Throughout the early 2000’s and nowadays too, there has been lots of emphasis from celebrities to community members on the impacts of physical bullying. Physical bullying, notably as the name suggests is the most profound form of bullying with 6% female, and 4% male students being influenced by it in the United States alone. But the greater form of oppression in schools throughout the world still remains. Just like the unfriendly name suggests, this kind of bullying is described as relational aggression or as I like to call them, the ‘two-faced bullies’.
Relational aggression is the type of silent, social, and emotional bullying that most commonly goes unnoticed by parents and teachers. The bullies are able to control and manipulate their victims while remaining unnoticed right under the noses of adults. Some bullies are so skilled that most people won’t even suspect them of bullying to the slightest. This form of bullying is at its peak between 5th grade and 8th grade in northern parts of the world like the United States, and girls are also known to be more relationally aggressive than boys during this period.
Two-faced bullies aren’t just harming their victims when they hurt others’ feelings and emotions, but they are also harming themselves too. If you have been following our organization Let’s Defeat Bullying for a while now, you already know that most forms of bullying result in short-term effects on victims like feelings of rejection, depression, low self-esteem, experiencing eating disorders, suffering academically, and struggling to make healthy friendships to name a few.2 But there are also long-term impacts of relational aggression which are almost identical for the bullies and the victims alike. Some of the effects of relational aggression leading into adulthood are unprescribed substance abuse, self-destructive and antisocial behavior, and an increased likelihood of being less educated or employed.
But just like in any and all forms of bullying, the best way to alleviate and cope with the stress and anxiety is to navigate through the hardship. To create a successful plan to fight against relational aggression, you and your parents should sit together and take out time from your day to listen and discuss openly about the issues you face at school, without judging each other. In your mutual relationship with each other, you should also know that your parents cannot control what others say or think about you, but they can control your response and the way you handle your emotions and aggression in your life. Both sides have to also be very encouraging, patient, and empathetic to deal with this very confusing and painful phase that occurs in every student and child’s life.
Also be sure to stay vigilant, aware, and careful about who you hang out with and their dealings and relationship with other fellow peers. Most of the time, this is the form of bullying that we may not even know we are indulging in and causing harm to fellow, equal, human beings. And as always, if you ever feel like you need someone to talk to about the bullying you face at school while remaining anonymous, Let’s Defeat Bullying has got your back. We never release any personal information about you, and if you want, we can also share your story on our blog so that others can learn from it and avoid being bullied in the future.
Please also keep in mind that if you believe your situation and condition has become very extreme due to extensive and continuous bullying, you should immediately get evaluated and checked up with a family doctor or physician because all lives matter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a high school sophomore in the tech-hub of Seattle, WA, USA. I am part of lots of clubs, and I enjoy biology, chemistry and math. My hobbies are playing cricket, working for non-profits, as well as studying for school. I have 3 other siblings and parents, which I also enjoy my spare time with.