As we know, targets are often silent about the torment they face at work or school and in most cases. This is due to shame and embarrassment. Also, Most family members and friends are not even aware that there is a problem. Those who do know about it are often at a loss as to how to help them. If you are a family member and are wondering whether or not your loved one is a target of bullying, here are the signs that she’s being bullied:
1. Withdrawal from family and friends – being the target of bullying can slowly chip away at self-esteem. And people with low self-esteem have a tendency to withdraw. It is a defense mechanism to protect oneself against further attacks because bully targets, after being victimized for so long, begin to think that all people are vicious and cannot be trusted.
Therefore, they put up their guard and close themselves off, resulting in missed opportunities for closeness with family members, friendships, or romantic relationships.
Or it could be that they don’t want to bother others with their problems and prefer to handle them independently. Still, lovingly ask questions and be prepared to listen attentively if they open up.
2. Underachievement – Most targets are underachievers. Their self-esteem has been so badly beaten that they no longer believe in themselves, which can cause a condition known as “Learned Helplessness.” After being told that they are a “loser,” “no good,” and/or that they “can’t do anything right” for so long, they tend to believe it themselves. This can hurt grades, class participation, and performance.
They must also focus all their mental energy on ways to avoid bullies and be safe, which can affect performance.
3. Overachievement – Although bullying can cause underachievement, it can go either way. Some bullying targets dive into work projects or schoolwork and achieve exceptional grades and class performance to compensate for their low social status among their peers. They feel that they are socially inept somehow, so these kids try to make up for this by excelling in their work, studies, talents, or any other area.
4. Bruises, scrapes, and or cuts on their physical body – many victims of school bullying are targets of physical bullying (being punched, kicked, knocked down, dragged, etc.), which occurs mostly in boys. Still, thanks partially to feminism and the moral decline in today’s young girls and women, physical assaults perpetrated by females are increasing at an alarming rate.
5. Sadness and Depression – symptoms are crying, withdrawal, loss of interest in activities one normally enjoys, and fatigue.
6. Excessive absences from school – Most targets are afraid of going to work or school because they know that bullies will be waiting for them as soon as they arrive or step onto the bus. So, they avoid going by either skipping, feigning illness, or calling in sick.
7. They may become bullies themselves – Often, bullied people feel helpless. They feel that they have absolutely no control over anything. So they too become bullies in an attempt to feel some sense of power and control over something- ANYTHING.
They bully others who are even more powerless to make themselves feel better about themselves and to feel that they are a rung or two up from the bottom of the social hierarchy. Crap always rolls downhill.
An example of this would be: A child gets yelled at by parents, then goes outside and kicks the dog. It’s the same with most bully targets. And as much as I hate to admit it, I was guilty of the same thing in school.
8. Suicidal thoughts and attempts – sadly, suicides resulting from bullying are at an all-time high! Most people who are bullied are powerless to stop it. Most have tried reporting it to authority or handling it themselves to no avail.
Targets often feel alone and have no one in their corner. They feel that there is something wrong with them. They’re made to feel as if it is their fault and that somehow, they deserve the shabby treatment they get.
Sadly, some targets break under pressure and conclude that suicide is the only way to make it stop. If you even think that your loved one might be suicidal, Get help now!
Targets need a support system! Be that support system! Be there for them! If you see any of these signs in a loved one, don’t ignore or minimize it! Ask questions!!!
Try to get them to open up. It won’t be easy, as people are ashamed to admit being bullied, even their own families. However, if you want to help them, you have to address it, and you have to do it gently and lovingly.