Bullying is the use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something against their will. Bullying can be described as an unwanted aggressive behavior towards an individual that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. The term “bullying” is thrown around a bit excessively these days, and one thing we need to keep in mind is that not every confrontation is an instance of “bullying.” The key component is the power imbalance. Two peers having a go at each other over some contentious topic isn’t “bullying.” Bullying usually takes many forms and can involve physical attacks, emotional attacks and/or verbal attacks.
The Main Types of Bullying
There are several main categories of bullying. The other, more specific types, can fall into any or all of these categories, depending on the specific situation in which the bullying is encountered.
This type of bullying basically involves the use of physical force. Physical bullying is most prevalent in academic institutions. This bullying technique may involve the spiting, shoving, kicking or even punching. In most instances, the aggressor is physically larger than the victim or may be within a group. The idea behind physical bullying is for the bully to establish superiority and continued control over a victim.
Verbal bullying incorporates the use of words to carry out an act of bullying. In this type of bullying, the aggressor also known as the bully tries to verbally upset the victim through taunting and teasing. The verbal assault might focus on an individual’s appearance, lifestyle choices, intellect, skin color and even ethnicity. Most verbal bullies have a low self esteem and tend to bully others so as to increase their social standings and feel better about themselves.
Also known as relational aggression, emotional bullying is the act of an aggressor attacking a victim on an emotional level. Emotional bullying is most common in relationships whereby, one partner might make statements or act in such a manner as to bring about distress to the other partner. Emotional bullying may also involve the spreading of rumors, excluding an individual from certain activities, refusing to talk to someone and even making statement with an intention of hurting a person’s feelings.
This can happen anywhere and at any time thanks to the influx of technology both at school and at home. Cyber bullying can occur through text messages or over the internet and may be known only to the victim and the perpetrator, making it difficult to control. Cyber bullies are often the victims of real world bullying, and take their frustrations out on their victims behind the privacy of a computer screen or cellular phone. Their behavior may include impersonating a victim online to make others view them negatively, spreading nasty gossip, or excluding the victim online and encouraging others to join in. Jamaica Gleaner Covers Cyberbullying in Jamaica.
How can bullying be prevented?
Bullying can be prevented, especially when the power of a community is brought together. Community-wide strategies can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.
The Le Antonio Foundation is firmly against any form of bullying and will join the fight against the Bullying both national and international.