What does Bullying involve?
Although it shouldn’t happen and nobody has the right to make you feel bad, many people experience bulling. Bullying can involve teasing, spreading rumours, threatening, physically and emotionally harming someone, name-calling and constantly leaving someone out from a group.
People may give reasons for why they bully others but bullying is never right and can never be justified. Bullying can happen anywhere, including at home or at school and online.
What are the different types of bullying?
- Physical bullying: This involves hurting someone by touching them; by doing things such as hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching, pushing and scratching. Damaging someone’s things is also considered to be physical bullying. If someone is getting bullied physically, this can seriously affect them both emotionally and physically.
- Verbal bullying: This involves people using words to bully others. For example, by calling someone names, teasing and insulting them, intimidating and threatening them.
- Social bullying: This is when people do things to humiliate someone or harm their social reputation. It involves mimicking someone, spreading lies and rumours, making rude and nasty jokes about someone, purposely ignoring someone and encouraging others to exclude them by leaving them out of situations.
- Prejudicial bullying: This is when people target and have judgemental beliefs and opinions towards others of specific races, religions, ages, abilities, genders or sexual orientations. Prejudicial bullying can involve people getting targeted by others for being different from them and can involve all the other types of bullying including physical, verbal and cyberbullying.
- Sexual bullying: This involves making harmful and humiliating actions towards someone that targets them sexually. For example, it can include sexual name-calling, making rude comments or gestures to someone, touching someone sexually without their permission and making offensive comments about someone’s appearance, body, attractiveness, sexual development or sexual activity.
- Cyberbullying: This is when technology, such as mobile phones, the internet, and online games are used to bully someone. This is a common type of bullying and many people may get involved because it’s easier to witness and join in.
How might someone feel if they experience bullying?
Getting bullied can make someone feel miserable and can affect them in many different ways. This includes causing someone to have increased feelings of sadness, anxiety and loneliness. It can also affect their self-esteem, make them feel stressed and affect their sleeping and eating patterns. If someone is getting bullied at school, it could also affect their school-work or make them not want to go to school.
Witnessing someone getting bullied can also have harmful effects. For example, it can make someone feel really upset, confused and anxious.
If someone decides to bully another person, this might make them feel more powerful. It might also be a way of them expressing their anger or frustration about something that’s happening to them. However, using bullying as a way of doing this or as an excuse is never acceptable. Instead, they should speak to someone they trust so they can deal with their issues.
Is there a difference between ‘bullying’ and ‘banter’?
Sometimes, people may bully others and use the excuse that they’re joking or it’s just ‘banter’. However, banter is completely different from bullying. Banter involves making playful actions or remarks towards someone when the person that is targeted also enjoys it. However, when someone makes continuous actions or remarks that harm or offend the other person, this is considered to be bullying.
How can I get help with bullying?
If you are getting bullied or you know somebody who is, please don’t feel afraid to speak to someone about it. It shouldn’t be happening and talking to someone you trust could help it stop. For example, you could speak to an adult or someone at home.
If the bullying is happening at school then your school is responsible for helping you so you could speak to a teacher about it. Other things you could do include writing down the things that are happening and being said to you so that you can share this when you get help, blocking bullies from contacting you and staying around people you trust when you don’t feel safe.