Bullying can be defined as the use of threat, force, or coercion to intimidate, abuse, or aggressively dominate others.  The behavior is often consistent, repeated, and habitual.  A prerequisite of bullying is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of physical or social power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict.  Bullying behaviors used to dominate include: verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and these acts may be directed repeatedly towards specific targets.  Rationalizations of bullying may include differences of race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, religion, body language, reputation, personality, strength, size, ability, or lineage.  Bullying done by a group is referred to as mobbing.

Bullying can be categorized into four basic types of abuse: verbal, emotional (may be called relational), physical, and cyber.  Bullying usually involves subtle methods of coercion, such as intimidation.Cyber bullying is becoming more and more common with today’s technology.  When an individual cyber bullies, they utilize technology to threaten, embarrass, harass, or focus on another individual.  When an adult is involved, there are legal consequences and potentially jail time.  This is referred to as cyber-harassment or cyberstalking.  This may include social media sites (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), email, text messaging, and instant messaging.