May 27, 2020

Bullying: How to detect and combat bullying? – The province

He The term bullying comes from the English word bully, which means "thug" or "peleón", and of the ending -ing which in English is translated as "the action of", a concept that in Spanish we can translate as "bullying", "bullying" or "harassment".

Fighting bullying is everyone's business. Each of us has a responsibility and a power to serve and change it. Bullying at school is the result of a cultural heritage full of meanings that fear and reject difference.

What differentiates Bullying from other conflicting behaviors?

This type of harassment It usually appears from pre-adolescence (10 years) and it is a social phenomenon that involves both the victim and the aggressor or aggressors, classmates and adults (parents, teachers and close friends).


Bullying differs from the conflicting behaviors that can occur in the context of social relations, especially by two key elements:

The reiteration in which aggressive behaviors occur.

The victim is in a situation of inferiority with respect to the aggressor or aggressors.

This type of abuse is characterized by proceed in a systematic and strategic way and extend for a more or less prolonged period of time. There can be both physical, verbal and psychological abuse. Physical abuse is characterized by blows, pushes, punches and damage. Verbal abuse responds to insults, continuous teasing, hurtful comments, rumors and lies. Finally, psychological abuse consists of threats, blackmail and isolation.

Is it easy to detect? How does aggression usually take place?

Detecting and acting is everyone's business. Rapid diagnosis can help stop it and avoid worse consequences.

The stalker usually sets potential targets. This carries out small intimidations that are not easily faced by the victim, a fact that erroneously feeds their safety and decreases the confidence of the harassed. The other ingredient of bullying is the spectators, classmates who support bullying with the aim of "being part of the group" or disregarding "not ceasing to be part of the group" and / or for fear of being victims too.


Usually, after bullying comes physical aggression. The intensity of the aggressions usually increases progressively. The boy, for fear of reprisals, shame to be pointed out and fear of not being understood, live in silence feelings of helplessness and frustration by not being able to stop the aggression, an emotional reality that ends up leading to isolation and invisibility behaviors such as not wanting to participate in class, not playing at recess with other classmates, not going to departures and excursions, etc. ("If you don't see me, I'll be safe"). In short, endless actions that seriously affect your self-esteem.

Educate in values ​​of equality and integration of "the unknown"

Historically we have rejected the unknown, there is no doubt. The price we have paid as a company is very high and possibly we have many years of debt left. It is time to consider whether, in our homes, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, etc., we want to continue charging with such an expensive price from decide what attitude we want to take when we live with diversity, understood as a reality impossible to ignore and essential to understand the human being. We are all unique and different and, in turn, this makes us equal.

So, as we said, it's time to choose what message do we want to transfer to our little ones When we go to buy bread, let's play in the park, watch TV or take a walk on the street and live (always like this) with the reality of our society.

Generate a free expression space

Necessary establish a relationship of trust with the children in which there is no fear of expressing concerns. For this, it is essential to discuss issues outside the routine. We refer to talk about concerns that appear as a result of the changes of stage, of the social framework in which we live, of misinformation, etc. Talks that, possibly, will create a space of freedom of expression, understanding and acceptance.

If the child does not express, it is important to be attentive to manifestations related to internal suffering such as loss of interest in activities that he loved before, generalized fatigue, nervousness, sudden fears, irritability or isolation among others.

Learn to solve conflicts, what guidelines do we start from?

Conflict is part of our life and appears in it in many contexts and situations. Even if necessary and natural, we don't always manage it in the best way.

Adults, again, we have a great responsibility. Ensure better management It helps children / young people deal with the problem instead of avoiding or counterattacking it. To begin, it is important to be aware of the communicative style we adopt inside and outside the home, what we do to face a problem, as well as what thoughts are usually associated when we consider the existence of it ("In what percentage do I live it as a threat and / or as an opportunity? ").

More specifically, for improve educational coexistence and prevent violence, it is necessary to act in the school itself and teach the bases related to conflict resolution. From Emotional Intelligence we find many answers and practical tools that bring us closer to a clear approach. Thus, there are steps that we can put into practice when solving a relational problem. Today, we share with you some of them:

– Each of us has to do an internal job: detect what worries you exactly the conflict "X" and how it makes you feel.

– Secondly, we can ask ourselves what has happened before that has led us to the concern detected.

– That said, it is time to detect what we have tried to do so far to put a solution and what we think we would need to solve it. With this answer, it’s interesting differentiate between what depends on us and what depends on others.

– At the same time, it is important to look for a clear and concise way of expressing the information detected taking into account our rights and needs and anticipating what those of the other people involved may be. Here is an important element: the empathy. There are other "characters" in the story, so we can ask ourselves what they think and what they feel.

– Finally we must remember that our message will not always arrive at the best moment, it will not always be well received, it will not always be understood, etc. At this point it will be useful to understand what has happened (which part depends on us and which part depends on the other / s). Only then can we take another step to solve the problem or ask others to give it.

– Solving conflicts is not "a matter of one", it is a matter of two or more.

Educate integrating diversity avoid the creation of conflicts that arise from pure rejection.

Mª Teresa Mata Massó, training psychotherapist in the training of Emotional Intelligence in person and online

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