Emotional abuse is never ok. It can leave scars much deeper than any fist hitting flesh. The wounds are carried in the mind, heart and soul. People who are sensitive and caring are usually the victims. They are easy to manipulate because they really care about others. It often starts with the perpetrator putting the victim on a pedestal. When someone goes too fast claiming “love at first site” or something else it should give someone pause. It can happen but healthy relationships are built over time. Another red flag is “I love you so much I want you to myself.” If you plan things with other than the perpetrator they will make you feel guilty. Tell you that obviously you dont’ care about them. They should be enough. Slowly they will isolate you from people that care about you. You end up under their control completely. Sometimes they will even physically move you away from family and friends to increase the control. They may tell you to quit your job. They care about you and want to take care of you. This way you can’t get support from colleagues either.
Now isolated you can be invalidated. Your thoughts and feelings are denigrated. You may be told you are lazy, mentally unbalanced. Over and over you are told that you are useless, not good enough. Just not up to their level. They are doing you a favor after all they pay the bills now. Since you have left a job they have financial control. If you have had children even more control.
Every emotion, every waking moment you are theirs and will do as you are told. After all you are useless, nobody wants you, too stupid to work, spend too much of their hand earned money. Do not question them they are in control.
Psychologically you are a prisoner.
If someone truly cares about you they respect you. They take joy in your accomplishments and those things that bring you joy. They are happy to take you out in public and are proud of how you look. They don’t belittle you and tell you that you are useless.
If someone does that get out. Get away they are soul suckers. You will become a shadow of who you are. Nobody deserves that. It isn’t easy to leave but it is easier than spending your life being controlled by someone that doesn’t care about you.
Why do people do it? All kinds of people are victims. Even celebrities some of those more than others because of envy. They come from everywhere, all ages, genders, races and cultures. Sometimes they are people that have lost control in their lives so they can only find it in controlling and bullying others. Other times it is a way to fit in. Funny how a bully once they lose backup will fade away or back off. Others this is power and a way to get respect which they cannot get any other way. Fear is the only thing they know that gives them that respect. Others follow or friend a bully so they don’t become their target. Isolation is the weapon a bully uses. If another person is perceived as a loner or has few friends it sets them up to be bullied, Other times they come from homes where they are abused, ignored or are in chaos. They have no value at home so look for it in unhealthy or inappropriate ways. Many bullies end up using drugs or alcohol to subdue their pain.
Sometimes it is just that the person is mean an cruel that only feels good when they attack and cause others pain or harm. It is usually a pattern their whole lives. The odd thing is that new research has shown that bullies have excellent self esteem. They lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. Many are sociopaths and narcissists that can only feel by being extreme. The target is just that. Not a person but an object for them to ridicule or physically attack to make themselves feel anything.
Bullies have many aspects in common. They have a dominant manner and cast blame for the bad things in their life upon others. This is typical narcissistic behavior. The sociopath does it just for the sport and the target may even start out as a close friend or associate. The bully will build the person up and then tear them down for entertainment. Some people are predisposed to violence and aggression. While a lot of people are these are the ones that do not find healthy outlets for those predispositions.
People in the bully’s life also have an effect on their behavior. They may have a family that doesn’t care about them. On the other hand they may have parents that have become afraid of them and give in so they do not become the targets of their aggression. Discipline is either inconsistent or completely absent. When this happens the bully feels that there are no consequences to their behavior. It can be a matter of nature overcoming nurture. Another thing they have in common is they are attention seekers. Even if the attention is negative it is attention and that is what they crave. They never internalize rules or conduct or respect for any authority. So they run completely amok causing damage wherever they go until they finally go too far with the wrong person or get incarcerated for a crime against their victims.
Social media has made it easier for these people to do their bullying. Adults are bullied, children, even babies are made fun of because of their race or their looks. There are websites set up for just this purpose. The only way we can fight them and make people safe is to isolate them, make them know this behavior isn’t acceptable. Block them on social media if you see someone bullying someone else speak up. As a society we can protect the vulnerable. Help them find a safe place away from these twisted souls.
NO ONE DESERVES TO BE BULLIED. SPEAK OUT. REPORT BULLYING TO AUTHORITIES AND TEACH KIDS HOW TO PROTECT THEMSELVES.
Bullying of any kind is wrong but why do people do it? We all say we are against it but how many of you out there have said an unkind word about someone else? Why did you? All of us are guilty of bullying or being unkind sometime in our lives. If you gossip about others what are your children hearing? That it is ok to talk about others? To say things about how they are dressed, live, talk or their physical appearance? Think before you talk. If you see bullying online speak up don’t jump in and add to it. No matter who they are. People jump into situations when they have no clue why someone is doing or saying the things they do. Particularly online. It can be just a personal feud you are jumping into. The person you are defending may be lying. Denigrating and bringing others down is just plain wrong. So if you say you are against bullying make sure you aren’t guilty of the same behavior just under another name.
Children who bully others have seen it at home. Perhaps they are bullied where they should feel safe. Ever told your child things like “you are stupid” “you need to eat more of that?” “too bad you aren’t pretty” “sigh you are really dumb aren’t you”.
We all say things to each other in frustration but we need the 10 second rule. Think about what you say before you say it. Young people today are surrounded by bullying. They see violence everywhere, they have access to text, facetime, Facebook, Instagram as well. Do your kids use these? Do you know who they are talking to and what they are saying?? It is really frightening the number of parents who have no clue what their children are doing online. Are they bullies or victims? Find out before it is too late. Sit your children down and explain why bullying is wrong. You hold the key to your childs future. Bullying can have long term effects they can grow up to be shy and withdrawn or in the case of the bully they can become more aggressive as the high they feel from attacking others gets less and less. There is a lot of information out there. Get involved. See if there is an antibullying forum in your town or city or school.
