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← "She is not actually bullied!" Why bullying is a subjective phenomenon | Beau Oldenburg | TEDxBreda

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Zeige Revision 7 erzeugt am 09/21/2020 von Rhonda Jacobs.

  1. For about eight years, I have been
    a researcher studying bullying.
  2. When I tell people what I do for a living,
  3. they almost always respond by asking me
    why I chose this particular topic.
  4. Was I ever bullied myself?
  5. Or did I perhaps bully others?
  6. Surprisingly, these questions
    are not so easy to answer.
  7. I mean, in high school,
    I was far from being popular.
  8. I did not have so many friends,
  9. and there was this one guy
  10. who would from time to time
    make comments about my short hair.
  11. And this was surely not nice,
    but was this really bullying?
  12. I'm not sure.
  13. Then, a few years later, in college,
    it was the other way around.
  14. There was this one girl
    who I did not really like so much,
  15. and me and my friends excluded her,
  16. and obviously this was
    not very nice behavior,
  17. and I feel a bit embarrassed
    sharing this with you.
  18. But was this then really bullying?
  19. Even for me, someone
    who studies bullying for a living,
  20. it's not so straightforward
    to answer these questions.
  21. What about you?
  22. Have you ever been bullied?
  23. Or did you perhaps bully others?
  24. How do you know that what happened
    really is bullying,
  25. and not something else such as teasing?
  26. How do you determine that?
  27. Well, in theory it's simple.
  28. There are three elements
  29. that distinguish bullying [from]
    other types of negative interactions
  30. such as teasing.
  31. First, there is repetition.
  32. Bullying does not happen once,
    but happens over and over again.
  33. Second, there is a power difference.
  34. The bully is stronger than the victim,
  35. and it can be that the bully
    is physically stronger,
  36. but it can also be that the bully
    is socially stronger -
  37. for instance, by having more friends.
  38. Third, there is an intention to harm.
  39. Bullies on purpose hurt the victim.
  40. So it's not an accident.
  41. Now that you know these three elements -
  42. so, repetition, power difference
    and intention to harm -
  43. can you apply them
  44. to the bullying situation
    you were just thinking about?
  45. Does it change your conclusion
  46. on whether it's really bullying or not?
  47. As you may notice,
    in theory it's quite simple,
  48. but in practice it can be difficult
  49. to apply these three elements
    to real-life situations.
  50. Let's try for the two
    examples I just gave.
  51. So the guy in high school -
  52. There was repetition
  53. because he made comments
    about my short hair more than once.
  54. There probably
    also was a power difference
  55. because this guy was a lot taller
    and stronger than I was.
  56. The third element is a bit difficult:
    the intention to harm.
  57. I have no idea what his intentions were.
  58. But we can say that at least
    two out of three elements of bullying
  59. were present in high school.
  60. But what counts perhaps the most
  61. is that I did not
    feel bullied at that time.
  62. Let's go to the example
    of the girl in college.
  63. Also, this happened more often,
    so there was repetition.
  64. There may have been a power difference
    as I think I had more friends than her,
  65. but I am not sure.
  66. And yeah, with respect
    to the intention to harm,
  67. I don't know what my intentions were,
    but it was not to harm her.
  68. So also here, two out of three
    elements were present.
  69. And at that time,
  70. it did not feel like bullying to me,
    but maybe it did to her.
  71. Let's move from these
    two examples in my life
  72. to a way larger group.
  73. My colleagues and I asked hundreds
    of primary and secondary school students
  74. and their teachers and their classmates
  75. about bullying the in their classrooms,
  76. and we found that
    their perceptions differed a lot.
  77. So many students reported to be bullied,
  78. but their classmates and the teachers
    didn't see them as being bullied.
  79. Some of the teachers even said to us
    that they were aware of this,
  80. that they had some students
    in the classroom who felt bullied,
  81. but that these students
    were not really bullied,
  82. that they were wrong,
    that they were exaggerating.
  83. Based on my personal
    and professional experience,
  84. the idea that I would like
    to share with you
  85. is maybe we should let go a little bit
    of this scientific definition of bullying,
  86. this idea of "actual" bullying,
  87. and focus on people's feelings instead.
  88. We spend a lot of time and effort
  89. trying to find out whether someone
    is actually bullied or not,
  90. whereas in practice,
  91. it's often very difficult
    to reconstruct what exactly happened.
  92. These three elements of bullying,
  93. they provide useful
    and necessary guidelines,
  94. but as we just have seen,
  95. it's not so straightforward
    to apply them to real-life situations.
  96. What counts perhaps the most
    is whether you feel bullied
  97. rather than that you are actually bullied.
  98. After all, it's the perceived
    bullying that affects you,
  99. and, yeah, not the actual bullying.
  100. So instead of spending so much time
  101. on finding out if someone
    is bullied or not,
  102. let's take feelings seriously.
  103. When someone feels bullied, they feel bad,
  104. even if the environment thinks
    that this person is not bullied.
  105. In fact, if everyone around you
    thinks you're not bullied,
  106. you may feel even worse.
  107. My message to you is:
    you can make a difference.
  108. Please be aware that
    there is bullying everywhere,
  109. in almost every group -
  110. also at your workplace,
    school, sports club.
  111. It's everywhere.
  112. You just may not see it.
  113. What is a joke to you
    could be bullying to someone else.
  114. When someone tells you
    that they feel bullied,
  115. you can make a difference
    by taking this seriously
  116. rather than starting a whole discussion
    on whether this is actual bullying or not.
  117. Please be aware that
    for people who are bullied,
  118. it can be very difficult
    to talk about the bullying
  119. because they feel embarrassed
  120. or they are afraid
    the situation will only get worse.
  121. So when someone tells you they're bullied,
  122. please be open and trust that this person
    is truly dealing with something,
  123. and try to look for a solution together.
  124. And if you feel bullied but are not
    taken seriously by the people around you,
  125. please do not start
    to doubt your own feelings.
  126. You believe that the people around you
    are treating you in a bad way,
  127. and that is what counts.
  128. Take your own feelings seriously as well.
  129. And it's your reality -
  130. nobody has a right to deny it.
  131. Thank you.
  132. (Applause)