Anti-Bullying

By Hannah Eres and Celine Rouphael

The Different Types of Bullying: Mental, Social, Physical and Cyber

MENTAL

Mental bullying involves bullying yourself inside your mind - putting yourself down and thinking horribly about yourself are just a few examples. You are the bully and the victim. Thinking badly about yourself can influence your actions - for example, you might not bother putting in any effort into your maths test because you say to yourself, "No matter what I do, I will fail, because I am a failure." Because you have told yourself you won't succeed, you won't and you'll end up feeling even worse than before.

SOCIAL

Social bullying can occur verbally or non-verbally It involves rumors being spread, being left out or having no attention given to you. It may start off without the victim noticing because it occurs with a close group of mates - friends not responding to texts, or saying they can’t meet up with you every time you ask. The victim may take a little while to realize what is actually happening, as the factors aren’t always crystal clear. Sometimes people will just say it to your face, and tell you how they feel without considering your feelings.

PHYSICAL

Physical bullying is a type of bullying, where you are being injured constantly by the one person or group. It can involve punching, kicking, choking, etc. but can also involve having your possesions destroyed, damaged or stolen.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying which occurs online. Text messages, emails, accounts being hacked, pretending to be someone else online and so forth are some examples of cyberbullying. It is not to be taken any less seriously than the other category, as it is still an offense to cyberbully and has resulted in numerous people being arrested for committing crimes they were not even aware were against the law. Although this form of bullying is over the web, it still can cause the same side effects as any other form. A good strategy to avoid accidentally cyberbullying is the 'Think Twice, Act Once' rule. Think twice about what you're about to post or say - is it going to bring good to the world? Can it be misunderstood? - and then edit or post whatever it was you were going to upload, feeling reassured that you will most likely avoid offending somebody.

What happens to people who bully?

Those who bully honestly have driven themselves into a wall. Not only have they caused issues for those around them, but for themselves also. Research has been conducted and it has been found that people who bully are more likely to suffer from substance abuse, destroy and vandalise property (eg. graffiti) and in the future find themselves stealing and having vicious and aggressive behaviour.

What happens to bystanders?

Guilt is a common feeling bystanders may develop, along with a hesitant and bad relationship with attendance to school if it occurs at school. Not only do the victims suffer from an increased likelyhood of developing mental disorders, so do the bystanders.

What happens to the environment?

If word gets around, the name of a school or company can be tarnished thanks to the scenarios which happen there, which is not good - parents looking to place a child into a school or a person applying to a job for a brand with such history would be sure to turn them off immediately. Those who work or attend the workplace or school may feel threatened or uncomfortable because of what has happened in the past.

How does bullying affect you mentally?

Bullying can make you fear other's opinions of you. It can make you feel powerless and even worthless. Lots of children in this situation don't feel as if school is safe, and refuse to attend. Those victims who do go to school - reluctantly - may be failing class, just because they feel as if their life is pointless. Every hit the victim receives(physically and metaphorically) lowers their self-perception (self esteem). People suffering can have nightmares about the day ahead will bring. In more severe cases, bullying can lead to depression - a serious mental illness affecting people of varying ages. Depression is not as simple as feeling down or a little blue, it must be diagnosed and involves your whole world and everyone in it becoming your enemy and, in numerous but very intense situations, can result in suicidal thoughts/actions. Bullying can cause serious resilience issues, along with the increased rate of "substance abuse" - whatever the substance may be.

How does bullying affect you physically?

Many people of different shapes, sizes, weights and heights get bullied due to the fact someone doesn't like something no one can change. Any person between a child to an adult may be fat-shamed, or be told they're too skinny, and so forth. Because of this, the victim's perception of themselves changes and can lead to either obesity or anorexia. People can harm themselves because they feel unsafe in this world wherever they happen to be, and can seriously injure themselves, sometimes based on one silly comment. The results are terrifying seeing what one remark can stem to in some cases.

How does bullying affect you socially?

