We tend to believe that bullying is something only fragile children have to face during their school years. And that once we become adults, there’s no place for bullying in our lives. But bullying has many faces and being an adult doesn’t mean we’re on the safe side.
Bullying involves an abusive relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member who makes your life miserable, an intimidating boss who screams at you for no reason or an aggressive teenager taking your lunch money. As long as there’s pleasure derived from someone’s pain, there’s bullying. Here’s is how it works:
1. Bodily harm
This kind of bullying varies from physical threats to harassment and actual physical violence.
2. Social harm
This happens when the abuse is based on a power imbalance, be it financial, social or political. The abuser uses his resources to intimidate the victim into submission.
3. Verbal harm
We tend to overlook verbal abuse, since it doesn’t leave any visible scars. But the psychological trauma insults, racist or sexist remarks can create is very damaging.
4. Harm in the virtual world
All the above forms of bullying are also found on the internet. Because they don’t have to reveal their real identity, the abusers can become even more aggressive online. In the virtual world, they feel protected and therefore entitled to put others down with no consequences.
These forms of bullying are a violation of personal boundaries. Bullies seek personal validation through the domination of others. The most important thing someone can do in any of these scenarios is to stand up for themselves, since the bully will probably back down. Just to play it safe, make sure that you are in the presence of other people when you confront them and that you have proofs of their abusive behavior. Please, share this!