Bullying meaning

Bullying means a behaviour which someone uses to hurt another both physically and mentally. Bullying at its basic form is when someone is picked on by a person or group called bullies, because of one being different. This behaviour happens when there is real or perceived power over another.
This arrogant behaviour when repeated will have a long-lasting physiological impact on both persons. Bully is defined as those who abuse, make fun of, aggressively dominate or intimidate others based on

race or religion
how one looks
how someone acts
social and economic status
sexual orientation

Bullies will make fun of anyone who they think don't fit in or be different from themselves. The bullies generally use their power whether it be physical strength, seniority, popularity, access to private information, to control or harm others.


The behaviour is categorised into four depending on how, when and where one forces power over the other.


Cyberbullying is harassment over the internet executed through digital devices like computers, laptops, smartphones. Cyberbullying generally occurs include social media, YouTube, gaming platforms, and chat rooms where the audience is not confined, and people can view and participate in the sharing of content.
The different types of Cyberbullying involve

Posting hateful comments on the internet
Spreading humiliating rumours\facts
Posting private information about another individual
Issuing online threats and provoking them to hurt themselves

Verbal bullying

Verbal bullying is saying something uses verbal language to gain power over his or her peers. mean things. Verbal bullying is very serious as when allowed to prolong over long periods of time will destroy a child’s self-perception and self-esteem. This can lead to depression, anxiety and other deep physiological problems
The different types of Verbal bullying include:

Inappropriate sexual comments
Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying

Social bullying is hurting someone’s reputation or relationship as it humiliates and damages someone socially. Social bullying is often carried out behind the back of the person who is being bullied and is often harder to recognize.
The different types of Social bullying include:

Lying and spreading fake rumours about someone
Leaving someone out and encouraging others to do the same
Damaging someone's social reputation or social acceptance
Socially excluding someone online, posting negative comments
Humiliating one with nicknames and continuing when asked to stop


Physical bullying

Physical bullying is using one’s body and physical bodily acts to exert power over others. Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Unlike social and verbal bullying, the effects of physical bullying can be easier to identify and is the easiest to stop.
Physical bullying includes:

Causing physical harm by hitting/punching/ kicking
Degrading someone by spitting, slapping, tearing clothes
Taking or breaking someone’s personal possession
Making inappropriate or rude hand gestures


Bullying and its effects are not just limited to those who are bullied but also those who bully, and those who witness bullying. The degree with which its effects each of them is different. Bullying if allowed to continue or failed to stop it will lead to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health.
The physiological impacts of bullying may lead to varying mental health issues like anger, drugs or substance abuse, and even suicide in extreme cases. In most cases, the victims of bullying will resort to bully behaviour as a form of defiance or sharing of their sufferings.
Therefore, it is important to have an open dialogue not just with kids to stop bullying in school but also with the family.
Bullying is normally the result of the various underlying issues that one has faced throughout their life. Bullying alone is not the cause of suicide among kids but there are many underlying issues that contribute towards the suicide risk.
Mental health issues created as a result of depression, problems at home, medications and trauma history could also contribute to suicide and other extreme behaviours.
This health risk increases when one doesn’t speak on the issues, he/ she faces or not getting support from parents, peers, and schools.

Who Are Bullied

The ones who are bullied suffer the most and its impact can last a lifetime. This negative experience will lead to various mental health issues which might lead to extreme behaviour.
The ones who are bullied might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.
The one who is bullied are more likely to experience:

Mental health problems like anxiety, depression, loneliness, increased feelings of sadness, self-harm and changes in sleep and eating patterns, and these issues may creep into adulthood.
Loss of interest in personal and social activities that one previously enjoyed.
Physical Health issues
A decrease in academic performance leading to lower GPA and standardized test scores.
Lack of participation in school events.
likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.

Who Bully Others

The ones who bully others can also carry on the violent and other extreme behaviours into their adulthood. The bully is also imitating certain behaviour he/she has experienced in the past.
The ones who bully others are more likely to:

Become victims of alcohol abuse, prescription or illegal drugs from adolescence to life.
Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults
Have poor academic performance
Engage in early sexual activity
Drop out of school, get into fights, vandalize and damage property
Be abusive toward their spouses, friends, partners, children and adults


The ones who look away don’t want to get involved or be in a situation, taking a walk from the situation only helps the bully or bullies. Bystanders provide bullies with an audience, and often actually encourage bullying.
The bystanders don’t want to take the responsibility and address the issue or report the incident to superiors or senior authorities out of fear becoming victims of bullies.
The one who witnesses bullying are more likely to:

Have increased chances of adopting bully behaviour
Be scared and miss or skip school out of fear of being bullied
Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety


Learning about bullying, its impact and what one can do if you are the victim or a bystander is the most important step. Friends, parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a very important role to play in preventing bullying.

Creating awareness through classes, talking about what bullying is and how to stand up to it bullies safely. Educating kids that bullying is unacceptable from an early age will help them carry these values throughout their life. Making sure the kids know how to get help is as important as teaching them about bullies.
Having an open dialogue with students and creating trust through open communication. Listen and check in with kids often as a friend would definitely help in reducing the barrier. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.

Understanding and supporting kids do what they love would help them to take their mind of problems they might be facing. Encouraging special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behaviour.


Author's Bio: 

Karthik G is a designer and a blogger. He is been working as a product designer and a blogger
for over four years now and now on the process of building his own start up.