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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

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

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:

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.

YouTube Channel
See the Movie Scenes, Workplace Psychological Harassment, and Discrimination playlists for more videos.