BULLYING (Part-1 of 2)

Why People Bully?

Sometimes a single comment from a friend, a colleague or a stranger can go a long way into shaping who you are as a person. This statement might sound a little far fetched but it is really not. There are thousands (maybe more) of kids who are at the receiving end of such statements everyday. Repeatedly making fun of people, using force to dominate them, making people feel like they don’t belong, all these come under the purview of bullying.

Bullying starts with making unwanted comments on people and making them feel less. Overtime these comments turn harsh and unbearable for the receiver. There are times when people don’t even realize that they are in fact bullying the other person because in their minds it’s all in fun especially when the receiver is just eating it all up. Bullying is often confused with some old fashioned hazing but it is actually more extreme. Hazing is done for fun and to make the receiver a part of the group. On the other hand bullying is done with the sole motive of making a person feel left out, like they don’t fit in. American sitcoms have given us a good picture on how bullying occurs at schools and colleges. We have seen the “cool kids” being mean to a group of friends just because they are intelligent or because they are of a different race or maybe because they are new to that school/college. We also know that this is how those kids establish their power. And if their so called “power” to make others feel small makes them “cool”, then we need to think long and hard about where the kids are headed.

What are the reasons for the occurrence of bullying?

There are several reasons as to why people feel it is okay to bully others. Even though none of them are justified, people just say it to make themselves feel better about themselves. One of the major reasons is to gain power and popularity. There was a time when popularity came from being a good person but now it’s all about who people are more afraid of. Bullies use force to assert their power over those who can’t. A more complicated reason is that the bully has no power at home so he/she establishes it at school to compensate and feel good. In what world is that balancing it out? Another more complicated reason would be the fact that the bully was once at the receiving end of those hurtful comments and now wishes to transfer that hate onto others. In addition to this, people who are generally unhappy in life tend to take their anger out on others in form of unwanted slurs. Lastly, peer pressure also plays an important role in turning a person into a bully. Sometimes people are so eager to fit in, they pick up the habits of their fellow mates without realizing if they are good or bad. And soon it becomes habit.

The above mentioned reasons are not the end of a long list of causes of why bullying occurs. There are many psychological and mental issues that push a person to become a bully. It must be noted that, as against the common notion bullying does not occur at school or college levels only. People of all age groups face bullying in one form or the other. The bullying could be verbal (teasing, taunting, etc), social (spreading rumors, embarrassing on purpose, etc) and physical (stripping, pushing, punching, etc). These acts have the capacity to put a dent in the personality of the receiver and thus needs to be stopped. How many innocent lives must be lost before it is too late!!

(Stay tuned for Part-2)

Categories: Education

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