Bullying consists of repetitive and undesirable behaviours, ranging from insults and physical violence to spreading rumours, teasing, or spitting. Although the term is generally used to refer to behaviours affecting school-aged children, it can also refer to any aggressive tactic intended to physically, socially, or verbally hurt someone who is perceived to be weaker than him.

There is no one form of bullying. It can be verbal, social, or physical bullying. Their common point is that they are undesirable and repetitive practices, unlike an attack that would only occur once.

  • Verbal bullying can be teasing, insults, inappropriate sexual remarks or jokes, threats, or taunts.
  • Social bullying describes behaviours aimed at discrediting someone by attacking their reputation or social relationships. This can mean spreading rumours, publicly embarrassing someone, or telling others to stop being with that person.
  • Verbal or social bullying may not happen in person but through social media, email, text, or any other form of digital communication. We are talking about cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can take the form of threats, online harassment, excessive messaging, or dissemination of embarrassing images or information in the digital space.
  • Physical bullying is when a person or their possessions are physically attacked, whether by pushing, spitting, hitting, shoving, or stealing or damaging their personal belongings.
  • All of these forms of violence can occur without it necessarily being intimidation. If mean or violent behaviour such as hitting or insulting someone happens only once, it is not technically bullying. If, on the other hand, this behaviour takes place repeatedly or it is clear that the culprit intends to continue, then it is indeed bullying.

Ways to Help another person who is being bullied

  1. Don’t ignore the facts or tell the victim to pretend nothing happened.

Never consider an aggressive situation as something harmless. If someone feels threatened, the situation should be taken seriously, whether it’s verbal harassment or physical threats.

  1. Reassure the person.

People who are bullied feel unsupported, alone, and isolated. So you have to start by telling the victim that you understand their pains and stand in solidarity with them.

  • Ask what might help the person feel better.
  • Tell her it’s not her fault if she’s been bullied.
  • Ask the person to do a role play in which you will act out situations to help them react to offenders.
  1. Make sure everyone is safe before you intervene.

If there is a weapon in play, serious threats have been made, or you feel in danger, contact the police or another person in authority before you intervene.

  1. If you think you are safe, intervene immediately while remaining calm.

The best thing is to intervene as soon as possible before the situation has time to escalate. If possible, seek help from someone who is not involved. It is important to note that certain groups are more at risk of being bullied. Special measures are necessary when bullying concerns a young person’s sexual orientation (LGBT), when it affects a person with a disability, or when it takes place because of ethnic origin or religion. You will find [1] More information on these forms of bullying.

  1. Separate the people involved.

Only try to figure out what happened after separating the people involved so you can hear them separately. When discussing bullying issues with the perpetrator in front of the victim, the victim may feel confused, scared, or embarrassed.

  • Oppressors sometimes intimidate their victims by threatening severe reprisals if they tell anyone. Talking to people separately might calm the situation.
  1. Contact an authority for help.

All schools or organisations should have internal rules that provide for dealing with bullying issues. In some cases, there are even strategies regarding cyberbullying. It is up to the school administration to solve these problems, but they must first be informed of them.

  1. Get help from a psychologist or therapist.

Victims of bullying can suffer long-term psychological or emotional trauma. The help of a professional makes it possible to reduce the impact of these traumatisms.

  • From a certain age, children and adolescents try to deal with the psychological consequences that bullying can have on them. This can sometimes lead to depression or an anxiety disorder.
  • When a pre-adolescent or adolescent withdraws into himself or shows signs of depression or anxiety, such as a sudden change in his grades in school, in the quality of his sleep, in his diet, or a sudden refusal to participate in group activities, it is crucial to seek professional help. Make an appointment with your child’s school social worker, school psychologist, or another healthcare professional.
  1. Never advise a victim of bullying to defend themselves.

Bullying creates an impression (sometimes real and sometimes just felt) of a power imbalance. It can be a person stronger than others, a group facing an isolated victim, or a person with a higher social status than his victim, etc. Trying to defend themselves alone can make the victim feel like it’s their fault if they can’t get away with it, or it can expose them to additional danger.


Bullying goes beyond the simple relationship between the perpetrator and the bullied person. It is the result of a set of individual and social factors on which it is necessary to protect people from being bullied.

Thus, people who experience bullying can feel fear, insecurity, and anxiety and develop low self-esteem, anxiety, or symptoms of depression that can go as far as having suicidal ideas. They may also experience high levels of stress, feelings of guilt, weight gain or loss, or illness. They may live in social isolation and see their reputation tarnished.

Among young people who are bullied, there are reports of consequences on academic success (problems with learning, concentration, absenteeism, dropping out), problematic social relationships, and an increased risk of delinquency.

Do not ignore any bullying relationship or occurrence you happen to come across. Bullying is harmful and detrimental to the growth of persons exposed to it. Play your part to stop the cycle.


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