Face Threatening Acts in Bullying

face threatening act in bullying

* Content trigger warning: This content perhaps will recall your bad days a long time ago. If you're still going to see the little analysis in Pragmatics, go ahead.

Have you ever thought that bullying cases around us soared significantly? 

Bullying happens without giving an agreement on both sides. It can cause discomfort, depression, and a lot of pressure on victims. Bullying occurs in two forms of common type; use harsh words and unwanted actions. Bullies make fun of someone they don't like, exclude someone from daily activities, control someone's life, etc. To meet bullies' targets, they try to embarrass the sufferer in public or private, have no shame showing their low-minded characters in front of the crowds is likely their fondness. 

Serena was a freshman at one uni. She met a group of people to interact and connect with. She was the one who smiled, joked around, and helped when people needed her. Then, one day, those people turned their backs and started making loud noises. She ignored all those opinions at first. However, bad comments were pouring down nonstop. She came home crying without knowing why and her teardrops were worth nothing. She never was ready to go outside alone because she thought everyone would turn their gun words toward her. She was afraid that everyone would keep their step away from her. 

The current study shows that active and passive bystanders behavior among bullying become the spotlight. People who are known as passive bystanders are refused to involve and do nothing, then leave when bullying happens. In contrast, active bystanders are willing to stop those actions and provide help to victims. 

In the world of Pragmatics — which studies many contexts in verbal expression, explains what Face-Threatening Act is. This branch of Linguistics depicts several problems that occur in society, especially in conversation and meaning. A Face-Threatening Act threatens self-image such as criticism, taunt, judgment, and disagreement, which shock someone's face in front of people. The outlook is threatened because, in verbal expression, there are pitch and tone that remark negatively to a specific person. Other people think that sounds "okay," yet the victims are slightly known for those expressions "not good," "leave a contrasted meaning," "ruin self-esteem," etc. But, back to the topic, bullies enjoy doing what they're interested in. So these are examples that we witness in real life:

"Your outfit is not trendy" 

— This represents the target to have more fabulous taste in fashion. We don't know what someone's preference is, taste in style, whether s/he likes vintage, casual, or modern chic ones. 

"Hahaha, wrong grammar, study more next time" 

— This denotes that everyone should use standardized grammars, either textual or speaking. We make mistakes, and that's okay as long as we're willing to learn and grow from them. 

"You don't deserve to get B on the test" 

— This equips the target to get better on the next round but sounds belittle. Friends know that s/he is an excellent student, has no problems in a normal class, and is the lecturer's most loved student. Think again. The situation is not the same every day; we have to adjust our mindset. In fact, the possibility of getting a perfect score rarely happens. 

On a fine day, she finally rose and looked up her story. That was when everyone in the room heard her voice. Serena gave a speech about "Most Influential Women in Indonesia," which listed Maudy Ayunda on it. She bravely finished her speech with a quote from Taylor Swift, it said:

"To all young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you. Someday, when you get where you're going, you'll look around, and you'll know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there, and that would be the greatest feeling in the world."

I'm really sorry if anyone reading this undergoes difficult situations. We are intelligent human beings; we can control ourselves and are wise to face reality. Thus, we have choices to be active bystanders or passive bystanders because it will reflect on your story too. You decide. Act now, don't tolerate it. Let's make the world a better place and build a convenient environment. 

Writer: Firly Nur Aliifah

Editor: Hasna F