Nowadays, many people, especially young people have experienced some form of verbal bullying. It usually happens in school or in social media.
It is important to know that verbal bullying can be just as harmful as physical bullying. It can affect someone in emotional or psychological ways, which can be extremely dangerous. Words can be as powerful as actions and verbal bullying can lead to low self-esteem, depression and other problems.
Meaning of Verbal Bullying:
Verbal bullying is when someone, who is a bully, uses insulting or demeaning language to mock, embarrass or insult another person.
Another common term for verbal bullying is verbal abuse, and it includes the following: abusive anger, accusing and blaming, blocking and diverting, chronic forgetting, countering, damnation, denial of anger or abuse, judging and criticizing, minimization, discounting, trivializing, name calling, undermining, threatening and withholding.
Example of “Verbal Bullying”:
- People that do verbal bullying have low self-esteem and they want to bully other people to make themselves feel good.
- She said that even though her husband hasn’t abused her physically, he criticizes her all the time and she is a victim of verbal bullying.
Amanda: You know, my daughter has told me that some of her classmates are bullying her verbally. I am planning to go to the school and deal with this issue.
Rose: Yeah, you should do that as soon as possible. Verbal bullying can be damaging to people, especially someone like your daughter’s age.
Amanda: You’re right. I was wondering what was her problem as she is always quiet. I didn’t expect that she would be bullied. I thought she got along well with her classmates and schoolmates.
Rose: Well, your daughter is a smart girl, and she likes to study a lot. Maybe her classmates are envious and want to make her feel bad, so they feel good for themselves.
Amanda: You are probably right. I should talk to the school administrator tomorrow morning. Ignoring this issue is not an option.
Rose: Absolutely! Your daughter should not have to endure the harassment.
Amanda: Yeah, this must stop. And I think it’s good that my daughter starts joining social activities, so she doesn’t feel alone.
Rose: It’s a great idea. I hope she gets over this soon.
Amanda: Thank you. You really are a great friend.
Rose: It’s nothing. Friends should support each other. And if there are other things you need me to do, just let me know.
Other words you can create from Verbal Bullying:
Bully: This can be a noun or a verb. A noun bully refers to a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate other people, while a verb bully means the use of superior strength to intimidate someone or to force someone to do what one wants.
Verbally: This is an adverb that is used to describe something that is done by words.
Bullied: This is the past simple or past participle of “bullying” and it is used to express the finished action “bullying” or to describe the victim of bullying.
Bullyable: This is an adjective that is used to describe someone who is susceptible to being bullied
Unbullying: This is the antonym of bullying. It literally means “not bullying”.
Open to verbal bullying
Alleged verbal bullying
Suspected verbal bullying
An allegation of verbal bullying
A victim of verbal bullying
Endure verbal bullying
A target for/of verbal bullying
Carry out verbal bullying
Subject to verbal bullying
Suffer verbal bullying
Related phrasal verbs:
To wind someone up
To make someone tense or angry.
- She’s always winding her husband up.
To nag at someone
To annoy or make someone angry through persistent fault-finding or continuous urging.
- He hates it when his wife nags at him.
Make fun of somebody
To make someone look ridiculous by making jokes about them.
- When she moved to another country, her classmates made fun of her accent and sense of fashion.
Poke fun at somebody
To make someone or something seem ridiculous by making jokes about the person or thing:
- I hate some comedians who poke fun at popular or famous people.
Take the piss (out of someone)
To tease or make fun of someone or to make someone look silly.
- She is trying to take the piss out of me because I don’t support her ideas.
Take the mickey/mick (out of someone)
To laugh at someone and make them seem silly, in a funny or unkind way.
- They’re always taking the mick out of the CEO, they don’t respect him.
To insult and ridicule someone.
- Is there any razzing about the fact that you fear cockroaches?
To tease someone:
- He likes to josh people.
To harass, trouble or annoy someone with petty irritations.
- His ex-girlfriend always pestered him with text messages and phone calls.
Synonyms for Verbal Bullying: