Is Bullying a big problem?

Bullying is becoming a huge problem. Among girls and boys, it’s making many lives very miserable and often leads to depression and desperation. Liz Norman has researched bullying extensively and writes: “No matter which form the bullying takes, for those on the receiving end (the ones that are teased, talked about, ignored, punched, written about in letters, getting rude phone calls, sms’s etc.) – it is extremely painful.”

“Bullying in its most simple definition is an act of ‘violence’. This means that, no matter what the form, it hurts either emotionally, physically or both. According to the experts, most bullies usually have low self-esteem and poorly developed skills at dealing with the pressures of life. They try and hide this by appearing to be powerful and get this power from hurting others.” “Bullies identified by the age of 8 are 6 times more likely to end up with serious criminal records by the age of 30. They’re also at risk of getting involved in relationships that can become physically and emotionally abusive. Children that have a history of bullying and parents that allow them to make excuses for this behaviour, tend to develop into adults that do not take responsibility for their own actions. It is important to note that when a child has parents who try and stop bullying behaviour, although this might be uncomfortable for the family, it does help the child learn more positive ways of dealing with issues. As bullies tend to have low self-esteem, one way of improving self-esteem is to learn new problem solving, decision making and communication skills. In order for children to do this, they need parents to be involved in the process.”

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes

“In life the possibility of meeting a bully is always present. Bullies come in many forms: big strong boys/girls/adults, small quiet people with the knack of saying hurtful things, clever/devious people who know when to say things that make others feel humiliated etc. Bullies are found in schools, companies, universities, i.e. everywhere. There are three important skills to help you cope with a bully: “Name the person. If you experience anything that makes you feel as though you are a victim in some way, tell a caring adult about this experience. Don’t let the bully remain un-named – this gives them power to continue tormenting you and others. By naming them (and your experience), help can be organised for both yourself and the bully. Naming takes courage, but is the most important step in stopping the bully and helping you gain control of your own experiences.

Advice to help detach from the bully

This is called taming your feelings. Detach yourself from the bully. You need to find ways of not being in the same company as the bully. If he/she is one of your “friends” – end the friendship. If the bully is an older pupil, once you have named him/her, say you don’t want to be in the same place as that person. If the bully is a family member, it might not be physically possible to avoid the person, but you can detach emotionally and remind yourself you do not deserve to be a victim. In family
bullying sometimes professional help might be required to change the pattern. By detaching yourself you become able to take control of the situation. This is called claiming – you have claimed your life for yourself!”

Learning to Name, Tame and Claim are three very important life skills. They will help you deal effectively with most problems that come your way.

If you would like to learn more about this important topic, please check out our Life Talk book series over here.

Share This