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What is Bullying?
Bullying is a deliberate act of making someone else feel down and less of what they are, repeatedly. It is an intentional misuse of power because most times the bully has an advantage over the person being bullied. Bullying can happen at any time in almost any place; in schools, neighborhood and even sometimes at home. Getting bullied might seem like a normal rite of passage to some people but the damage caused by bullying can be devastating it can lead to suppressed anger, depression, constant fear, among others. Bullies act out to make themselves popular, when they are jealous of you, to feel tough, to escape their own problems or because they are/were bullied themselves. They target teens based on physical appearance or social standing and they most pick on those who don’t fit in.
Types of Bullying
What makes bullying so dangerous is that it is constantly repeated and may have long lasting effects. The different types of teenage bullying are:
Verbal bullying: This may seem harmless but can be very hurtful. This is when someone is constantly being put down, belittled or teased using sarcasm to embarrass and hurt the other person in front of other people such as name-calling.
Physical bullying: This is the type of bullying that is the easiest to notice because there is evidence of the assault. This has to do with the show of dominance by punching, kicking, slapping, stealing, among other harmful show of force and this leaves the victim in a constant state of fear.
Emotional bullying: This is the subtlest form of bullying as it has to do with using emotional methods to make someone feel left out and alone. This form of bullying often leads to depression as other teens stigmatise the person being bullied.
Cyber bullying: This type of bullying has grown recently. This is the use of text messages, and social media platforms to continuously embarrass and humiliate someone. Just like hacking someone’s account and misusing or uploading of personal private information/images.
How Common is Teenage Bullying?
Family First Aid statistics show that about 30% of U.S. teenagers have had some bullying experience, either as the bullied or as the bully. Older teens bullying is less rampant than the younger teens, data suggests, or it may be that older teenagers are less susceptible to bullying. Boys engage more in physical bullying while girls tend towards the emotional and verbal bullying.
Teenage Bullying Effects
Physical bullying leaves a lot of physical injuries or problems in its wake. Verbal, cyber and emotional bulling has serious effects as well. It can lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, violence, misplaced aggression, suicidal tendencies, drug use, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and stunted social development.
How to Reduce Teenage Bullying
Do not blame yourself for getting bullied, learn how to cope with stress, be true to yourself and get help. It is difficult to completely prevent bullying but there are certain things to do when it happens, such as:
Understand you are being bullied; always try to walk away from bullies, protect yourself if you can and report the situation to a trusted adult.
Look at bullying in a different light; figure out why this is happening, focus on the positives, help yourself in any way you can and seek help.
Find support from others; This is the most important of all, seek support from friends, online or in person and talk to teachers or adult authorities.