Bullying is an umbrella term for any behavior that is intended to harm another person. This harm can be done physically or psychologically. Victims of bullying are usually chosen as easy targets that cannot or will not defend themselves. Bullies are not exclusively male, and they are not exclusively children. In recent years there has been an increase in cyber bullying, in which children use online social media channels to inflict psychological pain on their victims.
- Physical assaults: punching, kicking, pushing
- Name Calling
- Humiliation tactics
It has been theorized that boys are encouraged to bully when they are told to be more aggressive and competitive as children. Antisocial behavior can be a sign of a bully’s presence. It’s also possible that those who engage in bullying have themselves been bullied or abused. Exposure to violence at young ages can cause a child to go on to commit acts of violence.
It is crucial not to blame the victim. Many people know that bullies prey on the weak and so believe that the weak deserve what they get or somehow ask for it. If a child is a victim, it is important to recognize that they are in need of assistance in handling the situation, beyond simply being told to “fight back.” There is a potential for suicidal thoughts among bullying victims and these should always be taken seriously. A therapist can spend time getting to know a victim and give them the validation and appreciation they are not receiving in other social situations.
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