The origin of Bullying comes from a school yard bully that uses verbal threats, physical intimidation and aggressiveness on a weaker person. More recently its definition has become broader and has taken more psychological attributes (non physical) of harassment. People still tend to associate Bullying more to the physical and physical violence, perhaps because of their school yard memories, but are becoming much more aware of its psychological attributes.

The term bully or Bullying was then applied in the workplace to describe a supervisor that was verbally aggressive and threatening towards employees or would use his position of authority or power to abuse employees.

The term Bullying then expanded to encompass groups in the sense that a group could unite to bully an individual like or similar to the mobbing definition.

The definitions of Bullying usually always include threats, intimidation, aggressive behavior, and verbal abuse but may not always have all of the same psychological or mental attributes. Although their intention is similar they don’t always have the same definitions or scope. The definition or scope of some words used is also changing or the same word can have a different definition or scope in different laws or policies. Some words used are not as clear or obvious and can also be deceptive in a way. The definition below may not apply to you and you should find out what your workplace harassment policy or law includes.


Workplace Bullying continues to expand its definition and includes more psychological attributes that people might usually associate to terms such as psychological abuse, psychological harassment, psychological manipulation, or psychological warfare as more information is collected or published.

Bullying is defined as direct or indirect verbal comments, actions, behavior, or tactics such as verbal abuse or psychological manipulations that are used to harm an individual or an attempt to harm an individual. The Bullying acts do not need to be repetitive since a single act or event can have a serious or lasting effect. The use of threats or fear is common. The verbal abuse usually consists of threats or personal attacks. For example the victim’s means of subsistence or career can be threatened or the individual’s personal beliefs such as religion can be ridiculed. Examples of psychological manipulation are to have an individual do a task that is below their capabilities for the simple intention of humiliating them in front of their peers or to give an individual a highly repetitive task that is deprived of purpose. Another example is wearing the individual out tactics that mainly consists of trying to induce as much stress on the person as possible. It’s also sometimes the intent to make the Bullying victim seem emotionally or psychologically unstable and to try to confuse or make them paranoid and aggressive.

Here are more examples:

Constant threats of dismissal or intimidation.

Attempts to destroy or harm the person’s self-esteem or confidence.

Constant negative remarks or repeated criticism or sarcasm.

Consistent over time, unrealistic work demands, or work overloading.

Isolating or systematically isolating the person.

Spreading false information or rumors.

Tasks that are ambiguous, contradictory, or that are deprived of purpose.

False insinuations, attacks to the individual's dignity, integrity, or self-image.

Attempts to humiliate or public humiliation.

Classical Conditioning can also be used (see Psychological Manipulation ) Negative Conditioning or A Constant State of Interrogation.


School Bullying is more associated to physical violence and physical threats then Workplace Bullying. School Bullying usually involves children trying to dominate each other through physical strength and threats of more physical violence. The actions are usually fighting, punching or hitting followed by threats of more the same treatment or abuse. Verbal abuse is also common such as name calling. The psychological attributes usually include fear and the loss of self-esteem.

Workplace Bullying and School Bullying Are Not The Same

Children and School Bullying will sometimes use Bullying to dominate or establish themselves in a hierarchy or simply because they have experienced or learned this behavior from other children or from an adult. Although their actions can be seen as an attempt to harm other children, they are not fully aware of the consequences of their actions and neither are some adults.

Workplace Bullying falls into a different category. There are many different reasons why Workplace Bullying is sometimes used such as the person wanting to dominate others, because they feel threatened, because they wish to get rid of the other person, and in some cases even darker motives. Unlike School Bullying, Workplace Bullying can include knowledge and tactics that are highly intentional and used to harm a person psychologically and physically (see Effects of Stress). For example the person doing the Bullying can try to induce as much stress as possible and use Psychological Manipulations that are aimed at destroying a person’s self-esteem, self-worth, and self-image. The effects can induce a depression that has a downward spiral which can lead to suicide or the victim can be pushed to or influenced to commit suicide and this falls into the category of murder. The perpetrators of this crime would probably assume that they are invulnerable due to the invisibility of the crime, the lack of information and knowledge, common medical professional practices, and the required proof.

You will find different tactics and psychological manipulations on the Psychological Manipulation page.


Cyber-Bullying is similar to Workplace Bullying and School Bullying but it is more visible due to the fact that it can leave an electronic trace or evidence. Cyber Bullying is done through communication technologies or the internet. The Bullying occurs in Chat rooms, Bulletin Boards, E-Mails, Websites, Instant Messages, and other available programs or communication systems. Similar to other categories of Bullying the victim can be harassed, humiliated, or threatened. Cyber Bullying has been more in the news lately due to the fact that an adult deceived and psychologically manipulated a 13 year old girl that resulted in the young girl’s suicide.

Rage Shootings and Rampages

Bullying and repetitive humiliation are linked to mass and rage shootings.

The Columbine massacre is said to have links with bullying and repetitive humiliation.

