Hello dear followers of “E-Volution Media”!
I am Kaloyan Matekov and in this article I will shortly tell you about just a tiny part of what I’ve learned in the Youth Exchange “Low No More!”, in which I took part as the Bulgarian group leader.
The YE took place from the 25th of March to the 5th of April in Pavel Banya, Bulgaria. It is part of the Erasmus+ programme, co-funded by the European Union.
Bullying is the topic of this mobility and since we spoke so much about it during the ten days of our stay in Pavel Banya, I am going to share with you here a bit of what I’ve learned.
So let’s start from what is bullying exactly?
We can go and search for an official definition, but I will allow myself to write it the way that I understand it – bullying is the behaviour (words, actions, attitudes) of a bully (one person or a group of people) towards a victim (also could be a single person or more), of course negative and causing harm to the one experiencing it. Definitely, it can be harmful even for the bully itself, regardless of them understanding that or not.
Going further, bullying has many types. For the sake of simplicity, we can say that the main ways of doing it are verbal, physical, cyber and social. Of course, you can name many more, but let’s stick with those four as of now.
To give you some examples in order to understand better, verbal bullying is when words are being used – ridicules, laughing at someone, calling them in unpleasant ways and etc.
Physical bullying consist of actions which are applied literally to someone’s body, clothes or property, thus they include physical contact. Such are hitting, kicking, tripping, slapping, taking items and so on. This type is the one that bring the kind of grief to a person which is the easiest to be seen – including marks, bruises and scars.
The cyber bullying is very specific as it has appeared in the cyberspace and is typical for the last few decades. It is something brand new to the world, when you look at it from the perspective of how long of a history we have. This behaviours is pretty much using technology, namely devices as telephones and computers, to bully others, mostly via the Internet. That could be blackmailing, creating fake profiles, taking pictures without permission and posting them, etc.
Social bullying is the one that is connected to our status in the community, it has many forms and contexts. This includes racism and other discriminative behaviours, which result in negative relations between individuals or groups. Actions of social bullying can happen on the streets, at institutions, at work, school, in any public space. Therefore there are many ways that social bullying can happen. We can very often witness people being treated badly because of physical characteristics that they have, their economical situation, their rank and occupation and not only.
There are many more details in which we can get to, but let’s pay some attention as well to the prevention and possible solutions of bullying.
You might get surprised how often simple and clear communication can help. This could be between the bully and the victim or with a third party. Very often a bully would have feelings which, if they share, they may not feel a need to harass someone anymore. A bullied person can also have a lot to speak about and doing so is for sure a way to cope with the issue. Questions here are vital, as well as being honest, patient, tolerant and empathetic. There is a method called “Non-Violent Communication”, which is really helpful for such situations and teaches us how to communicate effectively in a peaceful matter, in order to find productive solutions.
Arts, sports and other hobbies can also be a source of preventing and stopping bullying. To put it that way, it can happen that either the victim and the bully participate together in some social activity (which of course, depending on the case, has as well the risk of further bullying happening), or that the victim and the bully take part individually each in whatever they like, so that they deal with their emotions and thoughts. A pleasant free-time activity can reduce the need of a person to bring pain to others. The participation in such hobbies can also help a victim of bullying to become more confident or generally improve their mood, which has been affected by someone’s behaviour.
It is very important to mention the role of parents, family, friends, teachers and psychologists. It is really up to the case. For the lightest forms of bullying, the people who are daily beside us can support us and help us solve our challenges. Parents play a huge role when harassment happens in the earlier stages of childhood. As we go forward, teachers in schools are another factor and could have a supporting role for students who are on any of the two sides of a problem.
We can get into more detail and say that at work such functions can be taken by a boss or another person with specific privileges and authority.
Anyhow, I would like to underline the importance of psychologists. A good psychologist is one of the best solutions for dealing with stress and anxiety, caused by frequent disrespectful behaviours. Seeking help doesn’t show weakness, on the opposite, the ability of doing so is a strength. We have certain boundaries and knowing where, how and when to ask for support is something completely natural, as there is no almighty among us.
The topic of bullying is a very extensive one, as well as sensitive. In this article I just mentioned a really smart share of what can be said and written. If you are interested, a more stable research is worth it and always welcome. Learning is a process that can solve a lot, when done properly.
#EU #Erasmus+ #YouthExchange #LowNoMore! #Co-funded by the EU