Living in fear and wondering 'why me?' are common symptoms of bullying
Remember: There are things you can do about bullying. The most important thing is to tell someone you trust.
Bullying is the on-going abuse of another person through physical or mental means. To make matters worse this torture is often conducted in the presence of others. The humiliation felt by the victim is hard to understand if you have never been bullied. If it happens over a long period of time it can have devastating effects on a your mental health.
Types of bullying
- Physical bullying involves harmful actions against another person's body such as hitting, pinching or kicking. It might also involve interfering with another person's property. Some examples include stealing or damaging things.
- Verbal bullying is talking to a person or about a person in a way that is unkind and hurtful to that person, for example: teasing, name-calling, spreading rumours or whispering.
- Non-verbal bullying refers to all the behaviour that upsets, excludes or embarrasses another person, for example: leaving someone out of a game or activity on purpose, making rude gestures at someone or writing hate notes about a person that will be upsetting to them.
Effects of bullying
- Depression, anxiety and stress
- Suicidal ideation
- Loneliness and social anxiety
- Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
- Poor performance in school because of missing days and disengagement
- Problems sleeping
What can I do if I'm being bullied?
- Be assertive. Tell the person bullying you to stop in a calm and clear voice.
- Laugh it off. You might not find bullying funny but if the person bullying doesn’t think it’s affecting you then they might quit bullying you.
- Let an adult know. Tell a parent or teacher what’s happening so they can make sure it doesn’t happen again or give you some advice.
- Don’t fight back. You may get more hurt if you engage with bullies. Remember, a lot of the time bullying isn’t about you – people who bully are often unhappy at school or home.
Myths about bullying
There are a lot of myths out there about bullying. Those myths include:
- “It’s a fact of life…everyone is bullied at some stage." FALSE
- “It toughens you up and prepares you for real life.” FALSE
- “We all have to learn to stand up for ourselves…bullying helps us to do this.” FALSE
- “There’s nothing you can do about bullying.” FALSE
The truth about bullying
- Not everyone is bullied but it’s estimated that around 30% of young people experience bullying at some stage.
- Rather than toughening you up for life it can destroy your ability to enjoy life and can kill any self-confidence you had.
- Bullying can leave you feeling guilty for not standing up for yourself but it persists because it is almost impossible for the victim to stand up to the bully.