My first instance of bullying I was very young, year 2 or 3, it was a bit of harmless fun, insults name calling, being told I was here illegally just because I was from another country. But as high school approached it got more serious. The bullying became physical, I would be hit on my arms and legs, back of my head and it would leave marks, bruises that would be dotted around my body. Now people who have been bullied before, know that when you are bullied you wholeheartedly believe that everyone with think you are lying if you tell anyone and that you mean nothing so you don’t want to worry anyone about it all. So to my parents I wanted to make sure that they knew I was just clumsy.
Just clumsy, I wasn’t, but to them that’s how I got those marks.
Life changed when I moved school, new school new start. I wanted to make my experiences into something positive. And because of what I had been through I had the drive to juggle my subjects and still be able to help people who were going through what I was.
Was the best decision I made. Helping someone not feel so alone makes it worth it, the memory might hurt, but seeing that person smile makes you feel at peace.
Even with all my experiences, and knowing why I was targeted, I always wanted to know what leads people to bully in the first place and why people don’t get involved when they see it happening before them. So I have done countless hours of looking online and reading studies to find out why.
I was bullied from a young age, I was targeted because I was different, I grew up in a family with a strict set of morals. I guess you could say I was the teachers pet, always volunteering, always wanted to help. Just wanted to make people happy.
My favourite study comes from Ditchthelabel.org. In their study they asked 8850 people to define bullying and then asked if they had ever bullied someone, 14% said they had. All 8850 people were asked further questions delving into their personal lives, exploring things like their stress and trauma they had experienced, their home lives, relationships and finally how they see themselves. The 14% were compared to the remaining 86% to see if there is a common trend. And there was.
So why do people bully?
The data shows that a large majority of 1239 people who admitted to bullying experienced some form of trauma in the 5 years prior to starting bullying. And if you are bullied you are twice as likely to bully people yourself. ‘It becomes a vicious cycle of negative behaviours’.
The article continues to state that 66% of the 14% that said they had bullied people were Male, the article also states that the leading cause of male bullying stems from the fact that in culture males are taught from a young age to hide any emotions and are bullied if they do whereas females are encouraged to talk things through.
The study is a really good read, and something I would advise people to read if you have been bullied or you feel you have/are bullying someone. And offer advice how to stop.
I would never excuse bullying, but it’s important to know that there is more to it. It gives me a little bit of peace knowing why. Everyone reacts to things in different ways, I grew up learning how to deal with things in a positive way. Who knows if I would have ended up on the other side if I didn’t have the lesson I did.