What is bullying?

Bullying can take on lots of different forms and can happen anywhere.

But however it might look, it’s always wrong. If someone’s behaviour towards you is stopping you from feeling safe and in control, it is bullying.

It’s good to be clear about what that bullying behaviour might look like.

Here are some examples, which could happen face to face or online:

  • Name calling and teasing
  • Being put down or made to feel small
  • Being ignored or left out
  • Having rumours spread about you
  • Having threats made against you
  • Being picked on because of who you are or how people see you
  • Having money and other belongings taken or messed about with
  • Pushing or pulling you, hitting or kicking
  • Receiving nasty messages online
  • Nasty comments made about you online.

There can be many reasons behind why someone bullies someone else. It may be because of their attitude towards someone they see as different, or it could be because of their own insecurities.

I’m being bullied

What are my options?

  1. Talk to someone you trust – this could be a teacher, family member or friend. It may not make the bullying stop, but it can help you feel better, especially as bottling up your feelings can make you feel worse.
  2. Tell a member of staff at school – the school has a duty to look after you and make sure you feel safe.
  3. If you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone you know, try talking to ChildLine 0800 1111.
  4. Steer clear of the person doing the bullying – block, delete or unfriend anyone who is bullying you on social media. Change your walk home from school. Avoid places in the school where the bully hangs out.
  5. Record the bullying. Keep a log about the times you are bullied, or save any messages you get. You can use your notes to report the bullying to the school.

“Definitely talk to someone. It’s the best thing you can do, and you have to know that you don’t need to go through this alone. Let someone know it’s happening and they can help you through it…”

A young person who has experienced bullying
An image of the RespectMe logo which consists of the word 'Respect' in pink and 'Me' in blue. Below blue text also reads 'Scotland's anti-bullying service. Above the letter 'M' is a circle with various circles inside it that are yellow, blue, red, light green and pink.

You can visit RespectMe for more practical advice and guidance on dealing with bullying behaviour.

RespectMe is Scotland’s anti-bullying service and has information and advice about bullying for young people.

More advice