Are You Being Bullied? 5 Examples of Bullying

Updated January 01, 2019

Reviewer Audrey Kelly, LMFT


When most people think of bullying, they automatically think of a schoolyard bully from grade school. Bullying is pretty common in schools, even with efforts to try to stop it, but did you know that bullying lasts until adulthood? It can take various forms, and this article will provide you with different examples of bullying with scenarios for each type. Furthermore, if any of these circumstances apply to you or someone else that you suspect is being bullied, professional help is available to anyone, no matter the severity.

  1. Bullying At School

Since this area was briefly mentioned already, this section will be dedicated to this topic and provide specific examples of bullying in school. Most people have witnessed a bully at school at least once in their lifetimes and sometimes have been a victim of it. The impacts of bullying in school can have a lasting impression even until adulthood.

Harassment in an educational setting can include examples of verbal bullying as well as physical. Verbal bullying can be incredibly hurtful and can include name-calling, insults, and even putting somebody on the spot in front of others, leading to embarrassment. This type of bullying can have a severely detrimental effect on a young individual's self-esteem.

Examples of physical bullying also happen at school too and can come in different scenarios. Sometimes a bully can push, kick, or trip another student, which can lead to injury. There have been instances of students getting articles of clothing pulled off by bullies. Theft also occurs when a bully coerces or strong-arms another student into giving him or her the victim's lunch money. In adulthood, these would be serious crimes, so these types of examples of bullying in school should be taken seriously.

  1. Bullying At Work

Even in adulthood, bullying does not necessarily stop. The workplace is often filled with many people with different personalities, just like school.

One of the leading examples of workplace bullying is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can occur in both verbal and physical forms. For example, someone may make an unwanted comment or gesture to another person, or they may grope. No matter how extreme, sexual harassment can result in self-depreciation, such as blaming oneself for an incident, or even cause the employee to leave his or her job. [1]

A lot of the same examples of bullying in school can potentially also happen in the workplace. These instances of bullying can include:

  • belittling
  • threatening
  • yelling/cursing
  • stealing

Employees are also known to gossip about one another as well as give dirty looks and deliberately give others the silent treatment, regardless if they need to cooperate [1]. The effects of bullying at work are quite similar to schoolyard bullying. It can lead to self-esteem issues, negative attitudes, and stress.


  1. Prejudicial Bullying

Bullying is known to happen in places where there is little to no supervision from an adult or authority figure. However, prejudicial bullying is a type of harassment that can occur in public with no regard for who is watching or not.

Prejudicial bullying encompasses many different areas such as:

  • ethnicity and nationality (i.e., skin color, accent)
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • disabilities
  • gender identity

Many instances of prejudicial bullying have been caught on camera through a bystander's smart-phone. It is not rare or unusual for such events to receive media coverage or be uploaded online which leads to more awareness for this type of bullying. Unfortunately, if taken to the extreme, prejudicial bullying can turn into hate crimes.

  1. Bullying At Home

Harassment and violence also occur at home, and it is one of the most under-reported examples of bullying. Some reasons for this can because the victim does not believe the police should get involved, the situation seems trivial to him or her, or they are afraid that the person committing the bullying will retaliate.

Domestic abuse is the more common term for this type of bullying, and it is estimated that about 20 people are being abused by a spouse or intimate partner per minute in the United States. This figure is the equivalent of over 10 million men and women annually. [2]

In their lifetimes, approximately every 1 in 4 men and 1 in 3 women have been the victim of domestic violence of some sort. For severe domestic violence, it is every 1 in 7 men and 1 in 4 women. [2]

Domestic abuse can be physical, verbal, or both, and can include both adults and children in one setting. Many different scenarios are possible examples of bullying at home. A verbally-abusive alcoholic mother or a physically-violent father and husband are just a couple of broad examples of it. It can also be commonplace, or it can be a single incident. Bullying that happens to children on a regular basis could also be an indicator of a dysfunctional family.

