I had a conversation with a friend about the effects bullying and gossiping has on someone's mental health, especially when it comes from family members. In her case, it was her aunties who had constantly been bullying her for years. They would make comments about her looks (especially her skin colour), talk about her while she was in the room, single her out; and spread random threads of rumours that weren't even true or valid. It affected her mental health severely and it took years for her to truly love herself. We both had very similar experiences and so did a lot of our friends.
If you're South Asian or Middle Eastern, then you must be familiar with the term 'gossiping aunties' or 'desi aunties'. They can be your blood relation or just part of the community. Regardless of their status, they're known as the ones who take an unusual delight in nit-picking through the lives of others and spreading carefully constructed 'facts' or even blatant hearsay with little regard for the consequences. Has anyone ever felt intimidated, ridiculed, or targeted by them and wondered if it was a form of bullying?
I am not singling out Desis and Arabs because I think that they are the only ones doing this, rather because it is the culture I am part of; I have experienced this first hand and would very much like to see it improved.
It's become part of the culture and no one talks about it. The desi and Arab community have normalised this behaviour. Yes, it may seem innocent and harmless, but there are consequences to such actions. For instance, gossiping and rumours can destroy a person's self - confidence and effect their self-esteem. It could also lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, and a host of other issues. This can also resulte in broken homes, marriages and trauma to young women who are the subject of 'discussions' based on everything but fact. They don't realise that they could ruin someone's life.
What are your thoughts on this?