Bullying can be defined in a variety of ways; some prefer to define bullying as it refers to school children because bullying is perceived to be more prevalent in schools.
“Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual.” – Wikipedia
The above definition refers to the repeated use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing, or threat with the intent to aggressively dominate or intimidate, and this can occur at home, in schools, at the office, and in a variety of other social settings where there is human relationship and communication. This act is unusually handed out to someone who is not on equal footing with the Bully. To put it another way, there is usually an imbalance between the bully and the bullied. This imbalance can be caused by a difference in age, class, religion, gender, sexual orientation, numerical advantage, size, strength, ability, and so on. On most occasions, the bully has an advantage over the bullied.
Bullying differs from conflict because of the power imbalance between the bully and the bullied. In a conflict, the two parties are usually a match or nearly a match for each other, and there is some sort of balance, even if there can only be a victor and a victim at the end.
Bullying can come in different ways:
Physical bullying is the most common type of bullying because it involves physical actions such as beating, slapping, stealing, intentional destruction of one’s property, and so on. Bullying does not just become physical; it has to accumulate over time before it becomes physical.
Name-calling, body shaming, yelling, threats, and insults are all examples of Verbal bullying. Typically, this type of bullying is not visible until it progresses to physical bullying. Verbal bullying is most common among women, and it is done to demonstrate superiority.
Some bullies purposefully make their victims feel excluded, ostracized, and isolated, causing them to believe they do not belong in their class; they intentionally misinterpret their victims’ actions and spread rumors about them; and, occasionally, they expose their victims’ secrets or threaten to do so in order to gain control over them. Relationship is the tool used in this case. Rational bullying is a type of bullying that is usually not visible; in fact, the bully may be unaware that he or she is being bullied.
Another type of bullying is Cyberbullying, which is done using the internet, phones, or other social media to threaten, harass, or intimidate someone. These bullies will occasionally post hateful comments on the internet under the disguise of anonymous users. The goal is to mock or berate those who are being bullied.
Another type of bullying that is common in schools or workplaces is Sexual bullying; it can be physical or nonphysical, and it can sometimes lead to sexual harassment. A good example is when a boy threatens to post a Lady’s nude pictures on social media if she talks about living their relationship, effectively holding her against her will. This also occurs in the workplace, usually between superiors and subordinates, and can result in sexual harassment.
There are different reasons why people bully others and some of the reasons are:
1. Low Self Esteem – This is a general sense of inadequacy. People who have low self-esteem constantly believe they are not good enough, smart enough, or beautiful enough. This feeling drives some people to become bullies; they try to bring down those they believe are better than them in order to be on the same level; some do this by spreading false rumors about their targets.
2. Egos – This is a superiority complex, a belief that you are better than the other person and, as a result, make the other person feel inferior to you. These are the bullies who usually persuade a group of friends to form a clique. Not everyone can be a part of the clique, and those who are not a part of it are considered inferior. Cliques are usually made up of people who have similar personalities, belong to the same economic class, or have the same status or position.
3. Bullied Bully – This is a situation in which someone becomes a bully solely because he has been or continues to be bullied. If a child has been bullied at home, he or she may bully other children at school. Another example is a junior who was bullied by a senior; when this junior becomes a senior, he bullies the juniors.
4. Loneliness – When a person feels lonely and unimportant and receives no attention, he is likely to feel bad. In order to feel better, he may resort to bullying in order to be noticed, as this will direct some attention to him.
5. Jealousy – This is a situation in which the bully believes he is more deserving of a position, attention, or a post than the person to whom the position was given, and as a result, he becomes jealous and bullies the person. These bullies typically use words to bring down their targets; they may also spread rumors in order to discredit their targets and prove to themselves that they are superior.
6. Attention Seeking – Some bullies harass in order to be noticed and respected; they are motivated by this, especially if they lack the qualities required to be respected. A good example is a senior student in school who is very friendly and loved by the junior students; a friend to the friendly senior student may not be respected by the junior students and may feel bad as a result; as a result, he may resort to bullying in order to gain the respect of the junior students.