What is mobbing?

How can I recognize mobbing?

Although there are times when we have insulted or hurt someone else, mobbing is different to an ordinary argument or fight.

Mobbing occurs if someone is hurt:

On purpose. A chance conflict in the school corridor is not mobbing. But if someone is specially picked on because he or she is weaker or different in some other way, is waited for after school, followed on the street or laughed at in the class WhatsApp correspondence, then this is mobbing.

For a long time. One fight or one hurtful comment under an Instagram photo is not mobbing. But if someone is picked on, hurt or otherwise harmed day to day or maybe for months on end, then this is mobbing.

Unequal. If two athletic boys try to find out who is the strongest, this is not mobbing. In a fight, if someone cannot defend themselves or if it’s always one and the same person being laughed at, then this is mobbing.

What are the consequences of mobbing?

Mobbing usually has an extremely negative impact on the physical and mental health of everyone involved – the victims, the offenders and the witnesses.

If somebody is hurting you – you can feel physical pain and suffer injuries. Often you can feel desperate, lonely and powerless. If mobbing occurs in class, then you may be scared or terrified of going to school. If you experience mobbing on the internet, then maybe you get the feeling that you’re not safe anywhere and you’ll be laughed at everywhere.

If you hurt someone else – even if you’re the winner in a fight, then you will lose a lot more in the long-term. People, who actively engage in mobbing towards others, are at much more risk of experiencing mental health problems: depression, anxiety and various addictions.

If mobbing occurs in your class – even if you didn’t take part in it, you can feel anxiety, alarm and an unpleasant atmosphere. In classes, where mobbing is occurring, oftentimes the average grades of all pupils are lower and there is less love of learning.

Remember that one and the same person can take on different roles – sometimes he can hurt others, but at other times he himself becomes the victim. Therefore it is important to do all you can so that mobbing does not occur at all!

What should I do if someone is hurting me?

If you are the victim of mobbing, then most likely you’ll often feel depressed, sad or maybe even desperate, misunderstood and very lonely. In Latvia’s schools mobbing is widespread – approximately 1 out of 3 of your contemporaries have experienced it. This means that if you have these problems, you are not alone. 

This is a simple scheme, which will allow you to cope with this situation quickly and safely or to get help. The most important thing is – you have to take action ASAP!

A – Acknowledge it!

To recognize mobbing, answer these questions:

  • Are one and more classmates or other teenagers regularly bullying you?
  • Because of this are you experiencing physical pain or emotional discomfort – sadness, shame, unpleasant or humiliation?
  • Do they continue to do this after you have clearly told them STOP! or asked them to stop?

If the answer is yes, then most likely you are suffering from mobbing.

S – Say it!

It is important not to keep silent and talk about mobbing! Tell your bullies that you don’t like it and that you won’t stand for it. Definitely tell this to an adult whom you trust – this will increase the likelihood that you will receive help. To understand who you should tell about mobbing, answer the following questions:

  • Whom can you trust? Maybe this is one of your parents, your sports trainer, a relative or your best friend.
  • Which adult can I trust at school? This could be a psychologist, a social teacher or a teacher – they are professionals prepared to help you in these situations.
  • Whom can I call or send a message to if there’s no adult around whom I trust? What should I do if I’m frightened or if I’m threatened with harm if I tell anyone? Remember – with the #Neklusē application you can confidentially contact specialists or send them a message on WhatsApp.

A – Activate!

When you have told somebody about mobbing, it’s time to activate all your options to end it! Remember. You are the one who can do the most right now. Some of the help options you can activate:

  • Tell a grownup you trust and work out an action plan together.
  • Involve your family.
  • Tell your friends so you can come up with some solutions together.
  • Visit a psychologist or other mental health specialist, who will help you to cope with anxiety and fear.
  • Find information on the internet.
  • Report the situation via the #Neklusē mobile application..
  • Call a psychologist: Uzticības tālrunis 116111 
  • Write to a psychologist on WhatsApp: Pusaudžu resursu centrs +371 29164747
  • Report an offence on the internet: https://drossinternets.lv/
  • Call the police: Valsts Policija 110

P – Provide help!

You’ve suffered from mobbing and there will definitely be people, who are ready and able to help you! You just have to act ASAP! And you can help yourself and others.

