Inspirational Anti-Bullying Quotes And Sayings

Medically reviewed by Corey Pitts, MA, LCMHC, LCAS, CCS
Updated April 18, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Bullying is behavior directed toward one or more individuals that is meant to insult, demean, or intimidate. Research shows that bullying can significantly impact the survivor's mental health, potentially affecting their self-esteem, academic achievement, and overall mindset regarding the future. 

Being the target of a bully in elementary school, high school, or as an adult, or knowing someone being bullied can lead to complex emotions that might be difficult to process. Below are a few inspirational quotes that may inspire you to help stop this behavior or bring you comfort if you're being bullied, along with some tips for proactively dealing with bullying if it's present in your life.

Experiencing bullying can lead to complicated emotions

Quotes about bullying

Going through a difficult experience, like bullying, can be hard to manage. Sometimes, inspirational quotes can help. One of the most popular inspirational quotes about bullying is about fire and bullying, by Benjamin Disraeli: “Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.” This quote encapsulates an important mindset to remember for those who face bullying, which is that there is true strength in being courageous, while bullying is simply the illusion of strength.

Below are a few more popular quotes about bullying: 

  • "I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It's the bully who's insecure." --Shay Mitchell

  • "I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: 'The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words, he epitomized the history of the human race." –Bertrand Russell

  • "I allowed myself to be bullied because I was scared and didn't know how to defend myself. I was bullied until I prevented a new student from being bullied. By standing up for him, I learned to stand up for myself." Jackie Chan

  • “You will always be criticized and teased and bullied for things that make you different, but usually those things will be what set you apart. The things that set you apart from the pack, the things that you once thought were your weaknesses will someday become your strengths.” –Taylor Swift

  • "Cyberbullying is poised to turn into the biggest online concern, already affecting up to 35% of all children." –Dr. Martyn Wild

  • “If you're insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.” – Phil Lester

  • "Cyberbullies can hide behind a mask of namelessness online and do not need direct physical admittance to their victims to do unimaginable harm." –Anna Maria Chávez

Anti-bully quotes

There are many quotes about the harm of bullying, including the following: 

"Bullying is the systematic abuse of power and is defined as aggressive behavior or intentional harm-doing by peers that are carried out repeatedly and involve an imbalance of power. Being bullied is still often wrongly considered as a 'normal rite of passage'… Bullying by peers has been mostly ignored by health professionals but should be considered a significant risk factor and safeguarding issue." –Dieter Wolke and Suzet Tanya Lereya

"Kids who bully use their power — such as physical strength, availability of embarrassing information, or popularity — to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people. … Bullying can affect everyone — those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes, including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide." –

If you are struggling with substance use, contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at (800) 662-4357 to receive support and resources. Support is available 24/7.

"Unless and until our society recognizes cyberbullying for what it is, the suffering of thousands of silent victims will continue." – Anna Maria Chávez

"People say sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you, but that's not true. Words can hurt. They hurt me. Things were said to me that I still haven't forgotten." -Demi Lovato

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or urges, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text 988 to talk to someone over SMS. They are available 24/7 to offer support. 

Quotes about bullies

Below are several quotes about the people who choose to bully: 

"Educational psychologists describe a new kind of bullying. The perpetrators are attractive, athletic, and academically accomplished — and comfortable enough around adults to know what they can and can't get away with in school and online. These bullies are so subtle and cunning it's hard for school staff to know if what looks like bullying really is, and what to do about it." –Rick Hampson

“What if the kid you bullied at school, grew up, and turned out to be the only surgeon who could save your life?” –Lynette Mather

"Bullies are cruel and possibly irretrievable, but their anger and bullying behavior is often a displacement of their own lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. Mostly, they are lost souls who do not know how to feel comfortable in the world. Their experience has been of failure, rejection, and lack of ability to function well." –Keith Sullivan, Mark Cleary, and Ginny Sullivan

