Effects of Bullying

Somehow, people think bullying is a part of life, a part of growing up, and an opportunity to stand up for yourself. Some kids naturally will not accept being bullied and will stand against it. Others are not that brave and will crumble at it. They end up feeling lonely, unhappy, and frightened. It can make them lose confidence and interest in school. These effects are also signs that kids may exhibit when being abused by bullies.

Bullying has effects on people – both the victim and the person doing it (the bully). Let us see how:

The Victim

  • Kids who are bullied can lose interest in school. They may suffer physical injuries and mental health issues.
  • They may suffer depression and anxiety. They look sad and lonely. They suffer from eating and sleep disorders and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy.
  • Kids begin to perform poorly in academic work. Some end up dropping out of school.
  • There have been media reports on extreme cases where victims end up committing suicide (take their own lives) or shooting in retaliation. Some people call this tragedy ‘Bullicide’. In the 1990s about 70% of a school shootings were bully-retaliation related.

The Bully

Kids who bully tend to have violent behavior as well. If they are allowed to continue bullying, they may engage in risky and more violent behavior. They will take this to adulthood.

Bullies tend to:

  • Start alcohol and drug abuse in adolescence and as adults.
  • Engage in fights and vandalism. Some end up as school drop-outs.
  • Engage in early sexual activity and become vulnerable to child sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Bullies may become abusers toward their spouses and children.


Don’t try to fight bullies or bully them back. It can easily escalate into violence and someone might get badly hurt. The way is to keep cool and tell an adult.

How do bullies look?

Bullies come in very different types: Tall, big, trouble-making, best-graders, popular, all-knowing, and have-it-alls. Even though they are different, their mental state is similar. They feel insecure, so they bully others to make themselves feel better.

Reading Sources

Published in 2019 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Page 8, Behind the numbers: Ending school violence and bullying

Consequences of Bullying in Schools: Ken Rigby, PhD1 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/070674370304800904