Many of us will have been or know someone who has been bullied at some point in our lives. Bullying is happening and we have a responsibility to help stop it in all its forms.
It can happen to anyone of any age, anywhere including the workplace. Would you be able to identify if someone you know is being bullied?
- Being excluded from on-the-job social events
- Co-workers excusing themselves from the work area when you come in
- Others being late or absent to meetings you call
- Receiving the “silent treatment”
- Having your presentations ignored
- Colleagues refusing to assist when you ask for it
- Having co-workers spread lies about you that no one refutes
Signs a child is being bullied:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewellery
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating
- Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviours such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
Maybe you know someone who is living in misery right now because of the effects of bullying. There’s no agreed definition of what constitutes bullying but it can be described as repeated aggressive behaviour intended to hurt or intimidate an individual emotionally, mentally or physically.
It can take many forms; cyber bullying is on the increase. No matter what methods are used, being bullied can cause serious psychological stress and even lead to suicidal thoughts and in some cases suicide. Symptoms mirroring Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are not uncommon and there is growing evidence that, for some people, being bullied regularly as a child is linked to emotional problems as an adult.
What to do if you or someone you know is being bullied:
- Don’t join in or watch bullying
- Stop any rumours. If someone tells you gossip, don’t pass it on to others
- Stand up for the person
- Talk to them and try to encourage the bullied person to seek help
- Offer support
- Tell someone who can help, a manager, a parent, or a teacher
- If a crime has been committed call the police