My post When 0.27 Percent Isn’t That Small made it into the internet newspaper Beyond Bullies for July 11, 2011 and one of the other articles caught my eye: Teaching Children Tolerance on Reality Check by Dr. Michele Borba.
Wow! I knew that bullying was prevalent in the United States, and I had my suspicions that it was not isolated to the United States, but I found an article today which caused my eyebrows to rise.
Bullying has been around for as long as I can remember… and long before that. It has seemingly been on the rise in recent years, but it may be that our tolerance for bullies is waning, or we are better defining what bullying is. So, what is bullying? Dan Olweus gives us a commonly accepted definition for bullying in his book, Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do:
A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.
If social exclusion isn’t blatant bullying, it is its first cousin. The reason I say that it may not be bullying is that no one has to hang out with you. You don’t have to be a member of a particular group… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It does. But, as Izzy Kalman of Bullies 2 Buddies points out, there are different ways to deal with the situation…and some are definitely more effective than others.