Help yourself – be honest and open to specialists, who will try to help you. Don’t hide anything that’s happened. Don’t try to protect others if they have harmed you. This will only put you at risk of finding yourself in the same situation. Don’t be afraid of asking for what you deserve – safety and respect.

Help others – there’s a big possibility that other kids around you are suffering from mobbing. Tell them what you’ve learned. Share your feelings and experience in calls or on the internet. Help others to find help. The more people understand the harm caused by mobbing, the quicker we can end it!

How can I help?

Did you know that mobbing can not only harm its victims, but also everyone else around? If mobbing is occurring in your class, then it’s more likely that you will also experience various problems – lower grades, mental health problems, anxiety, bad moods or depression. Therefore you should not definitely keep quiet.

If you see mobbing in your class or school, take action ASAP!

A – Acknowledge it!

Not every dispute or fight among classmates is evidence of mobbing. Think whether there is anyone else in your class who has suffered from mobbing regularly. Is there anyone who always become a victim, because he or she is unusual or different? Maybe you know somebody who has become depressed, started missing school, increasingly using drugs or talking about suicide, and who has committed self-harm. These are all signs of mobbing – recognize them and don’t stay silent!

S – Say it!

It is important not to keep silent and talk about mobbing! Talk to victims. Tell them you can see what’s happening to them and that you care. Maybe you can tell the bully that his or her behavior is not OK. Also find an adult that you trust about this situation.

A – Activate!

To stop mobbing, you need to activate all forces. Together with your classmates, think about how you can make your feelings clear. If you see mobbing on social media, state your opinion about it and activate others not to stay silent. Imagine how will you act and who you will trust if you find yourself in a similar situation – activate your safety network!

If you need support:

P – Provide help!

No matter how small role you play in mobbing, you can provide the most help. And remember – this way you can save someone’s life or even prevent their death! You can help by talking, encouraging, supporting and expressing your opinion. Likewise you can also recommend specialists that the victim can contact. Oftentimes the greatest help is not to stand aside and not to stay silent, and just talk.

What consequences do my actions have?

Mobbing affects the mental health of both the victim and the bully. Moreover, by bullying someone, you can also threaten another person’s health and even his or her life itself. 

Have you got involved in mobbing, because the rest of classmates have done it? Maybe you have been involved in laughing at someone for no particular reason. Maybe you mob others, because you enjoy the leader’s role and don’t know how to stand out otherwise. Likewise, many of your contemporaries, who laugh at others, have experienced problems at home or in school, which they don’t know how to resolve in any other way. These problems can manifest themselves as mental health problems, e.g. anxiety, depression, the blues, the experience of bullying or low self-esteem. Others have admitted that they laugh at someone, because this person arouses powerful emotions or anger in them. No matter what the reason is, what you’ve done it up to now, laughing at someone else will never be a solution – you need to stop it! To do this and protect yourself and others, take action ASAP:

A – Acknowledge it!

Sometimes, teenagers engage in mobbing without even realizing it. Ask yourself: 

  • Am I regularly harming someone? 
  • Together with others have I been involved in humiliating a classmate? 
  • Do I do things to others that cause them pain or distress?

S – Say it!

It’s important to say the first word. If you are involved in mobbing together with others, you can say: Don’t do it! If you have bullied someone, you can say sorry to them. You can also tell the rest of your classmates that you don’t think that humiliating the weakest one is acceptable. Those around you will respect you if you assume the role of a leader and stop mobbing.

A – Activate!

If you have been involved in mobbing, you too need support. Maybe you’ve got some problems at home that you can’t cope with? Maybe you lack self-confidence or don’t know how to get attention and friends in school in any other way? Activate your own support – find someone, who can help you with these things! Many specialists, e.g. psychologists or psychotherapists – provide help confidentially. You can always call or write an anonymous message. Maybe you can talk to a grownup you trust?

If you need support:

P – Provide help!

When you’ve dealt with the things and circumstances that prompted you to engage in mobbing, you can help others too! It’s in your power to stop mobbing in class. Likewise you can also help those who are being bullied. The best way you can help is by talking and saying what you think! Share your experience and talk to others. But if you feel that you won’t be able to cope – suggest specialists or other grownups to turn to. And most importantly – don’t stay silent, when you witness mobbing!