Bullying can be defined as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or an abuse or misuse of power. Bullying may be by an individual against an individual (perhaps by someone in a position of authority such as a manager or supervisor) or involve groups of people. It may be obvious or it may be insidious. Whatever form it takes, it is likely to be upsetting and stressful for the individual.
It can happen to anyone at any age - at school, at work, at home or online.
What counts as bullying?
Bullying could involve someone talking about you, teasing you, physically hurting you, or calling you names.
Different types of bullying:
- Racist - Using offensive words and treating someone differently because of their race or where they are from.
- Sexist - Treating someone differently because they are male or female.
- Homophobic - Treating someone differently because of their sexual orientation.
- Lookist - Treating someone differently because they look a certain way. For example they may be being bullied simply because they wear glasses.
- Disabilist - Treating someone differently because they have a disability.
Classist - Treating someone differently because they are from a particular social class.
The effects of bullying
Bullying could leave you feeling scared, anxious, depressed. If someone is bullying you, it can make your life really miserable - this is why it's important to talk to someone. You don't have to deal with things alone.
What can I do if I'm being bullied at home or at work, or even online?
If you are being bullied online, you can block or report them and save images of the messages to show to someone.
If you are being bullied in school you can tell your parents or carers and the school. Try not to walk alone, stay with friends or siblings, and plan a different route to school if you can. If you are too scared to go to school, take a moment to talk to someone you trust. They can contact your school - your school has a duty to make you feel safe.
If someone at home is bullying you, try talking to someone outside of home that you trust. This could help your situation improve.
This website provides useful guidance on what to do if you are being bullied in the workplace.
The Hope Street Centre offers a variety of therapies which can help you to deal with the effects of bullying – including help to build self esteem, assertiveness techniques, and stress management.