“Am I being bullied?”
If you’re like many young adults, you might be the victim of bullying and not realize it. However, if you do have the feeling you are being bullied and want to know what to do if you are being bullied, we gathered some helpful information here.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what bullying looks like, provide some questions to ask yourself if you believe you’re being bullied, and let you know what to do if you are being bullied.
Let’s get started by taking a closer look at the question …
Am I Being Bullied?
In observation of National Bullying Prevention Month this October, we thought we would provide some helpful information about bullying.
Before you can answer this question, it’s important that you understand what bullying is. For the best understanding, we’re going to take a closer look at the many forms of bullying, including that which occurs in the workplace and on the web.
As mentioned, bullying often goes undetected by the victim, which can develop into long-lasting emotional pain. This occurs when most often when people don’t realize they’re bullying their friends, co-workers, or fellow students.
We’ll provide a list of questions you can answer in order to identify if someone you consider a friend is actually a bully. This is essential to answering the question and will help you move forward in a way that benefits you and your emotional health.
So, are you being bullied?
Let’s take a closer look at what bullying looks like, its effects, characteristics of bullies, and a 19-question bully test.
The Many Forms of Bullying
The possibility of being bullied doesn’t end when we leave the playground.
Bullying consists of inflicting mental, emotional, or physical discomfort on others, and particularly for the purpose of making our own selves feel better. The bullying can be directed toward a specific race, gender, or sexual orientation.
The bullying can simply be toward someone whom we deem as threatening toward our current way of life or toward our own position of power.
According to a survey completed in 2017, bullying in the workplace affects nearly 20% of adult employees.
For those who are bullied, 60% of coworkers who are informed about it act in a way that makes the situation more oppressive. Over 70% of the employer’s reactions to reports of bullying make things worse, and over 60% of the bullying occurs at the hands of these bosses, to begin with.
This information indicates that not only is bullying in the workplace a pervasive problem, but they’re also aren’t enough people effectively contributing toward ending it.
The internet has become another venue for bullying of young adults to occur.
Often under the cloak of anonymity, so-called internet trolls can get away with spewing unfiltered negativity. These bullies delight in contributing to frustration for unwitting posters, bloggers, and tweeters.
Their motives range from personal vendetta, to sabotage, to simply making themselves feel more powerful through displaying their ability to spread discontent.
For adults who are victims of these types of treatment, the term “bullying” is often replaced by the more sophisticated term of harassment, and the dangers can extend to the point of being stalked by the harasser.
At least 40% of adults report suffering at the hands of an online bully.
Effects on the Victim
The effects of being bullied, harassed, or abused range from physical harm to severe depression.
Victims of bullying suffer from lowered self-esteem, anxiety, self-doubt, and fear. The stress which builds up for the victims of bullying can negatively impact their physical health and can result in absenteeism, school failure, and job loss.
The pressures which already exist for a young adult – such as paying bills, making career plans, and tending to relationships – are severely compounded by the harmful actions of a bully.
Characteristics of A Bully
One doesn’t need a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder to be a bully. It is possible to fall into these types of behaviors unwittingly while adapting to a workplace or social culture.
It is easy to become accustomed to just going with the flow, and toward slowly accepting that these types of behaviors are simply par for the course. Some even have the perspective that these types of behaviors are what is required in order to make it to the top in life.
Phrases such as, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” or “survival of the fittest” are popular justifications for the type of self-seeking behavior which is characteristic of adult bullying.
While we are “looking out for number one,” we are simultaneously in danger of oppressing and suppressing others.
Humans are social creatures, who rely on cooperation, affirmation, validation, and acceptance. Bullying is the antithesis of these positive attributes of a social network. Rather than seeking to build others up, bullying works to tear them down.
The following are a list of some questions to ask yourself about your own behaviors and attitudes, whether at work, home, or school. While each of us tends to be occasionally guilty of a few of the items on the list, a bully will be one who employs several of these tactics, and with notable regularity.
Am I Being Bullied (19-Questions)
- Does someone enjoy causing trouble for you?
- Does someone gossip about you maliciously?
- Has someone purposely excluded you from a group or community?
- Does someone tell lies about you to other people?
- Has someone refused to help with ill intent?
- Does someone ignore your feelings and perspectives?
- Does someone make decisions solely for their benefit?
- Does someone shut you down when you have a different opinion?
- Does someone ignore rules?
- Does someone use physical intimidation?
- Does someone belittle your accomplishments?
- Does someone use racial slurs or hate speech?
- Does someone demand respect?
- Does someone push their responsibilities to you?
- Does someone pretend to care about you?
- Does someone frequently speak with irritation toward you?
- Does someone plot how they can get back at you?
- Does someone use their position of power as a means of keeping others down?
- Does someone enable others to behave in any of these ways?
What to Do If You Are Being Bullied
If you suspect you are being bullied, the first step is to learn more about bullying so you understand the many forms of bullying. If you’re reading this article, it means you have already taken this step.
So, what do you do if you are being bullied?
It depends on the relationship you have with the bully. If, for example, the person bullying you is a friend, co-worker, or family member, you may want to consider discussing the topic with them directly. This step is not easy, but it may be essential to maintaining the relationship moving forward.
This may not be the best course of action if, for example, you’re not that familiar with the person bullying you or feel the relationship is not worth the effort. In this case, you may need to sever the relationship altogether. This is not an easy thing to do, especially if you’re unsure.
Fortunately, there are support groups and services available to help you through this process and guide you toward a more positive and self-confident mindset. Here at Paradigm Young Adult Program, you will find a variety of options available, including Social Health Therapy and Emotional Health Therapy.
It’s important to take action sooner than later, as bullying can develop into long-lasting emotional scares if ignored. Still, there are dedicated types of therapy in place to help provide the guidance and therapy needed to tackle mental health conditions that may have developed in light of bullying. For example, if bullying over the years has developed into a type of anxiety or depression, you may want to consider learning more about Anxiety Treatment or Depression Treatment.
Even if you find that you are currently engaging in many of these oppressive behaviors, you can take heart in the fact that you recognize them in yourself.
You can be even more confident of your position as a conscientious member of the human race if – after recognizing that you are contributing to bullying – you seek to make positive changes in your future dealings with others.
We must all be the change you wish to see in the world.
Our battle against the harmful effects of bullying begins with our own decisions to approach the world in a more kind and loving way.