The effects of bullying on young school children.

Bullying has become increasingly more common in schools with greater platforms for bullying available today. The effects of bullying a young child are long term and can manifest in a number of ways.

Bullying can stem from a number of factors. Children can be targeted for what they look like, their ethnic background, their family’s financial background, their intelligence, their choice of clothing or their behaviour. Bullying often presents in the form of verbal or physical abuse. These attacks, while not permanent, have a greater psychological impact. Sufferers of bullying tend to develop psychological trauma following prolonged bullying.

This psychological trauma can lead to the child repeating scenes in their head. They initially try to gain a better understanding of why they are being targeted. Some children may be afraid to tell someone about being bullied. Others may choose to tell their parents but the parents may dismiss or ignore their concerns. However, without the correct support, children often lack the understanding and instead focus on developing defence mechanisms to tackle bullying.

As a result, children who suffer from bullying can behave anxiously, defensively or negatively. They can develop insecurities and project a negative expectation of their peers. Without appropriate explanation, they can be seen as difficult children and may be bullied even more.

This ultimately creates a negative cycle. Children are not only replaying bullying episodes in their head, but they are also being bullied as a result of their responsive behaviour. Overtime, even if bullying stops, the effects of bullying remain. In some cases it may even lead to their children adopting their behaviour and getting bullied. This is a vicious, never ending cycle that can ultimately lead some to depression and sometimes, suicide.

Bullying should not be ignored, particularly in those young and vulnerable children  who are so impressionable. The long term effects of bullying are severe and can lead to more serious conditions such as depression and sometimes suicide.

Gossiping breeds unhappiness, mental issues and a toxic environment.

It is important to live a life without regret and without the need to have regrets. Gossiping can be extremely detrimental to happiness and the well being of not only victims, but also the perpetrators. I knew little of the negative effects of gossiping until I fell victim to it and I vowed never, to subject anyone else to the same maltreatment.

He was intelligent, motivated and superficially friendly, all seemingly great qualities to have for a successful professional career. He wanted to get to the top, with the least amount of effort and it did not matter who he trumped along the way, including me. I came into the scene, rather naive about personalities in a professional setting. We were of the same rank then. This bothered him the most, and when he realised that he could not defeat me in the same race, he decided to find a new tactic to win. I knew he was a big gossip, but I never let this affect me. When he came to me to gossip, I would reply with rather neutral responses, with the hope that a demonstration on appropriate behaviour might inspire the same in him. I was not prepared to do whatever it took to come out on top, I was determined to retain my dignity and pride, no matter what it took.

This was an interesting relationship that we juggled like a hot potato. Back and forth we would test each other. I pushed back when necessary, trying to maintain the neutrality while preserving my moral dignity. This became more challenging overtime since my reservations to engage in regular gossiping sessions became more evident.

Over the next few months, it became more obvious that his behaviour stemmed from a host of underlying insecurities that he harboured from his childhood. Often, what scars and haunts us when we are younger, we work to protect ourselves from when we are older. He was mistreated as a child, ignored by his two disagreeable parents facing the prospect of divorce and domestic violence.

A thought occurred to me at one point that whoever gossips is likely to gossip about me too. I realised then, that sometimes, people would speak to me with a bit too much interest, as if I had gossiped to them in the past. I made an effort to try not to talk to too many people about my private life to avoid being the talk of the town. I felt more distanced as a result, lonely and isolated. The pressure of continuously being careful of not sharing too much information became physically and mentally exhausting. The mental challenge of resisting gossip became increasingly more difficult. I had seen a friend being bullied through the negative effects of gossiping. While I addressed the immediate effects of this incident, there was little I could do the change the overall culture. So overtime, I grew more unpleasant and less tolerant and as a result, I was short tempered. I suffered mentally from depression and anxiety and this impacted my overall happiness as I brought this home with me. Eventually I had to seek help for my condition.

The price we pay for immediate satisfaction of bullying those around us through gossiping about them behind their backs, can have detrimental, long lasting effects on them. These are easy for the perpetrator to forget but prolonged exposure to these negative effects can cultivate a toxic and harmful environment.