What is Verbal Bullying?

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  • Written By: Jessica Hobby
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2019
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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.


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Discuss this Article

Post 26

My friend Lily always bullies me and thinks it hilarious to spread rumors about the type of pants I wear. She's like a white Sharkiesha.

Post 25

I hate bullying. It is so horrid.

Post 23

Stand up. Don't be afraid of being called a snitch. You are justice for that person.

Post 21

What makes it worse is when teachers turn a blind eye to such things. It happened to me in grade 6. I was verbally bullied by my entire class for one whole year with "cooties" or whatever that crap is. But honestly speaking, it shattered my confidence.

Post 18

If someone is bullying you, don't stand and let them make you feel bad. Walk away and tell an adult. They do this to make themselves feel better. Don't let it happen to you!

Post 17

There was a bully at my school who was always teasing everyone just to make herself feel better. This isn't right -- not to me, not to you, not to anyone. This helped me with my project!

Post 16

I've lived with bullying in the form of verbal abuse for years. I can only offer the following thought: Learn everything you can about that aspect of bullying which may apply to you, while also acknowledging the possibility your impression may be biased by proximity. Even so, what you, the individual, feels matters. If it doesn't, you may well be being abused. Learn, seek assistance, seek to save yourself.

Post 9

in 7th and 8th grade i was verbally bullied about my weight a lot. so now i think i might have an eating disorder or a kind of eating problem. not to mention i hate my body.

Post 7

I was wondering if bullying in the workplace is considered to be name calling, cursing at someone, and embarrassing them in front of coworkers and customers?

Post 6

my parents sometimes call me bad names. is that verbal bullying?

Post 5

could there be more statistics? it would be very helpful, but otherwise this has been useful.

Post 4

Really comprehensive, helped me with a major project. Thanks.

Post 2

same here.

Post 1

This helped me with a project. Thanks.

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