The word bully didn’t always have the negative connotation it does today. Ironically enough, in the 1500’s the word actually meant “a sweetheart.” Today, Webster defines bullying as “the abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful.” Simply put, bullying is a person who likes to be mean, embarrass others, or looks for ways to harm another person time after time. A bully, more times than not, expresses hostile and forceful behavior. They seek power over those they consider to be “weaker” than they are. They fail to realize the long-lasting consequences that result from their grave behavior for both the bully (themselves) and the bullied. Unfortunately, those being bullied seem to have a hard time speaking up and putting the bullying to an end.

Oftentimes, the bullied see no end to this nightmare. The bullied often become isolated, withdrawn, depressed, and often express suicidal thoughts or ideations. They become more likely to turn to drugs to deal with their problems, may suffer from insomnia and anxiety, and their academic performance may suffer as a result of bullying.

Bullying isn’t limited to physical aggression and can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. These include but are not limited to:
Emotional bullying-name calling, belittling others, poking fun at other’s expense, spreading rumors or gossiping about the person, manipulation, humiliation, threats, and of course, insults and verbal abuse. This type of bullying often leads to insecurity and can diminish a person’s self-esteem.

Physical bullying-starting fights, hitting another person, pushing them hard, tripping or slapping them, spitting on them, pulling their hair. Basically, anything that uses your person to cause physical harm to another. This type of bullying is the most physically harmful, the most obvious, and can often lead to isolation.

Cyber bullying-sending upsetting messages either electronically or via text messages, emails, and/or through social media, and online threats. This type of bullying has seen the most growth recently due to technological advances and growth in social media. Due to fact that this type of bullying uses computers, cell phones and other digital devices, the bully does not have to be physically present. Therefore, the bully can target their victim at any time and from anywhere.

Bullying can happen to ANYONE! Sadly, young children, who are not viewed as “normal” by their peers, are at greater risk for bullying. Remember, there are many ways to ask for help! Bullying is never right and is AGAINST THE LAW!!