Determining Bullying Behavior

It is not appropriate to characterize all aggressive behavior as bullying.14-16 Conflict is motivated by negative intent and takes place between students of relative equal power or social standing. In cases of bullying a power imbalance exists.

Bullying behavior:

  • Typically not friends
  • Generally repeated
  • Unequal balance of power
  • Intentional harm-doing
  • Mood is negative
  • Different feelings (mood/responsive) for victim and aggressor

Non-bullying behavior:

  • Can be friends or not
  • Often repeated (same players) or not
  • Relatively equal balance of power
  • No intent to harm or intentional harm-doing
  • Mood is friendly or negative, aggressive or tense
  • Mutual positive or hostile feelings

Types of non-bullying behavior:

  • Disagreeing
  • Fighting
  • Horsing around or joking
  • Sarcasm
  • Passive-aggressiveness
  • Silent treatment
  • Trolling
  • Grieving