Emotional Bullying: How to Detect and Fight it

Emotional bullying can be very detrimental if you don't detect it in time because it can really bring the harassed person down and lead to dangerous situations.
Emotional Bullying: How to Detect and Fight it
Bernardo Peña

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Bernardo Peña.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 10 October, 2022

Bullying is an issue that has acquired significant relevance in recent years, especially in schools. However, not only children practice emotional bullying. Some adults do, too.

Also, there’s a common myth that bullying is only physical. This isn’t true at all. Such harassment can be emotional or psychological, which is more difficult to see and accept, although its impact is equally negative.

In this article, we’ll tell you how to detect it and, more importantly, how to deal with the situation. If you’re suffering from this kind of violence, you must take action.

Remember that, if you overlook it, you can experience long-term negative effects.

How to detect if you’re a victim of emotional bullying

Do you think you’re being bullied but aren’t 100% sure? Pay attention to the following signs.

Accepting that you’re going through it is the first step to getting your life back and regaining your self-confidence.

  1. A person or group of people talk bad about you behind your back but are nice to your face
    people talking behind your back

People who practice emotional bullying usually aren’t able to say negative things straight to your face. This is because if they do it, they’ll give you a chance to defend yourself.

Instead, they pretend to be the nicest people in the world to your face. However, you’ll surely feel their hostility.

The best way to tackle this situation is confronting them. Give yourself time to explain what you know, how that makes you feel, and ask for an explanation of their attitude.

They won’t have a justifiable explanation. However, at least this will help you regain control of the situation.

See also:  She Beat Cancer at 3 But Could Not Survive School Bullying

  1. They try to control you through fear or retaliation

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Another characteristic of emotional bullying is that you feel out of control. You may feel that, when you react or ask for explanations, that person will act aggressively towards you.

When this situation occurs in your social group, you may feel that you’ll be made fun of or excluded if you ask for explanations or demand respect.

Although it’s hard, it’s best to avoid playing into their hands.

  1. You’re a victim of actions that seriously harm you
    bullying victim

People who practice emotional bullying often overlook the remorse and guilt.

Therefore, they feel tempted to tell the secrets they know about you or say lies , regardless of the consequences. They do it only because it makes them feel good.

If you’re facing this type of situation and decide to finally stand up for yourself, you could experience more of these negative acts.

This could turn into a vicious cycle where you’re being attacked relentlessly all the time.

How to deal with emotional bullying

If it turns out that you’re a victim of bullying, it’s time to take action. Each person reacts and behaves differently to things.

Here are the best options you can use to defend yourself. Try out the ones that best suit your personality.

  1. Remember that they’re the problem, not you
    teenager affected by bullying

The reason why emotional bullying causes so much damage is that you end up believing that you’re the one who’s in the wrong.

However, you should know that the bully or aggressor behaves this way because they don’t accept themselves.

In this case, you could try to make them feel better but may not accomplish it. The best strategy is to simply stay away from them.

  1. Remember that what they say or do is a reflection of themselves

These types of perpetrators aren’t objective. This is why, when they see what they don’t like about themselves or what they would like to have in others, they try to use it against them.

The next time an aggressor tries to make you feel bad, just remember that they’re reflecting a part of themselves onto you.

When they notice that their words or actions don’t really hurt you and you have some compassion for them, they may bother you, but also may stay away.

See also: Bullying Leads to 11 Year Old’s Tragic Suicide

  1. Ignore them
    ignore the bullies

If you don’t like confronting others, simply ignore the bullies. Bullies usually love drama and, if you give them the opportunity, they may end up over-reacting.

Their goal is to make you feel bad with their actions and attitude. To avoid giving them the satisfaction, simply ignore them and they’ll end up turning away after a while.

  1. Be kind

children being kind

You probably think that being kind to a bully is a bit crazy. Well, it works, as you can see in this video. The thing is that the person is prepared to confront and argue with you, but your kindness will confuse them.
Have you ever been a victim of emotional bullying? How did you react to it? We know that this is a serious issue because the effects can alter the behavior of those who suffer from it. 
Remember that you should seek professional help if you’re a victim of emotional bullying and don’t know to deal with it.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.