I had been watching a lot of movies on bullying lately, and it has made me realize how bad an experience it is for anyone to be bullied. Bullying is defined as oppressing someone perceived as vulnerable. In most cases bullies hurt other people because some other aspects of their lives are not going well. When they fail to fix the problems, they transfer their energy to emotionally pulling down others. The moment the victim of bullying succumbs to the negativity, the bullies feel victorious and focus their energy on the activity which seemingly makes them relevant. The victims become underdogs. I thought bullying only happens at school, but it is sad to note that at work, church, on internet and in families it happens too.
There are many factors which contribute to a school child becoming a bully. At home, the child may be being abused. On the other hand, the parents could be going through a tough divorce or constantly fighting. If the child does not get the necessary help, resentment sets in. Student underdogs become easy prey for the child’s misplaced resentment. Sadly, the most manipulative children are seen as ‘cool’ and many students want everything to do with them. Therefore, some students become bullies because they want to be part of popular groups in school. For some, they bully others without knowing that they are doing so. Unfortunately, students who are bullied are usually the ones who do not conform to defined ‘swag’ standards, those with special needs, etc.
Bullying does not only worry children, but adults too. One day, I had been watching Steve Harvey’s show on a young lady who came to seek help on how to deal with an elderly workmate who is mean to her because the young lady got promoted instead of the elderly lady. Many people encounter such problems at work, some even get overworked by bosses and emotionally abused. Jealousy by workmates leads to sinister ganging on the ‘lucky’ employee. When people in managerial positions partake in bullying, it could be that the target employee refused to do something illegal for them. It is difficult to deal with bullying at work because it may be subtle or some people are ignorant that adults get bullied too. A considerable number of people is considering quitting their dream jobs because they cannot stand the bullying at work.
At church too, some people are considering quitting or changing denominations because of bullying. The sole reason for people to go to church is to fellowship together in Christ. However, there are some people who lose focus of the main goal and try as much as they can to distract others. Pastors, pastors’ wives, elders and even Sunday school children can be guilty of bullying others. Consequently, the bullied people are hurt and some end up thinking that every person who goes to church has bad intentions.
Moreover, the internet seems to have given a platform to people who have always wanted to bully others but had no guts to face them and those who wanted to continue bullying others even after physical encounters. The cyber bullies demean people through negative comments and video or picture edits to mock the targeted person. Many people are affected by such kind of bullying since they live for social media approval. Some suicide cases are due to excessive bullying on social media.
Being bullied is a living hell, but it is more painful when your own people take part in killing your spirit. Bullying does happen in families too. Sibling rivalry seems to be normal, but if care is not taken they can lead to brokenness. A child can be bullied by his/her siblings because of their facial features. It may seem fun pointing out that one child is less beautiful than his/her siblings. But when the siblings are not mature enough to realize that it is not an everyday joking matter, they can bully their fellow. The same applies to children intellectual capabilities and body types. At some point when I was growing up, my young brother gradually gained a lot of weight. Instead of encouraging him and working out with him, I inappropriately told him to do something about his body many times. Unknowingly, I was adding onto the bullying which was happening to him at school because of the weight gain regardless of how actively engaged he was in sports. It is now that I am aware of bullying that I am reflecting and realizing that my brother found it hurtful to be body shamed and I am very sorry.
If people are able to do to others what they want them to do to them, bullying would never exist. There are many measures which can be taken to abolish bullying. To curb bullying in schools, parents should avoid arguing in front of children and they should try as much as they can to love and support their children. If they do so, children will learn that love is the solution to most problems. Teachers should pay attention to how students interact with each other to notice bullying when it is happening. Ultimately, the education curriculum should include team building camps for students with psychologists and counselors to help students with ways they can deal with problems in life and understanding how their actions affect other people. Empathy is a solution which cuts across age groups and organizational boundaries. It is everyone`s responsibility to ensure that bullying is stopped because it is an emotional cancer.
I would appreciate learning from readers working solutions for school, work, church and cyber bullying. Feel free to comment in the comment section.