"See bullies for who they really are. Anger and aggression come from unexpressed hurt and pain… Think about what could be going on behind the scenes. Perhaps their parents divorced recently, they have a bully of their own, or they've been abused. Understanding this will help you rise above it." –Jerry Weichman

"If bullies actually believe that somebody loves them and believes in them, they will love themselves, they will become better people, and many will even become saviors to the bullied." –Dan Pearce

Quotes for inspiration against bullying

If you're looking for inspiration to stand up to bullying and for people hurt by bullying, below are some popular quotes: 

  • "Courage is the most important of virtues because, without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently." –Maya Angelou

  • “We explain when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you do not stoop to their level. Our motto is when they go low, you go high.” – Michelle Obama

  • "He who has conquered his own coward spirit has conquered the whole outward world." –Thomas Hughes

  • “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

  • "I would rather be a little nobody than to be an evil somebody." –Abraham Lincoln

  • "Often, the right path is the one that may be hardest for you to follow. But the hard path is also the one that will make you grow as a human being." – Karen Mueller Coombs

  • "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." –Eleanor Roosevelt

How to respond to bullying as a survivor or bystander

Whether you are experiencing cyberbullying or in-person bullying, knowing how to proceed when you're being bullied can be challenging. In addition, many bystanders don't know what to do when bullying occurs. According to, when bystanders intervene, bullying stops within ten seconds 57% of the time. As a survivor, there are many steps you can take to remedy your situation. As a bystander, you hold power to help a survivor. Using the below tips, you can help facilitate changes, advocate for survivors, and prevent personal, cyber, or social media bullying from occurring in the future.

Notify someone 

Survivors of bullying are often too afraid to let anyone know what's happening, and bystanders frequently do not report the behavior they witness. If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying, consider notifying someone in a position to take action. Reporting behavior can help the bullying stop long term.   

Raise awareness 

Bullying can be a common experience, especially for people in school. Approximately 20% of students aged 12-18 have reported experiencing bullying. If you or someone you know is a survivor of bullying, you can help by advocating for more awareness. Consider creating an initiative in your area or getting involved in an existing anti-bullying organization in your community that can guide and support authorities.

Talk with someone 

Sometimes, expressing your thoughts, fears, and emotions to someone you trust is the healthiest solution to bullying. It can help to know you're not alone in experiencing bullying. Consulting with friends or a relative can help alleviate the stress and pressure you may feel when you experience mistreatment. These individuals may also be able to give you empathy, compassion, and love. 

Experiencing bullying can lead to complicated emotions

Speak to a professional 

If you've experienced or witnessed bullying and feel it has impacted your mental health, reaching out to a professional like a licensed therapist can be valuable and could save your life. Bullying quotes can be helpful in dealing with bullies, but in some situations, therapy may be a needed tool. In addition, many modern therapists offer support online, allowing individuals to reach out for guidance without leaving home or fearing further bullying. 

Research shows that online therapy can effectively treat symptoms of mental health conditions that may be related to bullying. In one study, researchers found that online therapy could not only decrease symptoms of depression in participants but also enhance the overall quality of life and improve self-esteem. The study also noted that online therapy could be a solid option for those uncomfortable with in-person treatment. 

If you're looking for guidance and support as you navigate emotions that may be related to bullying or similar concerns, consider utilizing an online therapy platform like BetterHelp. With BetterHelp, you can participate in therapy from the comfort of your home, making it easier to discuss potentially sensitive topics like bullying. You can also message your therapist outside of sessions. If you have a question about your treatment or want to clarify a specific point made during therapy, you can send your therapist a message, and they can respond as soon as they can. A qualified mental health professional can give you the space to talk about bullying, help you take a stand against those hurting you, and ultimately offer you the tools to navigate complex challenges in life. 

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Bullying continues to affect both children and adults daily. No one deserves to be bullied, and learning to deal with bullying can be challenging. With the above quotes about bullying to offer inspiration and suggestions to give you some tools to better deal with bullying, you may now feel better equipped to deal with the effects of bullying. For further support, consider connecting with a therapist online or in person.

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