When we think of bullying, we often associate the word with simple schoolyard teasing.bullying

However, bullying is a deep and complex issue that affects people of all ages. It can be extremely traumatic for the victim and have lasting effects.

Bullies are often victims of bullying or even abuse themselves, or they lack self esteem and feel a need to target others and make themselves feel stronger.

The psychology of bullying is important to understand if you are to get to the root of the problem and find a solution.

Bullying in children

Bullying traits can develop in young children very early on, as a toddler can be very singularly minded during the ‘terrible twos’!

But with the correct parenting techniques and management of toddler outbursts, the child can quickly learn right from wrong, and can develop a respect for its peers.

Young children also need frequent socialisation, under the guidance of their parents, to develop positive social skills and learn to respect others.

Often, bullying develops when an older child has missed out on these early years steps, and where they have had less parental input, or an unstable home life. This can cause anxiety and low self esteem in a youngster. They may lash out at other children, or engage in sneaky bullying behaviour, in order to get attention or to make themselves feel strong. If left unchecked, bullying can continue into the teens and beyond. It is always wise to intervene early if you suspect your child is bullying others.

Bullying in adults

Though most people expect to find that bullying subsides when they enter the adult world, there are many examples of bullying between adults that can occur at home, at work or out in the world.

From unfair bosses and cruel colleagues to aggressive partners or mean friends, almost anyone can experience bullying – and it can happen anywhere. Adults are also exposed to cyber-bullying, which can take very nasty forms.

Bullying between adults is often linked to low confidence levels and a lack of self esteem. Especially in a work environment, the victim is targeted so that the bully can look or feel stronger. This could be related to work performance anxiety, as well as to underdeveloped personal and social skills. Bullies may feel that in order to compete well amongst their peers, they have to belittle them first: it makes them feel bigger.

Hypnosis and bullying

If you are experiencing bullying, or dealing with a child that is being bullied – or bullying others – then hypnotherapy could help.

You may not immediately think of hypnosis as a solution to bullying, but hypnotherapy is proven to tackle anxiety – and anxiety lies at the root of most bullying. Hypnotherapy is highly effective for adults and older children, including teens. It can help to realign thoughts and lower anxiety levels, and to develop personal strength and build self confidence and self esteem.

Both bullies and victims of bullying find hypnotherapy effective, in their own ways. For the bully, hypnotherapy can address the anxiety that is causing anger and aggression towards others, creating new coping strategies for anxiety that are not harmful.

For those being bullied, hypnotherapy can deal with the anxiety caused by bullying, and help the victim find the confidence to stand up to their bully, or pursue further action.