Ragging, mocking and bullying are equally unethical behaviors but it exist in our society with different level of intensity especially among students and even sometimes work places. The former two behaviors are a bit different from bullying in terms that ragging, (unnecessary pulling person’s leg who is new to the place) is for a specific time and it fades away. Mocking, is included as an interaction that deliberately does not include harm to another person. However, mocking is degrading as well. According to the global definition, bullying is a behavior derived from a power imbalance with an intention of deliberate harm. It could be verbal (teasing, name-calling, inappropriate comments, taunting, threatening to cause harm) or social, (leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, embarrassing in public) and even physical harm (Hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting, pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things, making mean or rude hand gestures). Bully criteria includes aggressive behavior and repetition of acts done individually or along with a group.
In Pakistan the most common form of bullying is verbal and social. Students are not aware when their light mocking over the low confidence, opinions, language (be it poor English or accent), color, features, body, fashion sense of another person is a form of bullying. Remember, if the behavior is consciously repetitive, it is bullying!! If anyone argue that we are only mocking for the sake of fun and it has no harm then you know what to do…
Verbal and social bullying has some unspoken mental influence that can also be observed in physical health and behavior later. Bullying hinders the confidence at an intense level which affects the academic and social performance of the victimized person. An individual constantly bullied can easily develop an inferiority complex and suffer depression that might lead to impulsive and self destructive behavior. The person verbally bullied usually begins to accept the demeaning comments and starts to impose self-hatred behavior including self harm, irregular sleep patterns and starving or binge eating and it could also produce the desire of vengeance later in life. Bullying can cause a lot of mental pressure as in being extremely anxious when a victim is in situations like these. It eventually leads to avoidance of situations, even the ones that they used to enjoy. In extreme cases, it leads to suicide.
Bullying is not only a trait of students or a thing among students. A person who bullies can be in a form of parent, sibling, friends, relative, colleague or even a teacher (well, we all have come across at least one demeaning teacher in life). Bullying has intense effects and we need to learn the thin line when even sarcasm turns into bullying. Such behavior should not be tolerated and if we ever see it happening in front of our eyes, we should do what we can to stop it.