Sunday, March 17, 2013

Emotional Bullying

Photo by Umar Mita

Emotional bullying is the worst kind of bullying out there.

Where is the pain?

If you punch someone in the face, you see the blood and your hand would probably hurt too. You know where the wound is and you can treat it. It'll heal pretty quickly too.

But if you hurt someone emotionally, you will not see the blood nor will you feel any pain in your hands like when you punch someone. The person you've bullied may or may not display the signs of pain and you may or may not remember hurting that person.

You don't know where the wound is and you don't know where to apply the bandage. Chances are, it won't heal in a day or two.

People who bully physically have done something wrong, but people who bully emotionally have done something worse. The worst of them all are the ones who do both, and that happens a lot unfortunately.

Poisonous tongues

Emotional bullying can be done in many ways, but the method of emotional bullying that we often take for granted is inflicted using our tongues.

Calling people names, making fun of other people, racist comments, inappropriate jokes, spreading rumours, etc.

A simple sentence or even a word that is placed out of line can cause damage so severe you wouldn't believe it. You might think it's not a big deal but to the person you've bullied, the reality is much different.

Each is unique

Each individual human being is a collection of experiences. Each one is unique.

What's okay for some might not be okay for others. You can't assume that the things you say will be accepted exactly as how you would accept them, and you can't hide behind the lame justification "Oh, I was only kidding."

To you, a word might mean nothing and you might think you're using it as a harmless joke. But to the other person, that word is hell.

That is not an exaggeration.

Abu Hurayra reported that Prophet Muhammad said, "Anyone who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should speak good words or be silent." [Agreed upon]

Speak good or speak nothing.

Real life vs Internet

To make matters worse, we have the internet now. Not only can one person bullies another, that person can do so on a larger scale. It is no different than defaming a person in front of thousands of people. In fact, that is exactly what it is - public defamation.

There is something about the internet that makes matters worse: anonymity.

Being anonymous makes people feel "invisible". Anonymity suggests to the mind that one can do anything and nobody will know about it. Although it might be true that nobody knows who is the person behind the fake username, but Allah knows.

Allah knows.

Allah knows who you are and what you did.

This post is my reaction towards what happened to Amanda Todd, who committed suicide after being emotionally bullied in real life and on the internet.