Bullying refers to the distinctive pattern of harming and hurting others, mostly those who are in some way smaller, weaker, younger, or in any way, more vulnerable than the bully. Even though bullying generally occurs during childhood, its impact can last well into adulthood. Bullying has also become increasingly common in the workplace too and thus, office-bullying needs to be addressed effectively too.
Types of bullying:
It can either be direct (occurs between the people involved in a situation) or indirect (involve others, such as passing on insults or spreading rumors). Indirect bullying mostly inflicts harm by damaging another person’s social reputation, relationships and self-esteem.
There are primarily four types of bullying: physical, verbal, relational /social and cyber.
- Physical bullying – It is the most overt form of bullying. It involves harming the victim’s body or possessions. This may happen in the form of punching, kicking, tripping or any other act which involves physically harming the victim as well as damaging another’s property.
- Verbal bullying – It is the most common form of bullying. It refers to the act of speaking or writing inappropriate comments (which can often be homophobic, racist or sexual in nature), name-calling, intimidation and verbal abuse. While verbal abuse can start off harmlessly, there is always a tendency of escalation which can cause the victim significant emotional distress.
- Relational/Social Bullying- It involves harming the victim’s reputation or relationship with others. An example of this type of bullying can be social exclusion or spreading rumors.
- Cyber bullying- Cyber bullying can be either overt or covert and it refers to bullying behaviors that happen through the use of digital technologies. These include attacks and threats, cyber stalking, exclusion, outing, masquerade, flaming and putting up false profiles and distributing personal material against someone’s wishes.