March 10, 2011
Bullying has been much in the spotlight lately. People are becoming aware of the devastation and tragedy that can result from what has often been considered an unfortunate circumstance that each person has to work out alone. Finally, society is recognizing that bullying is far from harmless, and in fact inflicts great damage.
Today there was a White House conference addressing the very serious issue of bullying.The President stated, “If there’s one goal of this conference, it’s to dispel the myth that
bullying is just a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of
growing up. It’s not.”
However, bullies and their targets are not only children. They exist in all areas of our lives. Many adults bully others on a regular basis, and it can occur in any circumstance. Bosses, teachers, parents, friends, spouses...any one who is in a position to have (or try to have) power over someone else may use bullying techniques to achieve their ends. And bullying seems to be flourishing in the realm of cyberspace, as well.
Those who are being bullied often feel fear, anxiety and even depression. Sometimes it affects their sleep, appetite, and their sense of well-being and emotional or physical safety.
Bullying can be dealt with. For the person who doesn't know better ways of interacting with others than to be a bully, there is help--often through improved communication skills. For people who are being bullied, there are also ways to learn to assert their rights appropriately.
Do not remain in a situation where this could be happening to you or someone you care about. Therapy can help address this serious problem.
Kathi Whitten, LCSW March, 2011