Bullying is a worldwide problem that has taken on epidemic proportions. Government leaders use bullying tactics in much the same way as a young, school yard bully. Bullying does not choose the wealthy over the poor, male over female, Christian over Muslim, white over black. It affects millions of people in every age group. Bullying can be very slight or extremely traumatic. The after effects are long lasting and can be devastating if the situation is not addressed quickly and efficiently. Learn the true deal on what is bullying in Canada.
Canadian statistics show that bullying occurs regularly in many areas. Almost 50 percent of all Canadian parents report that at least one of their children has been bullied. Similarly, close to 30 percent of all females and almost 40 percent of Canadian males claim that at some point during their school years they were bulled. When it comes to bullying over the internet, girls are the most common target. In the workplace, almost 40 percent of employees report some form of bullying during their hours spent on the job. The fact is bullying is more common than many people even realize. It is present in schools, work environments, neighborhoods and homes.
What is the definition of bullying? Basically, a bully is any person who tries to manipulate or control others he or she perceives to be worker than him. They will use whatever means they need to accomplish their goals, including physical, mental and verbal attacks. Bullying can occur anywhere, at any time. It is commonly found in schools, places of employment, organizations and any other type of group. In most cases, a bully attacks people with malicious intent, meaning they do not care if the person is hurt or has lasting trauma from the experience.
What Is A Bully?
Contrary to popular belief, the school yard thug is not the only type of person who bullies others. A favorite teacher, a close friend’s parent, a police officer, a public official, the quiet overachiever and the athlete can all fit the mold of a bully. Individuals who show no outward signs of being overly aggressive or having bullying tendencies, can be very different behind closed doors. Bullies do not always have to attack their victims physically. In some cases, they can manipulate their victim psychologically by using emotional and verbal forms of abuse. Guilt can also be used as an extremely effective tool by bullies who have no other means of getting their way.
The misconceptions about what or who a bully is can be extremely misleading. The common stereotype is the street wise thug who terrorizes students on the playground. This particular stereotype has blinded many of us into thinking there are no other types of bullies, when in actuality, there are several. Learning to address each bullying report on its own merit will help dispel some of the myths associated with this type of aggressive behavior. No two situations are alike and individuals can have several different reasons for acting the way they do. It is important to confront the situation, find the cause of the problem and deal with each situation on an individual basis.
What Is Physical Bullying?
Physical bullying is any attack in which a bully physically attacks their victim. Touching, hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, spitting or shoving are all forms of physical abuse against another person. A bully who is physically larger than their intended victim may only need to appear to elicit the desired response. The thought of physical pain or being hurt is enough for many to be willing to comply with the demands of their aggressor. Bullies who use physical force to overpower and threaten their victims seldom have to be aggressive towards the victim. A simple show of strength is often enough to convince the victim that they are likely to be severely injured.
What Is Bullying for Kids?
When it comes to kids, bullying is an important issue that must be addressed as soon as it occurs. For a child who is still in its developmental years, bullying can have a devastating effect on how the child perceives himself. Constant bullying from parents and siblings can lead to depression and other mental disorders that can have a direct impact on how they learn as well as process various types of information. Kids learn from their older role models. If they are constantly exposed to bullying behaviors in the home, they will carry those behaviors over into the school setting. It is important to discuss bullying with children at various stages to ensure they understand the ramifications of aggressive, bullying behaviors and how they will impact those around them.
What Is Psychological Bullying?
Psychological bullying involves verbal and mental abuse. Words, both written and spoken, can be abusive. Bullies who often use these tactics do not have possess the aggressiveness or physical prowess to gain control in a physical manner. Cyber bullying is a form of psychological attack. The bully cannot be seen or heard and only appears from behind a computer screen. The victim has no idea where they are located. This factor alone can lead to heightened levels of distress. Attacking a person psychologically results in reduced levels of self-esteem, ever-deepening depression, suicidal thoughts and tendencies as well as a paranoia.
Psychological bullying is often used in the workplace as a way to influence a worker’s productivity. Parents often use psychological tactics to get their children to do what they are supposed to do and follow family rules. In this situation, there is no malicious intent. The primary goal is to teach children the proper way of handling themselves in various situations. A parent is a child’s first teacher. They are responsible for instilling in them a good work ethic as well as how to treat others fairly and in a just manner.
What Is Social Bullying?
Social bullying is used by individuals who want to ridicule or hurt their victim in the presence of others. A social bully has little to no empathy when it comes to their victims feelings. This type of aggressive behavior is common among athletes and athletic teams. In a school setting, the “cool” kids will often harass or intimidate students who are outside their circle of friends in an attempt to show superiority. Different groups of students will often face off in an attempt to control various areas of the school or neighborhood.
Using social media to harass or mislead another person can also be considered a form of psychological bullying. Bashing or trashing a person over an internet social media site can have the same devastating effects as if the attack was made in person. The key to the bully achieving their intended goal is to discredit or disgrace their victim in front of as many people as possible. These types of attacks can be quite malicious. They bully may go as far as to spread false rumors about their victim or make up outright lies to achieve the desired level of embarrassment.
What Causes Bullying?
Bullying has many causes. In some cases, a bully may begin to seek revenge after years of being the target of other people’s attacks. Children and adolescents who have witnessed siblings or other family members bully and take advantage of others’, may begin to like the amount of power their family members have over others. Children who are raised in a poor environment where they must struggle to gain even the slightest advantage, may begin to bully others as a way of controlling a small portion of their world, when, in reality, they have very little control in other ways.
In the workplace, members of management may use certain types of bullying tactics to push their workers to achieve higher goals and boos production rates. While these tactics do not always work, they can create a certain amount of competition between workers that may work to improve the company’s overall numbers. When bullying tactics are accompanied by malicious intent, such as threatening a person’s job if they do not comply with managements’ wishes, the negative environment that is created can be very damaging to company moral.
Individuals, children and adults alike, who have been victimized, may bully others as a way of regaining a small portion of their self-respect and self-esteem. When a person is abused, the beginning stages of a cycle are created that often times results in the abused becoming the abuser. Many statistics show that individuals who exhibit bullying and other types of aggressive tendencies have been abused in the past..While this is not always the case, the numbers suggest it is quite common.
There are many situations in which no real cause for the bullying behavior can be found except that the person is just trying to be mean or inflict pain. A person with a mental illness can be extremely violent and mean spirited without realizing the effects of their actions. While this does not lessen the impact of their attacks, repeated outbursts will draw attention to their behavior and, hopefully, get them the psychiatric help they need.
Bullying, no matter what form it takes, is wrong. Aggressive physical and verbal attacks can cause lasting damage. While a physical attack leaves visible scars, a verbal or psychological attack can leave open wounds that fester for years and flare when certain memories are brought to the surface. Schools and organizations have created anti-bullying programs to help students and adults learn about both sides of the bullying issue. They are taught how to handle a bully during an attack and also how to respond to threats and various types of attacks. Individuals who are in positions of authority are taught how to prevent bullies from disrupting the environment and help them regain control if a situation did occur.
On a global level, nations from all over the world are beginning to take a stand against bullying. Countries like the United States, Canada and Great Britain are leading the way when it comes to innovative ways to control bullying and protect their citizens from unwarranted and unsolicited attacks. The United Nations has even started to take notice in certain situations, especially those that involve gay bashing and other types of physically destructive behaviors.