Many of us will associate bullying as something that happens in our youth, during our school years and in the playground. However, bullying is more common than you may think. While it is a common issue at school, bullying can occur at any age. Bullying doesn’t discriminate, it’s everywhere. It can happen during any time of your life; at school, at work, online, at university or even at home.
Bullying may have affected you at an earlier time in your life, but it may have been a factor in developing other issues. In a recent survey, counsellors told us that 72% of bullying-related clients originally came to them for a different reason, such as anxiety and depression. There are common resulting behaviours for a person being bullied. Common behaviours include:
- social anxiety
- low self-esteem
- suicidal thoughts
Whoever you are, bullying can change your life. It doesn’t matter what age, race, gender or religion you are, all of us may be affected by bullying at some point in our lives.
Spotting the signs
Many people will keep their worries to themselves. Depending on the individual, they may brush it off as a harmless joke, or they may feel like there is no-one to turn to. There are some common signs of bullying to look out for whether this is in a child, partner, friend or yourself.
- keeps to themselves
- change in attitude
- irritable or snappy
- increased sick days or time off
- frequent headaches and/or nausea
Whether you are being bullied yourself, are worried about a friend or colleague or concerned about your child, it is important to know the signs of bullying.
Bullying at work
Bullying at work can often be very subtle and underhand. For this reason, it can be quite hard to spot. Some of the main forms of bullying at work include gossiping, verbal abuse, public humiliation and emotional manipulation. Being bullied at work can lead to feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem and depression. Don’t be afraid to take action – get help as soon as you can and don’t let other people make you feel unhappy.