By definition, a bully is someone who is cruel to weaker individuals. Although numerous bullying methods exist, there are four main types of bullying: physical, verbal, emotional, and cyber. It's important to remember that no one kind of bullying is better or worse than another, as it depends on what is most effective against the victim. Often, a bully employs various methods in combination for maximum impact.
Physical bullying is the easiest of the types of bullying to define because it is among the most common. Injury to the person or his or her belongings is characteristic of this method. The bully may punch, kick, shove, or spit on the victim.
Cyber bullying, as the name implies, takes place in cyberspace. This means any electronic communication device is a potential instrument of the bully. This type of bullying involves various forms of victim harassment, including posting pictures of the victim on websites against his or her wishes and sending pictures through cell phone texting. The bully may also turn up in chat rooms to talk negatively about the target or interfere with his or her ability to chat.
The remaining two kinds of bullying, verbal and emotional, are often confused as the same thing. While similar in nature, the methods and outcomes are often different. The goal of emotional bullying is to exclude the victim from social interactions and cause mental pain while leaving the victim in social solitude. Verbal bullying, on the other hand, does not utilize indirect methods like spreading rumors.
A verbal bully will say demeaning and offensive things directly to the victim, usually in front of his or her friends. The nature of the harassment often makes verbal bullies more difficult to catch than a physical bully because an authority figure can do little without evidence. Of all the types of bullying, verbal bullying is frequently the most prevalent in schools.
Bullying is not limited to schoolhouses and playgrounds. Corporate employees can also find themselves victim to a bully's harassment. When instances of corporate bullying arise, the bully is often someone in a position of power.
Rather than using effective management techniques, a corporate runs a department or company through fear and intimidation. He or she can employ any of the four common types of bullying, but typically avoids physical violence because of legal implications. Cyber bullying is easily tracked, so he or she most often resorts to emotional or verbal bullying, in addition to threatening termination.