to come to people and talk about the problems, it is not cowardly: it is brave to come forward.