Most people know that bullying is wrong. Calling someone names has absolutely no beneficial purpose. Moreover, hitting someone makes a bully feel good in the moment while doing permanent damage to the person being victimized. With the Internet, people now have even more opportunities to bully through cyberbullying. This includes sending crude pictures, posting fake web pages, or tweeting slanderous messages. Cyberbullying has subsequently led to a rise in a completely new kind of bullying.
One of the effects of bullying is that it can change the victim’s personality. It can cause people who are normally confident and happy to become self-conscious, shy, and unsure. Additionally, victims of bullying may also become sad or depressed. Their confidence might completely disappear, keeping them from trying new things or trusting people. Once a person has been bullied, they may hesitate to participate in situations where he or she might be ridiculed, such as in public speaking or in sports. A bullying victim might even begin to possess previously absent anxious
Despite all the negative effects of bullying, there are even far more serious consequences. People who have been bullied sometimes become so upset, scared, or depressed that they see no worth in themselves and no way out of their torment. There have been countless reports over the past few years of students committing suicide because they were bullied. Meanwhile, there are times when victims see no recourse but to seek revenge by serious acts of violence against the bully and instigators. As a result of bullying, people can lose their ability to love and trust, denying them the chance to experience a quality relationship later in their life. They might find themselves as a submissive partner or they may want to be completely alone. Compounding all of these problems, victims often develop eating disorders, begin to self-injure, or require extensive counseling. Social bullying can also leave people without a supportive group of friends that they can lean on and spend time with.
Another unfortunate consequence of this is that bullying is often cyclical. People who have been bullied can, in an attempt to gain their power and self-esteem back, become bullies themselves. In relation to this, bullies who are not confronted or stopped may find themselves in future positions where they can bully as adults. This is where manipulative bosses and child abusers come from.
Aside from its long-term effects, some consequences of bullying can be seen and felt immediately. When one child calls another child names, the victim might cry and a bruise might appear after a punch to the arm. However, some effects of bullying are not always obvious to the naked eye. The results of bullying might grow and appear over time, damaging a person in profound ways for the long term. There are so many effects of bullying that they are impossible to count or predict. This is why it is so important to stop bullying.
School is a difficult time for both teenagers and their parents. For adults, it is the time when they worry about how their child (or children) succeeds in studying, socializing, and what habits and manners a child adopts from peers. For children and teenagers, school is difficult not just because of having to study and to try to receive good grades, but also because there is a specific hierarchic environment they have to fit into. Those who cannot do so often become victims of bullying and being harassed by their more “successful” peers (in terms of hierarchy). Bullying has always been a serious problem for schools in the U.S., as well as in the rest of the world.
Although some people tend to see bullying as any conflict or act of violence occurring between students, it is not so. “For instance, if two students involved in conflict are of approximately the same physical or psychological strength, the quarrel between them is not considered bullying. Bullying has two main components: repeated physical, verbal, or psychological harmful acts, and an imbalance of power. Bullying includes assault, intimidation, spreading rumors, demands for money, destruction or theft of property, name-calling, and so on. In the United States, bullying can also include sexual harassment and ostracism based on sexual orientation” (Popcenter.org).
According to the statistics, up to 28% of U.S. students in the 6-12 grades have experienced bullying, or are feeling bullied, which makes it obvious that bullying occurs most often in middle school. Surveys disclose that name calling as the most prevalent type of bullying; next goes teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. Researchers believe that considering the scale of the problem, it is not enough to just promote a message like “Bullying is not tolerated”; instead, there should be effective anti-bullying programs implemented. These problems should focus on bystanders in particular, because rather often they do not do anything to prevent or stop bullying when they witness it (NoBullying.com).
Unlike some teachers or officials would want to believe, bullying is not something that happens and then vanishes without a trace—it has a number of negative consequences, usually for victims. Among the most common ones, one should mention depression and anxiety; poor nutrition and/or appetite; breaks in sleeping patterns—for example, insomnia or extreme sleepiness; excessive feelings of sadness and/or loneliness, loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities and so on. What is even more worrying, these problems not only develop in early adolescence, but tend to last throughout the entire life of a person. Health complaints, poor grades, low levels of participation in school activities, and skipping classes are also among the reported negative effects of bullying victims. In addition, sometimes desperate victims of bullying are known to cause gunfire in schools (Stopbullying.gov).
Bullying is one of the most significant problems connected to the sphere of education. Bullying usually implies repeated offensive actions—verbal, psychological, or physical—against a victim, who is outnumbered, weaker, or less resilient. Up to 28% of school students in America have at least once been bullied. Such offensive behavior causes a number of long-lasting problems in victims, including depression, health problems, difficulties in communication, and so on. Therefore, immediate and effective measures against bullying are required.
“Bullying in Schools.” Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.
“Revealed: Shocking Bullying Statistics 2014!” NoBullying.com. N.p., 09 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015.
“Effects of Bullying.” Stopbullying.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.
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