When we hear the word “Bullied” or “Bullying” or “Bully” we think of the kid who’s getting beat up for his lunch money or the kid being picked on for being to “fat”. But bullying goes a lot farther and a lot more damaging. You can be bullying and not even knowing about it. It’s a silent killer.
When I say “Emotional Bullying” I mean even the smallest of incidents, usually that happen repeatedly. And the reason why children are most often the victims is because children don’t have guards. Children are fragile and extremely vulnerable and as a result they often are the ones who suffer from bullying. As adults we’ve lived a long enough life to know when to guard ourselves. But children don’t always get that privilege.
Adults bully as well, but it’d be offensive to them to call it such a thing. Adults like to think of it as “joking” or “goofing around”. Then when the victim stands up to say something for themselves they are often told, “Get a grip, it was just a joke.” And from then on they are seen as weak and fragile and people are scared because they don’t know how to treat the victim as they are now afraid they’ll say or do something wrong all the time. That’s why victims often don’t ever stand up and say anything, and we grow up and we pretend nothing ever happened, but it grows with us.
Most psychiatrists live off people who suffer from unresolved childhood issues. I don’t think adults realize how much of an effect they can have on a person’s future. I don’t think any of us realize at first glimpse that how we treat others throughout their lives has a huge impact on who they become as adults. We may think we are joking but the other person, the victim, is taking everything seriously. Are we to blame everyone else for our issues? No, not necessarily. We should take some responsibility for holding onto things from the past.
Children can be awkward and shy and sometimes say or do things that don’t make any sense. And even I catch myself sometimes laughing at kids because of it. But we have to understand that when a kid is laughed at or picked on everytime something comes out of their mouth, it creates a scary future and they can develop social anxiety because they are always scared of what people might think of them-especially when they speak. They grew up only with the memory that everytime they spoke they were laughed at. And as a child when you don’t have a clear understanding of why people are laughing at you or when you know they are laughing at what you have just said or maybe NOT laughing at your awkward jokes, it grows with you and as an adult you presume that everyone will always think of you like that all the time.
Bullying puts everyone at risk, not just kids. It starts when we’re kids but it stays with us forever, it’s like a scar. And yes it may be up to us to try and heal our own wounds but it’s also up to the bullies to step up and apologize to anyone they’ve used as a victim, even if in an innocent way, and say, “Look, I’m sorry, I didn’t intentionally mean to hurt you.”
We live in a day and age now where bullying has gotten much more serious. People take their own lives because they are victims who feel the only way to be taken seriously is to end their lives, and then maybe people will listen. And I hate to say it, but they are usually right. Sadly it usually takes something that serious for people to start listening. You will very rarely find a victim of bullying who will ever in their lifetime step up and confess to their bullies how much they hurt them. Because, often, bullies have a hightened sense of pride and ego and instead of saying sorry and take responsibilty, they continue to belittle the person and say things like, “That was a long time ago, get over it.”
I write on this subject because it’s a serious one and the likelihood is that we’ve all once been bullies or been bullied. So to all the bullies out there, grow a set of balls and stop it. You are damaging, potentially ending one day, this person’s future. It does no good to feed an ego by tearing someone else’s apart. And to all the victims of bullies, I have so much to say, but hear me just this once when I say YOU ARE good enough. Don’t become something your not just because someone made you feel like you weren’t someone at all.