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Preventing Bullying

Preventing Bullying
As bullying is widely considered as a physical or verbal action; however, bullying is a more social process in its nature.Sohaib Riaz Khan

Understanding the Bullying: Understating bullying as a social phenomenon is the first step to preventing bullying, causing significant damage to an individual’s personality. It is a more societal problem than a personal issue and needs to be addressed accordingly; thus, its damages can be mitigated. Before highlighting the measures to be taken to prevent bullying,

Understanding the Bullying:

Understating bullying as a social phenomenon is the first step to preventing bullying, causing significant damage to an individual’s personality. It is a more societal problem than a personal issue and needs to be addressed accordingly; thus, its damages can be mitigated. Before highlighting the measures to be taken to prevent bullying, it is imperative to understand its more common types in detail. Bullying can be defined as the deliberate and ongoing process of misconduct of certain powers or authorities in any significant relationship through repeated verbal, physical, or social behaviors. Such behavior intends to bring specific physical, social or psychological harms to the victims. Bullying can involve a single person or a group of people to misuse their powers to abuse an individual or a group of people as well where the victims may feel unable to prevent it. There are many types of bullying as follows; 1) Physical Bullying 2) Verbal Bullying 3) Emotional Bullying, 4) Social Bullying, and 5) Cyber-bullying.

As bullying is widely considered as a physical or verbal action; however, bullying is a more social process in its nature.  As the world has seen significant growth of technology, thus its impacts on society are also inevitable.  In general, we experience social bullying or cyber-bullying in our daily practice. Social bullying may refer to a “relational aggression” that can be performed on any social platforms such as social media or personal phones. This form of bullying is more prevalent in the current era as it is considerably more comfortable for the bullies to perform such actions, sometimes being hidden. The following few examples are commonly observed as social bullying in any society, as follows:

  • Texting obscene, negative, or rude messages.
  • Negative posts’ on social media about someone; a victim can be named directly or targeted indirectly.
  • Spreading fake rumors about someone.
  • Enforcing someone to be excluded from a standard group.
  • Not allowing someone to be a part of any specific social group.
  • Not allowing others to be friends with any person.
  • Making fun of any peer to disgrace within a social group.

Bullying at Schools:

Such impacts of bullying may devastate the victims emotionally because they may face depression, hostility, anxiety, or low-esteem as some of the adverse effects. Although bullying is a phenomenon inevitably practiced in society; however, its significance is more prevalent in schools or educational institutes. Students of all ages face the process of bullying; this may be practiced by group of other students or sometimes teachers as well. The typical examples of bullying in schools are physical bullying, verbal bullying, and social bullying while cyberbullying increases even in the younger students. The students are also the victims of sexual harassment, and this action is being highlighted more nowadays because of social media presence. The students are being harassed by the other students but sadly by the teachers most of the time. There is discrimination, such as gender, ethnicity, race, and income always highlighted in educational institutes. These discriminations would be interpreted as more valued forms of bullying faced by low-income groups or specific ethnic groups such as African-Americans. It has been widely reported that even today in the United States, many African-Americans are a victim of bullying, especially in schools. A typical example is the teachers making fun of the students that cause them to go into a self-imposed state of social distancing.

Bullying at Workplace:

Bullying is not present in schools or educational institutes only; indeed, it is subjectively found in the workplace. Workplace bullying can be defined as an action or set of behaviors from an individual or an unwanted group of individuals and make other individuals uncomfortable. As it has been derived from a survey in 2017, more than 61% of US workers are well aware of such conduct within an organization; however, 19% personally experienced, and 19% have witnessed workplace bullying.  Workplace bullying may refer to the unlawful treatment claimed by the employees such as 1) Unfair Dismissal, 2) Unfair Deduction in pay, or 3) Discrimination predominantly.  There are many examples of workplace bullying; however, some are as follows:

  • Spreading malicious or false rumors about someone
  • Trying to undermine someone
  • The managers do not allow some workers to go on training while others are allowed
  • The managers assign some workers the more massive tasks with unreal deadlines
  • An individual is not allowed to be part of any social event or activity
  • Managers or colleagues keep on putting an individual or a group down in general meetings
  • Any unfair treatment that is planned to exclude an individual from a department or the company

In the United States are all the above examples are related to workplace bullying; however, there are some more significant examples are prevalent such as:

