Impact of Bullying

What is Bullying ?
Many definitions of bullying will describe it as intimidating, abusive, malicious, offensive behaviour that is intentional, persistent and repeated, directly or indirectly on an individual or group.

In some cases bullying can be covert and subtle, but nevertheless still has the power to exert hurt and distress on the recipient.

Bullying can take many forms, but its aim is always to make the person feel afraid, intimidated or upset.

Most common forms of bullying include:
Physical : pushing , shoving, kicking or hitting
Verbal : name-calling, teasing, insults, humiliation
Emotional: making threats, spreading rumours, excluding, ignoring, undermining
Sexual : ranging from unwanted advances to serious sexual assaults – rape
E-Bullying: sending threatening or upsetting messages or images

Consequences of Bullying Behaviour
Physical Impact
High level of stress and anxiety
Headaches, migraines
Fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness
Sleeplessness, nightmares
Illness – colds flu, infections
Changes in appetite
Increased use of alcohol
Socially isolated by choice or circumstance

Psychological Impact
Loss of confidence and self –esteem
Loss of trust in self and others
Withdrawn and quiet
Hypersensitive and hyper vigilant - constantly on edge
Obsessive thinking – cannot get bullying out of your mind
Psychological ill-health- depression, anxiety, panic attacks
Suicidal ideation
Contributory factor to suicide

Academic Impact
Poor performance and productivity
Absenteeism and poor attendance
Missing deadlines
Lack of concentration
Impaired ability to retain or absorb information
Difficulty in handling equipment
Deterioration in relationships with friends and colleagues
Robs you of time in college

Strategies for dealing with Bullying
Talk about what has happened to you. Remember the bully thrives on secrecy.
Seek help and assistance.

Bullies can be devious and you may need support.

Keep a written account of everything that happens to you. Be clear about the facts of each incident

Keep copies of e-mails, memos letters etc. sent to you. When confronted bullies tend to deny what they do.

Be informed on anti-bullying policies and procedures. Know your rights. When in doubt seek expert advice.

If you choose to confront the bully do so in a planned and assertive way. Bring someone with you, choose the time and place carefully

Focus on the behaviour, state how it has affected you and request clearly what you want changed.

Keep a written account of this interaction for further reference.

The first thing to know if you suffer from such incidences is that you are not alone. Many laws have been passed to support you in both the workplace and educational institutions. Feel free to contact me and take your time going through the articles on this site and the links attached.

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