Bullying is determined by many different things. The main focus of being bullied is that it is a deliberate attempt to upset or anger someone. Bullying is usually thought of as something that happens at school and between children, but many experience bullying throughout their lives.
We have all heard the term ‘Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me‘. We would hope by now that this phrase is massively outdated.
The new saying should go something like this:
Sticks and stones can leave physical and mental scarring, and words will also leave me with long-term mental boundaries requiring years of counselling to rework.
Bullying is a vital topic of discussion, mainly because most of the time it is only seen from one side. This is why here, we aim to shine a light on both sides. The reason for this is that you can only find a real understanding of it and work towards finding happiness away from those experiences by seeing it from both perspectives.
What is bullying?
There is a grey area between being bullied and being abused.
In many ways, the term ‘bully’ is thrown around far more casually than abuse. This is because of its association with playground antics. The risk of this is putting light on someone that is being bullied, making their feelings seem invalid. And from the other perspective, this can relieve any kind of guilt or realisation to the bully that what they are doing is wrong.
When a person is bullied, it is usually based on an insignificant thing about that person. An important distinction to make is that a victim hasn’t done anything to provoke or caused attention to be put on them.
A bully is usually someone who has been taught throughout their life to bury certain feelings. When you are not allowed to let certain feelings out, they can manifest in a more negative way. Anger is a common feeling, usually because of a previous feeling including:
- Jealousy toward another person
- Identity issues and dysphoria
- Confusion caused by their own identity
- Being a victim themselves
Commonly, a bully will be defended with ‘They only do it because they like you’. This can seem very conflicting and paradoxical. Why would someone be mean if they like you?
And this harks back to them being unable to show certain emotions. If an individual has never been given love, shown love, or love to them has come with consequences, then they will aim to evoke those same feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, and confusion, in the person.
What causes you to be bullied?
The cause of being a victim relates closely back to why someone may be abused in their life. If we remove the ‘softness’ of the term bully and understand why someone is abused, we can understand the importance of knowing that there is no cause for it.
Throughout many children’s lives, they may be told to not bring attention to themselves which is what could have caused that kind of attention in the first place. Or to like what other children like.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. An individual being bullied should always try to find comfort in being the only person in that exchange who understands who they are and who they are happy being.
Being bullied never relates to having done anything wrong. Being abused never relates to having done anything wrong. They are one of the same and should be treated in equal measures.
What causes someone to bully?
The cause of someone’s bullying can feel like a loaded question. Every person’s background and personal history within relationships can affect how one might act toward others.
This also relates back to the supposed cause of someone being bullied in the first place. They are comfortable in their own skin, which is what many people lack in their lives.
Someone resorting to bullying will usually see something in another person that they cannot understand. They may not even want to, as this will mean them having to question who they are and what they are passionate about.
The stereotype of a bully and the bullied usually conforms to a ‘popular’ child and a child usually with a passion for arts, academia or literature, for example. The children who find their passions are also happy being themselves with a select few friends.
This rings true also because the bully will find comfort in popularity because large groups become their guide to what they should like/dislike or how they should be navigating through life.
If you find difficulty finding your own passions and lust for life, it is easy to find security in a large group to ride the wave with.
How can therapy help
With bullying starting and/or continuing from childhood and well into adulthood, therapy is a vital part of understanding bullying and how it can affect your life in the ongoing future.
Being bullied can have long term effects including:
- Anxiety that can lead to depression
- Confidence Issues
- Trust issues
- Mirroring your past experiences from bullying onto others.
When many of our negative experiences make us the people we are today, it can be easy to carry negative and detrimental habits with you throughout your life. What therapy does it to help you understand those experiences in a new light to allow you to become the person you have wanted to be without those restraints?
Being a bully to others will usually go unnoticed by the attackers for many years, it is usually through personal development and reflection that a bully can eventually see the effect that their words or actions have caused.
This is why therapy should always become an integral part of everyone’s life. It creates regular time and space to reflect, rework past habits and learn from your mistakes.
How Therapy in London can help
These past and present experiences are precious, which is how we aim to treat this within therapy. Through retelling, understanding and reworking, we want to provide you with action-focused change.
Our practitioners want you to feel safe and secure for you to feel ready to make a change in your life for the better.
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