Helping you get through tough times

The impact of bullying

Bullying can have a negative impact on someone’s life, affecting things like school work. It can also have long-term effects for their adult life.

Someone's feet in converse runners.It can take many forms, physical violence, verbal abuse, ignoring or leaving someone out and nowadays of course, cyberbullying. Whatever the behaviour or platform, bullying is unacceptable.

Impact of being bullied

In the short-term, being bullied can result in:

  • reduced ability to concentrate and study
  • anxiety about going to school or socialising
  • low self-esteem
  • poor confidence
  • depression
  • physical problems like headaches, stomach aches
  • eating too much or too little.

Long term effects of bullying can include lingering feelings of anger, difficulty with trust and a tendency to avoid new social situations.

What’s in it for the bully?

As with most things in life, bullying isn’t black and white. It’s not as simple as one bad person attacking another good person.

People who engage in bullying behaviour can also suffer from things like low self-esteem and depression. Indeed, they’re often a victim of bullying themselves and these insecurities can be the root of their aggression towards others.

How does this help me?

If you’re in a position where you’re being bullied, what the bully is gong through may seem irrelevant. But, it can help a little to understand their position and make it easier to see that what’s going on isn’t really about you or something you’ve done.

Also, it can help us to be more aware of our behaviour. To make sure we’re not passing on our own pain and being aggressive to someone else.

What can I do?

First of all, talk to someone you trust. Talk to a friend or family member if possible. Even though this isn’t always easy, getting things off your chest can really help. Plus, the person you speak with may be able to offer good advice on the situation.

Have a look at what to do if you’re being bullied for more tips. Remember, if things are getting too much, there’s also professional help available, including anonymous support online or over the phone.


This is a guest blog by Peadar Donohoe from Cyclone Rep theatre company based in Cork.

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