Have you ever bullied anyone? Has anyone bullied you?
Children who are bullied feel dejected and it’s easy to see why. Nobody likes to be singled out and insulted in front of others. They can lose their confidence, feel lonely and isolated.
Bullies often focus on their target’s appearance (“Why are you so fat?”), clothes (“Your clothes are always so loose!), abilities (“You can’t even throw a ball!”), and family or social circle (“Why do you spend so much time with those show-offs?”).
Sometimes, such comments can affect the bullied person so much that it can even have an effect on their health and their routine. They may not feel like eating, fall sick more often, get nightmares or find it difficult to fall asleep. Concentrating on their studies can be difficult. They can even get injured if the bully uses physical force on them.
Being bullied can also make them develop other problems with their own behaviour. They could become very withdrawn – stop talking with people around them or they could display extreme anger suddenly. Sometimes, a child who is bullied can end up bullying someone else just to feel better.
Is there something you can do to stop bullying ?
If you are being bullied or if you know someone who is getting bullied, the best way to stop it is to inform a responsible adult. This can be a parent, a teacher, or anyone who is in a position to do something about the problem. The adult can intervene and help the child who is bullying to reflect and understand their inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour.
Taking a stand is difficult and not all of us can do it. But you can speak to your peers about not supporting a bully. Because not participating in doing something wrong also matters. You can also show your support for the targeted person in small ways – include them in your games, share things with them, speak to them more, make them feel included.
The keyword to stopping bullying is empathy. Empathy means the ability to experience the feelings of a person in a situation, not as an onlooker, but as someone who is also experiencing the situation. The more you feel for others, the less you will want to bully.
Sometimes, children hesitate to speak up because of a sense of loyalty. Will complaining to an adult about peers who are bullying get them into trouble? For example, if Meena were to tell their teacher about what Ajay does to Anu, would it be wrong? Meena may feel that she will lose Ajay’s friendship but she will feel better by doing the right thing of standing up for Anu. It’s important to learn to distinguish between situations which require intervention and those that don’t. And remember, she will also be helping Ajay! It is not healthy growing up being a bully and Ajay, too, needs help.
Many schools and colleges and even work places have strict rules to prevent bullying but it can still happen. If you notice it taking place around you, make sure you report it so it is stopped. You would have then contributed to a safer and more peaceful world.
Students, have you ever bullied anyone, or have you been bullied by someone? Most of the students whom the bullies bully feel very bad. No student wants to be an odd man out, neither they want to be made fun of in front of other students. If it continues, they start feeling lonely, and they lose their confidence level.
Usually, the student who bullies try to find fault in the appearance of the other student like extra weight than standard students, or the clothes which the other student wears if it is loose or tight. In the playground, the bullies say that the student cannot even throw a ball decorously. If it is within the society or family, they say that why to show off.
The students' mental and physical health may be affected by the comments passed by the bullies. The student whom the bully is bullying will have frequent health problems and might not be able to sleep as they will have nightmares of whatever happened or is happening to them.
Some more outcomes of the student whom the bully is bullying are they might become introvert. They will have behavioural issues. They will become furious suddenly, or the student might also start bullying other students, to feel better.
Can you find a solution to stop bullying?
If a bully is bullying a student, please tell a responsible adult like the teacher, the principal, or the director of the school; Even parents can take responsibility and inform the school authorities. The responsible person can make the student, who is bullying, understand that it is not acceptable on their part. They should understand the outcome of whatever they are doing and that it is not good to bully someone. There is difficulty lay hold of a stand by some of the students. You can speak to the peers saying that it is not the right thing to do. Sometimes the students should avoid entering into wrongdoings. Show support by making them participate in games. Speak to them, share lunch with them; all these things will make them feel better.
Show them empathy. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is keeping yourself in that situation, understanding the circumstances, and reacting according to it. Understand the feelings of the student whom the bully is bullying. When the students are not just onlookers, but the students feel for the opposite person, then they will stop bullying.
Some students are loyal to their peers, so they don't inform anything. The student feels that complaining about their friends to the adults will put them in trouble. For example, the same Meena who saw Ajay bullying Anu could have told her teacher about the incident. Meena might lose Ajay's friendship, but she would feel better for herself if she does the right deed, and speaks for Anu. Some situations require adult intervention; some may not. So, understand that situation; in the process, Meena would have helped Ajay also, as Ajay would grow up to be a better human being.
Schools, colleges, and some workplaces also have strict rules to stop bullying. But it can still happen knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, if you find a bully bullying a student, make sure to report it and make the world a better place to live.
Meanings of difficult words:
|Focus||Centre of interest.|
|Show-offs||A person who publicly parades themselves, their possessions.|
|Hesitate||Pause in indecision before saying.|
|Reflect||Think deeply or carefully about.|
|Contributed||Give something in order to help achieve something.|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-1 English Standard-7. This story is by Tulir - Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse, Chennai. (pp. 75-78). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.