What is bullying and what are its consequences?

It is considered psychological harassment any abusive, intentional and repeated conduct that threatens the dignity or mental and physical integrity of a person. Most of the time it is a problem that goes unnoticed by others except the victim.

This type of abuse can occur in any area of ​​life, such as work, school or family. In addition, it can compromise the well-being of the person. That said, it is important to learn to recognize behaviors in order to prevent their spread and intervene when necessary.

What is mobbing?

Also called moral harassment, refers to the dynamics in which a person (or group of people) infringes on you Intentional, persistent and deliberate psychological harm to another. This abuse manifests itself through comments, attitudes and manipulations, without resorting to physical aggression.

The stalker's goal, rather than annoying, frightening, or displeasing the victim, is to make her doubt herself and weaken her reason. According to the psychiatrist José Luis Gonzales de Rivera, the harasser's actions are as follows:

  • Threaten, criticize, ridicule, stalk or chase the victim.
  • Induce unpleasant feelings in the other person, such as fear, worry, insecurity, confusion, discouragement.
  • Interfere with the mental processes of the victim, make it difficult to carry out their activities or tasks, overload them with demands and expectations that they cannot meet.

Types of psychological harassment

Psychological harassment can occur in all areas of human relationship, such as family, partner, school or work. In this way, different types have been classified, according to the circumstances in which it occurs and the latent intentions.

School bullying (bullying)

Its about deliberate, systematic, and persistent mistreatment of one or more students over another. Aggressions can be physical (exercise of force and generation of pain) or verbal (humiliation, ridicule, defamation, threats, aggression through social networks).

The practices of psychological harassment at school have led to the formation of specialized cabinets in the institutions to deal with the problem.

Workplace harassment or mobbing

Consists in hostile, frequent and repeated attitudes in the workplace. These can be directed against one or more employees and are issued by their superiors or colleagues.

The objective is to intimidate, intimidate, subdue, subdue or get rid of the worker by consuming him emotionally and intellectually. Some manifestations of workplace harassment are the following:

  • Devalue effort or career success.
  • Make criticisms or reproaches for any action or decision made by the worker.
  • Humiliate in public.
  • Force the victim to perform work against your ethics.
  • Prohibit other workers from talking to the person.
  • Ignore It.
  • Accusing without basis.

Also read: 3 forms of workplace harassment at work

sexual harassment

According to the American Psychological Association, this type of bullying involves conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome or considered offensive. Actions can manifest themselves at different levels, and can be mild or annoying, even dangerous.

Likewise, sexual harassment is not only limited to psychological harassment, but can also lead to physical assault in a second instance.

Cyber ​​bullying

Also called virtual harassment, is the one in which the stalker uses digital media to humiliate or make the person feel uncomfortable. It can manifest itself in multiple ways, such as sending insulting, rude or threatening messages, disclosure of personal information; spreading rumors or posting private photos.

Real estate harassment

It consists of the manifestation of harassment behaviors by the owners of a home or property to get the tenants to decide to leave the property or cancel the pre-established contract.

Causes of psychological harassment

The causes of mobbing are diverse and depend on the characteristics of the people involved and the circumstances. Among the most frequent are the following:

  • Feelings of jealousy and envy by the stalkers towards the victim.
  • The power relationships in which the harasser seeks to demonstrate his dominance or superiority through abuse.
  • Ideologies that promote intolerance and supremacy of some people over others, resulting in racism, xenophobia or sexism.
  • Pathological features in the personality of the stalker.
  • Competitiveness or rivalry within organizations.

Consequences of psychological harassment

Psychological harassment can have a serious impact on the well-being and integrity of the victim. Common conditions include anxiety, stress, isolation, irritability, guilt, depression, addictions, loss of self-esteem, insomnia, and changes in mood. A serious point is suicidal ideation.

On the other hand, when harassing behaviors are prolonged in time, the person is likely to develop the following disorders:

  • Posttraumatic stress: characterized by continuous hypervigilance and constant and intrusive recall of traumatic situations of abuse. In this case, the stress and tension levels are excessive. In addition, there is an avoidance of related stimuli.
  • Generalized anxiety: It consists of excessive and continuous concern and rumination on various areas of life.
  • Adaptation: experience of severe discomfort disproportionate to the severity or intensity of the stressor. This causes a significant deterioration in different areas of life, such as work and social.
  • Depression: sad mood, feeling of emptiness, guilt, irritability, as well as the manifestation of somatic and cognitive changes that affect the functionality of the person.

Depression is a disorder that can appear as a result of psychological harassment, leading to more serious problems, such as suicidal ideation.

Find out: Compliments or street sexual harassment? Women in Latin America feel affected

How to deal with it?

In cases of psychological harassment, it is necessary to take the necessary measures and actions to avoid its devastating consequences. If necessary, the complaint should be filed with competent entities. Some coping measures are the following:

  • Offer and demand treatment based on respect. No situation justifies mistreatment or humiliation. It must be strongly implied that you will not allow yourself to be abused.
  • Ensure that all communications are direct and unambiguous. In the event of hints or hints, ask for clarifications and clarifications to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
  • Show assertiveness and act assertively. It is important to express yourself clearly, without falling into impulsiveness and without fear of the other's reaction. Conflict is sometimes inevitable, but this does not mean that it has to be violent.
  • Avoid feeling guilty. The mistreatment of others is never justified and you are not responsible for it.
  • Do not isolate yourself. This will make the situation worse. Seek help from your circle of trust and express how you feel. It is also valid to seek professional support.

Harassment is not always clear, but we must be vigilant

Keep in mind that The distinction between the types of bullying is not presented so sharply in reality. For example, there is sexual harassment within the work environment or cyberbullying at school. Also, the psychological can be accompanied by physical aggression.

On the other hand, we emphasize the importance of take an active role in the presence of this violence. It is essential to avoid passivity. The further the harassment progresses, the more difficult it will be to solve it and the more serious the repercussions will be on the victim. When circumstances worsen it is necessary to seek professional help, both psychological and legal.