What is bullying?

Bullying is when someone physically hurts or verbally abuses another person. It can include unwanted teasing, making people feel bad about themselves and deliberately leaving someone out.

Bullying can happen anywhere – at home, at school, in your community, or even online.

Bullying can leave you feeling alone and worried about doing the things you usually enjoy.

But you are not alone – there are plenty of people to speak to who can help you and stop it from happening again.

Young Minds outline some specific reasons why people bully others:

  • Homophobic bullying based on your sexual orientation
  • Racist bullying because of your skin colour
  • Religious bullying because of your religion or beliefs
  • Sizest bullying based on your body size
  • Sexist bullying focusing on you being the opposite sex
  • Cyber bullying targets you online, often anonymously
  • Bullying because you are different

Whether it happens just the once or regularly, bullying is very upsetting for the person who is being bullied – and it can happen to anyone. Bullying can have a real negative effect on your emotional wellbeing.

Bullying for any reason is wrong – no matter what bullies say, you don’t deserve to be mistreated by others.

No one has the right to bully you. Every child and young person should feel safe and supported, wherever they are.

What can I do?

The best thing you can do is to tell an adult that you trust, such as a family member, carer or someone at school.

It can be really hard to tell someone about your experience, but it can make a real difference. Go to our page on starting conversations for tips.

  • You could also contact a helpline for immediate help and support (see the bottom of the page)
  • The Children’s Society have prepared a list of advice for dealing with bullies, both if you are being bullied or if you see it happen to someone else.
  • If you see someone else being bullied, take a minute to think about how it might make you feel if you were being bullied. Perhaps you’d feel alone, or scared, or worried about the future. Reaching out to them and including them could make a real difference to their wellbeing.
  • If you think someone else is being bullied, it is right to report it to someone you trust. You shouldn’t get in trouble for this!