Friday, August 12, 2011

Bullying in Adults: Not So Funny

An article on bullying and how to overcome its perpetrators

Teasing or Bullying?
You don't need to be a kid at school, hit and kicked by bigger schoolmates to be a victim of bullying. I have been a victim of bullying when I was a kid but that rarely happened, and it's just funny how now that I'm old enough, I've been bullied and hurt.
Have you been made to feel [at one point in your life] inferior, incompetent, stupid, dumb or less of a person by someone else? I have and damn it hurts. I am still in the process of healing my own wounds and taking into consideration the fact that I might just have overreacted to those several instances where I was made to feel inferior. They might just have just been plain teasing and nothing more than that but I sense something different. It's as if a part of me tells me this shouldn't be. I tease other people but not to the point of humiliating them. I make jokes but not at other people's expense.

Bullying Defined
According to No Bully, bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person.[How petty can that get?] Culprits of bullying often call their victims names, say nasty things about them, humiliate them or make them uncomfortable in crowds or elsewhere.

You might just not be aware that you have at some point in time been bullied, have bullied someone else or may still be suffering emotional pains due to bullying right now.

Teasing vs. Bullying
Teasing can be very difficult to differentiate from bullying since most people use them interchangeably. However, according to an article published by Nancy Darling, Ph.D. at Psychology Today, teasing can also turn into bullying. But the distinction between bullying and teasing is important, because the way teasing and the way bullying work socially are very different.
Darling states in her article that teasing is an AMBIGUOUS social exchange that can be friendly, neutral, or negative. How a teasing interchange proceeds really depends upon how the person BEING TEASED reacts. 

Bullying is an overt act of aggression, whose intention is to harm the victim and motivations for bullying vary, from the nasty pleasure of asserting power over someone who is weaker or helpless to trying to increase one’s own status.

When a person is being teased to someone in school or in the workplace, reactions often vary from blushing, smiling, laughing, denying or accepting the allegation to getting angry and making a remark. This is considered teasing and not bullying for the simple reason that the perpetrator does not intend to hurt the victim. In the event that it does, it is already considered bullying.

A simple hint to guide you: You're being bullied when it hurts and you feel there's something wrong.

Adult Bullying and Its Effects
Bullying does not only happen in school and among kids. It happens anywhere and to anyone even among adults. Adult Bullying may be referred to as Workplace or Emotional Bullying. This happens when you are belittled, mocked, put down, ignored or humiliated in front of colleagues or friends.
According to a study by researchers at the University of South Australia, individuals who were constantly made to feel bad about themselves were prone to suffering poor mental health, low self-esteem, depression and poor academic or job performance.Thus, emotional bullying can be considered a form of social violence.

When Will Bullies Stop?
Unless interventions are made, the bullying process will never stop. Childhood bullies often grow to become adult bullies, who may harm others with impunity while in the workplace or elsewhere. Also this behavior cannot be easily eliminated unless the culprit himself admits his mistakes and plans to change the way that he lives.
Bullies will never stop unless they get  the dose of their own medicine.Thus, here are some simple tips to overcome them:
  • Try to understand what the bully is trying to project to you so you can  say something confidently back to him.
  • Control your emotions so you do not end up in sudden outbursts [which the bully likes to see much from you].
  • Look them in the eye, speak in a calm manner and clearly say what you do not want to be done to you.
  • Think of better words to say rather than creating tension. Think of things to disarm the bully so you can improve the situation.
Jokes are no longer funny when they cause people to be hurt and lose confidence in themselves. Thus, the next time a bully approaches you and attempts to hurt you, pick yourself up and fight back. They're very pitiful individuals after all. They lack attention, love and a few of the many good stuff we normally experience and enjoy. 

If they're a part of your circle of friends, avoid them. You don't need friends who put you down so they can get on top and feel good about themselves. Find friends who can accept you for who you are. Find friends worthy of your love.

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