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  • Writer's pictureSamskiptaráðgjafi

The Consequences of Bullying

If you know someone who has been bullied in sports, youth activities, or school, it is essential to encourage them to report it. You can inform someone you trust, a friend, parent, sibling, instructor, or a teacher.

What are the consequences of bullying?

Everyone has the right to feel good, and bullying is not accepted in sports or youth clubs. We often hear about bullying and how it presents itself. More information on this topic is available on the communication counselor’s education page. Everyone must be aware of the consequences bullying can have. These are not only the effects that emerge while the bullying is ongoing because bullying can have long-lasting effects on both victims and perpetrators alike.

Short-term effects

While the bullying is happening, it is normal for the victim to experience anxiety and distress. They feel unsafe, insecure, and afraid, and may even think that they have done something wrong. Many victims complain about headaches or stomach aches, which can be physical pain symptoms of anxiety. Children also tend to avoid the spaces where they feel bad and have higher chances of being bullied. This may lead to social isolation and the loss of opportunities for exercise, fun, and relationships with their peers. It is therefore understandable that children who are bullied experience sadness, tiredness, hopelessness, and general lack of interest.

In some cases, these feelings subside when the bullying ends or is stopped. While some individuals may be able to deal with these effects and go back to normal, that is not always the case.

Long-term effects

Being bullied as a child may have effects that people carry with them into adulthood. When someone has been harassed and called names for a long time, they can begin to believe that what was said to them was true. This can deal permanent blows to a person’s confidence and self-esteem, and the consequences can be present throughout adulthood. Adults might thus have little belief in themselves and their abilities in both work and play.

People can become socially isolated as they have difficulties trusting others; they remain reserved and may even avoid certain situations altogether. Like children, they may miss out on opportunities for social activities and relationships, and distress and depression often follow. There is also an increased risk of adulthood anxiety for those that were bullied in childhood. This is especially the case if the bullying took many forms, and was, for example, both physical and mental, and lasted over a long period.

Effects for perpetrators

Stopping perpetrators of bullying is highly important, along with preventing further bullying of others. Many bully others because of their fear of being bullied or due to their distress and negative feelings. If children do not get help in tackling their problems, they can continue to develop and affect them for a long time.

By intervening and putting an end to bullying, you can also help the perpetrators by preventing them from using this kind of behavior to handle difficult communications in the future. Those who bully others in childhood are more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior and criminal tendencies in adulthood compared to those who did not bully anyone as children.

There is a lot to be gained from putting an end to bullying and help everyone involved get the appropriate support. You end the suffering of the victim, and both perpetrators and victims need support for a period that may be quite long in some cases.

Information gathered from the following theses in Icelandic:

Have you been bullied?

Get support, tell someone you trust. You can also contact the communication counselor at 839-9100 or by e-mail at

More information about bullying (IS):


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