Whether it is in the schoolyard, workplace, home, or on the web, bullying is rampant. It can take place in all domains of someone’s life:
Bullying is about fear, power, and insecurity, not just of the victim, but of the bully.
Psychologically stable people do not bully.
Regardless of age, emotionally healthy and psychologically stable people do not bully. They feel no need to intimidate, hurt, manipulate, thwart, abuse, ridicule, or control another person. Bullies target others who make them feel insecure, or through their bullying, make them feel powerful or secure. Because bullies themselves feel threatened, and can be threatened by anything, they react in order to get rid of their own feelings of fear, powerlessness, anxiety, or insecurity. Bullies may not even recognize that they have these feelings, or the reasons behind their behaviors.
At best, bullying can be seen as an attempt to exert power and control in the bully’s life, who otherwise feel powerless, anxious and/or out of control. At worst, the goal of a bully can be to eradicate, or get rid of, the threat to themselves. In other words, bullying can be seen as an attempt to emotionally, physically, sexually, relationally, socially, psychologically, or financially murder another person, entirely or in part.
Internalizing the bully's message.
Bullies often use personal tactics on their victim(s) in order to control, disempower, or psychologically annihilate their target. Because bullying happens over a span of time, and is done within a relationship of some sort, most victims will internalize the bully’s opinions and perspective almost without realizing that it's happening. This psychological process is called “internalized objectification.”
Essentially, what happens is that a person’s positive self-perception is internally replaced by the other’s negative viewpoint, so much so that the person now only sees or evaluates themselves through the bully’s opinion of them. Bullying can rob a person of their self worth and identity.
Bullying can rob you of your self worth and identity.
Unfortunately, people who are bullied, when they try to get help, can be blamed, dismissed, minimized, or discredited. That is called victim blaming, and it is actually a subtle form of bullying itself. Helpers, untrained in working with bullying, may have unconscious and unprocessed bullying issues themselves which can get in the way. They may identify with the bully and not be able to help. However, there are many trustworthy people who want to help those who are being bullied.
If you are being bullied, get help.
If you are a being bullied:
If you are bullying others, get help.
If you are bullying another person:
Things you can do.
We can help. Call us. 503-342-2510. Email us
If you or someone you love is having problems with bullying, please call us. We can help. We know how complicated this work can be, and we know how to help. We have experience, training, and compassion. Please call us. 503-342-2510.
Tony Grace LPC Specializes in Helping Children and Teens respond to and recover from the effects of bullying. If you have any questions, he would be happy to talk with you on the phone to learn more about your situation, and how it might be helped.
For more resources, check out these sites:
The effects of cyberbullying in this powerful Ted Talk.