Verbal bullying is a type of hostility or aggression which can happen with children or adults, males or females and at home, at school or at work. The bully, who is also referred to as the aggressor, deliberately tries to verbally upset the victim through taunting and teasing. There are different types of bullies and they all are motivated by different reasons. Similarly, there are different ways for a victim to deal with a bully.
The first type of bully shows no compassion for other people’s feelings and is caught up in his own world. Although he may seem to have high-self esteem and carry himself with confidence, he is extremely narcissistic. Another type of bully is extremely influenced by the social behavior of others. While he may be depressed and have low-self esteem, he will partake in verbal bullying to attain status in his social group. This kind of bullying is very common with children and teenagers who may succumb to peer pressure.
A third type of bully harasses others based on his impulses. He may have a difficult time restraining himself from verbally bullying another person even when confronted. Also popular with children, impulsive bullying is sometimes a sign that the aggressor has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although anyone can be a victim of verbal bullying, there are particular types of people and situations that motivate bullies.
First, the victims may be depressed, have low self-esteem, be envied by the bully for his achievements, personal belongings or power status within a certain group. Additionally a victim may be bullied for having different cultural or physical characteristics. For example, a victim may experience verbal bullying because he is too thin or too fat, or because he is a certain race or religion.
Victims who are being verbally bullied do not have to be helpless; however, different situations will require different actions. If a child or teenager is being bullied in school, parents may teach their children how to avoid being an easy target and how to diffuse the situation. In serious cases, parents should involve the school.
Adults who are being bullied in the workplace need to learn to be assertive to avoid future incidents. Self-esteem and a positive self-image also project confidence, which deflects bullies. If verbal abuse in the workplace cannot be dealt with individually, it may be necessary to involve management.