Have you ever been forced, coerced, or threatened by another human being? If so, you have been bullied. We usually think of a bully as a child, on a playground, who chooses one of the other children to bully. This often continues through the years and the grades. A bully has sometimes caused his/her victim to become so distraught that s/he can no longer deal with the situation and the worst-case scenario is that the person decides to end his/her life.
Long-term Effects of Bullying
Some people who have been bullied, during the last year, have developed social anxiety, depression and possible suicidal thoughts. Others caused self-harm to their body, developed anti-social behaviors, developed an eating disorder, ran away from home, or perhaps abused drugs and/or alcohol. Being bullied is a vicious cycle. It seems that people with mental health issues are more likely to be bullied. Those who are bullied are more likely to develop a mental health problem. This results in a continual cycle.
What Causes A Bully?
Bullying dates back to the beginning of time. It basically has one source and that is fear. We all experience fear in our life and some of us deal with it healthily while others choose destruction and harm. The core feature of a bully is that s/he is afraid. They are insecure about their feelings about themselves. They fight their own fear by causing fear in others.
Sings Of A Bully
When a person feels they are not good, strong, smart, or powerful enough they must prove to themselves, and to others that they are. They need to control and dominate others. Another sign is that a bully has the fear of being out of control of their own emotions which causes them to become quick to anger. A bully also has poor impulse control as well as empathy for others. We all have our own “tribe” or a group of friends. A person who does not fit into our tribe is different. There are times a bully cannot tolerate these differences. Another sign of a bully is that they do not accept responsibility for their actions. They also have a feeling of superiority. Finally, since they cannot accept responsibility for their actions, a bully often blames the victim.
Ways To Deal With A Bully
Although it can be difficult it is best not to cower to a bully. This causes a bully to lose their power. Another suggestion is to stay connected – maintain your connections with friends and family. It can be difficult but it is important to respond with unemotional language. If you offer an assertive but unemotional response you are letting the bully know you do not intend to be victimized. Another idea is to be polite and not allow the bully to get under your skin – after all, that’s what s/he wants. Also, try to react quickly and be consistent. The longer a bully has power over you the stronger the hold becomes. Usually, after the bully knows the person will not stand up to him/her the aggression becomes worse. Finally, try to wait a while. Do not exchange hostilities, instead, step back.
A bully can make life very difficult for a person. The sooner you can nip it in the bud the sooner you will be able to enjoy life once again.