In Seung-Hui Cho of Virginia Tech it seems to be linked to bullying and humiliation linked to his difficulty with the English language.

Repetitive humiliation creates hate, hate or hating people back needs to be justified psychologically and I believe that hating people back by victims of bullying and repetitive humiliation is not only justified by these, they create more justification for the hate and hating back the tormentors.

In Seung-Hui Cho of Virginia Tech it seems to have been hating rich kids and the Christian religion.

In Marc Lepine of Montreal Polytechnique, was it hating women and feminists?

Another possible link is what psychiatrist Marie-France Hirigoyen described as the intent of many abusers: "Often, emotional abuse builds over a long period of time until it becomes so unbearable that victims lash out in frustration and anger, only to appear unstable and aggressive themselves. This, according to Hirigoyen, is the intent of many abusers: to systematically "destabilize" and confuse their victims (with irrational, threatening behavior that preys on the victim's fears and self-doubts), to isolate and control them and ultimately to destroy their identity.", which could also include systematic isolation and elimination of a person's means of subsistence to isolate and control them and ultimately destroy them, homelessness.

The use of homelessness as a weapon.

Parents: Cyber Bullying Led to Teen's Suicide

Mom's Campaign for Florida Anti-Bully Law Finally Pays Off

Windows Help and How-to

Set up Parental Controls

Limit the content that children can view on the web
(see - To allow or block specific websites)

The Microsoft internet explorer parental controls do have a lot of features that may surprise you and it is worth looking into and discovering them.
Many online bulletin boards do have a code of conduct for their members. You will usually find them in the Rules section. When members do not follow the code of conduct they are warned, removed, or banned. With the awareness of cyber-bullying increasing more online bulletin board services are vigilant and enforcing these rules and those that do not will find that their use is diminishing.


Jeffrey's Law - A video on bullying and teen suicide

Megan Meier's Story Part 1 - A video on cyberbullying and teen suicide

Megan Meier's Story Part 2 - A video on cyberbullying and teen suicide

Caitlin Nolan Tennessee Bullying Law - A video on bullying and fear

Wearing Pink to support Victims of Bullying - A video about kids wearing pink to support victims of bullying

Olivia's Letters - A video about kids writing letters to support a victim of bullying

A disabled boy with a limp is bullied and punched on a bus

Dr. Phil - Bullying Is Not Ok

Dr. Phil addresses the alarming rise of teens taking their lives due to bullying. Parents, heed the call to action.

The Official Dr. Phil Show page on Youtube!

Follow Dr. Phil on Twitter: http://twitter.com/drphil

Dr. Phil McGraw has galvanized millions of people to "get real" about their own behavior and create more positive lives. Dr. Phil, his syndicated, daily one-hour series, is the second highest rated daytime talk show in the nation. The show has been making headlines and breaking records since its September 2002 launch, when it garnered the highest ratings of any new syndicated show since the launch of The Oprah Winfrey Show 16 years prior.

QC Government - BULLYING
(The following is from the Quebec Gov site April 26 2022)

Bullying concerns everyone and anyone can be a witness to or a victim of bullying at some point. Bullying can take many different forms and occur in many different settings, for example at school, work or anywhere else. No matter how or where it happens, bullying has serious consequences for the victims.

Bullying may be a part of other problems, such as discrimination , homophobia, mistreatment, family or sexual violence. In Québec, bullying is addressed in various laws, including the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, the Education Act and the Criminal Code.

Bullying generally refers to behaviour, words or actions that:
- May be intentional or unintentional
- Are repeated
- May be direct or indirect
- Are intended to harm or hurt
- Occur where an imbalance of power exists between two or more people, for example, within relationships of power or control


Physical: Actions that are physically harmful.
Shoving intentionally
Raising fists

Verbal: Words that are psychologically harmful.
Ridiculing or making fun of
Making remarks against people who are different, for example because of:
- Their gender
- Their sexual orientation
- Their ethnicity

Social: Actions that have a negative impact on a person’s social relationships or standing in a group.
Spreading lies or rumours
Denigrating, humiliating
Isolating or excluding from a group

Material: Actions that damage a person’s living environment or deprive them of their belongings or property.
Destroying, vandalizing or stealing a person’s belongings or property

Bullying can also happen online, on social media or in text messages, emails and blogs. This type of bullying is called cyberbullying.

You will find examples of bullying situations in different environments This hyperlink will open in a new window. in the “Bullying” section on the website of the ministère de la Famille.


Being bullied has a wide variety of harmful consequences, both for the person who is bullied and their family and friends and for bystanders. These consequences can affect physical health, mental health and social relationships.
Here are some examples:
- Feelings of distress
- Fear
- Anxiety
- High stress level
- Feelings of guilt
- Feelings of humiliation
- Isolation
- Symptoms of depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- Weight loss or gain
- Various physical ailments, such as stomach aches or headaches
- Deterioration of overall health
- Loss of confidence and self-esteem
- Learning difficulties
- Problems concentrating
- Missing school or work
- Dropping out of school
- Social exclusion
- Acts of delinquency

The consequences of bullying and cyberbullying can vary depending on the person and their particular characteristics.


