Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Psychosocial Aspect Of Bullying

When it comes to bullying, three main parties tend to be involved. These are the bullies, their victims, and a hybrid of the two, known as bully-victims. Bully-victims are tormentors who have been subjected to a remarkable amount of bullying themselves. Each of these three personalities play a specific role in the events that are carried out when one individual attempts to use superior influence or strength in order to intimidate or force the hand of another. Understanding these roles and their commonalities is crucial for determining why bullying happens and how to prevent it.

Anxiety
One of the most common characteristics among bullies, bully-victims and victims is anxiety. These individuals walk around with a near-constant sense of impending doom. For victims and bully-victims this can likely be attributed in large part to the intimidating behaviors of their tormentors. It is important to note, however, that most bullies have a clear understanding of which individuals are most likely to succumb to their threats and aggressive behaviors. Bullies rarely make a point of challenging those who they know will stand up for themselves. Thus, bullies and bully-victims are both keen, with or without their own awareness, in terms of their ability to identify feelings of low self-worth and anxiety. This could, however, be due to the fact that these are shared characteristics.

Sadness
Bullies, bully-victims and victims are also likely to experience feelings of sadness and depression that far exceed what is considered to be the norm. These are emotions that may be attributed to issues at home, poor performance in school, lack of parental care and parental guidance or other family-related issues. It is even likely that sadness is associated with ongoing anxiety and the inability to handle or properly deal with unwarranted fears. Kids who constantly feel anxious and have limited understanding of how to cope with or alleviate this feeling often become depressed.

Jealousy
It's not surprising that bullies and bully-victims choose their targets carefully. In addition to avoiding confident children who are likely to fight back or stand up for themselves, they also tend to target people who possess the very qualities or advantages that they want. In this way, the victims that bullies and bully-victims target can be highly informative in terms of identifying the bully's underlying issues. Children with apparently stable home lives and adequate parental care are likely to be targeted by aggressive personalities who lack these things. In addition to resenting the advantages that their victims obviously enjoy, they also identify with their anxiety and recognize this as a weakness. Targeting a person with shared characteristics or flaws is usually indicative of self-hatred or self-disgust.

Breaking Free
In order to effectively address bullying in any controlled environment, leaders and administrators must recognize the patterns of bullying and show all involved parties how to break free of them. In many instances, this requires authority figures to learn more about the home lives of bullies and their victims and to assess their school performances, the disciplinary methods that have been used in the past, both at home and at school and to identify and report all evidence of abuse. By correcting the underlying factors, both bullies and bully-victims can find positive and constructive ways to vent or cope with negative emotions. Likewise, victims can address their anxiety and depression issues and learn to exhibit higher levels of self-worth and confidence.

Jessie Brocka is a teacher who about psychology, development and education. Her recent work is on The 10 Most Affordable Online Education Programs.

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