By: Carlos Prado
" Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"
This isn't always the case for students around the world. 1 out of every 7 students are either bullies or victims of bullying. Not everyone has the ability to just brush off insults and taunts. Some kids aren't as emotionally stable as others and their self esteem is destroyed little by little with every mean remark that is said.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is an imbalance of power in which a bully harms the victim. It involves intentional harm, and it is often repeated, with the same bully committing multiple off actions against a particular victim. In fact, it is the relentless nature of bullying that is most difficult for the victim to deal with. Most people can move on from being bullied one time, but in a bullying situation these things happen often, usually for a long time, putting the victim into a state of constant fear and anxiety. The victim's school work, health, and other relationships may suffer accordingly. The situation may become especially bad if the victim feels there is no help available. In some cases, young people have committed suicide in reaction to relentless bullying.
The bullies are the people that want to cause harm in anyway to feel better about themselves. They like to think highly of themselves and they often lack empathy for the suffering of other people. Some bullies are insecure, and hurting other people makes them feel better about themselves. A few actually have true mental illnesses, such as personality disorders, that do not allow them to understand or care how other people feel.
The victim is usually different in some way. They may be different in appearance, behavior, or social status. People who are shy, withdrawn, or otherwise socially isolated are particular targets. Often, the victims do not receive the help they need because adults either do not see the bullying or choose to ignore it. Some adults look the other way, claiming that bullying is just a normal aspect of childhood that everyone needs to learn to deal with. This makes the victim feel even more isolated and helpless, creating a downward spiral of escalating bullying and worsening the consequences for the victim.
What can we do?
For adults, you all should teach your kids that you will always be there for them and teach the what bullying is. For students, befriend the solitary kid at lunch, join a left out kid into your group, or even wear a smile everywhere you go.