Bullying is an intentional, targeted and unwanted negative behaviour which is repeated against a person who has difficulty in defending him/her/their self. This is according to the Irish Department of Education and Skills. As a result there is usually a power imbalance – e.g. where the bully is perhaps, stronger, has more power or authority, etc.
There are different types of bullying, some which can be more subtle than others. For instance it can be
- Verbal – continuous name calling, or saying things to hurt or humiliate someone
- Physical – pushing, shoving, physical assault (or threat of assault) to you or your property
- Exclusion – socially isolating someone, ignoring someone
- Threatening behaviour – threatening gestures, glances or messages
- Extortion – forcing someone to give away their money or belongings
Bullying can happen anywhere. It can occur face-to-face or it can happen by phone or online (i.e. cyber bullying). In many cases a person may bully another in order to cover up their own inadequacies.
Bullying can be traumatic. It can happen in the present, or indeed it can leave a long-standing and deep impression or emotional scar in the long-term.