bullying myths

10 Myths About Bullying Debunked

It’s time we revealed the truth about bullying. Based on Ditch the Label research carried out in 2017, here are 10 common misconceptions about bullying debunked…

1. Girls are more likely to bully

Statistically speaking, guys are actually more likely to bully. It makes sense when you think about it, guys are under all sorts of societal pressures to act tough and “man up” meaning they often resort to violence or aggression to resolve issues.

2. People are bullied because they don’t fit in

In fact, people who are bullied because they’re different are absolutely fine just how they are. The problem lies with the person doing the bullying who can’t accept people for who they are.

3. Bullying only happens at school

Bullying is too often associated with the school playground. Bullying can happen anywhere and at any time: at work, at school, at college, at uni, online, in a game, at a sports club, in the media, in politics, in the street, at the mall, on the bus, at the park, and more often than you think, at home.

4. Bullies are bad people

Nope. Bullies are people who are struggling to deal with unresolved issues. No one is born bad, bullying is a learnt behaviour and is completely reversible – it’s never too late to turn things around.

5. Bullying is physical

Not always. In fact, there are loads of different types of bullying including; emotional, verbal, online, in-game, workplace, extortion, intimidation, humiliation… the list goes on. You may not even know that what you’re going through falls into a category of bullying.

6. Online abuse is part of digital life

A common misconception is that online abuse is something that comes with the territory of living a digital life. This assumption legitimises and normalises abusive behaviour. It doesn’t have to be like this, with proper education and basic digital citizenship skills, we can create a safer, nicer internet for everyone.

7. Everyone will experience bullying at some point

In terms of statistics, 51% of people will experience bullying at some point in their lives. Where you’re more likely to experience bullying when you’re younger, it’s not an inevitable thing. Statistically speaking, almost everyone will probably witness bullying at some point. Don’t be a bystander, make sure you speak up for those who are being bullied if it feels safe to do so.

8. Bullying is just part of growing up

Despite the somewhat alarming statistic above, not everyone goes through bullying when they’re young. Some people experience it later in life. It is not uncommon for older people to experience severe bullying. Some people will never have to deal with it at all. Saying that “Bullying is part of growing up” makes it seem like it’s OK. Bullying is not OK.

9. In-game bullying is just part of the gaming experience

…This is a big one. According to recent Ditch the Label research, 62% of people we surveyed said they would enjoy online gaming more if in-game abuse and trolling didn’t exist. This proves that although in-game abuse forms a large part of the gaming experience, the majority of people would prefer to game without the ever-present threat of trolling.

10. People who are bullied are victims

The assumption that those who are bullied are victims is damaging because it disempowers those who experience it. Everyone is equally as vulnerable to bullying regardless of who they are and no one is immune. Statistically speaking, there are certain groups of people who may be more likely to experience certain types of bullying, but that doesn’t make them victims. It simply shows that there are bigger societal issues that need to be dealt with.


Want to know more? Have a read through our past research papers to get an idea of the stats around bullying and other related issues from the last 5 years…

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