What is bullying?

Bullying occurs when a group with more power wants to hurt or harm someone with less power or who is helpless to respond. It most comonly takes place at school. Bullying is usually hidden, done out of sight of an adult, so that no action is taken. Bullying does not just happen once; it is something that happens multiple times.

What is it not?

Bullying is not considered when someone is socially rejected or excluded once. Bullying is also not considered when someone makes a single rude or nasty comment. Also, disagreements and verbal fights are not considered bullying. These do not fit the definition of bullying unless they are being done repeatedly or deliberately.

Types of bullying

  • Physical Bullying

    Physical bullying can include hitting, kicking, tripping, punching, pushing, pinching, or anything in which the people being bullied gets physically injured. Physical bullying also includes when a bully intentionally breaks something belonging to someone else. Physical bullying can lead to short-term or long-term damage.

  • Verbal Bullying

    Verbal bullying can include being called names, any discriminatory remark (e.g. homophobia, racism), teasing, insulting, taunting, sexual comments, or threatening of harm. Verbal bullying can start off relatively harmless; however, as it progresses, it may leave a mental scar.

  • Social Bullying

    Social bullying can include lying or spreading rumours about someone, mimicking someone in an unfriendly or rude manner, socially excluding someone, damaging someone’s social reputation, humiliating someone or taunting someone with negative facial expressions or gestures. Social bullying is more difficult to recognise as it is usually done without the victim knowing.

  • Cyber Bullying

    Cyberbullying has become more common as technology becomes more integrated into teenagers' everyday lives. Cyberbullying can be done privately or publicly; the victim might not even know who their bully is. Cyberbullying can include: imitating people or using someone else’s login and information; posting inappropriate/nasty pictures or rumours; sending harmful or rude texts, videos, or pictures; or excluding someone, e.g. in a group chat.

How to tell if someone you know is being bullied?

No matter what they may let you think, you are amazing just the way you are. Do not change.

If you are a parent, sibling or a friend of someone whom you think is being bullied, look out for these signs:

  • Changes in sleep/eating patterns

  • Mood swings

  • Feeling unwell in the mornings, not wanting to go to school

  • Feeling withdrawn, shy

  • Unexplainable bruises or scratches

  • Worsening school grades

  • Not wanting to walk to school, or wants to change their route

  • Not wanting to take the tram/bus/train to school

Often the affected student does not want to talk about the these. 

What to do if you (or someone else you know) is being bullied?

If you are a student, friend, or a parent, and are being bullied or know someone who is being bullied, there are multiple options available:


  • Tell an adult. Even if you believe that this will hurt the situation, it might help put the situation into perspective. Tell a trusted friend, parent, adult or teacher.

  • Hide your reaction from your bullies. Bullies will win if they see you upset. Act unimpressed or as if you don’t care and walk away. Even if the comments do hurt, it will be better if they do not see you upset.

  • If you are dealing with cyberbullying, do not fight with the bully online. Block the bully and change your passwords.

  • Get counselling or therapy. Find out if your school has a counselling service for students. School counselling can take place during lunch or breaks, sometimes without your parents needing to be informed.

Or talk to us!

Stay strong!
Teenager für Teenager
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