At Western Kentucky University we are committed to the best possible education for
everyone. No one can make the most of their education if they are being bullied. The
most common types of Bullying at a College are verbal abuse, and conduct that is degrading,
insulting or intimidating, and professional or social ostracism. Physical, emotional,
sexual, or mental injury can result, sometimes with tragic consequences from bullying.
How do I recognize a bully?
• are never wrong
• blame everyone but themselves
• are poor communicators
• are insecure
• are prone to anger and irritability
• are experiencing stress
• are tyrannical to subordinates
• are charming to superiors and outsiders
• are devious and/or dishonest
• are vindictive
• need to control
• have a selective memory
• are manipulative
• excel at twisting the truth
What is bullying?
• Physical attack = assault
• Repeatedly shouting or swearing at a person either in private or in public
• Public humiliation
• Personal insults, name-calling or labeling, insulting, threatening or intimidating gestures
• Persistent criticism
• Unjustified or unnecessary comments
• Offensive, threatening or abusive communications by oral, written or electronic means, including telephone, computer networks, email or facsimile
• Spreading malicious, unfounded rumors
• Freezing out, ignoring, marginalizing or excluding
• Deliberately talking to a third party to isolate another
• Not listening to another's point of view
• Constantly interrupting others, or creating an place that is difficult to study or work
• Threatening, instilling fear, persecution
• Nasty practical jokes, initiation rites
• Coercing a person to participate in non-core activities against their will and, sometimes, their better judgment
Less Obvious Bullying
• Deliberately sabotaging or impeding work performance
• Withholding information or supplying incorrect information
• Withdrawing areas of responsibility, assigning menial tasks instead
• Constantly changing targets or work guidelines
• Setting up individuals to fail
• Maliciously tampering with appraisals
• Instigating complaints from others
• Deliberately destroying or jeopardizing relationships
Why do people bully?
The bully has difficulty with social skills, is unable to make friends easily, and thus does not know better ways to relate to others.
Bullying is used to enhance self-concept - Self-concept is the way you feel about yourself. Well-balanced people enhance the way they feel about themselves through their achievements, activities and occupations. Bullies, however, have a distorted sense of how to increase their self-concept, and so engage in anti-social activities. Bullying makes them feel good about themselves and, mistakenly, they believe that engaging in it will make other people see them as powerful.
• Difference from the norm: wrong gender, race, age, appearance, marital status, sexuality, too new, too long in job, too slow, too fast
• Higher or lower qualifications
• Over confidence/timidity
• Perceived over-achievement or success
• Perceived under-achievement
• Creative talent
• Organizational expertise/efficiency
• Social background/social skills
• Knowledge of personal indiscretion
• Vulnerability (following sickness, bereavement, maternity leave
What should I do if I am being bullied?
Share your worries. You are not on your own. Staff in the College will believe you
and act for you. Tell your teacher, RA or any other member of staff straight away.
Do not worry about looking silly. You will not. Bullies may threaten you with what
will happen if you 'tell' but bullying works by you keeping quiet. It is the bully
who has the problem, not you, so you should tell someone. Letting college staff know
about the problem will prevent bullying not only to you, but to other students as
well. The bullies will be dealt with by the member of staff you tell or by another
college staff member. The bullying will be stopped so that you and fellow students
can enjoy College and make the most of the opportunities provided for you here.
Stop Bullying Now from the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services
Stop Bullying Now from the International Bullying Prevention Association
What is Bullying?