Reward a behavior and you encourage it. Most people understand that these days. Likes, pats on the back, positive reinforcement for any behavior usually create more of it. People like to feel good, that’s the simple part. People do things for all kinds of reasons, needs, beliefs and values, and that is the complicated part.
Trolling: To make a deliberately offensive or provocative online action with the aim of upsetting someone, or eliciting an angry response from them. In short, how most bullies in school operate.
The truth is, if a person is not doing it online, they are doing it offline. The act itself might be different, but the reason is often the same, everyone’s got needs and they satisfy them in a different way. A lot of people have tried to model human needs so we can see them more easily. Here are one and two and three examples! Why do people have different diagrams? Because anyone telling you what your needs might be, have modeled them in a way that makes sense for them. Any hint or diagram is a clue to you, so they are all worth a read.
Bullying is one of the most universal concepts out there. That is it applies to the workplace; to a social group of friends; to trolls ruining an event going on; to hackers(crackers) wrecking a website just for the sake of it.
How do you stop bullying? Trolling? Cyberbullying? Workplace Harassment?
Well the truth is you can’t stop a bully fully without addressing why that person is bullying. It’ll just come out some other way, maybe self-harm, addictions, fights etc. You might in showing them they are bullying, give them a wakeup call to the reasons they feel the need to.
How do I stop myself, my friend or my child being bullied? Failing being able to reach the bully on a meaningful level, which is likely if he or she is someone else’s child or impregnable mind. Here are things your child can do, and things you can do. Finally here is help for workplace harassment which many of us sit in silence with, and something for teachers, parents and students combined.
I want you to put aside thoughts that bullying only exists at schools. Hopefully it is spotted and handled in schools but often times it gets through. It is quite likely if a teacher is constantly treating you unfairly at university, a family member corrects everything you say, or a work colleague not only doesn’t like you, but goes out of their way to pressure you, that they are bullying you, or there is a behavioral issue. Issues like a need for control, and certainty, playing out in their behavior, because deep down they feel they lack it in their lives or need more of it.
Is trolling online really bullying?
You tell me. Is someone physically hurting the person, probably not unless it goes that far, or they cause them to harm themselves. Everyone is responsible for their own actions, and a trolling person might cling to that statement. True, but both are responsible for their part in any interaction. Emotional bullying often leads to physical outcomes down the road, whether the victim lets that go on someone else, or themselves, or releases it, everything has a consequence. Consequences that can begin early too, here’s a similar article for children.
Although many studies, articles and people acknowledge the people that get bullied and then go on to feel depressed or harm themselves. Fewer look at those that get bullied and either go on to become bullies, or worse lash out at people, venting their anger that way, as it will come out some day, some way. If you’ve been a victim at some stage, and almost everyone has. Here are some general tips for everyone, and I will certainly be doing more on this blog for you as time passes. There are a million ways to identity trauma or pain in an individual or yourself, the one all methods have in common is they are trying to help you, so go and try. Don’t worry about stigmas or preconceptions, do some research on emotional trauma and try different methods till you find one that works.
Light Humor, Fun?
Could I be a bully? Looking at less abusive exchanges. What you consider light humor or banter between friends might free someone of something restrictive, especially if you have their trust, and they are 100% certain you have a positive meaning behind it. The difference people trolling anonymously seem to forget is, they don’t know that person, their situation, and if they are getting an intense reaction, it’s doubtful they are appearing as a friend having fun with them, when it’s done in an impersonal way like this. And even if you do know them…
Does the Internet cause separation from meaningful interaction?
According to a study on cyberpsychology ‘While it may seem obvious that the weakest bonding would occur in text-based communication, this is nonetheless a socially significant finding, given that most of young people’s digital communication in the United States today is taking place through texting’ Meaning people bond about and care about people less in this sort of distance communication.
I am in agreement with Social Work Today, to draw from their article, and importantly its sourced research. Many people have information overload going on in their day to day life. They have less time for each individual piece, less focus on any specific communication and when they do communicate it’s often done by impersonal words.
Words can appear one way to one person and another way to another, if you need proof of that just watch two people argue about what a word means to them. Worse still you don’t get all the cues like body language, facial expression and tone, things you get when you are there in person. So you can’t reassure someone, give them a pat on the back or gesture that you were joking and your meaning was harmless, or even in your mind friendly. Situations grow and bad feelings entrench themselves, especially when people feel trapped, like they have to go to that job, or return to school, or support their kids even with a spouse who bullies them. This is only worse in text communication because it is so blunt, picture video is better, but even then you lack the subtle exchanges and follow up that being in person provides.
So, before you shake your head at a response to someone else’s post, blog, video or comment, question whether the response of the individual who received it really was over the top, taking all this into account. You might now have a different, wider perspective on the whole thing as to why text based comments or online interactions get so heated. Add to that, online you’ll meet a wide variety of personalities that you’d otherwise never spend five seconds with, because you’d both just separate, and you have a volatile mix for certain. In time the natural course of this will likely be a distancing from words, which while bringing challenges, might be no bad thing. More on that in another article!
Have a Healthy, Great Day.
A FiWellbeing Exclusive Article