How to recognise and address controlling behaviours

In class we discovered that the word bullying is accepted when it comes to extreme situations. However it became strange for some to keep using it in the various forms of behaviour. Therefore in this module when we talked about the not so obvious forms of ‘bullying’ we replaced the word with its true meaning which is: ‘trying to control other people behaviours’

According to the dictionary, bullying is to “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.”

At different phases of life everyone gets ‘bullied’ or ‘bullies’ whether you’re aware of it or not, even if it is obvious or not. It can be as trivial as forcing your parent to take you somewhere or get you something. It could be as severe as ridiculing someone so much over a long period of time, that it makes them feel awful about themselves.

During this module Ms Diana Renfurm led a class and we learned and discussed about obvious and not so obvious ways of ‘bullying’. We talked about the situations of ‘bullying’ and ‘bullying’ techniques how we can recognize and expose the ‘bullying’ behaviour. We talked about how we as a society has accepted the not so obvious ‘bullying’, which leads to a situation where only the extreme behaviours are considered bullying nowadays

We learnt to point out instances of non-extreme bullying and how to communicate about it and to whom.

Moreover, we closed the module with Cyber bullying topic which refers to bullying online; social media, internet or mobile phone. It could be ganging up against a person or target on their social media page or sending inappropriate text messages and forcing someone to do something against their will. An example we discussed at school was a case study from the Common Sense Media which involved two main characters.  One of them decided to send a personal video to a friend who further circulates it in public with the intention of making the person feel bad about himself or embarrassed. 

Also we observed different types of cyber abuses and its meaning.

Overall bullying may happen amongst friends and peers or amongst adults at their workplace. We must understand that bullying can have severe consequences and as we learnt in this module it might come from thinking we are not being equipped with certain skills to cope with specifics situations. We learnt to be more aware so that we don’t hurt others feelings.

How might we consider to be sensitive towards our own feelings and towards others and create awareness by educating children from a young age so that there can be a shift in thinking, attitude and behaviours?

Written by Tania Poonawalla