Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society

London School of Economics and Political Science Students' Union

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This website was launched in 2015 by Zoe Liu (Publications Officer 2015-16)

Change Your Words, Change His Life

January 26, 2016



2:30p.m, in the middle of a usual class that I turn up simply for the attendance record. Only for this moment I am barely hanging on with my indescribable tiredness from the snowball fight on the chilly land of Bratislava where everyone went absolutely mental. To make matter worse, I have been dealing with this empty stomach and it is as if my tummy has been giggling for hours, yearning for some mercy.  Nonetheless, I’m not sparing any mercy until I am to finish this god damn article which, seems like it is going be a last minute struggle, once again. This is just me, refusing to comment on mainstream affairs, or more like I don’t even have the common sense to come up with the most cliché opinions onto the most generic public issues whatsoever.


When I’m saying “changes your words, changes his life’, people might well be expecting some inspirational and long-winded life lessons that were taught million times ever since you had the ability to understand words and sentences. No, I ain’t that boring am I… For those who is aware of my identity, it is a no-brainer that I am once again attacking the some oblivious social phenomenon, and it is Verbal bullying this time that arouse my interest in commenting on it.

Verbal bullying occurs when someone uses language to gain power over his or her peers in order to assert dominance and marginalize the bullied. The verbal bully makes use of relentless insults and teasing to bully his or her peer. (Just trying to fill in some words with some really UNHEARD OF definitionJ )  My stance is simple: negative impact of verbal bullying is way more penetrating than physical bullying. 


The verbal bully could have millions of reasons that triggered their abysmal behavior to offend someone, with the attitude of ‘he deserves it because of something happened in the past’.  Verbal bully usually has no regret, and unaware of the effect his words could have onto the victim, let alone of asking for forgiveness from the inappropriate behavior. When I was researching factual evidence regarding this topic, the unwanted data I managed to dig out is: ‘About 70.8 per cent of 1,800 pupils from eight secondary schools polled by the department of social work at Chinese University said they had been victims of school violence, slightly higher than in the West and Asian regions’. This is pathetic considering us living in one of the most civilized and modern location, if not the most civilized, in the world, and it turns out bullying is more rampant in our beloved motherland than rest of the world!  School violence has a great negative impact on pupils and will affect their academic results, intention to go to school and their normal school life. What can we do? We should pay close attention to it, but how, especially when in most occasions the bullied is being threatened and refused to disclose the bullying process and most importantly, the person who bullied him.


Most verbal bully are characterized by having low self-esteem, desperate for proving their worth, their superiority by seeking others attention in the community, only for them doing it in the wrong way, by demeaning and degrading the victims.  One of the most common underlying causes, jealousy, usually leads to hate, hate leads to bully and this vicious cycle continues.  Girls use verbal bullying, as well as social exclusion techniques, to dominate others and show their superiority and power. However, there are also many boys with subtlety enough to use verbal techniques for domination, and who are practiced in using words when they want to avoid the trouble that can come with physically bullying someone else, making verbal bully even harder to be prevented and identified.


Many victims of verbal bullying are affected in very real ways, especially to one’s self image, and affect someone in emotional and psychological ways. This type of bullying can aggravate problems that a victim may already be experiencing elsewhere. In some cases, verbal bullying can reach a point where the victim is so depressed, and wants to escape so badly, that he turns to substance abuse or – in some extreme cases – suicide, which I don’t think this is the intention of any verbal bully in the first place. In the end, words have a power all their own, and the realities of verbal bullying can have very physical consequences, even if the aggressor never lays a finger on the victim. I am not here to suggest how the victim could minimize the impact of bully because to me, only time could wash away every of such painful memories. It is immoral in my opinion, to ask for the victim to sort themselves out and get on with their lives by ignoring the bully, which these advice adds nothing but only salt to the wound. 


Regardless of your intention and whether you are deliberately verbally abusing someone, your words mean something, and when I am saying something, this accumulates and it may not be only ‘something’ by the time you realize how much you have changed his life. 


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