What does bullying look like?
Bullying involves repeated and purposeful behavior that causes hurt and distress to an individual or individuals.
It isn’t some kind of disagreement. It always includes some form of forceful coercion, threat or control of one person over the other which could be verbal, physical or psychological.
When we think of bullying, we think of it taking place among school children. We often forget that it can occur anywhere else like the workplace, university, online or in social spaces. Bottom line is, it is not associated to children only.
The society feeds us a disruptive narrative that for children, bullying is a standard right of passage while growing up. This fuels the belief that it is just ‘kids being kids’. When a victim decides to get help to deal with being bullied, the society tells them that they’re overreacting and are being weak. This downplays their emotions and makes them feel vulnerable for reacting the way they did.
We need to aggressively dispel such a school of thought to move forward in our movement against this menace especially in the Nigerian society.
It’s relieving to see some authorities such as schools, offices and social organizations take active steps against bullying. This is a step towards the right direction in our fight because there are short-term and long-term psychological effects.
What Constitutes Bullying?
While there a lot of threatening behaviors people exhibit, in order for behavior or behaviors to be considered to be bullying, the behavior or behaviors should meet some of these criteria:
- Re-occurrence: Behaviors usually occur more than once or are prone to occur multiple times.
- An Unevenness of Power: Behaviors always depict a wide contrast in the use of power. The bully may rely on physical strength, some form of popularity, or threats to harm or control others.
- Hostile Intent: Although hostile intent has been debated in history, it still forms strong criteria for assessing bullying. The bully’s intent is to cause harm or subdue the other party
- Distressing: Bullying is a form of interpersonal harm that cause psychological, physical, and social distress to a person (short-term or long-term) to both the bullied and the bully
Some Examples of Bullying
Some common examples of Bully-like behaviors are spreading rumors or lies, giving nasty looks, making disrespectful comments about others, constant name-calling, constant teasing, constant harassment, both physically and verbally.
With the most common type of bullying being physical, it is not uncommon for us to fail to remember that there are other prevailing types less talked about.
Are you interested?
Let’s dive into the types of bullying
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