According to the American Psychology Association, bullying is the practice of the utilization of aggressive behavior by an individual towards another to cause injury or discomfort continually. The action occurs due to the presence of supposed imbalanced power such as physical strength, popularity, and the ability to embarrass as a way of controlling others. Also, this behavior has the potential to reoccur. According to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice 2014-2015 Statistics, twenty-one percent of all schoolchildren worldwide, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, faced one or more forms of bullying ('11 Facts About Bullying', 2021). Such included physical bullying that involves hitting, shoving, tripping, yelling, and talking about another person’s things. Emotional bullying consists of abusing someone, making fun, laughing at others, ignoring someone, and starting rumors about other people. Cyberbullying encompasses the use of technology to send and post mean messages and posting embarrassing pictures of others. The culture of bullying can affect an individual in school, at home, and at work. Its advent is a result of various factors that result in different adverse effects.
Speaking about the causes of bullying, it should be noted, first of all, that it occurs due to the bully being a victim of bullying. Children learn by example, and bullying precipitates bullying. According to Ditch, the Label Anti-bullying Charity organization, individuals that have been victims of bullying are two times more likely to bully others. Individuals that face bullying in their regular lives such as from their parents, their older siblings, or later life at work makes them consider this type of behavior acceptable and a convenient way to attain power and control stripped through bullying. Hence, the feelings of pain and anger control them into inflicting similar hurt they experience or have observed a family member instill in another family member, to dish out the pain and feel better about themselves.
The second is because bullies observe this as the only way to get what they want. Educational institutions consist of students from diverse backgrounds, whose parents implement varied methods of rearing them. Some parents bring up children in some unfortunate incidents by availing them of too much power, giving them what they want without restrictions or punishment. As a result, the feeling of entitlement makes them feel that they deserve to get all they want without considering others’ feelings. Consequently, they bulldoze other students in school by utilizing intimidation and verbal abuse as they believe intimidating others help them achieve what they want.
Third, bullying occurs as a search for attention. According to Kids Health, some bullies do not consider their actions as hurtful or mean, but as actions of teasing and expressing a liking for another individual, a situation occasioning due to difficulties in communicating. Thus, in a bid to attract others to them, they may use violence or verbal insults to get attention from other individuals. Additionally, children demand love, care, and attention from their parents at home, and they strive to acquire their attention and approval by acting in every manner possible. Thus, if a child feels invisible before their family, they feel insecure about this relationship. Therefore, the insecurity may turn into anger and frustration, thereby causing them to express these feelings by hurting and bullying others to get attention.
The effects of bullying are numerous. First, bullying results in emotional harm. Emotional harm through name-calling, insults, making fun of an individual, and spreading rumors about others have long-lasting impacts that run through adulthood. According to the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, bullying destroys an individual’s self-image by repeatedly making the victims consider themselves undesirable, incapable, weak, and hopeless, thereby developing self-unworthiness. As a result, a victim of bullying develops mistrust in themselves that they are an incapable individual by adopting and believing in the assertions made by bullies, thereby making it difficult for them to face challenging situations in their future lives such as in relationships or at work. Additionally, when victims of bullying continue considering themselves undesirable and incapable, they develop bitterness and anger toward themselves, as well as a feeling of lack of control. Hence, they become susceptible to hopelessness and depression, which causes them to lead lonely and fearful lives while distrusting others.
Second, it leads to decreased school achievement. Children who face bullying daily are likely to perform poorly in education. According to Stopbullying.gov, the academic performance of victims of bullying readily declines, as for one to concentrate and learn, they have to have a peaceful and favorable environment. However, this is not so for a bully victim, as the school becomes a source of fear and pain. Consequently, it becomes difficult to concentrate on learning, thereby resulting in poor performance. Also, bullying makes victims of this act fear school, and instead of considering it as a priority in their life, it becomes a minor priority to their need of ensuring they do not endure any physical or emotional harm. Consequently, such children end up missing and skipping school out of fear. Moreover, excessive bullying can cause psychological torture, bodily injury, and fear, leading to the affected student's dropping out of school.
Third, bullying results in violence. Bullying instills pain, humiliation, and torture on the victims, making them feel embarrassed, battered, and helpless. Worst of all, if no one seeks to end the bullying or their parents fail to realize that their child faces bullies every day, the child ends up developing anger and hatred for other people, which could result in violent behavior, becoming a serial killer, murder, or a violent offender. For instance, according to the Crime Library, a serial killer by the name of Henry Lee Lucas was convicted of murder, and a confessed killer of about 3000 persons admitted that he faced ridicule and rejection in school. As a result, he developed a hate for all people who he blamed to have contributed to his suffering, pushing him to become a psychopath.
And fourth, bullying is a consequence of social problems. Bullying begins by affecting a victim’s home life and their interaction with family members. Such victims become withdrawn from the world and only consider their personal space and their possession as the only source of comfort and safety. Also, they begin changing and becoming angry and depressed individuals who lash out at people and situations all the time. Moreover, the once lively and engaging child becomes quiet and unmotivated, leading to the loss of friends, acquaintances, and strained relationships with their parents.
In conclusion, bullying is a multifaceted behavior that encompasses the inflicting of physical and emotional pain on others due to the presence of a power imbalance. Society’s culture of failing to stop bullies who end up becoming famous for their actions propagates the issue among other causes such as the bullies being victims of bullying, seeking attention, and using bullying as an avenue of getting what one wants. No individual in the world deserves to be bullied as it results in emotional harm, poor performance in school, violence, and social problems.