Everybody’s heard of bullying before, but does everybody have the same concept of bullying? Is bullying punching, hitting, kicking someone until they beg for relief? Or, can bullying also be making fun of others, belittling someone, or degrading people?
The answer I’ve gotten from my research says yes to all of these situations. Most people who admit they have been bullied say that they were never physically harmed or even touched. However, when asked, three Millersville students say they have been verbally abused at least once in their lifetime.
When the same people were asked if they had ever been on the other side of the looking glass, they responded with saying they may have unintentionally bullied another person. However, it’s clear to see that these students would be appalled at the thought of hitting another student.
Assuming that unintentional bullying means making fun of someone for something when they can’t hear you, or saying something about someone behind another’s back, does that make it okay?
I think most people would say “no”, but yet I would also think that most people would admit to participating at some point in their lives in “unintentional bullying”.
So why is verbal abuse so accepted in our society while physical abuse has made a steep decline? Whenever you hear someone saying things about you does the phrase, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” pop into your mind? That’s the thing though: sometimes words can hurt you even more than sticks and stones.
For most, it’s easier to ignore a cut or a bruise than to ignore a heartbreak, or words that somebody else put into your head. While cuts and bruises go away, words can never be taken back once they’re said.
Any kind of bullying can lead to social anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Since gossip is such a cultural norm that everyone comes into contact with daily, it’s important to take a step back and realize that just because someone may not be being physically hurt, they are emotionally suffering. And no human being deserves to be hurt in any kind of way by another being who is just as human.
Three people were interviewed for this article and each said they believe bullying to be a big deal in the United States. It is, and it continues to be a big deal on campus. If it hurts, it hurts. Bullying is bullying if it inflicts any kind of pain on a person. It is so important to take a step towards bettering this campus and us as students, teachers, and friends. If you stand up for yourself, maybe you can stand up for others too. And soon, Millersville University will be a friendlier, more comfortable place to be for everybody.