Am I a bully?

What is bullying? There are three things that a situation needs to be to be bullying:

  • It needs to be unfair- not right, not fair and not equal
  • It needs to be one-sided –  one person or group is trying to hurt another
  • It needs to be repeated- this means it doesn’t just happen once and is not an isolated incident.
  • There are 4 main types of Bullying:
    • Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, spitting, kicking, stealing, taking belongings, intimidation
    • Verbal: name-calling, insulting, mocking, taunting, teasing,  racist remarks, gossip, rumors, threatening
    • Indirect/Emotional: excluding from groups, pointing and facial gestures, dirty looks, embarrassing, humiliating
    • Cyber Bullying “The Invisible Bullying”: via mobile phone, texting, computer, email, chat rooms, internet,  Social Network sites such as:  MySpace, Facebook, YouTube

How do I know if it’s teasing or bullying?

  • Good-Natured Teasing
    • Playful between BOTH people
    • Uses a friendly tone
    • Encourages friendships
    • Doesn’t lead to physical confrontations
    • Sometimes lightens a tense moment
    • I Was Only Joking!
      • “Can’t you take a joke?” Well now, that all depends. Following  up a rude or insulting comment with the phrase “I was only joking”, doesn’t mean it takes away the pain caused to the person we said it to.
      • The sting of the hurtful words, even if joking, can have a lasting effect.
  •  Hurtful Teasing
    • Uses angry tone
    • Angry body language
    • Continues even when distress is evident
    • Continues even when the topic is upsetting to others
    • Accompanied by “showing off”

Real Information

Bullying has a big effect; even farther than you might think:

  • Bullying has an impact everyone at school. Bullying creates a climate of fear and disrespect in schools. It makes it hard for other students to feel safe and to learn in the classroom. Bullying has been linked to serious school violence, shootings and hazing incidents.
  • Bullying can affect your health! You might be more likely to get into fights, get injured in fights, or take part in other dangerous activities like drugs.


It’s never too late to start over. Here are some tips on how to stop being a bully:

How to Stop Being a Bully

—  Try to identify why you bully.   Make a list of those reasons.

◦ Do you feel insecure about yourself?

◦ Does the power make you feel good?

◦ Do you enjoy making others cry or visibly feel emotional pain?

◦ Are you bullying because you are being bullied by someone else?

◦ Are you bullying because your friends do it and you want to be excepted?

◦ Are you afraid that if you don’t bully others, you may appear weak and become susceptible to others bullying you?

—  Explain how this is affecting your life.

◦ Why does this make you feel good?

◦ What event in your life could have resulted in your bullying?

—  Seek help. Some things on your list may be too big for you to deal with. If you are being hurt or abused (at home or anywhere else), you must get help. Getting help doesn’t make you weak a; it shows you want to fight FOR yourself! Talk to a teacher, school counselor or an adult you trust.

—  Put yourself in your victims’ shoes. Have you been bullied? Think about how that made you feel or how it would feel.


– Teen Lifeline – This is a confidential and free peer to peer hotline where other teens can help you through your tough time. 602-248-TEEN (8336)

– Tell your teacher or a counselor. They want to stop bullying as much as possible and they can show you ways to get the help you want.

– Tell your parents. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on.

Don’t give up. If it’s hard to find an adult that will listen, keep trying until you find someone that will.