So much is made about bullying in the media over the last few years that you would swear that it is some new “disease” that has sprung forth from the bowels of humanity. That is not the case at all! Bullying is definitely a disease in the sense that it seems to be contagious whereby some victims of bullying, or witnessing it too often become the next generation of bullies. Furthermore, it is a “disease” because victims of bullying are always at dis-ease!
Did you know that research into bullying began in the 1960’s? Bullying is a form of aggression in which there is an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim. The bully is always more powerful than the victim! Bullying can be physical, verbal, sexual and emotional/psychological in action. Bullying can occur one of two ways: It can be either direct (face to face with the individual) or indirect (when the person isn’t there). Indirect bullying would include gossip, slander, back-biting and purposeful exclusion from a group’s involvement, which often happens in schools. Today’s generation of bullies are becoming more proficient in indirect bullying as so many are using the Internet via Facebook, Twitter or text messages to attack victims.
Physical bullying is the most visible and appears to be the most common “type” people try to point out. These are physical attacks on the victim which includes incidences from poking to punching to strangling and even stabbing someone.
Some say that words have the ability to damage more! Verbal bullying acted out through the use of words which damage someone physically, mentally or emotionally. Did you know that the average child receives 213 “putdown comments” per week! Do the math folks, that is over 30 put down remarks a day! Talk about damaging to one’s self-esteem.
There is also psychological/emotional bullying. Like verbal bullying, this cuts deep, perhaps deeper! This type of bullying involves the systematic diminishment of another individual. It can leave profound, damaging scars. These behaviors would include ignoring, isolating, rejecting or terrorizing another person.
Finally, there is sexual bullying. This pretty much speaks for itself in that the bully carries out an act of a “sexual” misconduct, or sexually-related in nature. This type of bullying can be either aggressive or exploitive in nature. Moreover, an actual “sexual assault/rape” does not have to be committed for it to be sexual bullying. Did you know that displaying sexually explicit material which makes others feel uncomfortable, slander/derogatory name calling, or pulling down someone’s pants as a joke, or giving wedgies is considered sexual bullying? It may be fun for the actor or the audience, but not for the victim!
Bullying did not start overnight, it has been around for a long time! What is more recent is the identification of the variety of bullying types, as well as how bullying continues to evolve and become more technological in nature!