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The Language of Bullies – Power of Mean Words

The Language of Bullies – Power of Mean Words

In recent years we have taken Political Correctness to new heights to show respect for different races and religions. It is no longer socially acceptable to use derogatory names to label a person based on faith or ethnicity. So why is it socially acceptable to use words like Fat or Stupid or Gay?

Gender Differences in Bullying

Boys who bully tend to be more physical with lots of hitting, pushing, and violence in general.  Their choice of hurtful words usually center on sexual orientation or accusing both boys and girls of being gay, bisexual or promiscuous.  Research has shown that males who are regularly exposed to media or video violence are apt to become desenitized to real-life violence.  They are less likely to be sensitive to the pain of others and thus become bully bystanders.

Girls or females, however, tend to hurt and bully by using emotional and psychological means to isolate and embarrass other girls.

Boys bully with attacks on sexual orientation, strength and ability to win games.

While a boy’s favorite taunt is “gay” or “fag” a girl almost always goes for the physical attributes.  So the dreaded taunt of the female is “fat” or “ugly.”

Nasty Name Calling

In many schools or work places, for example, if a person were to call an African-American by that now taboo “N” word they would be hauled into an office and disciplined. We regularly hear people called Fat, or Stupid, and not much is done about it.

Many, many studies have shown, and it is widely known that name calling can have a profound affect on a person psychologically. So why are these types of slights against another person socially acceptable to so many?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

The old nursery story that our parents advised us to say when someone teased us is not only eneffective, but a lie.  Words can and do hurt. Physical wounds do heal much faster than those in the heart and soul. Be sure to sign up to receive your free report on bullying by going to

Words can be used as weapons. The words people use to label us enter into our inner dialogue and can really affect how we feel about ourselves.

Words have Power

We need to teach our children to chose the words they use wisely. Children and adults alike need to think about how they would feel if someone was using that language to talk about them or someone they loved.  Too much television and video involvement may give a false sense of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in society. Some individuals have become desensitized to real life violence, pain and suffering.

We, as a global society, need to stop casually throwing around words that are hurtful. All caring adults will model and teach how empathy, kindness and responsible action makes for a better world and a happier day for all involved.  If you would like assistance on teaching these life skills, please go to

We All Stand In Choice

Children and teens should be taught that being positive is a lifestyle choice which will bring joy, and happiness to themselves and the people around them. You can do it. I have confidence in you.

Article written by

Judy is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including care giving. Trained as a ready to learn consultant, she works with Head Start organizations and child care resource centers.

One Response to “The Language of Bullies – Power of Mean Words”

  1. Jackie Says:

    I am trying to write a persuasive argument about the affects of social media on teens, and how it is not only ruining our face to face interactions. But also, teen self esteem, and their views on the world. I have been trying to find the top five most commonly used words used by bullies, with some type of research done behind it. This site came incredibly close, is there anything more specific???

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