Bullying is not the same as the little back and forth teasings that happen between friends or the light-hearted roasting sessions between loved ones. Bullying is the use of force, coercion, or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate another person.
There is an intent to cause harm and a power imbalance between the person doing it and the person suffering it. Many children partake in bullying others because of the exposure to aggression and violence in their own homes. Many times children or even adults bully others who they perceive as weaker to hide their own insecurities and feel powerful and in control, something that may be lacking in their real life.
Research has found that those who bully, as well as the ones that are bullied, are at an increased risk of having depression. Although it may seem like fun and amusing for the bully, it can have long-lasting effects on the victim. Studies show that people who were bullied as children are more likely to develop mental disorders like agoraphobia and panic disorders in their later years as compared to people who were not bullied in their childhood.
It also makes it more likely that the individual will suffer from emotional problems such as feeling helpless, social problems such as social withdrawal and substance abuse in their lifetime. Many people resent themselves for not standing up to their bullies and takes a huge hit to their self- esteem and confidence. Many initiatives are taken in schools and workplaces to stop bullying and harassment but there are still thousands of individuals who become prey to the cruel actions of their peers.
Unexplained bruises, bad dreams, differences in attitude, changes in eating habits, constant pains, the decline in academic activities, withdrawal, etc are some telling signs of bullying that everyone needs to keep an eye out for. It is important that we teach children from a very young age about respecting others and their boundaries.
Teaching them that it is not “cool” or “fun” to harm another human being for their own selfish reasons is wrong and dealing with their insecurities in a positive manner can be the best initiative to stop bullying.