Consequences of Sibling Bullying
Noah is a shy kid. He doesn’t feel comfortable in social gatherings. Reading is his best hobby. And observing and experimenting with science is second.
Whenever he gets out of home, he longs to get back to his home.
He doesn’t dislike trips or picnics. He enjoys these activities just as much as any other child. It’s his home which recharges him for the next activity’s fun.
Now imagine if Noah had a sibling who was ready to sabotage every happiness or rest Noah could have at home. Where would he go to give his mind and body some rest? Which place would as comforting and safe as his home?
Where would he go to find peace while also enjoying the company of his parents and other loving siblings?
Sibling bullying, just like parental abuse, snatches from the child their safest space to live. It snatches their safest opportunities to be themselves.
In short, bullying by siblings prevents children from growing up mentally or developing their identity.
Sibling Bullying Never Dies
Even after the death of childhood for both victim and bully, the bullying continues. In fact, it becomes nastier with every passing day.
You cannot expect that once they are grown and flown, they will miss each other and would find excuses to meet one another. Because they won’t miss each other. And if they would actually miss one another it would only be to further the bullying and verbal and emotional assault.
That’s the unfortunate result of sibling abuse and bullying. Sibling bullying trauma kills the friendship that was supposed to bind the family.
But this division in family and animosity among brothers and sisters is not the only consequence of this bullying.
Other sibling bullying long-term effects include harm to the personalities of the two parties. And keep it in mind that both parties suffer because of this series of aggression years after it had ended.
Losses for Bullies
We often forget these unfortunate souls who appear on the wrong side of bullying.
Yes, I know bullying can be intentional and born out of a bully’s personality rather than the environmental factor. Still, can’t we train ourselves to detest the abuse, not the abuser? Our guidance can help them overcome their behavior. And our social boycott will compel them to over-use the same tactics.
What would you want?
An emotionally stable person out of a former bully?
Or a depressed, anti-social, and non-productive member of society out of them?
Sense of Entitlement
This internalized feeling is just as harmful to the bullies as it is for the people around them. This constant feeling prevents them from putting in their best effort in achieving their goals because they assume that they deserve to attain these goals with or without much input from them.
They also fail in most of their adult relationships because they demand more input from their partners without taking their responsibility seriously.
Because they usually fail to get away with their self-entitled ways, they blame their fate, relations, and the Universe for their failure. Ultimately, they adopt a victim mentality.
A by-product of this sense of entitlement is victim mentality. As the bullies believe that they deserve everything good, any hurdle they experience in attaining their goals translate into treachery from people and the system.
Their locus of control lies external to their personality on other people’s responsibilities rather than on their efforts.
In the end, they are victims of other people’s wrongdoings against them.
Lack of Empathy
Empathy is termed as relationship glue for a reason. If you can’t understand the emotions of another person, you would have no clue about their goals. What is the result? You will fail to help them achieve their goals and build the bond along the way.
The same holds for the bullies. They find it hard to emotionally connect with their adult relations and, in turn, fail to establish long-lasting personal relations.
These deficiencies in bullies’ emotional intelligence manifest in anger issues and other anti-social behaviors.
They are unable to contain their anger and are deeply concerned about others’ loyalty towards them. This continued tension within them paves way for difficult relationships.
Lack of Negotiation Skills
Their unusual sense of identity makes it unlikely for them to compromise. But that’s in everything which is wrong with their communication.
Because they have only rarely practiced communication with other humans based on equality, they lack the skills to keep other people engaged.
This extreme case of lack of healthy communication skills, however, is absent among most bullies as most bullies tend to create a safe space for them bullying their victim before indulging in these actions. This deficiency of negotiation skills is also absent from those bullies whose primary methods of bullying include verbal assault and relational bullying.
Losses for Victims
Sibling bullying impacts on its victims have started to get parents’ and caregivers’ attention. Yet, these impacts are not taken seriously among relevant people.
It’s a fact that victims can suffer considerably because of related memories and strained relations, with parents, bullies, and self, caused by these actions.
Victim of sibling bullying and anxiety share a close bond.
Most of these victims suffer from a myriad of fears and phobias. They are hypersensitive to their surroundings because, in their reality, the world is a hostile place to live.
In more serious cases, they believe that they need to remain in their fight or flight mode to navigate everyday life. They suffer from intense trust issues.
They are excessively aware of their weaknesses. This awareness tells them constantly that they should avoid much interaction with their environment and surrounding people because they don’t deserve healthy relations because of their highlighted weaknesses.
In the end, they fear interaction with people. And this social anxiety can lead them to self-induced isolation.
The worst part of sibling bullying is not in the act of bullying. The worst part is the fact that it comes from a person who is one of the most trusted people in this world. The worst part is the apparent authenticity of this abuse.
The feeling of ownership towards the abuse these victims bear throughout their childhood remains with them in their adulthood. It keeps reminding them about their inadequacy and worthlessness. And then it appears in chronic depression.
By believing their bully’s verbal abuse and manipulation, they develop a personality that is influenced by that bully’s perception. In the process, they lose their own identity.
A great part of their adult life is spent trying to figure out who they really are. And there is no guarantee that they will finally get the answer.
Although bullying has gained remarkable attention from parents, teachers, and other caregivers, sibling bullying is still crying for attention. The reason for this lack of attention on this inter-sibling issue can be blamed on the apparent innocence with which these assaults are executed.
Nevertheless, the far-reaching consequences of these relationship conflicts demand that this problem should gain its due attention without delay. We need to create awareness among the related parties regarding the intense relationship between sibling bullying and mental health issues.
If we are committed to nurturing a successful next generation, we must understand and eliminate all types of bullying and aggression from our homes and cultures.