In this day and age where everyone must be on their phones or popular to survive, our social life is one of the most vital things we have. Yet, the problem is our social life is one of the main causes our problems come from. Many people choose to isolate themselves from the world and everyone in it because of bullying, only because of their phobia of being turned on once again, which can cause loneliness and less genuine friendships. It can also cause some people to completely turn against any activity life presents them with because, in truth, they don't want to see the possibly ugly outcome.

Why do people bully?

There are numerous reasons why a person may bully. It may be to do with the victim and the bully discriminates against the color of their skin, gender, appearance, race, preference in gender, and so forth. But, sometimes it is not the victim. It is the bully themselves attacking others to make them feel better - they could be insecure, lonely, an outsider, or even bullied themselves. If they are bullied themselves there is a fair chance they too will bully, and the cycle continues to repeat itself over and over again.

How to Cope With Bullying?

Depending on the type of person, you may be able to handle bullying extremely well and won’t need any help. But, most of the time, people need advice and strategies to overcome bullying.

Here are some strategies:


Talk to someone

Whether it be a family friend or a relative, getting the assistance you need from someone you know and trust can be the best way to go. Having someone's support and - especially from an adult - experience about the matter is crucial.


Be assertive

Sometimes, being assertive is a great option. Confront the bully and tell them that what they are doing is wrong (but not in an aggresive way).


Having a friend

Having a friend come along with you where the bullying most commonly occurs will probably scare bullies away - when they see you have someone to defend you, they will most likely back down and leave you alone.


Humour is on your side

If you are not getting too bogged down by the comments of others, joining in for a laugh can leave them lost for words. For example, somebody continuously labels you dumb, retarded, stupid, etc. A victim who is able to respond calmly could fake-agree with this person and jokingly asking the bully to tutor them. Most bullies will be shocked as they would never guess someone would bash themselves along with them, and will have no way of responding.

Which Health Resources Can Support You?

Doctor

A doctor - your GP, for example - although this is not their most refined area of expertise, should be able to give you a few strategies to solve some of your issues.


Parent/Guardian

Your parents/guardians are much older than you are, and have seen the world from many different angles and perspectives. Most children don't consider the fact their parents/guardians were once children themselves, and have experienced these sorts of things throughout their lifetime. They love you and only want what is best for you, and would be happy to sit down and discuss some possible solutions.


Psychologist/Psychiatrist

If the issue has not cooled down after a lengthy period of time, an appointment with a pyschologist or psychiatrist may be in order. The information you provide them with is strictly confedential and would not be shared with anyone. These people are specialised in different areas and can definitely improve the situation drastically


Teachers

Problems occur in schoolyards all the time, and someone who can take matters into their own hands is a teacher. A teacher is not only their to teach, but to assist you. They can have a chat to the people concerned in the matter, and patch up the holes which have been made quite nicely.

What's a good website to check out?


The ‘Psychology Today’ organization has many strategies which are helpful but will not backfire. It has a section for parents, stating what they can do to help their child through being bullied. One of the key things about this website is that these strategies can apply to people of any age in any situation.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/201003/top-strategies-handling-bully


Another, more reliable organization would be the Department of Education and Training's Bully Stoppers section. It is specifically designed for students/children and not only does it have the impact on bullying towards the victim, but to the bully, bystanders and school's environment. It describes the different types of bullying thoroughly, and what people in certain positons can do to assist or to cope - students, parents, teachers and even principals. Along with that it includes advice sheets, with strategies on how to handle and avoid being bullied.


http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/impact.aspx

Bibliography

Department of Education and Training 2013, The Impact of Bullying, Australian Government, Victoria, accessed 3 June 2015, <http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/impact.aspx>.


Kids Helpline 2012, Information Sheet - Mental Health Issues, accessed 1 June 2015, <http://www.kidshelp.com.au/upload/22928.pdf>.


Mental Bullying n.d., No Bullying, accessed 6 June 2015, <http://nobullying.com/mental-bullying/>.


Top Strategies to Handle Bullying n.d., Pyschology Today, accessed 1 June 2015, <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainstorm/201003/top-strategies-handling-bully>.


Don't Be a Bully, Be A Friend n.d., Illustration, Australian Curriculum Lessons, accessed 10 June 2015, <www.australiancurriculumlessons.com.au>.