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Bullying and Self Esteem

Bullying is a burning problem in nowadays society. It is a global and mass phenomenon that has been studied by different scientists in most developed countries of the world. Bullying is a physical or psychological terror directed at causing fear of another person and thereby to control him. Previously, it has been just an everyday concept, but in the last 20 years it has become an international socio-psychological and pedagogical term for which there is a whole set of social, psychological and educational problems.

Bullying includes four main components: aggressive and negative behavior; it is carried out regularly; it occurs in relationships in which the participants have unequal power; such behavior is intentional (Naylor 2001). Bullying can take many forms: 1. Physical harm, such as beating, pushing; 2. Emotional harm, for example, scoffing over how a child behaves, looks, talks. Writing hurtful things in the mail or online journals (blogs) is also considered as bullying. According to most researchers, bullying includes four main components:

  • it is an aggressive and negative behavior;
  • it is carried out regularly;
  • it occurs in relationships in which the participants have unequal power;
  • such behavior is intentional (Elvin 2002).

There are two types of bullying: direct (physical) and indirect, which is also called social aggression. This behavior has its own age, sex (gender) and other psychological regularities (Wolke 2000). On a personal level, “classic” bully is characterized by high aggressiveness, poor self-control and a high tolerance for aggressive behavior per se. Bullies use force not spontaneously, due to common childhood conflicts, but consciously, staying emotionally calm and indifferent. However, they often do not meet resistance, because children, who are bullied, are usually characterized by different social detachment, tendency to shy away, staying away from conflict, or, conversely, increased aggressiveness. Thus, bullies and their victims complete each other, creating a specific pair of relations that are deployed in the children’s intergroup relations (Smith 2004).

Self-esteem is a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth, his own qualities and feelings, strengths and weaknesses. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, “I am worthy”) and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame (Powell 2005). Self-esteem can apply specifically to a particular dimension or have global extent. Self-esteem functions are regulator function, which is the basis for solution of problems of personal choice and protective that provides relative stability and independence of the individual. Significant role in self-esteem formation is played by estimations of other people and personal achievements of a person (Caunt 2002).

Self-awareness is not only the cognition of yourself, but also a certain relation to yourself: to your qualities and conditions, capacity, physical and spiritual strengths, that is, self-esteem. Human as a person is a “self-estimating” creature. Without self-esteem, it is difficult or even impossible to gain independence in the life. True self-esteem implies a critical attitude towards yourself, a constant trying your ability to enforce the imposed requirements, the ability to independently set achievable goals, rigorously evaluate your thoughts and their results, extensively investigate nominated guesses, carefully weigh the pros and cons, and renounce unjustified speculation and versions. Right self-esteem supports the dignity of man and gives him the moral satisfaction. Adequate or inadequate attitude to yourself leads to either the spirit of harmony, providing reasonable confidence in yourself, or to constant conflict, sometimes leading up to human neurotic state. Maximum adequate attitude to yourself is the highest level of self-esteem.

Many people believe that person’s self-esteem largely depends on the understanding his merits by others. When people support a man, they are attentive and kind to him, express approval, the man alleges that he means a lot to everyone and himself. But basing on the concepts of oriental philosophy, self-esteem is the basic essence of man, it’s something with which the person is born, it is the fact that he has by default, because he is a person, because he has been born, because he lives and is a particle of the universe. True self-esteem is based on self-acceptance, acceptance of people, processes of life and the whole world, because that is just like that, and you just need to accept, live and enjoy. Self-assessment is that can not be determined for you by others, it is impossible to understand it with the mind, you can only feel it! In modern psychology there are three types of self-esteem: underestimation, normal, inflated (Powell 2005).

If a person with early childhood has been bullied, his self-esteem drops and in his life he will not succeed, because he will assume that he simply does not deserve it. Self-esteem is very important for everyone because without it people can not believe in themselves and in their strengths to do something. Since bullying is peculiar more to children, nor to adults, the parents must do everything to ensure their child is not subjected to it and to his self-esteem increases as it is a guarantee of future success.



Caunt, J. (2002). Boost Your Self-Esteem. p. 45.
Elvin, Jesse. (2002). The liability of schools for bullying. The Cambridge Law Journal. Issue 61. pp. 239-294.
Naylor, Paul., Cowie, Helen., Rey, Rosario. (2001). Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review. Cambridge University Press. Volume 6. Issue 3. pp. 114-120.
Powell, J. (2005). Self-Esteem. p. 26.
Smith, Peter K. (2004). Bullying in Schools: How Successful Can Interventions Be? Goldsmiths College. University of London. pp. 47-48.