Say the word ‘bully’ and people think of someone who likes to pick on people. The reasons why may change, but the fact remains – people who bully deliberately hurt other people.
What is bullying?
Bullying is when someone is deliberately unkind to someone else, usually more than once and often again and again, over a long period of time. The victim finds it difficult to defend themselves, and the person doing the bullying continues to be unkind, even though they know they are hurting the other person.
The different types of bullying
Bullying isn’t just about someone punching or kicking another person. There are many different types of bullying and they are all equally distressing for the victim:
- physical: hitting, kicking, taking belongings, spitting
- verbal: name-calling, insulting, making offensive remarks, making threats
- indirect: spreading nasty rumours about someone, and deliberately excluding them from social groups
- cyber-bullying: using electronic equipment such as mobile phones and computers to insult people and threaten them with violence.
Bullying can be very serious, but most people find a way to sort out the problem. Your school or youth setting can help you discover the best way.
This can involve working with people who bully to help them understand the problems they are causing, working with young people who are being bullied to help them be more resilient, or (more usually) both.
What to do if you are being bullied
- Talk to someone you trust, like a teacher or your parents
- Tell a friend
- Call Childline on 0800 1111
- Find ways to stay safe and happy
- Don't fight back or respond to abusive messages
Instant Expert: Visit the the Mix for expert chat on problems with bullying.