What is Bullying?

Bullying is when one person uses strength or influence to force another into doing what that person wants. Although bullying is often one person trying to gain power over another, groups can get involved. There could be people who support the bully or the one being bullied. In order for something to be considered bullying the behavior must be aggressive and involve both repetition and an imbalance of power. What this means is that the bullying behaviors have to happen more than once or they must at least have the potential to happen more than once. Bullying is used to gain control over others.

Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. This includes hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things, or making mean/rude hand gestures.

Bullying can also be verbal; mean or hurtful things said to someone. This could include teasing, name-calling, inappropriate comments, taunting, or threatening.

It could also be social, which means to hurt someone’s reputation or relationships. This could mean purposefully leaving someone out, telling others not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, or public embarrassment.

Most of reported bullying happens in a school building. A high amount also happens on the playground or the bus. However, bullying can happen after school hours, on the internet, or in a child’s neighborhood.

It can be helpful to have an honest conversation with your children about bullying. To learn more, or if you yourself are being bullied, please call our hotline at (860)763-4542 to speak with a counselor today.


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