The articles in this section will help you learn about how bullying affects seriously affects people, gain a better understanding of the victim’s perspective as well as the bully’s, and learn positive coping strategies to fight back against a bully. This section will help you to become more confident in how to handle a bully and what to do to support someone who is being bullied.
Medically Reviewed By: Aaron Horn, LMFT, MA
People associate bullying as an issue that affects children, but in reality, people of all ages can be bullied. Bullying is when someone takes advantage of another person and makes him or her feel belittled, afraid, or humiliated. Bullies often have low self-esteem and take their pain out on others. If you are a victim of bullying, you might start to feel depressed and find it difficult to get out of the situation. You might not fully understand that you didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t bring bullying on yourself.
Bullies are trying to heal their insecurities by establishing dominance over other people. They usually seek out those who have something unique or special about them. For example, they might target a boy who is smaller than them or a girl who appears shy. Bullies aren’t always physically strong or big, but they can be. They are however, usually insecure and want to dominate others to gain control over something in their own life. Sometimes, they have a bad home life that makes them feel out of control or angry. Since they can’t control some aspect of their own lives and they don’t have a healthy way to express their emotions, they find someone to victimize to take it out on instead.
When we hear about bullying, it often pertains to kids or the school system. However, bullying can happen to anyone. It can take place at work, in friendships, and romantic relationships as well. Bullying can happen anywhere, but it almost always occurs when there is someone who wants to take their perceived deficits out on others. Bullies frequently use intimidation tactics to get what they want. Victims of bullying are not to blame. No one deserves to be bullied. It is up to the person that is being bullied to realize that they are not the problem and that they do not deserve this unfair treatment. It can be hard for a victim of bullying to realize that the poor treatment that they are experiencing is not their fault.
Asking for Help
Bullies try to make their victims feel helpless. Victims of bullying might keep it to themselves. Sometimes, it is because they feel that there is no one to talk to about the abuse. And that’s the thing, bullying is abuse. The victims might believe they’re a burden and that they’re bothering someone if they reach out for help. They may truly believe that they can’t escape the bullying, but that’s where they’re wrong. Bullies try hard to make their victims believe that no one cares about them. It takes courage and faith to reach out and know that there is someone who does care.
Bullying is Real
People do care. It takes courage for a victim to find help. When children reach out for help in escaping bullies, it’s crucial that adults believe them. Too often, grownups don’t listen, and children continue to endure abuse from a bully. It can be tough to navigate these issues in school because, unfortunately, there are many instances where adults fail to protect students. When a child is being bullied, adults don’t always understand why it is so hard for them to speak up for themselves. Acknowledge that bullies often push people into hiding is the first step to understanding the victim. Victim blaming is a significant issue in our society. Once someone does speak up, let them know that they are brave for doing so and take them seriously.
Someone that has been bullied can benefit from talking to an online therapist or counselor. BetterHelp has an extensive network of mental health professionals that can help you understand that you are not alone and that you do not deserve to be abused. Bullies abuse others because of their issues, and it is crucial to speak up for yourself. Therapy is a safe place to learn how to speak up and reach out. A mental health professional can help you develop a plan for yourself and get out of the situation where you are being bullied. They are equipped to help you work through your situation and build coping skills. Once you acknowledge that someone is mistreating you, you do not have to tolerate that abuse anymore. Browse BetterHelp’s database and find a counselor who can help you learn to advocate for yourself. Online counseling can help you learn tools to stick up for yourself. You can explore how to confront being bullied, and start healing.