It is the way we treat other people that reflects our upbringing. A well-raised person does not mean one who does not indulge in activities perceived morally out of line but caring and respectful to others in all aspects of human dignity and humility. Everyone wants to be respected; being bullied causes emotional turmoil in one’s life. The effects become worse, especially when everyone turns a blind eye. I have noticed that we all get bullied; bullying does not have an age limit, be it at school, work or even at home. Sometimes, colleagues, associates and schoolmates are all victims of bullying. We ignore such until a tragedy occurs. Have you ever wondered what would happen if we take notice of such acts and act against them?
Bullying is one of the ignored yet serious psychological abuse. People resort to suicide when bullied because it has a serious repercussion on the victim’s mental health. It leaves permanent psychological scars; hence depression and personality disorders take over. In most cases, people take it for granted because it’s done in a not so serious manner, the sarcastic comments, and the pranks…but then never stop to consider how the person at the receiving end takes it. There also situations where bullying is physical, and these are most likely to happen at schools. I believe most of these bullies in these situations are cowards with low self-esteem who try to make themselves feel better. This is so because for them to assault others physically, they bring a group of bystanders to give fuel their ego or to intimidate their victims.
Moreover, we live in a society that deems us weak if we can’t stand up to our peers, which teaches us it’s ok to sweep everything under the carpet for peace’s sake. That is why most bullied students find it difficult to tell other people about what they are going through, especially at schools and work. This is where parents and guardians come in. They have to know their children well enough to detect a change in their behavioural patterns. As soon as a change is detected, action has to be taken and to show love and support to the bullied children. The same applies to those who bully others. Certain traits show a hint of them being in a position to bully others. These traits include mood swings, temperaments, a sense of arrogance, and so many other distinguished behaviours. These, however, do not apply to all. Take note of how they engage with others to see if they are relating well and humane. In a bid to try to compel children to open up, some may find it hard, therefore, create an atmosphere that will prompt them to come forward and tell the truth.
As the world is changing, technology is also advancing. Some games affect people psychologically. There are sensitive videos that can trigger these kinds of behaviours too. We must be aware of what we are exposing ourselves to. The sad part of this technologically consumed world is that some are even recording videos of them in the act of bullying to make themselves go viral. As much as it helps to identify and punish the individuals, the victims are heavily affected. Some end up so ashamed of not being able to stand up for themselves to the extent of choosing death. The memories of the unfortunate incident are always refreshed because it’s always there on the internet or, rather as they say, “the internet never forgets”. The dignity and esteem in them are damaged and bruised, and insecurities become a part of them. These insecurities may hinder their success as they will be afraid to express themselves or go for what they want or believe in.
Bullying instils fear in victim’s lives. Let’s talk about bullying at the workplace…. It happens mostly to those who are new in workplaces. Some people believe that being an old employee means they know everything and showing their superiority; they start making others feel so intimidated. And some bosses can be so rude and unfriendly because of their higher positions. The bullied will either end up being demotivated to work, thus less productive, and the result is dismissal at work, or they will spend most of their time trying to impress their victims other than focusing on what they have been hired for. The latter can lead to depression or being cruelly mocked. All these effects have ripple effects that can make it difficult for them to be happy souls, and if they are parents, how do they talk to their kids if they are also being bullied?
I am of the notion that law enforcement has to up their game when it comes to bullying. We should teach each other that we need to consider how our actions/words will impact the next person. More attention should be paid to bullying. The longer we keep sweeping it under the carpet, the more difficult it’s going to be for us to eliminate it as a problem in our midst. Parents should normalise talking about it with their children—not only asking if they are being bullied but also if they are the ones bullying, and make them aware of the effects. Workshops should also be done at workplaces to curb all these because we also see adults taking their lives as they believe they are not good enough due to bullying at workplaces.
How many innocent lives should we lose due to ignorance? We start blaming ourselves, regretting and asking what we could have done and yet we could have done something had we taken some time to observe the lives of those we would have lost. If we all take bullying serious, raise awareness, attend to such cases seriously, then it’s something that can be stopped.