What is Bullying?

Bullying is where someone hurts you either physically, by hitting or kicking you, or verbally by calling you names or teasing you.

Bullying can be done in a number of ways. Someone might be bullying you if they are:

  • Calling you names
  • Spreading lies about you
  • Teasing you
  • Hitting or kicking you and causing you physical pain
  • Pushing or pulling you about
  • Taking your money or possessions
  • Leaving you out or excluding you
  • Threatening or intimidating you
  • Texting you horrible messages
  • Filming you on their mobile phones and spreading it about
  • Sending you horrible emails or messages on Facebook and other social networking websites.

There are other types of more specific bullying.

Homophobic bullying

Somebody may bully you if you are of a different sexual orientation to them, for example someone straight might bully you if you are gay and call you ‘gay’ as an insult.

Racist bullying

People may bully you because of the colour of your skin so would call you horrible names linked to your skin colour.

Sizeist bullying

Someone may bully you because of your size, calling you ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ as an insult.

Sexist bullying

People bully you for being the opposite sex, calling you ‘weak’ if you are a girl for example.

People may also bully you if you are different to them, if you look different and have a different colour hair or wear glasses.  People sometimes bully other people from where they come from or their social class so may call you a ‘chav’ or a ‘snob’. People also bully other people if they are not as intelligent as them – or if they are more intelligent than them.

Anyone can be bullied. Sometimes people pick on something that makes you different to everyone else or if you wear different clothes. Sometimes there is no particular reason at all for someone to bully you. Sometimes the bullying is a one-off. Other times, someone can bully someone else for a long period of time.

Around 70 per cent of young people have been bullied at one time and one million children are bullied every week.

Bullying can upset you, hurt you, make you feel isolated and worthless, lonely, lack in confidence, anxious and angry. Being bullied can affect your mental health. People who are being bullied can develop other problems such as depression, anxiety and eating problems and may self harm or turn to drugs and alcohol. 

Bullying in any form is hurtful and unacceptable. 

If you are being bullied, you need to talk to someone and get help.

See our next section on getting help.