Bullying is defined as the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against an individual. It can take different forms including physical, verbal, cyber, social and mental bullying.
There is a common misbelief that the victim of bullying somehow brings bullying on themselves. Some victims wrongly believe that if they were stronger or different in some way then they wouldn’t be bullied. But I cannot stress strongly enough that anyone can be a target of bullying and the responsibility for bullying always lies with the bully. There are many reasons why people are targeted by bullies and these can vary from personality characteristics to personal vulnerabilities. People can be targeted by bullies because of physical features, an illness or disability, sexual orientation religious or cultural beliefs or belonging to a particular racial group.
Bullies often bully as a means to exert power over others and to make themselves feel better. They are most likely doing it as a way to deal with their own problems, insecurities and low self-esteem. And not because of anything you’ve done. No one deserves to be bullied and it should not go unchallenged. Dealing with bullying can be tough yet it is really important to do something about it.
If you are being bullied – verbally, physically, socially, psychologically or online – telling someone about it and seeking advice can help. There is nothing weak about reporting a bully or getting advice and just confiding in someone can help to lighten your load. If you don’t feel you can talk about it out loud or face to face, then write it down in a letter or an email. Many bullies want attention so ignoring them or walking away is your best bet. Be assertive and confident; adopt a ‘Don’t mess with me attitude’ (even if you are trembling inside). It is important to not take anything bullies say to heart. Show them that their words have no effect on you. Some bullies may be jealous of you because of your success or popularity – so be proud of who you are.
Over the next few weeks we will look at workplace bullying, cyber bullying and how we can deal with these.
Helpful websites include http://www.antibullyingireland.com and www.reachout.com
If you would like to speak to a counsellor, SouthWest Counselling Centre provides affordable professional counselling to children, adolescents adults and couples – both at its Killarney Centre (Lewis Road) and at Kenmare Family Centre.
firstname.lastname@example.org. Kerry Lifeline provides FREE counselling and support to anyone feeling suicidal or bereaved through suicide.
email@example.com To make an appointment call 064 6636416
SouthWest Counselling Centre is a not-for-profit organization. All funds raised through fundraising go directly to service provision.