Have you ever felt like someone is making fun of you or trying to degrade you in front of others? Has someone made you feel like you had to earn or pay for protection from them? If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing bullying.
While most people think of school-aged children when they think of bullying, this is not always the case. Bullying among high school and college students, and even among peers at work, is very common. And with the widespread use of technology, cyberbullying has increasingly become a concern. No matter what age bullying happens, it hurts.
Bullying may occur in different environments and may take on different levels. Learning to recognize the warning signs of being bullied, and who potential bullies are, is crucial to decrease the number of bullying incidents.
There is no good reason for one person to bully another. However, without addressing the cause of such behavior, bullying will continue. The truth is, it could be any one or several of these reasons. Some common reasons for bullying include:
5 Examples Of Bullying
Bullying knows no bounds with regard to ethnicity, gender, or age. There are several environments in which bullying may occur.
It may seem a little easier to recognize bullies among school-aged children. Usually, the child who wants attention from other students or is accustomed to being the center of attention outside of school may display aggressive, bullying behavior so that they can continue to be the focus of others.
College students often socialize within groups, such as athletes or academic-focused students. One group may bully another. Also, among high school and college athletics, some players who are more experienced may bully less experienced players. Bullying can even take place between students and teachers or school staff. While many bullies may not consider their behavior as bullying, if it causes emotional distress, feelings of insecurity or fear, it is bullying.
For some, even adulthood does not stop bullying behavior. Unlike school-aged children or college students, many adults do not report bullying. Some adult survivors are too embarrassed to report workplace bullying incidents. They may fear retaliation by their co-worker or supervisor and may feel that putting up with the behavior is better than going through the shame of reporting it. Unfortunately, ignoring the situation can help foster an unsafe workplace—and usually only makes it worse.
Examples of bullying among adults could be manipulating someone to do a job that they don’t want to do or withholding the opportunity for job promotions unless demands are met. Belittling employees or co-workers, threatening, taking credit for the efforts of others, or stealing work equipment are other examples of workplace bullying. One of the most extreme cases of bullying among adults is sexual harassment. Any unsolicited sexual advances should be considered an act of harassment and should be reported. Workplace bullying can come from a single person or a group of co-workers and can seriously affect the target’s mental health and work performance.
While bullying often occurs when there is little to no supervision, whether from an adult or another authority figure, prejudicial bullying may occur regardless of who is around. Prejudicial bullying is a type of harassment that focuses on what the bully believes makes the survivor different from others. Those differences are seen as “weaknesses” or reasons to be considered an outcast.
Prejudicial bullying occurs when a person is singled out based on factors such as:
While all people have a right to their own opinions, no one has a right to force those opinions on others or to single others out for having different beliefs or lifestyles. In some cases, prejudicial bullying can lead to being accused of, or charged with, a hate crime.
When a family member, or someone sharing living space, is abusive or tries to manipulate another person in the home, this falls under the definition of domestic violence. Physical abuse does not have to be present for someone to experience domestic violence. Bullying behavior in the home, such as threatening violence or harm, withholding food, clothing, or financial means are all examples of domestic violence. This is a very serious concern for all of society and should be reported as soon as possible.
While technological advances have created some great opportunities for people to advance their careers or degrees, to connect with friends and family who live far away, or to launch a business, it doesn’t come without risk. Today, what may be considered the most “modern” type of bullying happens via forms of electronic communication, sometimes on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter. This type of abusive conduct is known as cyberbullying.
Just like anywhere else, there is the possibility of being singled out or threatened using electronic means. Some examples of cyberbullying include:
If you or someone you know is being bullied, it’s important to report the behavior and seek help. If you are in school, talk to a teacher, a school counselor, or other school staff. If you are experience bullying at work, report the incident to your supervisor. If your supervisor is the one committing the act of bullying, follow your chain of command and talk to the next person in a supervisory position. If you’re experiencing cyberbullying, there are various ways you can report it.
Seeking help from bullying behavior is a sign of strength, not weakness, as some bullies may have you believe. Taking care of yourself is important and safety is crucial. If you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed because of abusive behavior, talking to a counselor could be a way to learn coping mechanisms and healthy ways to put a stop to being bullied.
If you live in an area where there is a counseling center nearby, making an appointment for a consultation could be the first step to gaining control over the situation. Alternatively, if you would like to talk to someone but are not comfortable with meeting someone in person, online counseling could be a great option for you.
Online counseling is becoming a popular trend in mental healthcare. Services, such as those offered by BetterHelp, allow individuals to speak with a licensed, experienced counselor who is knowledgeable about mental health and wellness. These therapists educate clients on ways to address life issues on their own terms.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been more discussion than ever before about online therapy. The New York Times has written multiple articles. They point out an important fact: online therapy may be becoming more common, but research on its efficacy has been happening for quite a while now. For common therapy treatments, such as cognitive behavior therapy, studies have shown that online treatment is just as effective as in-person treatment.
Online therapy has plenty of practical benefits as well. As we’ve pointed out throughout this article, healthy relationships are incredibly important and that’s true in working with a therapist as well. BetterHelp has more than 14,000 licensed therapists, giving you good odds of finding the right person for you. BetterHelp is also fast: most people are matched with a counselor within 24 hours.
Below you’ll find some reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from people experiencing similar issues.
“Sharon Valentino has helped me through so much! Since we started working together, just a few months ago, I already feel like I have more power and control over my life. I have let go of some very painful things, I have moved away from abusive relationships and really gaining skills and tools I need to keep myself safe and happy. She has taught me that I have the power to control my thoughts, my anxiety, and most of all my company. I really like how direct she is, it helps me get grounded and connect to myself. I can’t wait to see where I am after working with her a year!!!”
“Mary is AMAZING! She helped me through so much trauma from toxic relationships and helped me to realize my sense of self-worth and build confidence. I could not recommend her more! Mary listens so well and truly cares about her clients. She has done a great job of helping me through situations and feelings in my life that I didn’t consciously realize were affecting me. Mary is very non-judgemental and professional and is SO easy to speak to. I was apprehensive initially about getting counseling and I am so glad that I did and that I found Mary. She has given me tools that I use daily that guide me through every up and down and has really helped me to manage my stress and find balance in my life. I have found so much happiness, strength, and confidence through working with her. Mary is wonderful, I highly recommend her!” Read more about
Bullying occurs on many levels. But without proper intervention, bullying may result in a cycle of continued behavior where survivors may later bully others or where bullies continue to do so. If you feel that you or someone you know is being bullied, help is here.