You will never reach higher ground if you are always putting others down.
Have you seen someone get picked on for no reason? Was that person getting picked on everyday? Have you ever been made fun of? Were you getting hateful text messages or seeing people say mean things to you on your social media accounts? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then what you were seeing or experiencing were two different kinds of bullying. If your reading this, please know that your not alone when it comes to being bullied. There are other teenagers and adults that experience it and unfortunately some get it far worse than you do.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is when someone or a group of people use force and coercion to intimidate, abuse, or threaten other people. This kind of behavior is toxic to the victims of bullying. The victims are hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. Verbal abuse is another kind of bullying that happens all the time. The use of profanity and yelling at someone can be considered verbal abuse. The theme of individual bullying is where one person is trying to gain power over the other person and assert to that person and others. Bullies adapt to this kind of behavior which can become a habit to where they bully someone everyday. Intentionally being left out of something and ignored is another kind of bullying. It can make us think that we are stupid and feel inferior. I personally have experienced this. In some settings, you’ll have the head bully and others that serve as a second in command or as lieutenants. Bullying can happen anywhere. You can get bullied in places like school, a park, where you work, or online.
With technology on the rise over the past two decades, cyber bullying and cyber harassment are different kinds of bullying that have come out of the woodwork. These forms of bullying is through various kinds of electronics. Cyber bullying can also be described as online bullying. Cyber bullying has unfortunately become a more common type of bullying in the past two decades. This kind of bullying consists of sending, sharing, and posting hateful, negative, false, and hurtful messages to other people via online through emails, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and devices like cell phones, tablets, iPads, laptops, apps, and computers. This can include sharing personal and private information to other people with the intent to cause harm, humiliation and embarrassment to someone else or a group of people.
Here are some ways to prevent and avoid the different kinds of bullying out there:
1. Be Aware of What You and Your Children are Doing Online
This can be easier said than done I know. The more digital platforms your child uses, the more opportunities and risks there are for them to get bullied. Parents should take notice if a child has increased or decreased their device use. If your child or yourself is expressing more emotions as to what is happening on a device, this could be another sign of bullying. Also if you or your child is loosing interest in things you enjoy, maybe hiding devices, closing social media accounts, becoming more depressed and withdrawn from people this can be another sign of bullying.
2. Speak Up
If you are being bullied, the best thing you could do is speak up about it. Tell a parent, a friend, a teacher, a sibling, someone that you can confide in. Don’t just let it keep happening thinking it will go away on its own. There are times where it will not go away on its own; the bullies will continue bullying you if they know it’s affecting you. When it comes to cyber bullying, some social media platforms have a place where you can report hateful and offensive content. The individuals who don’t speak up about bullying, can wind up hurting themselves thinking they can relieve themselves of the pain, fall victim to depression, and sometimes take their own life.
3. Surround Yourself With Support
A strong support system can go a long way. I’ve mentioned in previous posts about having a strong support system helping you through tough times. When it comes to dealing with bullies, You need those who are not going to intimidate, not cause you harm, not intentionally go out of their way to make you feel bad and themselves good, abuse you, and spread false rumors about you. Your support system will help you through these tough times and can help you get out of them. They can reassure you that you stay true to who you are and not believe any lies about you. Let these people be a positive influence in your life.
4. Keep a Record of What Happens
It can be best to write down the things that are said and done to you when it comes to bullying. Cyber bullying for example, it’s helpful if you can take screenshots of harmful posts and mean content that is said to you. Those mean text messages you get, save those. Try to remember word for word what mean thing is said to you by a bully. I know you may be thinking, the bully would just deny everything here she said. You’re right that can happen, but it doesn’t happen all the time. If possible surround yourself with friends or place yourself in a public area. This way if you are being bullied, it won’t just be your word alone, other people will have witnessed the bullying as well and can speak up in your favor.
5. Walk Away and Stay Calm
The one thing you can do when dealing with a bully is to simply walk away and stay calm. You may not know this, but bullies get their so-called power from the hurtful reactions of the people they’re bullying. If you walk away from them, there’s no power to be gained. Now they may also try to keep intimidating you, this is because they’re trying to get some kind of rise and reaction out of you. If you remain calm about what they’re saying and doing, they’re not getting anything from you because you’re not reacting to them. You can deny a bully from draining your power. If a bully isn’t getting anything from you, they will move on thinking you’re not worth their time.
Final Thoughts and Sum Up
Bullying is a sad thing that happens to people. It can result in painful consequences. The key thing to remember is there is help. Seeking counseling, doing things you love, surrounding yourself with people who care about you, and speaking up about it really helps. Walking away from the situation as I mentioned helps, however if the bullies still won’t leave you alone, talk to a teacher, principal, your supervisor, parents and let them know what is going on so that something can be done about it. If you have to get the police involved, get them involved. Seems a bit extreme, but there’s only so much a person can tolerate and take before they may end up hurting themselves or taking their own life. If you see someone getting bullied, try to comfort that person. Afterwards support them and report the bullying. Help them speak up and be their voice. It would be nice to have that if you were in their shoes.