Bullying is a mean, hostile behavior that:

  • Is intentional – the bullying is being done for a reason or a goal.
  • Involves the aggressor using some sort of power over his/her victim. He or she may feel powerful because they are popular or the aggressive person might feel it’s acceptable to put down others.
  • Happens repeatedly – more than just a couple of times.

Bullying can be physical or verbal. It can be face to face, or behind someone’s back. Bullying can also involve actions that border on discrimination, whether it’s about sexuality, gender, race, class, or something else.

If it happens once in a while, or it’s a one-time event, it’s not bullying – it’s being rude. If it’s a discussion stemming from disagreements, fights, or mean words that result from misunderstandings, then it’s not bullying. But that being said, it’s not always black or white, and it’s important to keep in mind that conflicts that start out as jokes, misunderstandings, arguments and fights can escalate and lead to ongoing bullying situations.

In general, offline bullying is more common than online bullying up until high school and college. Bullying is connected with certain negative psychological, social and academic consequences.

A child’s relationship with their friends and others at school can affect the way they feel about bullying. If a child is comfortable in their social group and their friends don’t support bullying, it’s more than likely that your child will not support bullying. People who have friends who don’t support bullying are also more likely to stand up for the victim if they witness bullying. However, if their friends are bullying others, it can be easy to give into peer pressure and take part in bullying with them.

Bullying leads to low self-esteem, trouble with relationships, less success in school, and increased difficulties in social situations.

All too often it leads to violence.