Bullying affects people of all ages; whether you’re an adult experiencing bullying in the workplace or a child experiencing bullying at school, bullying can have a negative effect on your quality of life and mental health. Bullying is defined as a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form or physical contact, cruel words, or more subtle actions (APA, 2018). Many bullies lack pro-social behaviors (i.e. being polite towards others), are untroubled by anxiety, and have difficulties understanding other’s feelings. Bullies also typically have strained interpersonal relationships. Victims of bullying are oftentimes people who may lack assertiveness or, are viewed as being smaller or weaker than the bully. However, victims of bullying do nothing to directly “cause” the bullying.
Unfortunately, bullying is a common experience in the school setting; 19% of students in grades 9-12 report being bullied on school property (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018). Recent research has also shown an increase of bullying in the work place as well as through online forums (cyberbullying). People who are bullied are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, changes in sleep and eating patterns, health complaints, loneliness, decreased achievements, and loss of pleasure in activities that previously caused enjoyment, which may persist throughout a person’s life.
Due to the negative effects of bullying, it is important to know strategies that can be put into place to prevent bullying. There are now online trainings offered to individuals in the workplace, parents of children who bully or are bullied, teachers, as well as children, teens, young adults, and adults that help promote bullying prevention within the community. These trainings help you identify the warning signs of bullying, learn what bullying is, how to get help with bullies, and utilizing tips that address bullying issues. If you, your child, or someone you know is being bullied or witnessing bullying, please look at the website https://www.stopbullying.gov/ to get a better understanding of bullying prevention techniques and resources.
If you or someone you know is struggling with effects of bullying, there is help and resources available, including professional counseling. Please contact (215) 487-1330 or email us at Greenridge@intercommunityaction.org for more information about our counseling services.
APA (2018) Bullying. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/bullying/
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018). What is Bullying. Retrievedfrom https://www.stopbullying.gpv/what-is-bullying/index.html
Author: Julia Gomes M.A., M.S.