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Consequences of Bullying behavior - CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Consequences of Bullying behavior – CBT Kenya

Bullying behavior creates a culture of fear and has a negative impact on everyone involved. Being bullied can seriously affect a person’s physical, emotional, academic and social well-being. Many sufferers of bullying lack confidence, feel bad about themselves, have few friends and spend a lot of time alone.

Being bullied is hurtful and stressful and is something many people find it hard to speak about. Those who are bullied continually ask, why me? They may feel ashamed and embarrassed that is happening to them. Bullying behavior can have devastating effects on a person which can last into adulthood. At its worst, being bullied has driven children and young people to self-harm and even suicide.

Types of bullying behavior

  • physical – examples include: hitting, pushing, shoving or intimidating or otherwise physically hurting another person, damaging or stealing their belongings. It includes threats of violence
  • verbal/written – examples include: name-calling or insulting someone about an attribute, quality or personal characteristic
  • social (sometimes called relational or emotional bullying) – examples include: deliberately excluding someone, spreading rumours, sharing information that will have a harmful effect on the other person and/or damaging a person’s social reputation or social acceptance
  • cyberbullying – any form of bullying behavior that occurs online or via a mobile device. It can be verbal or written, and can include threats of violence as well as images, videos and/or audio. For more information, refer to cyberbullying.

Why do people bully others?

People bully others for lots of different reasons. They may have a strong desire to control other people or to look cool in front of others, or even to feel better about themselves. They may bully because it’s the only way they know of to deal with their own anger and frustration. A significant number of young people who bully others have been bullied themselves. They often don’t even realize that what they’re doing is wrong.

Does this excuse their behavior? Absolutely not. There are no excuses for bullying, but it can be helpful to understand that people who bully usually have some personal issues going on. In other words, in order for them to change (and to stop their bullying behavior), they need help, too.

What to Do If You’re a Bystander

There are several things that bystanders to bullying can do:

  • Question the behavior of the bully to shift the focus of the interaction.
  • Utilize humor to redirect the conversation.
  • Remember, there is strength in numbers. Bystanders can intervene as a group to demonstrate their disagreement with bullying.
  • Walk with the person who is the victim of bullying to help diffuse potential interactions.
  • Check-in privately with the bullied person to let them know you disagree with it and that you care.

What to Do If You’re a Victim

If you’re the victim of an adult bully, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Pick and choose your battles. Choosing how to react depends on the number and severity of the bullying behaviors. If the behavior is not excessive or harmful and you only see the bully once in a while (such as at work or the annoying relative during family gatherings), you may want to keep your distance. Because of the amount of time it can take to handle bullying behavior in many cases, consider picking your battles if it isn’t directly harmful to you.
  • Make eye contact. Eye contact can be significant, as bullies have less empathy when they can’t see your face or your eyes.
  • Escape if you can. Ask if you can move your desk far away from the bully or limit your interactions with them whenever possible. If that fails, try again. Can you switch to another position in the organization?
  • Document the offenses. Document every single offense and try to keep the records for as long as possible. You may need them if you want to file a complaint at work or, in some cases, a police report if the bully’s actions become emotionally or physically damaging.

A word from CBT Kenya

For bystanders, bullying can have harmful effects as well. Even if you’re not on the receiving end, witnessing someone being bullied for long periods can have an emotional impact. Research has found that even witnessing workplace bullying is associated with an increased risk of developing depressive symptoms over the subsequent 18 months.

If you’re dealing with a bully, you know that it can take a toll in various ways. If you have any physical symptoms, like sleep issues or pain conditions triggered by the stress of bullying, you may want to contact your primary care doctor. Regardless, the most important thing is to utilize your support network. If you’re being bullied, find support, whether it’s from co-workers, friends, or family. Sometimes the best way to buffer the impact a bully has on you is to try and get by with some help from other people in your life.

Getting professional help does not mean you are weak or broken. It’s choosing to get better and take care of yourself. CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.


Author: cbtkeadmin
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