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15 Struggles Only Victims Of School Bullies Can Understand

15 Struggles Only Victims Of School Bullies Can Understand

School bullying is, without doubt, one of the most destructive experiences a child could have. Not knowing from moment to moment whether you are going to be victim of yet another prank, rumor, or violent outburst is soul destroying.

Only the victims themselves know the true effects of these attacks, and that is why I can give you this account so freely.

I was bullied at twelve years of age for the best part of a year. I remember it like it was yesterday. It had a devastating affect on my life, but it didn’t beat me.

Let’s take a closer look at the lives of the victims and how they struggle as a result of this cruelty.

1. They Feel Violated

Bullying comes in many different forms, but even the mildest offense can cause the victim to feel violated. When a group of kids turn on you and start calling you names, it feels like you have lost control of the world you had created for — a world that was happy up until that point.

2. They Feel Alone

Victims don’t want to make a report to anyone when they are bullied — particularly when they are kids. It’s just not the cool thing to do, and they fear it will make the bullying worse. It can be hard making your way home from school every day with a heavy heart, knowing you have to face those pesky bullies again tomorrow and the next day. You start to wonder if it will ever end.

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3. They Feel Afraid

Some bullies are ruthless and will go to great lengths to make sure their victim is left shaken after every incident.

4. They Feel Angry

Victims want to scream “STOP.” They want to fight back but they’re paralyzed. They want to vent their anger and shout about this injustice, but they have nowhere to turn.

They’re angry with the bullies and they’re angry with the people who should be helping— their help is not enough to stop it.

The victim will struggle with schoolwork because they have had a lot of their books destroyed by the bullies and because they are too emotional to concentrate.

If you were locked in a cabinet for the entire recess, you would struggle with your school work, too. The victim is further ridiculed by the teacher and parents for their poor performance in school.

6. They Feel Depressed

Kids who are bullied on an ongoing basis will eventually become depressed. That kind of pressure wears down the victim, who eventually experiences chronic low mood. They are sad both at school and at home. Life becomes unbearable. School bullying has the potential to cause serious anxiety and depression in young people, despite the best efforts of our schools to control it.

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7. They Feel Desperate

If the bullies won’t stop and the kid doesn’t make any effort to report these incidents, this can go unnoticed for a very long time. Some kids are bullied for years on end.

The victim becomes desperate and can’t see an end to this terrible nightmare. Many contemplate suicide, some attempt it, and, sadly, some are successful.

8. They Have Bad Dreams

Kids who are bullied are not only living a nightmare all day, but they often re-live the whole ordeal in their sleep at night.

Nightmares are frightening and make matters worse for the victim when they wake to face the day ahead. The only relief is to stay away from school, and so they face further problems with their schoolwork.

9. They Want to Be Invisible

Being a victim of bullying is so overwhelming that being invisible is the best possible solution. If the bullies can’t see you, they can’t pounce on you, call you names, throw food at you, and so on.

In time, they’ll forget all about you and move on to the next poor victim.

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10. They Feel Humiliated

It’s natural to feel humiliated when you are being targeted by completely insensitive people and in such a cruel way. If you ever had a rumor spread about you — true or false, it makes little difference —, you just want to hide away and never come out.

Cyber bullying is the perfect vehicle for humiliation — it’s so easy to do and has devastating effects for the victim.

11. They Just Want To Be Normal

Victims crave normality. They just want to wake up and feel normal, happy even. They want to go to school and have a normal day, come home and have some normal time with their family.

Instead they feel on edge, depressed, fearful, tearful, and detached from their old life.

12. They Want to Be Bullies

Victims plot and scheme about what they would do to their bullies if they got the chance. Who would blame them? But, of course, this would make them bullies, so it’s not the answer.

13. They Feel Isolated

You can be in the company of loving people, but if you have a terrible secret and nobody knows, you can feel alone.

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Not only that, but those people will notice changes in you and they won’t understand. They may even dismiss you for being silly and offer little help.

When parents don’t understand these changes in their child, they feel helpless too.

14. They Feel Powerless

Usually, victims are outnumbered — bullies aren’t brave enough to take on a victim alone. There is little these kids can do when a gang approaches them — they have no way to fight back.

Every day they wish there was a way out, but the option to snitch is just not worth it. They have been threatened several times and know that there will be repercussions if they defy the bullies.

15. They Can Feel Courageous

Every now and again, things work out for the victim. Sometimes, they’ll throw a punch and surprise everyone and, what’s more, it will land right on cheek of the ring leader. A moment of glory at last — finally the victory is theirs.

Sometimes, the gang might be interrupted just before they strike — Yes! the victim wins again.

Other times, it may be just the case that the bullies took it easy on the victim for some unknown reason. Maybe they got a conscience or something. Either way, it was an easy day for a change.

There’s no doubt that victims of school bullying have a lot to contend with — many will suffer from low self esteem and may even grow up with more serious mental health problems. But, for many, the experience makes them stronger, and so they find their way past all the hurt and shame and go on to live productive and successful lives.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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