Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing, and threatening, in order to aggressively dominate or intimidate someone. The behaviour is often habitual.
Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes, Blake Lively, Kate Middleton, have all spoken about being victims of bullying at school, and the pain that it has caused them even in later life. According to a recent paper in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, a person who has been bullied as a child is 27 times more likely to have a panic disorder as a young adult. Many victims find it hard to make friends in later life and are less likely to live with a long-term partner.
“I strongly feel that children should be protected from bullying. Not just children, but even adults. Children should be sensitised to the pain that bullying gives, and should be trained to treat others the way they want to be treated,” says Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School, Delhi.
While stressing that organisations and neighbourhoods should be vigilant to prevent bullying, she feels orientation at the workplace is also needed to stop this evil. “Value education in schools is very important because a person without a strong value system and who doesn’t understand the pain of others will do unacceptable things in life, including bullying. If we want to stop the victimisation of people at any level, we have to start from the root and it must start at a very early age,” she adds.
BORN OR MADE?
Is a bully a product of nature or nurture? In other words, are they born that way, or are they made that way? “A child does not enter the world as a bully. Children are like a blank slate and receptive to the things around them.
They develop characteristics through nurture,” feels Dr. Era Dutta, Consultant Psychiatrist, Therapist, Wellness expert, Founder- Mind Wellness. “Parents can play a massive role in bullying. Studies have shown that parents who are aggressive, have antisocial personality disorder, narcissism and poor emotional control or may themselves have been bullies are likely to pass on these genes,” she notes.
CAN GIRLS BE BULLIES?
When we hear the word “bully”, a distinct male image comes to mind. But girls and women too can resort to bullying. Priyanka Chopra had once said that students in her school abroad had hurled insults at her like, ‘Brownie, go back to your country!’ and ‘Go back on the elephant you came on.’ “I think it was just girls who, at that age, want to say something that’ll hurt,” the actress had said. “The style of bullying may differ between the two genders, with one resorting to more overt aggression and physical abuse while other prefers gossip, spreading rumours, ostracizing, passive aggression,” says Dr Era....