Physical bullying is when bullies hurt their targets physically. This might be
shoving, tripping, punching, or hitting. Any form of touching that a person does not
want can be bullying and possible sexual
Verbal bullying is taunting or teasing someone.
Psychological bullying is gossiping
about or excluding people to make them feel bad about themselves.
Cyberbullying is when
bullies use the internet and social media and say things that they might not say in
person. This can include sending mean texts, posting insults about someone on Twitter,
or making rude comments on their Instagram pictures. Cyberbullies also might post
personal information, pictures, or videos designed to hurt or embarrass someone else.
What Are the Effects of Bullying?
Bullies often pick on people over and over again. This can make teens:
have problems with mood, energy level, sleep, and appetite
What Kind of People Are Bullies?
Both guys and girls can be bullies. Bullies may be:
outgoing and aggressive. This kind of bully might make fun of you to your face
or physically hurt you.
quiet and sneaky. This kind of bully might try to manipulate in secret. They might
anonymously start a damaging rumor just to see what happens.
friendly and fake. This kind of bully might pretend to be your friend so that
you tell them things, but then do hurtful things behind your back.
Many bullies are a lot alike. They:
like to be in control of others
are focused on themselves
have poor social skills and have a hard time getting along with people
might not care about people, or lack empathy
are often insecure and bully others to make themselves feel better
Some bullies don't understand normal social emotions
like guilt, empathy, compassion, or remorse. These people need help from a mental
health professional like a counselor, social worker, psychiatrist, or psychologist.
What Can I Do?
There are many things that you can do if you're being bullied or know someone who
is. You can:
Tell a trusted adult. Adults in positions of authority, like parents,
teachers, or coaches, often can deal with bullying without the bully ever learning
how they found out about it.
Ignore the bully and walk away. Bullies like getting a reaction.
If you walk away or ignore them, you're telling them that you don't care.
Walk tall and hold your head high. Using this type of body language
sends a message that you're not vulnerable.
Don't get physical. You're more likely to be hurt and get into
trouble if you try to fight
a bully. Work out your anger in another way, such as exercising or writing it
down (make sure you delete or tear up any emails, posts, letters, or notes you write
Try to talk to the bully. Try to point out that his or her behavior
is serious and harmful. This can work well if you notice that a member of your own
group has started to pick on or shun another member.
Practice ways to respond to the bully verbally or through your behavior. Practice
feeling good about yourself (even if you have to fake it at first).
Talk about it. It may help to talk to a guidance counselor, teacher,
or friend — anyone who can give you the support you need. Talking can be a good
outlet for the fears and frustrations that can build when you're being bullied.
Find your (true) friends. If you've been bullied with rumors or
gossip, tell your friends so that they can help you feel safe and secure. Avoid being
alone, especially when the bullying is happening a lot.
Stand up for
friends and others you see being bullied. Your actions help the victim
feel supported and may stop the bullying.
Join your school's bullying or violence prevention programs. Peer
mediation is another way you may be able to work things out with a bully. If your
school doesn't have these programs, start one of your own.
What If I'm the Bully?
Some people bully to deal with their own feelings of stress, anger, or frustration.
Bullies might also have been bullied and now want to show their power by bullying
If you have bullied someone:
Try talking to a trusted adult to talk about why you have become a bully. Ask
them for some advice on how you could change.
Try thinking of how the person being bullied feels. Imagine how you would feel
if you were the target.
Even though people are different, it's important to treat everyone with respect.