Bullying- A Monster of Many Forms

When people hear “bullying”, usually it is thought to be either with fists, words, or via the internet. LIVE FREE BE STRONG has compiled the six main bullying forms and broken them down:

Physical Bullying: the most obvious. Physical bullying occurs when someone uses physical actions to gain power and control over their targets. A profile on a physical bully would put them as being bigger, stronger, and more aggressive than their peers.

Verbal Bullying: Slightly less easy to identify, being that instead of intimidation by size it is intimidation by statements, name calling, and comments. Usually a verbal bully will relentlessly belittle and demean their victim, and is unlikely to have a specific profile on the type of individual likely to engage in this, though girls are more likely than boys to engage in verbal bullying.

Relational Aggression: Likely to be overlooked and unnoticed. Sometimes referred to as emotional bullying, relational aggression is a form of social manipulation that has students trying to damage the social standing of other students. Relational bullies will often ostracize others from a group, or spread rumors and break confidences in order to increase their own social standing. Relational aggression, like verbal bullying, is done more by females than by males. Relational aggression is most limited to middle school, but then is seen commonly again in the workplace.

Cyberbullying: when someone uses the internet, a phone, or any other technology as a tool to harass or threaten someone else, this is cyberbullying. When it is an adult and not a child (someone under the age of 18) doing the cyberbullying, then the term changes to either be called cyber-harassment or cyberstalking. Cyberbullying is possibly the fastest growing form of bullying; there is less risk of getting caught, and an influx of people using different forms of technology on a constant basis.

Sexual Bullying: consists of repeated, harmful, and humiliating actions that sexually target a person. An example of this could be a person making a crude comment about someone’s appearance or attractiveness, and in extreme cases this form of bullying could open the door to sexual assault. Girls are usually the target, but can often be targeted by both other girls and by boys.

Prejudicial Bullying: based on prejudices that people have towards others of different races, religions, or sexual orientation. When this form of bullying occurs, kids are targeting those different and singling them out for those differences. Often, this will unfortunately open the door to hate crimes.