In the comments of my last blog post I was asked to make the topic more personal and to tell you guys about my experiences with bullying.
Well funny thing that I was only just struggling with this topic myself. So here is the story:
One sunday evening, I was already laying in bed and watching TV, I got a screenshot of someone’s work forwarded from one of my friends. I was not directly bullied by the text, even better, I had just been accused of being a bully without even knowing! First I was really shocked because I could not figure out what I had done to be a bully and secondly I was asking myself how someone could publish something like this. Then i talked to my friend who sent me the text. I told her that I have nothing to preproach oneself for and that I wanted to talk to the publisher of the screenshot to avoid the missunderstanding.
So the two of us finally talked with each other and in the end the entire situation was just a concatenation of missunderstandings. To us the only solution has been communication but in most cases of bullying this is not the fact.
Well, we all know that bullying occurs in children’s playgrounds, inside and outside of secondary schools and as you might have read in my previous posts even in the adult workplace, but what about University as I had experienced?
Bullying at Universities exists
“Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It’s a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment.” ― Zack W. Van
According to psychologist Dr. Pauline Rennie-Peyton “The problem with Universities and Colleges is that if we’re not careful, students there also become children. Just because bullying in Universities is not talked about, it doesn’t mean it is not happening. I have students [come to me] and they have to deal with racism, sexual and even intellectual jealousy.”
Furthermore she also believes one of the main reasons bullying is not reported at places of higher and further education is because students have a sense of distrust in their Uni’s services putting disciplinary procedures into action, and so there are probably a lot more cases than we even know. Not only do students not want to report it to their educators but it seems they hide it from their friends and family too. It is difficult to find anyone willing to speak of their ordeal, maybe due to embarrassment or inability to self-admit.
On the other hand Ryan Leclaire, an author of studymagazine.com says that “just like in high school, bullies feed off their own insecurity and the complacency of bystanders.” This a widely-spread opinion since the bullies from high school also graduate and attend college.
In my opinion the two professionals are coming to the same reason for bullying in higher education organizations. As I have mentioned before in my personal story, the problem often is the Communication. Therefore, it is so important to be trained communication skills in university. In the end we are all individuals who can learn to face other individuals without bullying.