Bullying is the abuse of power and strength or in other words, it is aggressive behavior used to control and manipulate a specific individual. A bully intentionally harms a peer that seems less threatening. There are different ways a person can bully, some do so by physically harming the said individual, whereas others do it subtly by taunting, exposing secrets, teasing, saying spiteful things and so on. Most people consider bullying a norm or custom and some teenagers even consider it cool to be bullied or be bullies in a popular group. At the time, they may not realize it, but being bullied leaves lasting side effects especially if the victim seems to not retaliate in any way whatsoever.
Below are a few lasting effects of suffering in silence when being bullied:
- Losing confidence
The main drawback of not standing up to bullying is that the victim loses confidence. Teenagers who are bullied in high school feel that they don’t have control or power over the decisions they make. Hence, they don’t have the confidence and lack belief in their own abilities and potentials. Even if the bullying have occurred years ago, it can still affect how the individual responds to certain stimuli as an adult.
A victim may feel doubtful when dealing with a conflict. They may question their own worth and have difficulty handling social situations. It can haunt them in all aspects of their life whether it is their relationship or work.
- Depression and anxiety
Victims of bullying have a higher chance of getting depressed or anxious easily. This is because the process of bullying makes a person feel helpless and dependent. So, when they find themselves in similar situations as adults, they may feel depressed and shut down. There are chances that these negative feelings may intensify with time, if not treated healthily.
According to research, one of the main reasons for increased depression is the bullying experienced in earlier life. In this study, symptoms included being sad and unhappy without any reason followed by negative thoughts of harming themselves.
- Anger issues
There are some cases in which victims may lose control in situations where they feel abandoned. This feeling often leads to anger and sometimes in worst case scenarios, suicide. This behavior can be disturbing for the victim and their fellows, whether it is home or work life or a social gathering.
- Poor Health
If the negative emotional effect of bullying is suppressed for a long time, the chances of increased physical trauma may also linger. Repressed emotions are one of the main reasons why some people do not enjoy their life and their relationships.
- Social Withdrawal
Bullying experienced whether it was in childhood or during teenage years can cause the victim to become lonely and withdrawn from social contact. This occurs because they lose the ability to manage relationships and their trust in others also declines. There are some cases where the victims of bullying eventually commit suicide because they feel misunderstood and alone. So, it is recommended that if a child feels socially withdrawn, their behavior should be taken seriously and be dealt with effectively.
Recently, a search was conducted in Norway on long term psychological effects of bullying. It was an extensive research of 12 years showing that if a person was bullied as a child, he is bound to develop as a psychologically-discerned individual. Bullying is an act that is not be taken lightly. It must be handled as and when observed.
The above-mentioned reasons are a few lasting effects of being bullied. Don’t suffer in silence.