Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's Not Always Bullying

It’s Not Always Bullying
Bullyingis a highly charged word. These days bullying has become an all-encompassingword for any type of conflict. Aggressive behavior may or may not be bullying.
Bullying is repeated,aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance. Bullying can be verbal,physical, social or cyber.

Many unpleasantbehaviors are not bullying and should not be labeled as such. For example, developmentally appropriate conflict isnot bullying. Neither is:

1.    Assertiveness
2.    Arguing
3.    Unintended aggression resulting from passion
4.    Communicating negative emotions
5.     An isolated actof meanness

Beingaware of bullying and establishing welcoming communities is everyone’sresponsibility. I propose that we concentrate on creating welcoming communitiesand bullying will dissipate. If everyone is encouraged to be him/herself thenthere will be no reason to bully. Difference and power struggles will give wayto learning and acceptance. Of course formal communities must have policies andprograms to ensure that this happens. Wishing will not make it so. It can bedone. There are schools, clubs and camps where members may have limitedexposure to aggression but repeated harassment is unknown.

1 comment:

  1. I have witnessed both up close as a participate on all sides and as a mother of participants on all sides. I see a difference. What do you think?