Regardless of how and when it happens, domestic abuse and violence is a crime and should be reported to law enforcement. Across the nation, over 20,000 calls to domestic abuse hotlines are carried out [2]. More reports like this will lead to more police involvement, prosecutions, and it is possible this can lead to a lower incidence of this type of bullying.

  1. Cyberbullying

Cyber-bullying is most likely the newest, modern examples of bullying out there. While the other types have existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years, cyber-bullying appeared in the last two to three decades along with the widespread use of the Internet and electronic communication. Examples of cyberbullying can include:

  • Sending hurtful messages through text (can be email, SMS, or instant messaging)
  • Gossiping on social media
  • Taking photos of someone without his or her permission, then posting it online
  • The creation of fake accounts to impersonate another individual online
  • Swatting (the use of contacting emergency services to arrive at another person's home address, as a form of harassment by deliberately providing a false report)


Because kids have access to the Internet and technology around the clock, bullying does not stay at school. Examples of cyberbullying have risen in the years, and specific events, such as suicide in grade-schoolers, has led to increased awareness in the last decade. However, adults can also use technology to bully others. Some ways adults may cyber-bully another person can include verbal harassment, such as threats, and stalking. Even public figures have been subject to cyber-bullying.

Research suggests that cyber-bullying and traditional school bullying share a lot in common with one another but also have defining characteristics. The main difference is that cyber-bullying can be anonymous, whereas a victim of schoolyard bullying can be easily identified. The ability to be anonymous has resulted in a higher frequency of being bullied. [3]

Treatment for Bullying

Bullying can have some serious adverse effects on victims. Not only does it affect one's self-esteem, but it can cause more specific symptoms. Some signs that someone being bullied are:

  • frequent bruising or injuries
  • appetite changes
  • reduced school or work attendance
  • declining work performance or grades
  • sleep issues
  • self-destructive behaviors (i.e., drugs and alcohol, self-harm)

If you are being bullied, or you have noticed some of these examples of bullying symptoms in another person, therapy is the main course of treatment for anyone. Victims need a supportive atmosphere where they can feel open to discuss their situations. Most schools have counseling services; however, for other types of bullying, these services are found elsewhere. Therapy and counseling services can be found at Licensed professionals are available and can provide you with the help that you need, such as coping strategies.


Bullying can occur in just about every setting, and it includes both men and women and young and old. It can be verbal or physical and even have a specific motive to it. For example, someone may bully based on ethnicity or religious beliefs. No matter how the bullying is performed, it has a high probability of hurting others, even for life.

Some young bullies may believe what they are doing is harmless or done in a joking manner, but that is not how the victim perceives it. If the behavior is not adjusted, this can lead to severe consequences later in life. Some examples of bullying and harassment in the workplace are taken seriously and can lead to lawsuits, and sometimes prejudicial bullying can become a hate crime. Unfortunately, bullying cannot be escaped at home, as domestic abuse and cyber-bullying are prevalent.

Bullying can lead to many chronic symptoms if left untreated. In some extreme cases, bullying has driven people to commit homicide and suicide. Suicide has become more and more prevalent because the abuse can cause a victim to feel withdrawn and hopeless. The truth is, support is available to those who need somebody to talk to, but further steps and activity also need to be taken to put a stop to all examples of bullying.


By visiting, individuals have access to high-quality counseling services by licensed professionals. A qualified therapist can make a massive, positive difference in an individual's life. By being able to discuss their problems at school, work, home, or online, people may find the advice they need to do overcome the effects of bullying.


  1. Bowling, N. A., & Beehr, T. A. (2006). Workplace harassment from the victims perspective: A theoretical model and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(5), 998-1012. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.91.5.998
  1. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). National Statistics. Retrieved August 30, 2018, from
  1. Kowalski, R. M., Morgan, C. A., & Limber, S. P. (2012). Traditional bullying as a potential warning sign of cyberbullying. School Psychology International, 33(5), 505-519. doi:10.1177/0143034312445244

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