There has been much interest in bullying over the past few years. There are programs and tips and school programs to address this issue. We tend to focus largely on kids and how bullying impacts them, and rightly so. But we need to also realize kids who are bullies generally grow up to be bullies too. If you think about it, I am sure everyone can remember a bully they had to deal with in an adult setting. Maybe it could have been a boss or supervisor. Perhaps a co-worker or customer.
The traits of an adult bully are similar to those of a child bully. The exhibit aggression and intimidation in their interactions with others and promote negative behaviors. They fail to communicate well with those they bully and criticize them. They discount the work others do and belittle the work done. They may spread untruths and have an attitude of knowing it all and are prone to verbal attacks against others. They tend to derail any attempts to create a healthy work or community environment. You can see the similarity between the adult and child bully. Consequently, the bullied adult will have many of the same issues as the bullied child; they may have stress related symptoms like fatigue, sleeplessness, physical aches and pains, and may have frequent absences from work. The avoidance of work is similar to the avoidance of school for kids. They may also be moody, apathetic, irritable and anxious. The bully and the bullied will often display the same set of symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, physical illness, frustration and anger.
If we are to address bullying at the school level , we must also realize there are bullies and bullied who are the teachers, counselors and administrators in our school systems. All bullies need to be identified and be offered assistance to overcome this. Some bullies don't know they are "bullying" as they have been very successful in business and other areas by using these tactics. Awareness is always the first step to identify how deep a problem runs. There are numerous websites that provide additional information and resources for bullying prevention. The best and most comprehensive is StopBullying.gov. It addresses both sides of bullying and is categorized by age of the respondant from children to adults. As with all things, if we are to provide our children a better learning environment, we must start with ourselves. We need to be sure our own houses are in order before we begin to attempt to address an issue. It is time to stand up for those that have been bullied and provide both the bully and the bullied an avenue to change their pattern for the better.