One of the many antibullying pages on Facebook. Support them.
From Psychology Today
A significant number of youths are the victims of bullying, and the topic has been studied for decades. But online or cyberbullying is a newer phenomenon. It is a significant and growing problem, with reports indicating that up to 50 percent of school-aged children experience bullying via technology (Mishna, Cook, Gadall, Daciuk, & Solomon, 2010). For victims of cyberbullying, research has identified a wide variety of negative outcomes, including social, emotional, and academic problems.
Bullying (both traditional and cyber) is aggressive behavior that is repetitive, intentional, and occurs between two individuals with unequal amounts of power (e.g., physical size, age, social status). Bullying can take many different forms, including physical (e.g., hitting), verbal (e.g., name calling), and relational (e.g., excluding someone or spreading rumors). Young people engaged in bullying participate in different roles, including the victim and the bully, and there are a percentage of kids who are involved in the behavior as both a bully and a victim (bully-victims).
Cyberbullies use electronics, such as cell phones and computers. And, unlike traditional face-to-face bullying, the bully can be anonymous. The ability to be anonymous might increase the likelihood that youths will engage in the behavior. Furthermore, a cyberbully does not necessarily see the reaction of the victim, making it easier to engage in mean behaviors.
Cyberbullying potentially can be more upsetting for the victim because the bullying behavior might include a wider audience and be more permanent. For example, a harassing picture can be sent to a large group of people or posted somewhere for people to view for a long period of time. Cybervictims also can have a more difficult time escaping from the bullying. With traditional bullying, the victim might be able to leave the situation, but fleeing isn’t an option in the virtual world, where mean comments or pictures exist online or on technology.
The reasons and factors that influence students to engage in bullying online are multiple and complex.
Some studies have found that youth who bully face-to-face are also likely to engage in online bullying (e.g., Wang, Ianotti, & Luk, 2012). Thus, if a youth is bullying someone in person they might also be bullying others online. However, a significant proportion of individuals who bully online do not bully in face-to-face situations (Twyman, Saylor, Taylor, & Comeaux, 2010).
Other research has found that young people who engage in cyberbullying have lessempathy (defined as sharing another person’s emotional state) than students not involved in cyberbullying (Steffgen, Konig, Pfetsch, & Melzer, 2010). In a large study, 40 percent of students who engaged in online bullying reported not feeling anything after bullying online, while only 16 percent of the cyberbullies reported feeling guilty. Moreover, some students reported online bullying made them feel “funny, popular, and powerful” (Mishna et al., 2010).
Adolescent cyberbullies have been found to engage in other problematic behaviors as well. For example, they have been found to be more likely to engage in substance abuseand have higher levels of participation in school violence (Sourander et al., 2010; Wang, Iannotti, and Luk, 2012).
Peers, teachers, and parents also can influence the likelihood that a youth will engage in bullying online. Young people who believe other students are bullying online are more likely to engage in the behavior themselves. In addition, adolescents who believe the adults in their lives will punish them for bullying online are less likely to engage in the behavior (Hinduja & Patchin, 2013).
Parents play an especially important role. Students who bully online are more likely to report poor parent-child relationships and a lack of parental monitoring of online behavior (Ybarra & Mitchell; 2004).
This blog entry focused on the “why” of cyberbullying, and it is important to answer this question as a step toward developing interventions to stop it from occurring. It is obviously equally important to explore what you can do to help the targets of cyberbullying, but that is a topic for another blog. In the meantime, check out the following link, which provides a tip sheet to help kids learn how to best respond to cyberbullying:http://cyberbullying.us/Top_Ten_Tips_Teens_Response.pdf(link is external)
Dr. Michelle Demaray is a professor of psychology at Northern Illinois University. She is in the School Psychology Program and teaches courses in child development, assessment of emotional and behavior issues in children and adolescents, and professional issues in school psychology. Her research interests include social support, and bullying and victimization in schools.
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J.W. (2013). Social Influences on Cyberbullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 711-722.
Mishna, F., Cook, C., Gadalla, T., Daciuk, J., & Solomon, S. (2010). Cyber Bullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80, 362-374. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01040.x.
Sourander, A., Klomek, A.B., Ikonen, M., Lindroos, J., Luntamo, T, Koskelainen, M., Ristkari, T., & Helenius, H. (2010). Psychosocial Risk Factors Associated With Cyberbullying Amond Adolescents: A Population-Based Study. Archives of GeneralPsychiatry, 67, 720-728. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.79.
Steffgen, G., Konig, A., Pfetsch, J., & Melzer, A. (2011). Are Cyberbullies Less Empathic? Adolescents’ Cyberbullying Behavior and Empathic Responsiveness. CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 14, 643-648. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0445.
Twyman, K., Saylor, C., Taylor, L.A., & Comeaux, C. (2010). Comparing Children and Adolescents Engaged in Cyberbullying to Matched Peers. CyberPsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 13, 195-199. doi:10.1089/cyber.2009.0137.
Wang, J., Ianotti, R.J., & Luk, J.W. (2012). Patterns of adolescent bullying behaviors: Physical, verbal, exclusion, rumor, and cyber. Journal of School Psychology, 50, 521-534. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2012.03.004.
Ybarra, M.L., & Mitchell, K.J. (2004). Youth engaging in online harassment: associations with caregiver-child relationships, Internet use, and personal characteristics. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 319-336. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2004.03.007.