The Verbal Bullying

What is verbal bullying?

The definition of verbal bullying is when an individual uses verbal language (e.g., insults, teasing, etc) to gain power over his or her peers.

For example, a less athletically inclined peer may be called nerd or wimp. Unlike physical bullying, by definition verbal bullying is harder to see and stop. It tends to occur when adults aren’t around to stop it and the effects of it are not obvious.

Verbal bullying can be very damaging and may have long term psychological effects on the victim.

Effects of verbal bullying

Words alone do have power. While the effects of physical bullying may be more obvious at first, verbal bullying is more insidious and over time works it  destroys a child’s self image and self esteem. This can lead to depression, anxiety and other problems. In extreme cases, several well noted instances of teen suicide have been linked to prolonged verbal bullying of a classmate or peer. Verbal bullying should not be treated as kids simply being kids and should dealt with seriously by parents, teachers and school administrators.

Tips to overcome verbal bullying

  1. Tell school administrators: It’s important school administrators are made aware of the situation so they can intervene and monitor the situation. Follow-up with your child and the school regularly to ensure the situation is dealt with.
  2. Resist suggestions to simply ignore the bully: Ignoring the bully doesn’t work. It’s the responsibility of the student exhibiting bullying behaviors not to bully. The victim should not have to hide or endure the harassment.
  3. Have your child participate in social activities (extracurriculuar activities, community groups and other supportive environments): It is important the victim not be bullied into isolation. Engaging in social activities and having close friends can help a child immensely – both in helping them develop pro-social behaviours and in offering some level of protection against the development of depression, anxiety, etc.
The Verbal Bullying illustration

Written by: Unnati Shekhar

Idea’s by’ Srihitha Suryadevara, Ayaan Ali Syed

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