Bullying is when someone is being hurt either by words or by actions on purpose, usually more than once, feels bad because of it, and has a hard time stopping what is happening to them. Bullying is never ok.

EW! LOSER Shhh! Shhh!

There are different types of bullying:



This includes name calling, putting someone down, insulting them, criticising or complaining about them, inappropriate comments or threatening to hurt or harm them.


Spreading rumours about someone or lying about them, playing mean jokes or pranks on someone when they don’t want it, embarrassing someone in a public place (like the school cafeteria/canteen or the mall) or excluding someone from social events or gatherings.


This includes hitting, punching, kicking, pushing, poking, making rude hand gestures, or destroying someone else’s property.



Using technology, the internet or social media to hurt someone by sending hurtful messages or pictures, or sharing mean comments or pictures of a person.

Bullying usually involves several people:

  • The bully: the person who is being verbally or physically aggressive, either online or in real life.
  • The person being bullied: the person who is on the receiving end of the attacks, insults and assaults from the bully.
  • The bystanders: friends, classmates or teammates, members of group chats that see or know of the bullying. These people may not always speak up or stand up for the person being bullied because of the something called “the bystander effect”. The bystander effect means that sometimes people who witness the bullying don’t stand up to the bully because they think someone else will do it or don’t know what to do. If we witness bullying and don’t stand up for the person being bullied, we allow the bullying to continue. We have a responsibility to do or say something when we see bullying happen.

There are many reasons why people bully. No matter what the reason is, it is never ok to do it.  

  • Some people have been bullied themselves, or are being mistreated at home, and they don’t know how to take out their frustrations or manage their emotions, so they take it out on others.
  • Some start by teasing others thinking they are just having fun and then this becomes more intense without them realizing that what they are doing may be harmful and hurtful to others.
  • Some people see their own friends bully others, so they do it too because they want to fit in, be liked, and avoid being bullied themselves.
  • Some people feel insecure and weak, so they start putting others down and bullying them because it makes them feel stronger or more powerful.

Cyberbullying is using technology to harass, harm, insult, threaten or publicly humiliate someone else. This can include:

  • Sending mean, inappropriate or offensive messages or comments to someone.
  • Uploading and sharing pictures and videos of a person that is offensive and embarrassing without their permission
  • Sharing personal information about a person without their agreement

It usually involves the use of the internet or mobile phones and can occur through e-mails, chatrooms, WhatsApp, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, or other social media platforms. Because it is harder to delete anything posted online permanently, the bullying might feel unending.

If you’re being cyberbullied, here’s what you can do:

  • Ignore hurtful messages and do not respond to them. Ignore the messages and block any numbers, emails or accounts who are sending you hurtful messages.
  • Never give out personal information don’t share your phone number, home address or any personal details online with anyone.
  • Save In case the situation continues, save any hurtful messages and pictures you receive so that you can show them to specialists in your school or parents who are involved in fixing the situation.
  • Report the situation to your parents, a teacher, or the police.
  • Call the abuse hotlines in your area that can support you. These are the primary phone numbers you can call, but look for others are in your area. Primary phone number: 800 51115 or call 80085

While bullying may be just really annoying in the beginning and you try to ignore it; if it is ongoing and frequent, it can have a more severe impact on you like:    

  • You feel irritable, angry, or constantly on edge.
  • Don’t perform as well in school as before.
  • You skip school and other social activities, not wanting to go anymore.
  • Having trouble sleeping or having nightmares, often related to the bullying.
  • Becoming more worried or anxious, or start having panic attacks.
  • Feeling alone, sad or depressed.
  • Frequent headaches or stomach pains that can’t be explained.
  • Feeling unhappy and unsure of yourself.
  • Feeling unsafe, scared and fearful.


If you find yourself spiraling downwards into these thoughts and emotions, or this is the case for you or someone you know, please contact a trusted adult immediately or call an abuse hotline in your area.

Bullying can have serious impacts on a person’s happiness, health and future. These are things we can do if we experience it: 

  • Use the hand technique. There are five steps to this technique, and you can remember each step by associating each finger on your hand with the steps.
    1. Starting with your small finger, the first step is to simply ignore a comment made by someone who is saying something unpleasant, such as: ‘Isn’t he short?’ ‘She’s got dirty shoes,’ ‘Nobody likes him.’ Sometimes we can pretend we didn’t even hear what was said or that it is of no importance.
    2. The next step is to walk away. Sometimes walking away is the best response, like when it’s not worth staying there or it’s not a good idea to confront the bully at that time.
    3. If the bullying continues, the next step would be to talk to the bully in a friendly way. It is possible that they just want attention and after talking about it, the bullying stops.
    4. If the bullying does not stop after a friendly conversation, then talk firmly to the bully and tell him/her that the bullying has to stop.
    5. Finally, if it does not stop, report it. Carefully choose who you will ask for help. It should be somebody you can trust and can be expected to resolve the problem without the use of force or violence. Usually this may be a teacher. You can also directly make a call to your nearest abuse hotline.

  • Practice the Fogging Technique: The fogging techniques works for verbal bullying. The aim of this technique is to respond to the bully’s unpleasant comments without getting upset or insulting the bully back.

To use this technique, we simply act confidently and agree with the bully that they may have their own opinions but we are not concerned or bothered by it. The idea is to agree that the bully may think like that but you don’t care what he or she is saying. Here is an example:

  • Bully: “Nobody likes you”
  • Target: “That’s what you think.’ (Leave it at that).
  • Bully: “You spend lunch time in the library”
  • Target: “That’s true. Why does that bother you?” (Just let the bully go on without saying anything. Look unconcerned or even bored)

If you’ve tried the techniques above and the situation is only getting worse, reach out to these hotlines in the UAE.

Abuse hotline: Primary phone number: 800 51115 or call 80085

Or call:

  • 800 988
  • 800 7283
  • 800 111
  • 800 700 (Sharjah)
  • Or call the Hemaya foundation for Children and Women in Ajman: 800 446292

If you are unable to make the call yourself, please reach out to a trusted adult, such as a teacher or someone at school who can help you.

Calling from outside of the UAE:

If you are outside of the UAE, find a hotline in your area by looking online. You can search for “abuse hotline” or “children helpline”. You might find this number on a government website, or maybe a brochure in your doctor’s office or from the school counselor. If you cannot find any phone numbers, call a local hospital or the police.


  • Acknowledge what is happening. If you know people from your friends or those close to you, are being bullied,, check in with them. Ask them how they are doing and if you can help or support them.
  • Intervene when you see bullying. If you see bullying happening, whether in real life or online, step in. Tell a teacher, coach or counselor. Use your voice to tell the bully to stop, and stand close to the victim to offer support and lead them away from the situation.
  • Set a good example:
    • Think about your own actions: are you sure that you are not (unintentionally) bullying or repeatedly teasing someone?
    • Do not share any pictures of others without their consent. Especially when they are private pictures. Similarly, don’t talk about others behind their back, or spread other people’s secrets.
    • Start or join anti-bullying campaigns at school or in your local community center.
    • Be kind to everybody, even when they are not your friends.