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5 Types of Bullying That Are Often Unrecognized in Society

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Like all other types of bullying, physical bullying is very tragic and important. However, it is commonly easier to identify and condemn, especially among kids.

There are other types of bullying society often overlooks. These are prevalent among kids and adults and consistently affect overall mental health. Many of these go unnoticed, with people failing to recognize them as forms of bullying.

The following examples are just as detrimental because they are abusive to the psyche and our emotional well-being.


Roasting occurs when someone pokes fun at another person so they and others can laugh at the victim’s expense. Most of us look at roasting as a leisure activity and the person being roasted is usually pressured to laugh with the group.

However, some people are sensitive and find certain jokes made about them incredibly offensive and even rude. Once we see personal insults are affecting someone in a negative way, we should stop. When we don’t stop and continue to pick on those who are clearly being affected by our jokes, we then become bullies.

What makes roasting more dangerous than what meets the eye is that we never know what our peers are going through, or what mental health issues they may have. Your insult or joke made to poke fun at them might be their last straw. Roasted people may also feel peer pressure to just “laugh it off,” but in private they may cry or not feel as good about themselves.

This is why it’s crucial to always be considerate while dealing with our peers. There are many other ways we can joke without hurting one another’s feelings.

Bulk Ignoring

“Bulk ignoring” is a title I came up with to describe when a group of people chooses to purposely exclude and ignore an individual from a single activity without any rational reasoning. Bulk ignoring usually happens in places that require groups of people, such as work or school. This can also happen in an online community.

A victim of bulk ignoring will often be perceived as someone who poses a threat to the group. In the workplace, this can manifest as someone who does their job well and usually finds themselves in the good graces of their boss, or simply someone at school who expresses themselves uniquely.

What ends up happening is one leader of the group will convince the others to ignore the victim. These kinds of bullies will clique up and decide as a group to exclude the target from all activities, conversations and any support.

The victim of bulk ignoring usually ends up feeling even more eccentric or isolated, and may also suffer from low self-esteem. They may additionally go through life believing nobody likes them and it might even play with their self-worth — especially if the victim is still in grade school.

Throwing “Shade”

I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase “throwing shade.” Throwing shade is a fancy term to explain passive-aggressive insults or complaints. I call it the “Art of Passive-Aggressive Communication” and it has become a very popular “art form” in society. Sometimes, throwing shade is done among friends. Both people usually understand it as a comedic activity.

However, when it is done among those we barely know and those we dislike, it can become a form of subtle bullying. Shade throwers never put a name to their remarks, making it extremely passive-aggressive and anxiety-inducing among peers.

Most of the time, the remarks made during shade throwing are used to make the victim feel shame about themselves and the shade thrower will say something concerning the victim’s life. Some people are aggressive shade throwers and sometimes, the person constantly throwing shade starts using indirect digs as a means to tear down the target. This happens consistently without the possibility of them getting caught.

This goes into a subtle bulling tactic used by clever bullies. They will strategically have no direct communication with the person they are referring to, nor use their name in their remark. They usually make a very rude statement and will not make it clear who they are talking about so they cannot be held responsible for their real intentions.

One should already figure it is not very nice to make a rude remark in the first place. Making a rude remark without putting any name to it not only creates unnecessary anxiety in peers, but it also doesn’t solve the problem for the one doing the shade throwing.

Malicious shade throwers often deflect away from the fact they have poor communication skills by calling their victims “paranoid.” One could figure anxiety would not be aroused in peers if the shade thrower learned how to communicate their issues with others, directly and effectively.

Eventually, a victim of someone with poor communication skills who frequently throws shade may end up becoming a shader themselves. On the flip side, this can induce the issue of paranoia in a victim if they’ve dealt with this long enough.

Herd Defending

Herd defending is another form of bullying dealing with groups of people and can happen anywhere. This type of bullying is done when one person is arguing with another. Without knowing the full story or even trying to defuse the situation, a gang of people will pick one side so there is a group of people against one individual.

Herd bullies often jump into confrontations and take the side of the majority with little to no information about how the feud between two individuals got started. When two people are angry with one another, they need someone who will try to diffuse a situation by getting to the bottom of things instead of adding fire to the flames.

Those who are victims of herd bullying usually end up isolating themselves and feeling silenced and unheard. If impacted enough, these people will go through their lives feeling as though speaking up for themselves is bad, while others might feel uncomfortable being themselves.


Cyberstalking occurs when someone decides to look up and follow an individual around the internet against the victim’s wishes. Victims of cyber-stalking usually receive tons of emails, messages, tweets or friend requests a day from their stalkers.

Cyberstalking is done with the intention to instill fear or to control the victim into giving the stalker what they want. What makes cyberstalking so dangerous is the ability for the bullies to create several accounts — whether as themselves or posing as someone else. They also make use of people searches and it has been made easy for them to get sensitive information on their targets, such as addresses, phone numbers and so forth.

Victims of cyberstalking can become traumatized and driven off the internet. Nobody should ever feel as though their corner of the internet isn’t safe to use. Unfortunately, little is being done about cyberstalking, which is made way too easy in the social media era.

No type of bullying is OK. We should do better as a society to be considerate of one another and to make sure we have full information before jumping on a bandwagon. We all need someone at some point in our lives and should therefore respect others’ boundaries as well. When we find out something we are intentionally doing is hurting someone, we should stop.

Let’s be the shoulder to cry on and not use someone else’s shoulder as one to pick on.

Getty Images: tommaso79

Originally published: October 16, 2019
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