Bullying affects people of all ages in a number of different ways. Many people are first bullied by others before they come to adopt the behavior themselves. Whether a person is bullied and a bully or just one or the other the effects it has on them can be long lasting.
Types Of Bullies
To understand how does bullying affect people it is important to be familiar with the different types of bullies. These include narcissistic/sadistic, imitative, impulsive, physical, verbal, impulsive, subordinate, pair, gang, pressure, regulation, residual, client, institutional and corporate bullying.
The Triggers Of Bullies
There are several factors that can trigger the actions of any bully. These are envy, jealousy, a feeling of invisibility in their home life, emotionally distant parents and both physical and verbal abuse.
Psychological Effects Of Being Bullied
According to a 2013 article in Forbes Magazine the psychological effects of being bullied can and do stay with people for a long time.The effects are particularly bad for those who have been bullied, more so than for the ones that acted like bullies. The Journal of the American Medical Association ran the results of a study that followed kids who were bullied or were bullies, from their childhood straight through to adulthood. The study was conducted in Northern California on students at the ages of 9, 11 and 13, most of whom were contacted again as adults. Of the people that participated in this study 5% were only bullies themselves and 21% were only the victims of other bullies. A reported 4.5% of the study participants reported that they had been both the bullied and the bully.
Between the ages of 19 and 26 the participants in this study were contacted on a follow up basis. The results were that people who had been bullied as a child are more likely to suffer from anxiety, panic and depressive disorders as well as agoraphobia. Of the participants who experienced bullying from both sides 25% of them reported that they had had suicidal thoughts in their early adult years as a result. These participants have a high risk of developing an antisocial personality disorder. In comparison, roughly 38% of the participants who were both bullied and bullies now have have a panic disorder to deal with.
In schools across the country one of every five children has been the victim of bullying. There is a cycle that kids who experience bullying go through. It starts with students who assume a leadership role among their peers and use that to bully others. Kids in this role often have many of their classmates following them. While a bully’s followers don’t usually engage in bullying themselves they do nothing to discourage it either. Supporters and others who do nothing to stop bullies are often referred to as passive bullies. These kids regularly draw attention the actions of a bully, but they do not participate in those actions. Passive supporters of bullies and their actions don’t express their support for the bullies, but they secretly enjoy watching others get bullied. Kids who witness bullying but don’t care about it are called disengaged onlookers. These kids either tell themselves to watch the bully at work or that it is none of their business what the bully is doing. Other kids witness the bullying and disapprove of it but they don’t help the person being bullied even though they want to. Other kids will step up to defend a friend or classmate from a bully.
Kids who strictly watch others being bullied but don’t step in often act this way out of fear. They feel powerless and guilty because they are not helping whoever is being bullied. While they may feel a temptation to participate in the bullying they usually won’t give in to do so. Kids who are always the bully often find themselves engaged in fist fights, vandalziing propery and items that do not belong to them and perceive school as a negative place to be.
While many bullies regularly have behavior problems not all of them do. Many of them have strong social skills and know how to fit in with both their peers and the adults around them. This is more often the case with female bullies than with male bullies.The problem with this is that most parents assume that a female student would never become a bully and they often don’t believe it if their daughter is accused of bullying. This makes it easier for females to get away with bullying.
The Fate Of A Bullied Child
In May of 2010 an 11 year old in Oklahoma named Ty Field Smiley killed himself as a result of having been bullied by classmates. The day he killed himself he had been suspended from school for sticking up to a bullying who had been harassing him for the entire duration of the school year. When he was suspended his mother picked him up at school, drove him home and told him to do chores and homework while she went back to work. However, Ty had other plans that involved going into his parent’s bedroom, getting their gun and shooting himself in the head. While the boy’s parents reported that for the duration of that school year and the previous one their son was bullied at school the school’s district offices denied this claim.
When bullying is allowed to take place in schools the entire environment is affected and the students feel this effect the most. Students then become disrespectful and fearful of their school which can lead to behavior problems. It also makes it more difficult for students to learn and take full advantage of the education they are being offered. Students often start to become insecure and look for excuses to avoid going to school at all.They feel unsafe at school because they believe no one will do anything to stop the bullying. Many times those who have been bullied in elementary, middle or high school often choose not to go to college because they fear the bullying will simply continue while they are there. They may also continue to experience bullying in their personal and work lives throughout the course of their adult life.
The school environment puts perceived pressure on many teens to keep their mouths shut when they witness bullying, in order to maintain frendships with their classmates. Teenagers often feel isolated when they publicly stick up for a friend who has been bullied, so they tend to look the other way when it happens. At the other end of the spectrum is the kids who are being bullied. These kids often have a hard time making friends because their classmates perceive them negatively if they are frequently bullied by their peers.
Preventing School Bullying
In Michigan there are now 37 laws designed to prevent the act of bullying. Despite these laws, many schools have been forced to go to court when the parent of a bullied child decides to take legal action against the school. Some of these lawsuits have resulted in schools having to pay millions of dollars in damage.
Students can help prevent bullying in a number of different ways. Any student that is being bullied by a classmate needs to speak up about the bullying rather than ignore it. They are advised to tell their teachers as well as their parents. It is helpful if students who are being bullied are able to hide their fear, as showing fear makes them more vulnerable to attacks from their classmates and peers. Many bullies act out against other children because they find it easy to attack kids who are weaker than they are. Anyone being bullied that can give an outward appearance of confidence can often deflect the bullies on their own. Once they realize they are not getting any attention as a result of bullying an individual they will back off because there is nothing in it for them.
When students feel threatened by others they need to call immediate attention to the situation. Verbally alerting those around them to the bullying taking place can help divert it. Those who are bullied at any age are urged to speak out about their experience. This gives others around them the strength to tell their own stories of bullying, which spreads awareness of the problem and can sometimes even help prevent it from happening in the future.
Reaching out to others for help is an essential part of healing from the effects of bullying. If more people asked themselves the question “how does bullying affect people,” they will often find the answers they are looking for. This can go a long way to help prevent future generations from being bullied as current and past generations have been. Bullying people is never alright and those who choose to do so would be wise to seek help immediately.