You’d think that the world would have bullies figured out. Since the beginning of time, it seems, bullies have existed and every TV show ever has had an episode where a character has to deal with a bully. But as you probably know, bullies still exist.
Part of that reason is that bullies can come from everywhere: older siblings, people you work with, the internet, classmates or even people you sometimes think are your friends. And just like the many varieties of people who can be bullies, there are several types of bullying, including emotional bullying, physical bullying, and verbal bullying. Many bullies don’t have to lay a hand on you to make you feel bad. Other bullies don’t even have to be in the same country as you now, thanks to social media and the internet.
As part of our anti-Bullying week in conjunction with Scholastic, and Ajia Mayrock’s new book A Survival Guide To Bullying, we thought we’d dig up some facts that might just surprise you about bullying.
7. Bullying Is Hard To Detect
As we mentioned up there, bullying can be more than just physical. Since it comes in many forms, you might not even realize who the most bullied kids are. Some kids who you might think would never get harassed, might actually be getting harassed the most. Also, it isn’t always biggest kids who are bullies — kids can’t choose their size any more than they can choose if they feel they are boy or girl. Some kids who are tall and look strong, might be getting teased by smaller kids. Never assume that because there aren’t bruises, there aren’t bullies.
6. Bullying Has Gotten Worse, Not Better
In your parent’s day, bullying wasn’t regulated at school — it was “a part of growing up.” Clearly, bullying should not be a part of growing up, and so 47 states have passed anti-bullying legislation. But here’s the scary thing: bullying has gotten worse over the years. Thanks to the internet and social media, bullying has spread out from the schoolyards to create a potentially unsafe environment everywhere you go. Too bad they didn’t take bullying more seriously when your parents were a kid.
5. Victims Can Be Bullies Too
Bullying frequently comes from having a troubled home life. Kids who are bullied, usually feel bullied by someone else — their parent or their brother or sister. And so they pass it on. But kids who get bullied aren’t always “just a victim.” Some kids who are getting picked on, go and pick on other kids because they want to feel better about the fact that they are getting harassed. When talking to a parent or teacher about bullying, also think about the people who might be bullying your bully. Turning them in might be about more than getting someone to stop bullying you — it might also be about helping them to stop getting bullied as well.
4. Bullying Is About Social Gain, But It Isn’t The Most Popular Kids Who Are The Bullies
According to an article on GreatSchools.org, 95 percent of bullying is about social gain. It’s the kids who WANT to be the most popular who are typically responsible for most of the bullying, not the ones who ARE the most popular. Kids at the top of the “cool pyramid” have less motivation to pick on kids because they don’t have anything to get from it. Instead, the majority of the bullies tend to be kids who wish they were cooler than they are. Too bad they didn’t get the memo that bullying isn’t cool.
3. Girls Are More Likely To Be Bullied Than Boys
34 percent of girls have admitted to being bullied — versus just 31 percent of boys. While bullies who harass boys are more likely to use physical violence, bullying for girls is most often indirect. This means that girls will bully each other by saying mean things behind one another’s backs or not invite them to parties or hangouts. Emotional bullying can be very isolating and hurtful, making it one of the worst sorts of abuses of them all.
2. Standing Up To Them Typically Won’t Stop a Bully
Despite how they are portrayed in cartoons, not all bullies are afraid of confrontation. Bullies now can be very strong, tough and smart, so trying to fight back or reason with them will only increase the amount they pick on you, or give them cause to try to punish you for being tough. Bullies are best dealt with by informing teachers and parents.
1. YOU Might Be A Bully (and not even know it)
Sometimes it’s fun to joke around — especially at school or in public with your friends. That joking might seem innocent to you, after all, you’ve had a bad haircut before or had to wait a while before you got new shoes, but to the people you might be teasing, those jokes could be devastating. They might be afraid to go to school or hang out with you because of the things you say without realizing it. It’s probably best to check in with your friends every once in a while, just to make sure that you’re both okay with the things that are being said. And if it seems like you are picking the same things over and over to joke about, it’s probably best if you don’t say it. Jokes can turn into harassment quickly.
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