Bullying can be similar to abuse and occurs when one person uses their power to harm another person with fear, intimidation, threats, and/ or exclusion. This can happen at school, in work environments, within peer groups, on sports teams or in cyberspace. People of all age groups can experience bullying and it can happen within different relationships.

Bullying can include:

  • Name calling, verbal abuse

  • Spreading rumors or gossiping

  • Insults or putdowns

  • Physical harm or property damage

  • Intimidation and inducing fear/ threats

  • Online shaming, hurtful texts or emails 

Being bullied can cause (for both adults and children):

  • Mood changes

  • Social withdrawal

  • Social anxiety

  • Depressed feelings

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Low self-esteem and feelings of shame

  • Physical symptoms such as: headaches/stomach-aches

  • Changes in sleep patterns or appetite 

On the other hand, healthy relationships include:

  • Mutual respect – having regard for each other’s perspective

  • Honesty – the ability to feel emotionally safe to share and express your feelings

  • Trust – having confidence and dependability in the other person

  • Equality – having space and tolerance for each other’s values

  • Companionship – supporting and encouraging each other to grow

While we often think of bullying in terms of how we treat others or how they treat us, it’s also important to think about the relationship you have with yourself.

Reflect on whether you are bullying yourself with self-criticism and putdowns. Perhaps you are pointing out, laughing at or shaming your own flaws, insecurities or other unique qualities. If you find that this is the case, I encourage you to practice self-compassion, kindness and positive self-talk.

If you would like to book an appointment with us, please contact us via our website

Bullying Helpline 1-888-456-2323