Are You a Bully? The 5 Different Forms of Bullying and How to Identify Them

By: Marie Kamal

Are you a bully?

I’m sure all of you are thinking, I’m not a bully. The truth is though, no one will admit that they’re a bully. We all think we can never be, simply because we don’t punch people in the face. The fact of the matter is though, bullying takes many many forms beyond those of physical violence. All forms are equally harmful, violent, and completely unacceptable – it is never okay and it can never be justified. The act of bullying itself means you think yourself above others, which is, really, the crux of the matter.

Let me explain. 

First of all, what is bullying? According to a random website, “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated.” Can someone spot the mistake here? Yes, you’re right. The mistake is “school aged kids”. Is bullying only experienced by kids? No. Bullying is experienced by adults too.

 Now, let me re-explain what is bullying. Bullying is an intentional hurtful behavior done more than once to someone.

There are five types of bullying. Physical bullying, verbal bullying, cyberbullying, sexual bullying, and social bullying. I think physical and verbal bullying are pretty self explanatory.

 In case someone doesn’t know, physical bullying is everything that has to do with physical abuse. Like hitting, kicking, pushing, etc. 

Verbal bullying is the act of insulting, saying racist or sexist comments and verbal threats. Verbal bullying can be just as harmful as physical bullying. 

Now let’s talk about cyberbullying. Cyber bullying is a form of bullying using electronic devices and social platforms. Posting hurtful posts of someone and spreading rumors on the internet are acts of cyberbullying. I think cyberbullying is one of the most ridiculous types of bullying to ever exist on this planet. Hiding behind a screen and saying shit to people is just ridiculous. At least, have the audacity to go tell them in their face.

Sexual bullying is bullying someone, because of their sexuality, gender or sexual activities. It can be physical or verbal. Such as unwanted flirting, cat calling, touching without permission and making fun of your sexual orientation. Sexual bullying makes you feel powerless and humiliated. 

Last but not least, Social bullying. Social bullying is the intention to hurt someone’s social life and reputation. And I guess it’s the most common type of bullying. It can happen to anyone and anywhere ( school, work and even home). Rejecting someone, spreading rumors, shame, negative judgment, putting someone down, ignoring someone, following or stalking someone. There is also the “friendship” bullying. Like leaving someone out of a group, refusing to share friends, laughing at someone, trying to stop two people from being friends, etc. Making someone feel embarrassed and socially intimidated is a form of bullying. Making plans in front of someone and don’t include them is considered as a form of bullying. We do these things on a daily basis without noticing that they can hurt someone’s feelings. 

Obviously, bullying has multiple effects on the mental health. Such as depression, anxiety and stress disorders. And in some cases, it can lead to suicide. 

Did you know, if you bully someone, that someone can end up commiting suicide and you’ll be the reason? If you didn’t know, now you know. You made someone feel a lot of pain and the only way they can get rid of it, is by ending their own life. So I guess you should stop now.

We all did one of these acts at least once in our lives. Especially social bullying. It’s easy to ignore someone, reject someone and make someone feel like shit. That doesn’t mean that we are bad. That doesn’t mean we are all bullies. We are humans and we make mistakes. But most importantly is to acknowledge our mistakes. If you feel like you hurt someone go apologize before it’s too late. 

If you experienced any form of bullying, I am so sorry that happened to you. It will get better, I promise. I am here for you, we are all here for you. 

Last thing I want to say is, teachers please, if you see anyone of your students getting bullied, please stand up for then. If you see and don’t do anything, for me you’re as bad as the bully and even worse, and if anyone sees someone who needs help and cannot stand up for themselves please help them. 

If you see someone sitting alone at lunch, go sit with them. Maybe it won’t change your life but it will change their life. It will make them smile. It’s an amazing feeling when you make someone smile. 

Remember when someone treats you wrong, there is something wrong with them, not you.  

If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything.

The world has enough negativity. Don’t make it worse. 

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