What is bullying?

Most people have been teased at some stage. Teasing can be different things. There is nice teasing –like when someone makes a little joke about someone or a bit of fun chat back and forth between people. Families or friends often tease each other in a jokey, fun way.

Or teasing can be unkind – a situation when you are made fun of, or put down, called names, or someone makes faces at you or hides your things. Even if it’s only a few times and nothing much is meant by it, it can be upsetting.. Sometimes the teaser is thoughtless, thinking they are funny or clever, but they don’t really think about how much they are upsetting you.

Bullying is anything done to deliberately upset, humiliate or hurt you by the same person or group of people.

Bullying is when you’re teased or picked on in a nasty way that is upsetting and difficult to deal with. It’s when the teasing goes on over and over again.

When I was in year three, I was bullied a lot. I was tied up by my hands and legs by two boys who were bullying me. I had pins pushed into the bottom of my shoes which really hurt when I walked anywhere. People threw handfuls of mud at me. Whenever I went to hang up my coat, they would block my path so that I could not get to my hanger and then I would be late getting to class. I did not know how to confront the bullies. I was really upset by the way they were treating me and that they didn’t seem to care how I was feeling. 


Types of bullying


  • Name calling
  • Talking behind your back
  • Spreading rumours
  • Frightening you
  • Threatening you


  • Making faces
  • Staring at you
  • Pushing you
  • Hitting you
  • Throwing things at you
  • Spitting at you

Bullying online or on the phone

  • Posting nasty messages, pictures, videos, gifs or memes on Instagram, You Tube, Facebook or Twitter or other social media
  • Hacking into your phone, email or social media accounts, then sending or posting messages or pictures from you to make you seem mean or gossipy
  • Doing the same by stealing your identity by setting up a new account under your name (and this is also illegal)
  • Making silent calls, abusive calls or texts, threats by phone.

Bullying can happen ANYWHERE!

  • At school or college or where you do sports or hobbies
  • At home or someone else’s home
  • In a playground or park or leisure centre
  • In the street or a shopping centre or the cinema
  • On the bus, train or other public transport
  • Phone, email, text, video phone
  • Online e.g. Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, Twitter or forums/chatrooms

Why do people bully?

People might bully because they: 

  • Are unconfident and insecure underneath all the bravado
  • Are jealous or resentful
  • Have been bullied in the past

Bullying can make a person feel:

  • Powerful, especially when they see you’re upset
  • Big and tough and more confident (when underneath they are none of these things)
  • Better about themselves – by giving you a hard time

Remember that even though it’s really hard and can make you feel less confident…being bullied is not your fault!  See our information on What can I do about bullying for help with this.

What can I do about bullying?


Suit of armour tool


More people are using Changing Faces services than ever before. We want to be here for everyone affected by with a mark, scar or condition that makes them look different.

We’ve made all our services, factsheets and information free for everyone. It takes time and money to do this, but we think it is really important.

That’s why I hope you’ll understand why we need to ask for your help. If you’ve found our website or services helpful, and your circumstances allow, then please consider donating. Every penny counts and you can give at www.changingfaces.org.uk/donate Thank you.