Understanding the causes and effects of bullying

Anyone can show bullying actions, victim responses or bystander behaviours; everyone involved in bullying needs the skills to help them

Submitted

Anyone can show bullying actions, victim responses or bystander behaviours; everyone involved in bullying needs the skills to help them positively build their self-concept, balance their thinking, increase their self-confidence, gain empathy and understanding and learn effective communication skills.

Watch for further articles from Building Bridges, a subcommittee of the Sylvan Lake Family Violence and Bullying Coalition. Check out our Facebook page under the same name.

Types of bullying that happen at home, school, work and with seniors can include:

• Physical – striking another person, damaging or stealing another person’s property.

• Verbal – name calling, teasing, threatening or humiliating.

• Social – excluding others, spreading rumours, humiliation, interference in relationships.

• Cyber/electronic – verbal and/or social bullying via internet or phone.

• Sexual – physical or verbal actions relating to one’s sexual being or sexuality.

Someone who is being bullied might:

• Be afraid to go to school or work.

• Become withdrawn.

• Become anxious

• Not fully explain any bruises, cuts or scratches.

• Appear less confident.

• Have lower grades or be less productive at work.

• Have mysterious and undiagnosed pains or illness.

Someone who is using bullying actions might:

• Talk negatively and derogatorily about some of their peers or co-workers.

• Freely use negative labels contemptuously in conversation.

• Portray themselves as the victim when their behaviour is confronted.

• Have low levels of empathy.

• Not see the need to apologize for their behaviour.

Someone who is a bystander might:

• Be afraid of the reaction of the person using bullying actions if they stand up for the victim.

• Try to figure out how to handle the situation without intervention.

• Try to remain friendly with the person using bullying actions.

• Try to distance themselves from the actions.

This article was submitted as part of a month-long campaign organized by the Sylvan Lake Family Violence and Bullying Coalition and Building Bridges sub-committee to raise awareness of the family violence and bullying that takes place in Sylvan Lake and beyond, and the resources available to help cope with them.