All About Bullying

We all think we know bullying when we see it, but bullying can also be something we don’t see.

Often, people who experience it feel invisible.

Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person.

Calling someone names, saying or writing nasty things about them, leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, threatening them, making them feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging their things, hitting or kicking them or making them do things they don’t want to do are all forms of bullying.

Generally bullying has the following features

  1. It is repeated – this may be single acts with different targets or many acts with the same target.
  2. It involves a power imbalance this means that there is an unequal relationship between the target and the bully. This could be because of physical size, age, gender or social status. By not stopping bullying we increase this power imbalance.
  3. Bullying is deliberate or done on purpose; and
  4. It is harmful.

Impacts of Bullying

•  Missing school  •  Suicidal feelings  •  Relationship problems  •  Poor social skills
•  Low self-esteem  •  Lack of confidence  •  Health problems  •  Anxiety  •  Depression
•  Fall in academic performance

Feelings can range from sadness, fear, anger, despair to loneliness, it affects people in many ways, but most often it damages the way they feel about themselves.

There are four main types of bullying

  1. Verbal Bullying
    This is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    – Teasing
    – Name-calling
    – Taunting
    – Threatening to cause harm
    – Mocking and Putdowns
  2. Physical bullying
    This involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    – Hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting
    – Tripping/pushing
    – Taking or threatening to take or break someone’s possessions
    – Making mean or rude hand gestures
  3. Social /relational bullying
    This involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    – Leaving someone out on purpose
    – Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    – Spreading rumors about someone or gossiping
    – Embarrassing someone in public
  4. Cyber bullying
    This involves repeated threats, criticism or unkind comments or images sent by  text or email or posted on social networking sites like Facebook, or tumbler.

Sometimes, it can be easier for bullying behaviour to happen using technology because people can remain anonymous or pretend to be someone else. It can also be easier to be cruel to someone when you don’t have to see how upset they become. Often, this type of bullying can feel worse for the target because they can’t escape the messages and posts or pictures can be spread around very quickly to a lot of people.

Bullying may be directed towards people based on their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion or physical appearance.

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