Bullying is unwanted, repetitive, and aggressive behavior that involves some type of power imbalance. Sometimes, we think of it as just “teasing” or “no big deal,” but the truth is, bullying isn’t “just messing around” – it is serious and can be very harmful. Both males and females can be the bully or the victim of bullying. Bullying can include:

  • Verbal bullying

    • An example of verbal bullying is name calling. Threatening someone is also a form of verbal bullying.
  • Physical bullying

    • Examples of physical bullying is hitting, throwing things at someone, knocking books (or another item) out of someone’s hand, etc.
  • Cyberbullying

    • Cyberbullying is the use of technology, such as social media, to make fun of someone. Sometimes, cyberbullying includes sharing of hurtful photos, spreading false information to embarrass someone, or encouraging additional hurtful comments and actions from others.
  • Social/Relational bullying

    • An example of relational bullying is deliberately preventing someone the opportunity to participate in an activity to be hurtful. Sometimes, these activities can include playing a sport or going to a birthday party. If inclusion is required, relational bullying can also include purposefully picking someone last to be on a team.

If you or someone you know is being bullied, here are some tips:

  • Say something – tell them to stop the first time it happens. Sometimes, just having the confidence to stand up for yourself will stop them in their tracks.

  • Walk away before it gets physical – get out of the immediate situation; seek help from your friends or trusted adults, if needed, to get out of a bullying situation before you respond physically.

  • Tell somebody – talk to an adult or someone you trust (neighbor, school counselor or teacher, parent, and/or mentor). They may be able to help you with suggestions on how to handle the situation.

  • Don’t give up – if the bullying continues, keep asking for help and go to the principal, if necessary. Schools are supposed to be safe, and no one should have to “put up with” bullying.

What about the flip side? Truth be told, most of us have, at some time, been the “bully”. We may not have started it, but we watched it happen. So what can you do?

  • STOP – just stop.

  • If others are bullying someone  do not give in and join them.

  • Talk to an adult you trust – a school counselor or teacher, preacher, parent, or mentor. There is a reason you or others are bullying, but it needs to stop, and adults may be able to help.

  • Bullying is dangerous – beyond the damage done to someone else, you should know that some forms of bullying come with some pretty serious consequences, including being expelled from school and/or incarceration in a youth detention center. Ask for help to stop being a bully before it gets to that point and someone gets hurt! 

One of the best resources to learn about bullying is www.stopbullying.gov. This site provides answers to common questions including:

You can even take the Bullying Prevention Training Course

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center is a phenomenal resource that helps parents, teachers, and other adults teach youth about bullying. Their site shares:

If you are a victim of bullying and are feeling lost and scared, contact your local Safe Place program or find someone in authority who can protect you. Teachers, counselors, and other adults are there to help, and seeing a counselor or other professional does not mean there is something wrong with you. Never blame yourself, and never be afraid to get help when you need it!

If you are considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255). This lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Additional Bullying Resources

Check out these websites for more information about bullying:


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