Do a person’s words sound insulting? Someone probably intimidated you. You met one of the different types of bullies.
You may not know that you’re a target because not all forms of bullying are covert. So, how can you tell that you’re subject to aggression? Who are the different types of bullies, and how do you fend them off?
What is bullying?
Bullying is aggression that typically happens in schools, workplaces or neighborhoods. Bullies tweak the power balance in their favor by threatening their victims in some way.
Also, bullying behavior is repetitive and takes place over time. It includes, but does not stop at physical intimidation. Some bullies make life uncomfortable for their victims by harassing them. They’re not above spreading damaging rumors and will deliberately make their victims feel unwanted.
Causes of Bullying
So why would a person want to threaten or use force on others? Why do they feel the need to have ‘one-up’ over them?
Popularity is the name of the game in schools and workplaces. Bullies feel that the only way for them to gain it is to assert their authority over those who they see as weaker than they are.
Consequently, their targets are often weak-willed, have few friends and often have distinct physical traits. Most are either over or underweight, so bullies often pick on their size. They may also have disabilities. Bullies, who often have low self-esteem, find them easy to threaten.
Different Types of Bullies in Everyday Life
Many people associate bullying with using physical force, but it extends beyond this. The various types include bullies who intimidate verbally and socially. With the internet comes the Cyber Bully, a relatively recent phenomenon.
1. Physical Bullies
As the term suggests, these bullies use physical force. They hit, shove, push, and bash their targets. Of course, they assault in other ways as well. Both girls and boys bully physically.
These days, physical bullying goes together with cyberbullying. Bullies may attack their victims and post their ‘achievements’ online. The aim, of course, is to humiliate them.
2. Verbal Bullies
Everyone knows that the old saying about sticks and stones is somewhat untrue. Words do hurt, sometimes enough to cause suicidal thoughts. Verbal bullies do hit, but with words. Verbal Bullying includes name-calling and making hurtful comments.
3. Social Bullies
Social bullies also make this list. These people choose targets that society rejects because they want to prove their popularity. Social bullying isn’t exclusive to either gender, but girls tend to do it more than boys. They ostracize targets and refuse to include them in activities.
4. Cyber Bullies
There are the Cyber Bullies, who are more crafty than the rest. They make use of digital tools to insult and threaten others. They may resort to other forms of intimidation as well. Some have intimate relationships with their targets only to use their details to extort them later.
5. Workplace Bullies
Finally, there are workplace bullies or people who make your working environment hard to tolerate. These can range from the narcissistic boss who does not treat people with respect, to colleagues who band together to spread rumors about you.
If you face constant criticism, hear lots of yelling or have co-workers who remember your mistakes, you may have workplace bullies in your midst. You may also find yourself overlooked at lunch meetings. Workplace bullies may find ways to sabotage your work or make it less credible.
Managing Each Type of Bullies
Before you can deal with the bullying or help someone do so, you’ll have to realize that it’s taking place. Targets often think that behavior is somehow their fault, and feel that they deserve it. Once you recognize the aggressive behavior, you can put strategies in place to stop it.
First of all, avoid bullies when you can. The aim of doing this is not to avoid standing up for yourself. Rather, you want to stop them from becoming the center of your life. When you can’t avoid them, assert yourself and stress that you won’t tolerate the bullying.
Don’t show the hurt you feel because nothing frustrates bullies more than targets who ignore them. Most bullies have low self-confidence, so not acknowledging them will grate on them.
Also, document the bullying and report it. Remember that others may not want to help you because they fear becoming targets themselves. Source for support from people who care. Though they cannot intervene, they can offer listening ears.
If you feel that bullies are ostracizing you, connect with other parts of your life.
Seek out, other friends. When you feel confident enough, find ways to remind them of your existence. If social bullying takes place at work, speak to a superior whom you feel will understand the circumstances and is willing to assign other tasks to you.
If you feel bullied, don’t despair. Though dealing with different types of bullies is daunting, being proactive will help. So will taking steps to build your self-confidence.