Every day, millions of young people of all ages have to deal with bullying. The insidious thing about it is, that often the only people who see the severity of it are the victims. Adults all to often do not take it serious enough, and the victims are too afraid and isolated to ask for help.Bullying is a violent act where one is singled out for abuse for several reasons, the most common having to do with perceived social status (such as having or not having wealth), and because of one's appearance. Bullies single out the one's they perceive as being the most vulnerable and those they feel do not "fit in". The abuse can take many forms from simple physical assaults to sexual assaults, to emotional and verbal abuse.
Cyberbullying, the harassment of an individual over the Internet, is another vehicle for the bully's abuse. These days, a large percentage of bullying begins online.
Who Are Bullies?
Most bullies have things in common: personality disorders, poor family life, social maladjustment, and an inability to deal with adversity or things they perceive as threats to them. Most bullies, actually see themselves as outsiders themselves. Often, they pass on the abuse and humiliation they get at home from abusive parents to their victims after school. The pattern of abuse is quite often genealogical.
How To Avoid And Deal With Bullies
Often, the best thing to do is to tell an adult you can trust. This is especially true for younger victims. For older teens, it can be a more delicate deal to tell an adult, but it is still the best thing to do. More and more communities and schools are developing outreach programs in the community for victims of bullying. There are things like 1-800 help lines especially for dealing with bullies.
These people have training and experience to deal with these problems in such a discrete way that the victim remains anonymous. getting some sort of adult intervention is the best thing to do when dealing with physically abusive bullies. Another thing is to keep a detailed record of events and occurrences, detailing everything that happened: who was involved, when, where, how many people were involved, who knew about it, etc. Write down as much as you can, as soon as you can.
For emotionally abusive bullies, the best things to do are:
Control your anger. In most cases, the bully will use your emotional response to gauge their efforts to intimidate you. They are expecting either fear or uncontrolled anger. The bully wants one thing to start: control. Control over your emotions is where it all starts. Do not give it to them!
Discuss it. Talk it out with your friends or adults you trust. The main reason for this, is for your psychological benefit, so that you do not feel increasingly isolated.
Don't give the bully an audience. What the bully is looking for is to be entertained by making you as resentful on the inside as they are, by dragging you into a shouting match. Don't fall for their baiting you.
Refrain from using violence. Although you might feel that the bully deserves to get their butts kicked, and they may well, doing this is bad for several reasons. For one thing, it will likely escalate the response from them and further perpetuate the cycle of violence, but even more importantly, they might come back on you with friends.
Secondly, they are likely bullying you because they, themselves on the inside, feel humiliated. They last thing you want is to make them feel angrier and vengeful at you, or making their actions seem valid to them by engaging them in a way that makes them see their violence as valid.