How many of you can recall a time when you were bullied, or a mean name was yelled out at you as you walked by a group of peers? I imagine a large majority of you reading this blog are already recalling an event and the feelings you felt in that moment have begun to re-surface.
These bullying events and acts of disrespect stick with us years after they occur. It seems in today’s society we have been caught within a cycle of disrespect where we have a higher chance of encountering a lack of respect versus the level of respect one deserves. But how does this disrespect and name calling effect you, the people around you, and the youth currently growing up in a world with both cyber name calling and in-person? The answer – negatively.
Below are six negative effects of name calling.
- Lowered Levels of Self-Worth
Over time, constant name calling will begin to affect how the victim feels about themselves and rob them of a healthy sense of self-worth. For example, a person who is constantly called ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ will begin to feel that they aren’t smart enough for certain opportunities and not even go after goals they are more than capable of achieving because they do not feel worthy or good enough.
- Impacts a Person’s Identity Amongst Peers
Often a bully will call someone names in front of a group of people. This is an act of both attention and control. If someone is called a mean name enough times, peers begin to associate that name with that person. For instance, if a person calls someone a ‘cheater’ enough times, others will begin to believe that that person is a cheater and therefore cannot be trusted.
- Effects a Person’s Mood
Changes in a person’s mood is one of the largest signs that bullying is occurring. If you notice a peer or your child suddenly being withdrawn or having outbursts of anger do not brush this off as ‘hormonal’. When a person is a victim of bullying and name calling it’s extremely common for them to experience anxiety and feelings of depression which in turn effects their sleeping habits and moods.
- Compromises a Person’s Physical Health
A victim of bullying and name calling can experience numerous negative effects to their physical health. These may include stomach aches, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, headaches and even more serious conditions such as ulcers or post-traumatic-stress-disorder.
- Turns on a Person’s Internal Critic
A victim of name calling will begin to associate themselves with that cruel name and begin to criticize themselves for it. Once this internal critic has been turned on it’s extremely difficult to be turned off. For example, a person who has been called ‘fat’ may still feel they are fat or chunky even after losing weight.
- Leads to Mental Health Issues
Probably one of the most concerning effects of name calling is what it can do to a person’s mental health. As mentioned in the previous 5 negative effects, name calling can damage a person’s self-worth, lead to depression, impact their identity and so much more. This depression and feelings of worthlessness can lead a victim to contemplate suicide. Never ignore someone joking or talking about ending their life – step in and get them the help they need.
A message from MakeYouThink
Today’s youth are open to all kinds of avenues for bullying and name-calling with the rise in social media popularity. This type of bullying is painful and comes with numerous negative effects attached. Don’t ignore a child or teen when they come to you with a bullying problem. Instead help them discover their own sense of identity with ways to improve their self-worth, why being respectful towards others matters, and even the importance of forgiving a bully. In extreme cases, seek the advice of a medical professional.