It is hard to accurately define the characteristics of people who get bullied.

However, some personal characteristics may increase the risk of being bullied. For example:

- Having low self-esteem
- Being introverted (withdrawn)
- Having difficulty getting along with others

These characteristics may also increase the risk that a person use bullying as a way of taking their place in society. Indeed, in some cases, people who are bullied or have been bullied in the past start bullying other people themselves.

Bullying is often aimed at groups of people who are seen as different because of prejudices that exist about them. These prejudices may, for instance, have to do with:

- Belonging to an ethnic or a cultural group
- Sexual orientation or identity
- Appearance or a physical feature, such as weight or a disability
- Presence of personal problems such as substance dependence, homelessness or delinquency


Some personal characteristics help to reduce the risk of someone experiencing bullying or intimidating others. For example:
Being self-confident
Being able to stand up for yourself and express yourself
Having social skills such as:
- Being able to initiate contact easily with others
- Being able to make friends
- Being respectful and kind towards others, etc.

Other personal characteristics can prevent bullying and have a positive effect on social relationships. For example:

- Promoting equality in relationships between people
- Promoting human behaviour towards other people that is intended to help them and contribute to their well-being and quality of life


Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that is found in digital media. It may occur through different types of platforms, such as social networks, blogs, online games, instant messages, text messages and email. While generally associated with young people, cyberbullying can affect people of all ages.

Acts of cyberbullying may take various forms, such as denigration, isolation, insults, rumours or threats, and they may be committed against another person in a direct or indirect manner. Sometimes, the person targeted by cyberbullying may not know the identity of the person committing the act. For example:

- when students make fun of an overweight teacher in a widely shared online video, which can have severe consequences for the teacher’s personal and professional life

- when a university student regularly receives text messages or emails that call the student a “loser,” which causes the student to avoid others and increasingly skip school

- when recurring remarks that discriminate against First Nations and Inuit are posted in the comment section of online articles


Cyberbullying has the same consequences as bullying and can severely affect the person being targeted. Individuals who are intimidated, harassed or threatened online are likely to also be negatively affected in other areas of their life (e.g. at home, work or school, or with friends).

In addition, cyberbullying also has its own, specific consequences. For example, an act of cyberbullying can result in a breach or invasion of privacy, or in a feeling of powerlessness against a sometimes anonymous aggressor.

The mode of communication can also have an effect on the degree of consequences. In fact, a single act can be shared rapidly on an online public platform and reach an unlimited audience. It is often also impossible to erase any trace of such an act, which may have devastating consequences for the person being targeted.


It is important that witnesses or victims of cyberbullying take action. This allows them to play a significant role in helping to make a difference. Some actions you can take as a witness:
- do not encourage unacceptable actions and do not like or share them online
- offer support to victims by showing consideration, compassion and respect, and by helping them to obtain professional support or to file a complaint
- talk directly to those committing acts of cyberbullying and ask them to stop, provided you feel comfortable and safe enough to do so
- openly voice your disagreement with acts of cyberbullying
- openly support the person being targeted
- ask other witnesses to show their support
- report the situation to a qualified person, if you cannot take direct actions yourself
- report unacceptable behaviours to the administrators of specific platforms
- report any criminal offence to the police


Exercising ethical citizenship in the digital age plays a major role in the prevention of cyberbullying, and the development of this digital competency is essential.

For individuals to exercise their citizenship in the digital age, they must adopt responsible and respectful behaviours online. They must fully understand the digital world and its rules of conduct. It is thus important that all citizens be made aware of safe practices, digital dangers and the consequences of their digital choices and actions. Such awareness is achieved through ethical reflection and critical judgment, which is sometimes called a process of ethical empowerment.

At home or in school, adults can also act as role models of digital behaviour. By fostering kindness, self-respect, respect of others and respect of private and public spaces, adults can teach young people how to engage with others in healthy ways.


Although cyberbullying is not necessarily associated with criminal acts, it can nevertheless severely affect the person being targeted. Nobody signs up to be humiliated, hurt, oppressed or wronged. Regardless of the situation and despite feelings of fear or concern, it is important that victims take action while ensuring the safety of themselves and of others.

Victims of cyberbullying can:
- temporarily disconnect from the platform on which the cyberbullying takes place
- block the person who is committing the act of cyberbullying
- resist the urge to respond immediately or impulsively
- discuss the situation with a trusted or qualified person, or call a help line
- keep evidence of the acts (e.g. screenshots)
- report unacceptable behaviours to the administrators of specific platforms
- report unwanted messages to your internet or mobile service provider
- report any criminal offence to the police

QC Government Ministère de la Famille - BULLYING


ACC statement aims to build civil, respectful and bully-free work environments