When social psychologists explain phenomena such as conformity, obedience, and aggression, they do so in terms of social influence, explaining what someone does in terms of the presence of others. People will emulate other people, even when conformity involves going against the evidence provided by their senses. That is, people seem to want to go along with most of the group members even when those group members do not explicitly pressure them to conform.
My findings indicate that only a third of the human race resist the majority and make the correct decision. A bully is then an authoritarian, an Alpha figure or group that requires others to conform to their ideals even if these ideals violate their moral norms and inflict pain, perhaps even at lethal levels, on other human beings. Short effects are dangerous and longer exposure to bullying may be deadly when it comes to mental health. The person being bullied becomes alienated, powerless, meaningless, isolated and self-estranged and labelled as deviant. The latent manifestations on mental health can be debilitating. “Victims” become withdrawn, anti-social, hysterical with fear and depressed. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) becomes a chronic stressor.Like pain, this traumatic experience is cognitive and emotional. It usually results in alcohol abuse, drug abuse, anxiety disorders or personality disorders. Prolonged and repeated interpersonal violence such as domestic or sexual abuse and political torture and war are also factors of PTSD.
It is therefore, crucial that bullying, under any circumstances must be stopped. We need to praise and encourage and help each other develop a positive image.
Rita Catherine Orsten, Peace Ambassador for Malta