If you or anyone you know is being bullied make sure you let someone who can do something about it know. According to Susan Williams, founder of WordEffect.org, gossip is a very insidious type of bullying and can be every bit as harmful as other types.
“Recent studies of peer exclusion have shed a light on the harmful effects of gossip and the way these behaviors impact students of any age. Those who are being talked about by peers may experience highly charged emotions, including those of betrayal, exclusion, and humiliation. And, the damage goes beyond the harm to one’s self esteem.
Those who are verbally or psychologically targeted by classmates may start attempting to avoid their classrooms or schools altogether. These actions, taken to spare themselves the pain of dealing with gossip and exclusion, affect their academics and future success in an adverse way, and can negatively impact the potential for an individual to grow into a happy, healthy, functioning member of society.
The pain gossip can cause its victim is immeasurable. Those who are singled out as the focus of gossip often develop poor self-images. This is especially true for girls.
Other studies have shown that the effects of bullying and gossip can be associated with loneliness, depression, anxiety, and even suicide.
Gossip pits students against one another. It can fill a room with negative energy and damage the reputations of everyone involved. It is an invisible force that influences behavior in a detrimental way and encourages students to dehumanize each other.”
We’ve all heard the saying, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That isn’t true. Words can kill you by killing your spirit. Make sure you choose words that build people up. Never use words that put them down.