Bullying is unwanted and aggressive behaviour that hurts or harms another person physically or mentally. Bullying can be seen sometimes in the way of attacking someone physically, verbally threatening, spreading rumours, and ignoring someone in a group on purpose. It is intentional. This act is done willingly, knowingly, and with deliberation. In day-to-day life, Bullying is seen in every phase of life. Bullying often happens in schools, colleges among children and teenagers. Not only children but adults can be bullied, too. There are different stages of bullying. It starts from Family bullying to often Bully at school or college, then sometimes at the workplace, or cyberbullying takes place. It is mostly seen in bullying cases that the stronger person always tries to dominate the weaker ones.
EFFECTS OF BULLYING
Bullying has become a global issue. Bullying is commonly witnessed by school-going children. It affects a school-going child’s health and learning. Bullying can contribute to extreme feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and helplessness. Victims tend to experience a wide range of emotions due to both physical and verbal bullying. Victims may become depressed or anxious, moody and lonely. It can also lead to long-term damage to the self-esteem of the victims. It directly affects the health of the victims. They may feel mentally ill. They feel disconnected from their school which makes their performance down day by day. They become lethargic day by day. In extreme cases, there is a high risk of self-harm by various means. Due to bullying, the victim’s self-confidence becomes low for their lifetime. They can even face emotional outbreaks which makes them mentally ill. They face difficulties in making quality friends. They even struggle to maintain a relationship with family and friends. They develop trust issues because they are always under the fear of being bullied again. These are the main causes of maximum suicides due to bullying.
Some studies state that bullying negatively affects bullies as well. It is said that bullying often takes place when bullies are attention seekers or they are in some problem which they are expressing through their anger and frustration on others. In some cases, even many bullies are themselves bullied at home or school. Bullies usually don’t have any reason to hurt others. They enjoy being cruel to others as it may give them temporary good feelings. Therefore, they are not being sensitive to the difficulty of others. Sometimes the bullies use the way of bullying as an anger management tool and try to prove their dominance over other people. The bullies face difficulty to understand their limits of bullying others. When feeling guilty they may have a higher risk of having suicidal thoughts to cover up their past wrongdoings. Sometimes, Bullies are at greater risk of developing “antisocial personality disorder”.
On the other hand, Sometimes, unintentional bullying can also be seen in everyone’s house. It is mostly done by the parents, siblings, and relatives or other close family members through their continuous discouraging remarks. Family bullying often involves humiliation, constant criticism, and blame games. Constant body shaming and verbal teasing are mostly faced by mostly everyone in their own family. This kind of mental abuse can break an individual’s self-confidence. It forces him/her to stay away from people which results in depression, stress, and loneliness. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end here. Few victims are even harassed and tortured physically. Also, many victims go through unpleasant shocks and panic attacks which are even more harmful. Some individuals can’t even bear the constant bullying from their own family which leads to suicidal thoughts or self-harm.
Nowadays, bullying at the workplace has also become so common. Employees are often bullied by their seniors and office colleagues in their workplaces. The victims mostly face constant criticism or negative remarks on their works. This kind of continuous abuse harms the mental health of the employee. On the other hand, in some cases, when the employee is female, they constantly face sexual harassment and molestations. Workplace bullying can affect the decision-making of an employee. They usually lose confidence and feel mentally devastated. Common issues faced by the victims are low self-esteem, depression, bad quality of life, stress, change in sleeping and eating patterns, and low productivity. They can’t even properly concentrate on their work. In some extreme cases, there is a higher risk of self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Victims often lose their jobs because of their low performance and productivity. Loss of jobs results in the inability to support their families.
Also in today’s world, technology is a boon to mankind. Everyone is connected throughout the internet. Today, our lives are far more trouble-free and easier, with everything with the help of our fingertips. But in some cases, it is a curse for some internet users as some people misuse this electronic means for harassing others. Cyberbullying has become a universal and serious issue. It is mostly done by strangers or sometimes it can be done by the person whom you know. Cyberbullying includes online harassment by an internet user with continuous criticism, threats, and posting negative comments on other users’ social media posts. It also includes profile hacking, defaming someone on the internet by spreading fake rumours. Even most of the users get verbally harassed in personal online conversations and are even blackmailed. Constant bullying can result in depression, mental illness. It disturbs the mental peace of the victim. It builds insecurities, self-doubts in the minds of the victims. It sometimes can lead to self-harm or suicide because few victims can’t tolerate continuous bullying.
Parents play a very vital role in every child’s life. It should be the duty of every parent to teach their children about not bullying anyone and also teach them that bullying is considered as wrongdoing which can be dangerous for anyone. It should start from our own house where both intentional and unintentional bullying takes place. Parents should keep an eye on their children about how they are doing in their lives, should sit and talk about their mental health. They should also talk about the problems which the children face so that the problems can be solved as soon as possible. The victim should walk away from the bullies. Every small step makes a big difference. The bullied person should go to a proper therapist who can treat the patient who is in mental trauma. Even proper counselling can help the victim to treat their depression and anxiety caused by constant bullying. To solve this global issue, every individual should speak up and make society aware of the consequences of bullying and how harmful bullying can be for an individual. Even the government should take some preventive measures to stop bullying culture in society. Government should make some laws or provisions to put an end to bullying culture in society and also make the citizens aware of the same. Different types of programs should be held in every school to educate the children about the effects of bullying and should also teach the bullies about how to control their anger, frustrations, and feelings to regulate their unwanted behaviour toward others. Also, one should help the bullied victims to stay positive and calm in that situation and also help him/her to overcome the situation bravely. The victims must open up to their parents at home or teachers at school so if bullying happens, they can help the victims. So that every victim can lead a healthy and happy life because it is a self-evident truth said by an American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson that “The first wealth is health” as it is the main source of our happiness and bliss. Not only physical health but most importantly mental health too. Hence, if we, as a society, need to grow and develop then we have to work together to prevent and stop the practice of bullying.
Author(s) Name: Archita Sengupta (St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata)