This is part one of a three part series on bullying, and anti-bullying initiatives. In this article, we will look at how bullying is defined and the different types.
According to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program:
"A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."
Definition of Bullying
Bullying includes three important components:
- Aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- A pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- An imbalance of power or strength.
Bullying has been around since the beginning of mankind. However, the advent of the Internet and social networking sites has pushed bullying into the forefront of public awareness.
Types of Bullying
Bullying can take on many forms:
- Verbal - name-calling and teasing.
- Social - spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose and breaking up friendships.
- Physical - hitting, punching and shoving.
- Cyber - using the Internet, cell phones or other digital devices to harm others.
Recently, there have been reports where bullying has spiraled out of control to the point where the victim has committed suicide. This does not necessarily only apply to children, teenagers or college students. There have been several reported incidents where bullying in the workplace has led adults to take their own lives.
As our society becomes more complex, and communication becomes less face-to-face, bullying can become easier for those who otherwise would not engage. It is very easy for the cowardly bully to tease and ostracize others over a social networking site. This type of bully can remain in the shadows and would otherwise not confront the victim for a variety of reasons.
This is not to say that old-fashioned traditional physical bullying does not exist, it does. Schoolyard fights seem to be on the increase as society places more pressure on teenagers to achieve and gain acceptance.
In part two of our series, I will discuss the signs to look for that your child is being bullied, how to protect your child from bullies, and how to address cyber bullying.
Stay tuned for part two of our bullying series, coming soon.