You are here

Bullying: a definition

Bullying: a definition

There is no legal definition of bullying, but it is usually defined as repeated behaviour intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically.

Nobody deserves to be bullied. It affects different people in different ways and is very damaging to a person’s self-esteem. It can even affect their family and friends. Sometimes, those being bullied start to believe that they deserve to be bullied or physically hurt.

Different types of bullying:

Verbal bullying

Saying nasty or horrible things to your face.

It can be based on:

  • your appearance – the way you look
  • embarrassing moments you may have had
  • your hobbies or interests
  • your family
  • money
  • your intelligence
  • prejudice bullying – racism, homophobia (based on your sexuality), religion or faith, a disability, or even your gender (being a boy or a girl)

Physical bullying

  • hitting, slapping, pushing or kicking
  • pulling – your hair, your clothes, your bag
  • tripping up
  • biting or scratching
  • anything that is intended to physically hurt you

Cyber / online bullying

Using technology to hurt, embarrass, threaten or spread rumours about someone.

This can be:

  • saying nasty comments
  • liking other people’s nasty comments – this is encouraging the bullying and agreeing to what they are doing
  • swearing or being hurtful when gaming
  • editing / changing people’s pictures
  • sharing embarrassing or violent videos or photos
  • setting up ‘fake profiles’ and causing trouble for that person
  • ‘Checking in’ with friends to make others feel left out

Indirect bullying

The most common type of bullying, but the hardest to prove and resolve – it can sometimes happen in friendship groups.

  • glaring, staring
  • ignoring, leaving someone out – this can also be done online
  • spreading rumours
  • stealing / taking things
  • damaging belongings
  • graffiti
  • whispering

How does bullying make someone feel?

Bullying is very personal to the individual who is going through it. It can make them feel worried, panicked, or sad all of the time. People who are being bullied may suffer from headaches or stomach aches, or struggle to sleep properly.

In rare cases, people have seriously harmed themselves as a result of bullying. If you think that this could happen to you – please seek help immediately. There are lots of people who will understand you, such as The Samaritans, so give them a call (for free) on 116 123. They could change your life.