Why you need to Say No to Bullying

Why you need to Say No to Bullying
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 04-03-2023

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There used to be a time when Bullying was not a significant issue. However, in recent times, Bullying has raised numerous health problems that cannot be left unseen. Bullying is defined as unwanted and aggressive behavior among children and teens in school, and this involves either an actual or apparent imbalance of power. The power imbalance is that bullies use their power of higher status and popularity, physical strength, or information for blackmail to harm the person being bullied. Behavior such as this is repeated or holds the potential to be repeated.

Three major types of Bullying are verbal, physical, and social Bullying. These include name-calling and teasing, along with taunting and passing inappropriate sexual comments. It also includes embarrassing someone and hurting them or their belongings physically.

Scientific reports show a wide range of mental and physical health issues among adults who were once bullied during childhood. Some of them include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Nightmares
  • Shyness
  • Headaches and stomach aches
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Social withdrawal

Bullying is humiliating and distressing, and children who get bullied feel alone, angry, and unsafe, and some of them grow up to become bullies themselves. Individuals who bully also undergo mental health problems such as substance abuse and risky and violent behaviors. They are also more likely to become abusive to their spouses and children. Moreover, bystanders can be affected by bullying too. Children who witness bullying are afraid they could be the next victim. They also have an increased risk of developing anxiety and involvement in tobacco use.

Nearly 160,000 teens have skipped school because of Bullying. One-third of youth globally gets bullied, and this demands action from educational institutions teachers to parents and finally us as a victim of a bully or a bystander.

Following are the things you can do if you are being bullied:

  • You have to keep your calm. It might be challenging, but not reacting in that situation may stop the Bullying.
  • In order to not worsen the situation try being defensive. You can avoid getting hurt.
  • Ignore Bullying and try to walk away slowly. Be confident and ask them to stop their behavior if they block you from going away. If you have to run away!
  • If possible, stay with a friend at times or places you think the bullies may be present. This will give you confidence, and you can avoid bullies.
  • Make sure you tell an adult- your teacher or parents about such events right away. They can guide you through the process and help you with your feelings.
  • Do keep helpline numbers handy.

If you find yourself witnessing someone getting bullied here is how you can help:

  • Approach the victim of Bullying and kindly offer help and help them escape. But make sure it is safe for you before you jump in.
  • If you cannot approach them while the event, provide them support after and listen to them or ask them what kind of help they need from you.
  • Speak up to an adult who is trustworthy. A teacher or your parents about the events you witnessed. This helps indeed helps the victim.
  • If the situation is too bad and the victim is physically hurt, you can call the police.

Changing the mindsets of bullies is difficult but not impossible. Therefore, it is best if you control it on your end. Bullying can worsen if you do not take the right steps to stop or prevent it.

“Bullying is a horrible thing. It sticks with you forever. It poisons you. But only if you let it.” -Anonymous.



Bullying. https://www.stopbullying.gov/

Sigurdson, J. F., Undheim, A. M., Wallander, J. L., Lydersen, S., & Sund, A. M. (2015). The long-term effects of being bullied or a bully in adolescence on externalizing and internalizing mental health problems in adulthood. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 9, 42.

Lee, R. (2018). Bullying and mental health consequences. Psych Central. Retrieved from https:// psychcentral.com/lib/bullying-and-mental-health-consequences

Centres for Disease Control and Department of Education. (2014). Facts about Bullying. Retrieved from https://www.stopbullying.gov/media/facts/index.html#definition

Bullying: What to Do If I am Bullied (n.d.) https://www.mhanational.org/bullying-what-do-if-im-bullied

Cox-Wingo, V., & Poirier, S. (2019). Bullying and Mental Health. In School Violence in International Contexts (pp. 115-129). Springer, Cham.

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