Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Types of bullying

2-minute read

Bullying can occur anywhere, and comes in different forms, all of which cause distress and pain to the person who is being bullied. If you’re being bullied, or know that someone else is being bullied, there are ways to stop the bullying and places to go for advice and support.

Bullying can be:

  • physical, such as hitting, poking, tripping or pushing
  • verbal, such as name calling, insults or abuse
  • social (covert or hidden), such as lying about someone, spreading rumours, mimicking or deliberately excluding someone
  • psychological, such as threatening, manipulating or stalking behaviour
  • online, often referred to as cyberbullying, which means using technology such as email, mobile phones, chat rooms or networking sites to bully verbally, socially or psychologically

Very few children tell anyone that they’re being bullied. They may feel weak, ashamed or frightened it will make the situation worse.

Signs your child is possibly being bullied include:

  • not wanting to go to school
  • being unusually secretive and quiet
  • having no friends
  • appearing oversensitive or weepy
  • having angry outbursts
  • having damaged or missing belongings
  • having physical injuries
  • not sleeping properly
  • wetting the bed
  • becoming isolated and withdrawn
  • losing interest in normal activities
  • having physical aches and pains like headaches or stomach aches
  • receiving more messages than usual via social media

You can find information about bullying at school on the Bullying No Way! website and about cyberbullying on the Office of the eSafety Commissioner website.

Adults can be bullied too, including at work. Workplace bullying is any behaviour at work that is physically, mentally or socially threatening.

Your employer has a legal responsibility to provide a safe workplace, and a duty of care when it comes to your health and wellbeing at work. You can read more about workplace bullying on the Fair Work Commission’s website.

Last reviewed: February 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Bullying

By being aware of the signs of bullying and knowing the best ways to tackle the problem, you can help your child deal with bullying before it gets out of hand.

Read more on myDr website

Dealing with bullying

Unfortunately, many children will experience bullying. Learn how to recognise the signs of bullying and how you can help your child.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Bullying - myDr.com.au

By being aware of the signs of bullying and knowing the best ways to tackle the problem, you can help your child deal with bullying before it gets out of hand.

Read more on myDr website

Dealing with bullying

Bullying can be incredibly damaging. It causes distress and can lead to loneliness, anxiety and depression. Bullying can also affect childrens concentration and achievement at school.

Read more on beyondblue website

Workplace bullying

Bullying is a serious issue in workplaces across Australia and a risk factor for anxiety, depression and suicide.

Read more on beyondblue website

Workplace bullying

Bullying is a serious issue in workplaces across Australia and a risk factor for anxiety, depression and suicide.

Read more on beyondblue website

Bullying and cyberbullying

Bullying can happen at any point in our lives and is never easy to deal with whether youre 14 or 40. Although bullying tends to become less common as young people mature and move through adolescence, it can be hugely damaging when it does happen.

Read more on beyondblue website

2 ways to deal with bullying | Bullying | ReachOut Australia

It's good to know you have a choice on how to respond to bullying in the heat of the moment. Find out more here.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Bullying vs. teasing | Bullying | ReachOut Australia

What really is the difference between bullying and teasing? We've laid it out for you so it's all crystal clear.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Kate's bullying story | Bullying | ReachOut Australia

Kate shares how her bullying experiences at school completely sucked, but how they made her the person that she is today.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo