Did you know that one in four children and adults experience bullying as part of life at home, school, work, community events, the grocery store, or other places?
There are several forms of bullying: Physical, Verbal, Social, Cyber, Emotional, Racist, Sexual.
Bullying, a form of abuse defined as an aggressive behavior that causes pain or harm to another, may be non-physical, but it is always traumatic. As a result of bullying, children and adults can experience problems that can last a lifetime such as an inability to concentrate, productivity issues, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, among other effects.
Bullying takes many faces such as:
- Making belittling remarks or observations
- Gossiping or lying about another person
- Loudly disagreeing, so that it intimidates others
- Finding fault often in others and talking about it
- Obvious lack of respect for others
Bullying affects many people: the bullied, the bully, bystanders, peers, and family. Although bullying has several different faces, there are characteristics of bullying that are similar:
- People that are unique in some way are at risk
- There is no single profile of a bully
- There is a distinct power imbalance
There is a lot to be learned about bullying and how to prevent it. One thing that is agreed upon is that bullying is victimization, not conflict. It is a powerplay by a person that is looking for control. One method of trying to stop bullying is a zero-tolerance policy. Using methods that seek to learn what trauma lies behind behaviors that lead to bullying is the most effective way to address the root of the problem and to find solutions. Bullying is a harmful relationship problem and the effective ways to address bullying must involve relationship solutions.
A few things that have been shown to work are:
- Creating an environment where students and employees know each other and care
- Commitment by leaders to change the norms around bullying
- Developmentally appropriate and proportional consequences
- Always modelling respectful behavior
For more information, visit:
Lamb, J., Pepler, D. J., & Craig, W. (2009). Approach to bullying and victimization. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 55(4), 356–360.
American Psychology Association. "Bullying prevention: Creating a positive school climate and developing social competence." http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/11330-000
Orpinas, P., & Horne, A. M. (2006). Bullying prevention: Creating a positive school climate and developing social competence. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.