There are many common misconceptions about bullying. Thinking that bullying is a normal part of childhood and the victims should just toughen up is perhaps the most stereotypical view of bullying and the biggest bullying misconception. Thinking this way can have serious consequences for both victims and bullies. Bullying should not be tolerated and letting a bully continue picking on others just reinforces their behavior and sets them up to continue making poor choices for the rest of their lives. Bullying victims can also suffer from low self-esteem, depression, and a poor self-image.
Another bullying misconception is that bullies have low self-esteem. Many bullies are popular and are very confident. Bullies are not the unconfident kids trying to make up for their problems like people once assumed. Bullying may actually be a way that kids try to dominate others and assert their power. Children who bully often act in conjunction with their friends and use bullying as a way to fit in with them. Children who have friends and like to be in control will bully others as a way to assert their power and impress their friends, albeit in the wrong way.
Many people also have the bullying misconception that bullying occurs only in lower-class neighborhoods and schools. This is not the case, and plenty of bullying cases occur in high-class neighborhoods and schools. Bullying can occur no matter what socioeconomic class a child is in. Many upper-class schools have bullying problems because children feel as though they are better than others and try to show how much power they have over children they perceive as weaker than them.
The bullying misconception that boys are only kids that bully is also wrong. Boys do bully more than girls, but girls can also be bullies. Bullying among boys is often physical where girls tend to use emotional bullying by saying mean things and spreading rumors to humiliate people. Both types of bullying can have devastating effects on bullying victims and leave them with self-esteem problems and a lifetime of insecurity.
Another bullying misconception is that bullying most commonly occurs in high school rather than in younger children. Studies have shown that bullying occurs at all ages, but the most common ages are in middle school, not high school and elementary. Children from 9-13 years old are the most likely ages to bully. Children in this age group are just beginning to face stress in school and the pressure to fit in, so bullying becomes a common way to cope with these problems.
Many people think that remarks made with bullying most commonly target intelligence and are meant to demean a person. Studies suggest, however, that the most common insults used while bullying is about a kid’s perceived sexual orientation. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is the most common thing kids tease each other about. Finding socially unacceptable faults such as these make some children easier targets for bullying. There are many bullying misconceptions and truly understanding what bullying is will help to stop and prevent it.