Bullying can be described as an unwanted aggressive behavior towards an individual that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. The term “bullying” is thrown around a bit excessively these days, and one thing we need to keep in mind is that not every confrontation is an instance of “bullying.” The key component is the power imbalance. Two peers having a go at eachother over some contentious topic isn’t “bullying.” Such examples of these power imbalances include multiple children ganging up on one, a child that is bigger and stronger than another, or even a child that is perceived as being more important due to his or her stature at school (the “cool kid”). Bullying usually takes many forms and can involve physical attacks, emotional attacks and/or verbal attacks.
The following is an overview of the different types of bullying:
The Main 3 Types of Bullying
There are three main categories of bullying. The other, more specific types, can fall into any or all of these categories, depending on the specific situation in which the bullying is encountered.
This type of bullying basically involves the use of physical force. Physical bullying is most prevalent in academic institutions. This bullying technique may involve the spiting, shoving, kicking or even punching. In most instances, the aggressor is physically larger than the victim or may be within a group. The idea behind physical bullying is for the bully to establish superiority and continued control over a victim.
Verbal bullying incorporates the use of words to carry out an act of bullying. In this type of bullying, the aggressor also known as the bully tries to verbally upset the victim through taunting and teasing. The verbal assault might focus on an individual’s appearance, lifestyle choices, intellect, skin color and even ethnicity. Most verbal bullies have a low self esteem and tend to bully others so as to increase their social standings and feel better about themselves.
Also known as relational aggression, emotional bullying is the act of an aggressor attacking a victim on an emotional level. Emotional bullying is most common in relationships whereby, one partner might make statements or act in such a manner as to bring about distress to the other partner. Emotional bullying may also involve the spreading of rumors, excluding an individual from certain activities, refusing to talk to someone and even making statement with an intention of hurting a person’s feelings.
Sub-Types of Bullying
The following are the various sub-types of bullying. They will all include at least one of the main types, while some include 2 or all 3.
This is one of the most popular types of bullying in the modern world. Cyber bullying can be described as any form of bullying that incorporates the use of technology. Cyber bullying is rampant on social networking sites and can be very difficult to know the real identity of a bully since most bullies do not use their real names. [Read more: Types of Cyber Bullying]
Disability bullying is bullying specifically targeting people with disability. Disability bullying normally targets physically disabled individuals but can also extend individuals with other special conditions such as autism, cleft lips and even dyspraxia.
Gay bullying better known as gay bashing is a type of bullying that specifically targets gay individuals. The bullying can be physical, emotional or verbal in nature. For instance, refusing to associate or even talk with gay people is considered a form of gay building since it brings about emotional torture on the victim. In some instances, individuals perceived to be gay are also subjected to this type of bullying.
Legal bullying basically encompasses the use of the legal system to control or punish an individual or organization. In legal bullying, the victim would be bombarded by multiple lawsuits by the aggressor. While this form of bullying is not necessarily considered as being illegal, the victim can waste a lot of time and resources dealing with the lawsuits.
Parental bullying is one of the most prevalent types of bullying in the modern world. In this type of bullying, parents may displace their insecurities or anger on their children. This type of bullying might be physical or emotional in nature.
Prison bullying is another popular form of bullying experienced in many areas around the world. Prison bullying is almost inevitable since penal institutions are filled with individuals most of who have been incarcerated for violent crime. Most instances of prison bullying might be between inmates but there are also documented cases of prison staff bullying prisoners or prisoners bullying prison staff.
School bullying is one of the most common types of bullying. School bullying can be physical, emotional or verbal in nature. In most instances, the aggressor has several victims and is physically bigger than the victims. In most instances, students witnessing the bullying might avoid intervening or even taunt the victim being bullied so as to avoid being targeted by the bully. [Read More: Types of Bullying in Schools]
There are laws and organizations that protect an individual from the various types of bullying. As a rule, you should contact the authorities if you find yourself in such a situation so as to deter repeat incidences
Hopefully the above list helped you get a better understanding of the different types of bullying out there. Sadly, there will probably more types will probably eventually evolve, and I will add them to the list. If I’ve forgotten any, please let me know in the comments.