Bullying is defined as the aggressive and unwanted behavior often prevalent among students in high school that involves a real power imbalance. The behavior is often perpetuated by students in senior classes and the victims are often the new entrants into high school. Bullying involves the use of force and aggressiveness to coerce someone to do something involuntarily. This behavior can be repeated over the years unless the chain is broken by the school through tough rules and severe disciplinary actions on bullies. Bullying, in the long run, affects the ones being bullied and the bullies as well. These are several types of bullying namely: physical bullying which involves hitting, kicking and damaging of property. Verbal bullying which includes acts such as insults, verbal intimidation and racist remarks. Social bullying involves spreading unfounded rumors and damaging someone’s social reputation. This essay will explore the causes and effects of bullying.
Why do people bully
Some people bully others because they feel powerless in their lives. Bullying is thus a way for such people to feel they are gaining power and control through victimizing others. A person brought up in a family which is marred by fights and divorce may develop a feeling of powerlessness. The people who bully others in school are always pushed by the need to be in control and to feel powerful. An individual who is bullied by someone else, for example, a parent, a superior boss or a sibling will bully others in an attempt to get authority and seek revenge. Studies done in schools cite that people who have been bullied at one stage of their lives are more likely to bully others than those people who have never been bullied at all. History has often proved that bullying begets bullying because the behavior is cyclic in institutions of learning.
Jealousy and frustration are other reasons why people bully others, for example, one may feel that a certain individual is always getting the best grades or getting enviable promotions. The bully will harass and intimidate another person because of jealousy. The bully envies the character and attributes of an individual who is performing better and thus bullies the person in order to bring the individual to a lower level. Some people lose their emotional control when they are angry and in the heat of their anger, they do bully others to let go of their steam. When provoked while angry, some bullies unleash their anger on innocent people. Some people bully others because in the process they get rewards, for example, the victims often give up their lunch or money. The bullies also gain popularity and the rewards motivate them to continue with their bad behaviors.
Bullying has a lot of negative effects on both the bully and the victim. Researchers cite that bullying affects the whole school environment and leads to poor performance in academics. The victims of bullying often develop health complications such as a migraine and sleeping problems due to undue pressure and stress. Victims of bullying often feel afraid to go to school and in some cases, they lose interest in academics. Bullied students gradually lose their personal confidence, their self-esteem and often develop suicidal thoughts. The bullies are not spared either, they often find themselves in fights, they perform poorly in their academics, they are likely to get involved in vandalizing properties and they often indulge in drugs. Research on this topic cites that bullies, in the long run, tend to develop suicidal thoughts and are more likely to commit crimes later in their lifespan.
Bullying especially when done by male students often result to injuries. Victims are at times physically assaulted and harassed. The physical injury often disappears with time but the mental harm imposed on the victims often last longer and the victims develop fear. Victims of bullying are susceptible to develop depression, loss of confidence and loss of pride. The mental injuries can make the victims become anti-social and in most cases their lifestyles changes. Loss of self-belief and confidence diminishes the chances of the victim becoming successful in life. Victims of bullying have often been found to shut people outside their lives. Parents have reported that their children who were once vibrant and outgoing have changed their behaviors and personality and they have become depressed and moody. The performance of the victims start to deteriorate and their level of concentration declines gradually. Lastly, bullying distorts the entire environment in the school. The school environment becomes filled with fear and insecurity, this hampers the ability of students to concentrate and learn in school.
Studies conducted on this subject cite that there exist a link between bullying and suicide. However this cannot be generalized, bullying has contributed to the death of students in some institutions of learning as it is reported in the media. Schools should ensure that learners are not subjected to any kind of bullying because bullying affects the learning environment, leaves the students with mental injuries which last for a long time and distort the normal lifestyle of the victims.
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