Bullying can be similar to abuse and occurs when one person uses their power to harm another person with fear, intimidation, threats, and/ or exclusion. This can happen at school, in work environments, within peer groups, on sports teams or in cyberspace. People of all age groups can experience bullying and it can happen within different relationships.
Bullying can include:
Name calling, verbal abuse
Spreading rumors or gossiping
Insults or putdowns
Physical harm or property damage
Intimidation and inducing fear/ threats
Online shaming, hurtful texts or emails
Being bullied can cause (for both adults and children):
Low self-esteem and feelings of shame
Physical symptoms such as: headaches/stomach-aches
Changes in sleep patterns or appetite
On the other hand, healthy relationships include:
Mutual respect – having regard for each other’s perspective
Honesty – the ability to feel emotionally safe to share and express your feelings
Trust – having confidence and dependability in the other person
Equality – having space and tolerance for each other’s values
Companionship – supporting and encouraging each other to grow
While we often think of bullying in terms of how we treat others or how they treat us, it’s also important to think about the relationship you have with yourself.
Reflect on whether you are bullying yourself with self-criticism and putdowns. Perhaps you are pointing out, laughing at or shaming your own flaws, insecurities or other unique qualities. If you find that this is the case, I encourage you to practice self-compassion, kindness and positive self-talk.
Bullying Helpline 1-888-456-2323