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A bully is a cruel or brutal person who exerts his force to intimidate others who may be of smaller size than he is. Bullies usually show no remorse for inflicting pain or misery to their helpless victim. Bullying has been an issue that has affected every individual in the world. Teen bullying is often thought to take up the form of physical abuse. This is not always so as bullying may also be in the form of name calling and teasing. The latter being the most common form as the bully may be unable to assert his or her physical force on the victim. Bullies in their own right are also victims to the act of bullying.
Teen bullying has recently made the front page of the news as a 15 year old teenager, Phoebe Prince from South Hadley High school committed suicide due to depression culminating from bullying. This incident brought the nations attention to the seriousness of bullying. This days bullying seems to be also moving with the times as bullying is now also taking place via social networking sites such as twitter and face book. Such bullying mainly comes in the form of teasing and threats.
Bullying often makes the victim feel unsafe and frustrates the learning process sometimes making it almost unbearable. It often causes psychological trauma to the victim which may have life long effects of depression, anxiety, suicide or worse still suicide as was the case for Phoebe Prince.
Most people deal with issues of bullying, on one side, by taking the victims side and never the bully’s side as this may be seen as encouraging the behavior. This should not be so as bullies are not usually born that way and there must be factors psychological or otherwise that have led them to become the way they are Bullying is often seen as harmful to only the victim. This is not the case as bullies are also are left damaged and scarred by their actions though they may not realize it at first "The best show of a sociopathic serialized intimidator is not a clinical diagnosis but the track of damage and destruction of lives and source of living that surrounds this person throughout their life." (Field, 200). There are different types of bullies that have been identified in various social situations.
This is a bully who is born exhibiting mild signs and symptoms of bullying behavior. This is not usually common and is often treatable or controllable. This type of bully may be having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder may cause the young toddler to be hyperactive, impulsive, energetic and impatient. This type of behavior is inherent to the new born.
This is a bully who does so though he is unawares that his actions may be causing misery to other people.
Children may transform and become bullies due to the fact they have poor role models. These role models may be parents, guardians, older siblings or even neighbors. If a child is subjected to violence from a tender age, the child may grow up thinking that violence is the way to go in solving all problems. This sort of violence may be enacted through the battery of either one of the parents by the other. It may also be in the form of harsh physical discipline to the child by either parent or guardian. Trained bullies may also become that way due to the kind of movies and television shows that they watch or games ( electronic or field) that thy play.
This is a child who is not per say a bully as it is not a habit. This kind of child bullies only in certain circumstances. These are such as when his/her parents go through divorce or separation, after the death of a loved one or when under stressful demands to perform. Basically this child is only a bully when frustrated and doesn’t make a habit out of it (Smith, Pepler & Rigby 220).
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These are habitual bullies. They bully for the fun of it and get some sort of adrenal rush from causing other people pain and suffering.
Bullying is regularly applied by the bully as a means to hide inadequacy of some sort. They are aware of this inadequacy but do not want to do anything to change their current situation and would therefore opt to bully. Bullies do not want to accept responsibility or the consequences of their actions and therefore intimidate others into accepting their actions as a norm. Most of the time bullies hide under the veil of bullying as they do not want to be seen or judged for who they really are. This is why in most cases bullies are students who perform far below average.
A bully is an individual like any other and hence when dealing with bullying, they should be treated like any other human being with equal rights and needs. The bully also needs support, not so that he can continue bullying but so that he may change for the better (Jones 12).
There are several reasons that explain how a child may metamorphosis from an innocent harmless child into a big bad bully. Some of the general characteristics of teen bullies are,
- Easily frustrated.
Teen bullies are often easily frustrated when things do not go their way and may vent out this frustration through violence towards others. Sometimes, while in high school kids are prone to many stress full activities such as lack of understanding of a particular subject, strained relations with the opposite sex or even poor social relations with others of the same age. These frustrations may often lead to a bully traumatizing another child who seems to be more capable at handling the situation at hand than others. This is why well performing children, commonly known as geeks, are often harassed by those at the bottom of the performance list.
- Impulsive and hot headed.
