Bullying is a word used to describe deliberate behaviour that causes upset and hurt to another person.
Bullying is intended to, and can cause emotional, psychological or physical pain, harm and distress (worry and upset) to another person. Common emotions of someone who is being bullied include but are not limited to; worry and fear, low mood, embarrassment and humiliation, feeling worthless, helpless and hopeless.
This may impact a person’s mood, health and ability to live their everyday life.
There are many forms of bullying which can include ‘teasing’, ‘banter’ as well as online bullying. Online bullying includes being bullied via mobile phone, email, messaging services and social media.
Bullying can happen to anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity or background. Although bullying can be common in schools, colleges and online, this does not mean that it is ok.
- Tell someone. We know that many young people worry about the consequences of telling an adult as they do not want to get into trouble, do not want the bullying to get worse and also worry about being believed. Although these worries are understandable, it is really important that you tell a trusted adult (parent, carer, teacher, other trusted adult or helpline) so that you can have the help and support you need.
- Following on from this, some forms of bullying are illegal e.g., violence or assault, theft, repeated harassment or intimidation, (e.g., threats and abusive phone calls, emails or text messages and hate crimes) and should be reported to the Police.
- It is really important to remember: If you are being bullied, this does not mean that you deserve to be bullied. Being bullied is not your fault and you do not deserve to be abused or made to feel any less of a person.
- If someone is bullying you, do not respond in the same way. Just because someone is mean to you, it is not ok to be mean back or be mean to someone else.
- If a friend is being bullied, support them to talk to an adult. If they feel unable to do so, tell an adult on their behalf.
- There are a number of downloadable workbooks and self-help materials you might find useful:
- How to handle bullies, teasers and other meanies (Kate Cohen Posey)