Peer Conflict: What is Involved?
Bullying is an issue that almost all students must deal with. It is interesting to note that girls and boys act quite differently, when it comes to how they intimidate others. Girls, for instance, take a more indirect approach to boys. Girls will place their victims into tight, or uncomfortable, situations and watch them squirm.
They enjoy seeing how their “target” reacts to the embarassing circumstance. Some girls can be really mean. I recall when I was in high school, a teenager went in the girls’ bathroom & put some acid on the toilet seat. I was shocked by that – but it does happen. And some school bullies will even try to place drugs into another girl’s drink at a high school party. So you have to be on your guard, if you attend such parties.
(This makes a “good case” for BYOB – i.e., if you’re going to drink it’s far better to bring along your own beer or cooler.)
Teenaged Male Behavior
Boys want to demonstrate physical dominance over their counterparts, & they will be more likely to be openly defiant or aggressive toward others. Whereas females may gossip, or do something sneaky when a fellow student isn’t looking, males are far more likely to strike another student, or gang up on a guy without provocation. Frequently, guys will seek out a victim who is vulnerable – like someone who is out of shape, or is a geek, or doesn’t see well. Thus, a teenager who doesn’t stand out in some way may have a better chance of not being prone to school bullies.
New Age: Cyberbullies
Additionally, there can be the cyber-bullies on hand nowadays. It can be a perplexing problem to try and tackle, but there is a neat site called stopcyberbullies.org you can check into. Briefly here are some guidelines for teens and their parents to follow:
1) Do not participate. Even if you are not the one who originated the online gossip, or hurtful images, don’t join in. I mention this because many teenagers don’t really stop and think – they merely join in the online conversation.
2) Many websites & phones have the capability to block cyberbullies’ messages, and should do so. Of course, the online bully may find a way to get round this.
3) Let an adult know (or a teacher) if you are aware of a student who is being harassed, or victimized online. The teacher or administrator at your school will try to keep your identity anonymous – so you shouldn’t fear retaliation.
4) If a good friend of yours is under attack or being threatened, it may be a wise choice to tell his/her parents or guardian. It is always best to keep adults aware of what is going on, so that they can help keep their loved ones safe or adopt special practices at home with online security for their computers.
Negative Emotions Can Cause a Perpetual Cycle
School bullies prey on their victim’s negative emotions, and so it can become a vicious cycle that is difficult for the person “under siege” to break. Patterns develop, and oftentimes teachers do not want to be involved. This can be very hard on a young person who say is already down or depressed, about their weight.
And the individual’s level of self-esteem can drop even further, the longer the peer conflict continues. Therefore, it would be a good idea to use the situation as a motivator to lose weight. Maybe you can work out together, after school or at lunchtime. It’s a way of turning a “negative” into a positive. Find a friend who also wants to lose weight, and have a bit of a competition. Then the
caused by school bullies can diminish. Do whatever you can to lessen the chances you will be noticed by school bullies, especially if you’re living in a dangerous urban setting. Blend in – if you’re overweight, lose weight. If you wear glasses, consider getting contacts. Simply give the school bullies less to work with.