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27 November 2016 Posted by 


Behavior change is a giveaway

By Brett Murray

IN recent articles, we discussed what bullying is and is not, the difference between bullying and assertive behaviour or leadership.

In this article, we want to look towards how we can help. I believe the first step in helping reduce and eradicate bullying is to know when someone is being bullied.

Research shows that 27% of students who suffer from long term bullying never tell anyone. Many victims of workplace bullying fear retribution if they report being bullied at work.

Victims often feel isolated, alone and powerless. If we as a community want to make a difference, then we must be vigilant, disciplined and alert to the tell-tale signs of people who are being bullied.

For parents, if you are feeling something isn't quite right, you suspect that your child may be getting bullied, the best way to find out is through engaging. Observe their behaviour.

If they are beginning to withdraw from normal family life, they are becoming more introverted, perhaps they are occasionally lashing out at family pets that they are normally very close and affectionate with, or they become more aggressive towards siblings, then these are classic signs something is going on.

If they withdraw from extra curricula activities that they normally love, coming up with all kinds of excuses why they don't want to go, then there is obviously something going on.

At this point it is important not to lose it! Sit down with your child, make the conversation safe, soft tone of voice, calm demeanour, ask gentle questions, make the environment safe, after all, if home with Mum and Dad isn't safe, where is?!

If you child divulges that they are in fact being bullied, then respond, DON'T react. Reassure your child that you will take care of the problem, thank them for trusting you, and reaffirm their value and that it is never their fault.

At the workplace, the same patterns of behaviour can occur. When someone is being bullied, not just harassed, but bullied over a long period of time, you will see that the amount of sick days increases, their punctuality waivers, they isolate, withdraw, are reluctant to turn up to work social gatherings, these are all tell-tale signs and need to be noticed.

By noticing we are aware, if we are aware we can say something, by saying something we can cause positive change.

Brett Murray is CEO of the Make Bullying History Foundation. Visit




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