Most bullies are not able to control their tempers and get angry very easily for even small issues, a small thing is able to make them angry. This causes very small innocent actions by other people to cause irritation leading to use of aggressive physical force. This hot headedness is usually beyond their control (Olweus 19).
- Lack empathy
Empathy is the emotion that causes us to feel remorse for our actions if they may have caused misfortune to another person. Bullies lack this emotion which is why they are able to beat insistently up another child even though the victim is crying out for help or for them to stop.
- Have difficulty following rules
Bullies may be generally unable to follow rules or instructions given to them by persons of authority (Rosemond 30). This is why most teen bullies may keep finding themselves in trouble which may not even be bully related.
- View violence in a positive way.
Bullies often view violence as a solution to all their problems hence resort to it when need be.
•View violence in a positive way.
Bullies often view violence as a solution to all their problems hence resort to it when need be
• Lack communication skills
Bullies generally lack communication skills and are unable to express themselves in any in any other better way than violence.
• Are attention seekers.
Most bullies suffer from attention deficit and bully their fellow students so as to get the attention that they require. Bullies are often seen to be children suffering from low self esteem problems; however, recent research has shown that this may not be the case after all. The research showed that bullies are actually leaders in their own right (Mash & Wolfe 420). This is because other people tend to follow bullies and do as they do so as to avoid victimization. Some bullies are even respectable students with admirable characteristics. These are such as student government presidents, sports captains and even class monitors. These people may abuse the power given to them by harassing those with no power or with lesser power than them or those without their capabilities (Douglas 100).
Apart from in very rare circumstances bullies are not born that way, they are created and made to be like that by their surroundings and by prevailing circumstances.
The most common external reasons are:
Corrupted by power
Bullies either want to be powerful and intimidate others with their power or are already in positions of power and simply want to intimidate those weaker than them so that they may feel more powerful.
These are children who are pampered by their parents or guardians and are therefore not taught the difference between what is right or wrong (Lines 150). This may even cause a child to feel more superior to all others as he has been home grown to think like this.
Reaction to bad experiences
This are such as death, physical abuse, neglect from parents or guardians, gender based violence such as rape or sodomy. These may lead a child to result into violence so as to mask their pain.
Some children may end up bullying others while having fun. To them it is acceptable as they are only having fun!
This paper does not in no means support the bully or show that the bully shouldn’t be held liable for his actions. Bullies are the picture of moral decay in the society today and should be curbed by all means and the perpetrators brought to book for crimes against humanity.
In conclusion, bullies are also victims of the process and should equally in their own right be treated as so. Victims of bullying are often taken for therapy to help them recover from the scars of bullying. Bullies should also be accorded the same treatment since as seen above bullies are not born that way they are somewhere along the way made to be like that. Bullies are most often than not suffering from a mental disorder and a lot more attention than that of the victims should be paid to them (Horne, Carlson & Bartolomucci 8). Bullies need to deal with whatever reason it is that causes them to be sadistic. This is only made possible with the assistance of other people who help them to see the error in their ways. Bullies also need to be shown love by the people in their surroundings so that they may start to see the world as a better place and therefore do not have to opt for violence.
By helping a bully recover from this kind of mental distortion, helps to break the vicious cycle of bullying. Bullying should be prevented by all means and parents and teachers should work to the eradication of bullying in high school. Bullying can be prevented by:
- Therapy – bullies and their victims should participate in aggressive therapy sessions. Some of these should be done individually while others should be together where the bully gets to meet his/her victims. Through this the bully is able to make out the direct effects that result from his actions
- Social conventions – children should be taught from a tender age that bullying is wrong and is under no circumstances acceptable and should not participate in such activities
- Parents should also desist from any violent activities at home as children look up to their parents as a moral compass. Children should also not be allowed to watch violent television shows while they are still very young since they do not really know the difference between what is right and wrong.
- Children of all ages should be accorded equal attention and no child should be seen as superior to another. This is because power gets to the heads of children and they may harass other kids just because they are able to do so.
Schools should also incorporate counseling lessons into their curriculum. This will help children to deal with the problems at hand and prevent a build up of stress. Schools should also employ a full time school counselor.
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