BY: ARNEL C. BALLON
While watching a famous TV program, I came to watch a contestant who told the audience and the judges that he was bullied as a kid.
He then turned himself to singing instead while he skipped school without his parent’s knowledge about the whole sad scenario.
He said that bullies in school are bigger, louder and scarier. They are usually in groups or in teams. They know all the exits and the darkest corridors to do the bullying acts.
If one can avoid it, he or she can last a day without being in an embarrassing confrontation. Another was what I had come across in a social media post where an author of a book sold a million of copies.
Before that, a teacher told him how he can even make that book published with his writing style.
Bullying then happened even then bullying becomes “bullying”.
Research into bullying didn’t start until the 1970’s. Since then, decades of researches have shown that the power differential between bullies and victims is a crucial component of interaction.
“Bullies go for admiration, for status, for dominance. Unlike friendly teasing, bullying is long- term, unwanted and doesn’t occur between social equals.
Despite the aggressive behavior, bullies also want affection.
Bullies care about the approval of their own in-group, so they strategically pick victims they know few other classmates will defend.
Bullying might have been a “defense mechanism” for bullies themselves. The idea to fit in the society is also a crucial stage for teenagers who seek for approval of the group or peer they want to get into.
Bullying- ‘drama ‘or ‘intimidation’- can make kids or teens more susceptible to mental illness. The feeling of being an outsider, that feeling of not being in a group or accepted or being left out in one is very hard for them. Teenage years are considered to be the most critical stage of being an adult. It’s the stage where one is easily confused but refuses to easily accept changes readily.
Bullying can leave lasting scars, but peer pressure can help reduce this social conflict as schools now introduce more and more students to socialize and open the communication lines freely among themselves.
With the acceptance of the peer, so as equality to gender, age, hobbies and social leisure, teenagers become confident and trusting. When there is no threat in the environment, personal growth and development flourish. Young adults become open to criticism, accepting of weakness and differences and adaptable to change within the society they feel of belonging.
So, are we still entrusting the fault to the bullies?
Or is it time now for us to look at the other side of the story and help the bullies stop bullying instead by getting into the deepest recesses of their minds and taking steps to understand where they are coming from?
Let’s decide. YOU decide. (Note: The author is a teacher of the Tanauan School of Craftsmanship and Home Industries in Tanauan, Leyte)