The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
Bullying is comprised of antisocial behavior among school-aged children that involves a power imbalance. The behavior repeats or has the potential to repeat. Both bullied and bullied kids may develop long-term issues, which we’ll dive into in this article.
Bullies tend to be hostile and:
Using their power to manipulate or damage others. Even though the same people are involved, power disparities can shift across time and situations.
Bullying behaviors that occur or have the potential to occur repeatedly
Threats, rumors, physical or verbal attacks, and exclusion from a group are all examples of bullying.
Who Is At Risk Of Being Bullied?
Children are not at danger of being bullied or of bullying others because of a single factor. No matter where you live—in the city or the suburbs—you’re susceptible to bullying. Some groups, such as LGBT adolescents, disabled youth, and socially isolated youth, may be more vulnerable to bullying depending on their setting. As a result of stigma, the rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against certain groups of individuals can increase.
A child’s likelihood of being bullied is influenced by one or more of the following factors:
- If you’re a new student or can’t afford the “cool” things that other students think trendy, you’re likely to be singled out as being different from your friends.
- If they cannot protect themselves because of their perceived weakness.
- If they have a poor self-esteem or are depressed
- If they do not have a lot of friends and are less popular than others
- If they are seemingly irritating or provoking to other people, or attempting to infuriate them to obtain attention.
It’s also important to note that a child’s risk factors for bullying don’t necessarily guarantee that they will be bullied.
Warning Signs That Someone Is Being Bullied
There are a number of indicators that a person is a victim of bullying or a perpetrator of bullying. Taking action against bullying begins with recognizing the warning signs. There are some children who are being bullied or who are bullying others but do not seek help.
Talking to kids who show indicators of bullying or bullying others is critical. It is possible that these warning indicators may also hint to other concerns or disorders, such as depression or substance abuse. Observe the child and look for signs of change. Be mindful that not all children who are being bullied show the same indicators of bullying.
Here are some telltale indications of a bullying problem:
- Injuries that don’t make sense
- The loss or destruction of their possessions
- Frequent headaches, nausea, or making up a sickness and other signs of stress.
- Skipping meals or going on eating binges are examples of dietary changes.
- Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
- Gradually worsening grades, a lack of enthusiasm in academics, or a desire to avoid school altogether
- Loss of friends or a general aversion to social interaction
- Low self-esteem or feelings of powerlessness
- Talking about suicide or engaging in self-destructive actions such as running away from home and injuring themselves
Effects Of Bullying
Bullying affects everyone—the harassed, the bullies, and those who see it. Bullying has been related to poor mental health, substance abuse, and suicide, which is why it’s crucial to talk to kids about bullying and other issues.
Bullied children might suffer from physical, emotional, intellectual, and mental health concerns. Bullied kids are more prone to:
- Anxiety, depression, changes in sleep and eating habits, and lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities. These difficulties may last a lifetime.
- Health issues
- Lower GPA, standardized test results, and school involvement. They may also be more likely to not attend school or drop out.
Read more about the effects of bullying on children and even the adults they become at https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/bullying/.