Panagiotis Stavrinidis, an Associate Professor at the University of Cyprus Department of Psychology, recently addressed the issue of school and workplace bullying in an interview with "SPOR FM 95.0" and "DIASPORA NEWS." Stavrinidis highlighted that workplace bullying and harassment have become apparent in Cyprus, affecting both the private and public sectors. He noted that some employees resort to nighttime drug use due to anxiety about the following workday.
While discussing the prevalence of bullying, Stavrinidis suggested that it's challenging to determine if these incidents are on the rise or if they have existed but are now coming to light. He emphasized the link between workplace bullying and individuals' childhood experiences, suggesting that adults engaging in such behaviors likely exhibited similar tendencies during their youth. However, reporting workplace harassment remains difficult for many employees, as they fear further victimization or job loss.
While discussing the prevalence of bullying, Stavrinidis suggested that it's challenging to determine if these incidents are on the rise or if they have existed but are now coming to light.
Regarding school bullying, especially in light of recent incidents, Stavrinidis acknowledged the role of social media in amplifying violence. He explained that school violence has always existed, often affecting children who lack love and care at home. These children may manifest their frustration and anger by targeting vulnerable peers.
Stavrinidis also addressed the reluctance to address bullying, attributing it to the desire to conceal the problem. Perpetrators have clear motives for concealing their actions, while victims, especially at a young age, may experience shame, fear, and guilt, discouraging them from reporting incidents. Some schools may also attempt to avoid stigma by ignoring or downplaying the issue.
In addition, Stavrinidis discussed a 2014 study he conducted, highlighting the role of empathy in preventing harm to others. He stressed the importance of friendship as a protective factor, as individuals with friends, whether at school or work, are less likely to be targeted for bullying.