January 18, 2020
It seems as though the adjective “bully” has become even more prevalent over the years. Why does this happen? How do we stop this? Can this even be stopped?
To understand a little more about the mindset of people who undergo this heinous act, let’s get into Psychology.
We feel comfort in familiarity. This is why babies cry when they can’t find their mother or father and why we feel at ease in the embrace of a loved one. Imagine going up to a stranger and giving them a big kiss on the lips. Awkward… and somewhat illegal.
It’s this same comfort, or lack thereof, that people perceive when they see something that they aren’t used to seeing or hear something they aren’t used to hearing.
Again, what do babies do when they can’t find their parents? They cry.
Bullying is like a cry of discomfort.
When we don’t understand something, we are quick to think of an explanation to make up for our lack of knowledge. This is called making a judgement, and oftentimes our judgement of what we perceive to be true can be off. Way off.
Why is that girl wearing a shirt with stains all over it? Must be because she’s poor. Can’t afford anything new.
How come that guy can’t walk straight? Gosh, something has got to be wrong with his brain…
Due to our natural need to connect with and be apart of the majority, people hop on the bandwagon of bullying. This “bullying culture” has been on the rise all around the world.
14% of children in Norway, 15% in Japan, 17% in Australia, 25% in the United States. In one case, 65% of students in a school located in Jordan reported instances of being attacked by their classmates. And this report was only in 20031 [Read: Bullying – A Global Problem].
The increase in internet use has allowed for bullying to take on a new form, just as ferocious and equally as dangerous.
Cyberbullying studies done over the years reveal that the number of reported cases has increased from 32 to 43 percent, from 2007 to 2016, respectively. That’s over a ten percent increase in less than ten years2 [Read: Cyberbullying Statistics 2016-2019].
The internet has allowed for people to take up anonymous faces and pseudonyms, using their screened mask to wreak havoc upon the lives of many.
Bad news? There is no short-term fix. Our need for approval, the sense of anonymity, and our free will are the driving forces that make bullying so dangerous. People will continue to think the way they want and do what they want. It’s the sad truth.
Good news? There are plenty of organizations out there that help raise awareness about this pressing issue. Stomp Out Bullying, StopBullying,gov, and the Anti-Defamation League are three of the many amazing organizations to research.
You don’t have to give money to be an anti-bullying activist. Reporting sites of bullying when you see them is a great start. You could very well save a life.
Stand Up For a Cause
- “Bullying – A Global Problem.” Bullying-A Global Problem – Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY, 2003, https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102003601.
- Cook, Sam, et al. “Cyberbullying Statistics and Facts for 2016 – 2019.” Comparitech, 2019, www.comparitech.com/internet-providers/cyberbullying-statistics/.
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