  • Deliberate practical jokes to demoralize an individual
  • A very harsh or sarcastic criticism
  • Humiliation including threats and other verbal abuses
  • Significant denial of general requests without any fair or valid reason
  • Deliberately misled about specific tasks such as unclear direction or wrong deadlines
  • Excessive monitoring of some individuals

Bullying a Social Process:

As bullying has been defined as social process; it can be done both in-person and by using social channels such as phone, email, or other digital media to communicate. Simultaneously, some of the patterns show bullying is most likely to be faced by individuals in social events and most recently on social media. It is ironic that other than the victims, the bullying is not noticed by other employees and considers it banter most of the time. The excessive actions of bullying may cause many physical or psychological impacts on the victims of bullying. The physical effects can be 1) Feeling of sickness or anxiety about work 2) High blood pressure or diabetic issues 3) sleepless condition and 4) Regular headaches or decreased appetite. The psychological impacts can be more devastating because the victims exhibit low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression, provoking them to suicidal thoughts.

Bullying can subjectively affect the individuals in different ways. It may have one or both physical or mental on an individual as the victims fins it very hard to discuss it with others. The victims lose confidence within any workplace and do not have any courage to stand against the bullies; this promotes the habits of bullying among the bullies. Through a survey conducted 1n 2017; a very interesting revelation was made that 70% of men while 30% of women have been the victims of bullying while the women are more likely to bully other women because they encompass certain unconscious  biases towards other women. Apart from the impacts; the bullying make on the individuals it is well noted that the bullying pollutes the culture of an organization. The workplace bullying creates a negative environment and drops the team morale effectively.

Preventing Bullying:

As it is prevalent that bullying has its significant damaging impacts on both the individuals and groups; the measures to prevent such dangerous practice must be addressed accordingly. It is well identified that at younger age the parents need to act in a more protective way. However such behavior of overprotection may cause more impulsive actions resulting even in a worse situation where a child might feel more insecure. The parents must develop a more open and trustful relationship with their children to understand their real issues and then act very smartly and slowly to address such situations with care.

The one place where the bullying must be stopped immediately is the educational institutes while more specifically the schools for young students.  As most of the bullying prevention programs are designed to spread the awareness and devastating consequences of the subject nonetheless it is found that the programs advocating punishments or zero tolerance towards the subject have not been that effective across the United States. Indeed, it was discovered that such programs have resulted in more abusive targeting of the students of color. The educational institutes do not conduct a dedicated research to address the issue however apply the more generic approaches that do not give better results. It is vital for the schools to build a positive school environment as it would put an everlasting effect on the healthy development on the students while negative environment would cause the higher tendency of bullying, insecurities and aggressions among the students. It is very difficult to describe a positive environment in a school because the elements may vary however it may consist of set of norms reflecting feelings or relationships and the utility of power with how to express it. As leadership is instrumentally referred as a key to a positive environment; the leadership at schools is also accountable to enforce a healthy climate to prevent the bullying. While referring to leaders; the teachers’ role is also very important. The management of the schools must monitor that if the teachers are practicing bullying themselves and if not then they are vigilant enough to listen to the students reporting any such issue. It is adequately described that the bullying is a more social phenomenon; the educational institutes must encourage advancing the “Social & Emotional Learning” also known as (SEL). SEL may refer to the advanced teaching skills such as self-awareness, social awareness, relationship management, self-management or adequate decision making. In the end; it may be claimed that the parents’ role is more significant to prevent bullying within their children. It is widely observed that if the children are not getting much attention at homes or their parents are not training to act more responsibly; the chances are more they would bully others to get attention. That is why parents must be more responsible while raising their children while not being bullies or allow their children to be the ones.

It is distinct that schools are not the places facing the bullying consequences; the workplaces are facing such issues relatively more often in general. It is also very unfortunate to highlight that there not proper laws made to prevent bullying at workplaces. For example, in United Kingdom; harassment is considered against the law nonetheless bullying is not considered against the law. It is more unfortunate to refer that in United States no federal law or the state law is passed that prevents or prohibits the bullying at any workplace. Many states of the USA have considered legislation for anti-bullying however no law has been passed so far. It never says that bullying is considered as legal USA; it is very illegal however pertinent legislations should be presented to pass a certain law to prevent bullying in the workplaces. It is also imperative for the colleagues or other employees to develop the habit of whistle-blowing whenever they witness such incident because sometimes the victims are feeling so low in their confidence that they cannot report such issues to the concerned authorities. In general, it is the duty of the whole society to contribute significantly to prevent bullying as schools, workplaces or even governments are unable to prevent it alone.

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