Mental Bullying (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we explore Mental Bullying and the ways to cope with it.

What is Mental Bullying?

Mental bullying is one of the most insensitive types of abuse. It’s the act of using words and feelings to hurt others. Mental abuse has two forms, Verbal and Emotional. You commit Mental Bullying several times without realizing it.

A Mental bully will:

  • Name-call, taunt, or ridicule
  • Will use sarcasm
  • Threaten  
  • Demean
  • Reject or eliminate from a group   
  • Dishonest
  • Torture
  • Gang upon others
  • Victimize others

These habits can be seen in adult relationships, such as when a mental bully makes another individual “pay” for a suspected mistake or when a Mental bully regularly uses sarcasm to answer real questions. In the work environment, emotional abuse could be seen when “work pranks” are committed to insult a colleague.

Bullying takes several distinct forms and can affect both kids and adults. This type of inappropriate, offensive conduct can be either clear to spot or more discreet, from physical and verbal bullying to social and cyberbullying. It involves an individual causing pain or damage to another person deliberately and frequently without purpose. Generally, according to the American Psychological Association, a bullied victim cannot protect him or herself and is probably not in a position of control.

Types of Bullying

Two main types of bullying are listed here: explicit and implicit. Explicit bullying occurs between individuals involved in the conflict, while implicit acts include others, such as threats or rumors being circulated. By undermining the social image, relationships with peers, and self-esteem of another individual, implicit bullying often harms.

Bullying includes repetitive, offensive actions and is classified in four main ways: physical, verbal, social, and cyber.

  • Physical Bullying

The most obvious form of bullying behavior to spot is physical bullying, which includes damaging the body or belongings of an individual. This may come in the form of punching, kicking, stumbling, pinching, dragging, or harming another individual’s belongings and may inflict physical damage both in the short and long term.

  • Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying involves saying or writing offensive things, including asking for names, threats, harassment, bullying, offensive sexual remarks, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal ferocity. While the conduct of verbal bullying can begin innocently or in a playful context, it can intensify rapidly, causing emotional distress.

  • Social Bullying

It is also difficult to recognize social bullying, as it includes damaging others’ image or relationships. This form of bullying activity, often referred to as relational bullying, includes shutting someone out intentionally, asking people not to be friendly with another individual, spreading gossip, and/or purposely humiliating someone in public.

  • CyberBullying

Cyberbullying can be transparent or hidden as it includes bullying activities, such as computers and smartphones, through digital technology. This can come at any stage because of technology’s nature, which may consist of offensive messages, emails, or social media posts, intentional digital isolation of an individual, spreading fake news, and impersonating others by using their login details.

The Consequences of Bullying

Bullying behavior, including those who bully and those who observe the action, affects everyone concerned and not just the victimized person. Adults are also vulnerable to this action’s adverse spillover effects, although more recorded cases of bullying affect children. It has a significant impact on the mental well-being of an individual and is related to many detrimental consequences, including drug and alcohol abuse and suicide ideation in severe cases.

Bullying’s emotional and physical consequences can include:

  • Greater risk for anxiety and depression development
  • Greater and more recurrent feelings of isolation and depression
  • Adjustments, like insomnia or fatigue, in sleep quality.
  • Shifts in eating habits and hunger
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Further health issues, including the physical well-being of an individual

A person’s capacity to concentrate and function is affected when it occurs at the workplace and can lead to a hostile environment over the long run. To make the person feel insecure and more ineffective in the workplace, bullies can target people who pose a severe threat to them. But even seeing bullying of this sort can have a negative effect. One research showed that over the next 18 months after bullying, a bystander has an elevated risk of experiencing depressive symptoms.

How to deal with Mental Bullying?

If bullying behavior happens, some steps can be done to help deter the behavior and discourage it in the future, whether an individual is an actual target or a bystander. Start by tracking what is going on, reporting the bully’s comments or actions, and explaining when and where it happened if it happens by email, text, or social networks, for recording purposes, document such instances. When you act quickly, this will guarantee a detailed description of the incident(s). 

While frustration, isolation, and the fear of a stigma can drive a bullied victim to struggle alone and in secret, to ensure that the trend does not start to influence others around you, it is important to address bullying behavior. Whenever practicable, when getting help, put a gap between yourself and the bully. Keep in mind that bullying has nothing to do with you and all to do with them, whether you trust a close friend or family member or pursue trained healthcare counseling.

Adults have enough understanding of a mental bully’s characteristics than a child does and can see someone who might feel afraid and lonely and who is thrashing out behind the acts of a bully. Adults can also recognize that the behavior of a mental bully was never about the victim but about the bully. A mental bully doesn’t always bully one individual; they also seek to dominate others in the same way.

Equipped with this awareness, the actions can be seen by anyone who has been mentally bullied as a sign of a condition instead of as a personal insult. This simple shift of perspective could be sufficient to make a mental bully’s actions simpler to disregard.

Even so, taking a stand against a mental bully is another proven and true form. The bully is motivated to adjust whenever someone speaks up to a mental bully. An emotional abuser is unlikely to improve entirely; however, minor changes in actions are possible, and if support is pursued, much more will happen. It is more likely that the bully may understand that there is an issue, and they might be more able to seek assistance for it by standing up to a mental bully.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.

BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.


In this article, we explored Mental Bullying and the ways to cope with it.

FAQ: Mental bullying

How do uniforms prevent bullying?

The latest studies have emphasized uniforms complement the school experiences of students in several respects. They eliminate bullying and/or wound to individuals, demonstrate discipline to children, and help students concentrate. Since they will be wearing the same clothes, students will not be bullied.

What are the effects of bullying?

Bullying can result in psychological consequences such as low self-esteem, isolation, and infectious diseases-lapsing ability. Such problems can affect adults. It should be understood that these psychological consequences do not cease just at bullied; they even apply to the bullies.


  • DuBois-Maahs, W., DuBois-Maahs, J., Jessica DuBois-Maahs Jessica DuBois-Maahs is a Chicago-based writer whose work has appeared in USA Today, Weinberger, W., Weinberger, J., Caraballo, W., . . . Wisner, W. (2018, November 21). Types of Bullying and its Effects. Retrieved November 08, 2020, from

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