is the origin for the term "Subtle
What do you
think motivates subtle bullying to
occur? (95 answered: 5
How has Subtle
bullying effected you?
(97 answered: 3 skipped)
have talked to a counselor or administrator, how has it
answered: 17 skipped
What is the origin
for the term "Subtle Bullying"?
As used for this survey, it was a term
the survey author came up with. "Bullying" is usually too
broad of a term and it's usually noticed and it's more
physical so the author choose "subtle" because it isn't
Subtle Bullies: Coping with Passive
How to maintain your sanity when dealing with passive
Interacting and coping with a
person is complicated. Most of the time, her actions are
complex, confusing and often used as a way of coping with
stress, anxieties and insecurities. People who are passive
aggressive often deny that they are hurt, angry or offended.
Yet, they will lash out at you in subtle and puzzling
For instance, they may give people the
silent treatment, ostracize people from the group, use
passive violence like slamming books or doors, or engage in
subtle forms of relational
aggression. But the person on
the receiving end has no idea why this behavior is
happening. After all, the passive aggressive person denied
she was even angry.
Many times, passive aggressive people
are sarcastic, even when sarcasm is an inappropriate
response. And when confronted about their mean behavior,
they will pass it off as a joke often accusing the victim of
being too sensitive. These bullies
also tend to seek out people who will not address their
actions or hold them accountable. Consequently, they prey on
people who are afraid of conflict or who engage in
pleasing. By doing so, they do
not have to be honest about their feelings or
responsibility for their actions,
but they can still express their hostilities without ever
having a real fight.
Common Passive Aggressive
It's not always easy to spot this type
of bully. Some passive aggressive bullies sabotage others
quietly when no one is watching and then act innocent when
confronted. Others will be sullen and argumentative. The
irony is that beneath this bully's exterior lies low
feelings of insecurity and inadequacy and an inability to
express anger in a healthy way.
In fact, passive aggressive bullies
may not even realize they are angry or feeling resentful
because their feelings are repressed. Consequently, they
often complain that they are misunderstood and victimized.
They also believe others are holding them to unreasonable
standards when they are confronted. Here are some behaviors
that will help you identify passive aggressive
Denial of truth. The
passive-aggressive person rarely says what she is really
thinking, which can be confusing for people on the receiving
end. For instance, when a passive aggressive
girl is confronted about
acting mean, she will feign innocence or deny that she was
cruel even though her actions say something completely
Blaming. The passive-aggressive
person rarely takes responsibility for her actions. If she
doesnt blame you for what happened, then she will
blame her teacher, her boss, even the weather. The passive
aggressive person cannot ever accept that she is at fault.
If something happens, it has to be someone elses
fault. As a result, she engages in minimization
blaming on a regular
Passive-aggressive people hide their resentment about being
asked to do something by being accommodating. As a result,
they may agree to do something but really are angry about
having been asked to do. To relieve some of their
resentment, they may give the person making the request the
silent treatment. Or, they may talk about the person making
the request and even spread rumors
or gossip. Other times, they
may simply never follow through with what was
Rarely display anger.
Passive-aggressive people often stuff their anger. They may
even appear happy and accommodating on the outside most of
the time. But beware. They will act on their pent up anger
by sticking it to someone in an under-handed way. By doing
so, they are letting out some of their anger without ever
admitting that they are upset. The passive aggressive person
often feels she is treated unfairly. She also feels taken
advantage of and resentful. As a result, it is not uncommon
for passive aggressive bullies to engage in victim-thinking.
If someone gets upset because of something she did, then in
her mind that person is bullying her. She could never see
herself as a bully.
Passive-aggressive people tend to lack boundaries and
gravitate toward others without boundaries. As a result,
they often make those who are conflict-averse the focal
point of their hostilities by creating drama.
Coping with a Passive Aggressive
Confronting a passive-aggressive
person at school or at work requires honesty. Calling the
behavior out with no apologies and setting boundaries is
essential. Remember, passive aggressiveness is a form of
hostility and should be treated as such.
Whats more, passive-aggressive
people do not openly discuss issues that may be bothering
them. As a result, when confronted they may make
inappropriate remarks and mumble under their breath. Do not
let this keep you from confronting their behavior. Here are
some other ways to overcome the negative effect of dealing
with passive aggressiveness.
Be direct. When dealing with a
passive-aggressive person, be
sure you are assertive and
clear about your expectations. You also want to establish
boundaries where needed. Make sure everything you say is
factual and not emotional. Being clear and level headed are
the best defenses against a passive aggressive
Control your response. Focus on
staying calm, keeping your voice neutral and holding your
emotions in check. The less you react to their actions, the
less control they have over you. Remind yourself that while
you cannot keep a passive-aggressive person from slamming
doors and pouting, you can control your response. Make sure
you respond in a healthy way to their unhealthy behaviors.
Recognize that you cannot change a
passive-aggressive person. While confronting a
passive-aggressive bully about her behavior is a positive
first step, there is no guarantee the person will accept
what you are saying. Instead, focus on what you can do to
improve the situation like setting boundaries or
communicating honestly about how their actions affect
Avoid getting offended. Remind
yourself that a passive-aggressive persons anger stems
from her background and is not your responsibility. You do
not have to appease the passive-aggressive person. Stick to
what you know is right regardless of her underhandedness or
Be empathetic. It is
challenging to be
compassionate and empathetic
toward someone that is so difficult to be around. But in the
end, it can be very effective. You could say something like:
It seems like you are frustrated by what happened at
practice yesterday. That must be difficult. Remember,
passive-aggressive people feel misunderstood. So, if you try
to understand where they are coming from, it can go a long
way in helping you cope with their behaviors.
Q1: Do you think subtle bullying is a problem in
BHHS? Responses: 99; Yes 73.74% No: 30.30%
Q2: Have you experienced subtle bullying in the 2017/18
school year? Responses: 99; Yes 58.59%; No
Q3: If so, how often? Responses 99; Always
3.03%; Usually 21.21%; Sometimes 28.28%; Rarely 20.20%;
Q4: Have you participated in subtle
bullying? Responses 100; Yes 21.00%, No 82.00%
Q5: Have you seen someone being subtly bullied?
Responses: 100; Yes 75.00%; No 25:00%
Q6: What do you think motivates subtle
bullying to occur? Responses: 95;
- People who believe they are
privileged and think others are inferior to
- Idk, never done it
- because they are not
- Problems at home, beatings from
high figures of authority.
- people in this school are so
self-consumed, to where it is not right to be different.
If you show diversity in this school you get knocked
down. No matter what being diverse in Brookings harbor
highschool youll get put down and thats thew
- possibly they could be annoyed by
something that had happened so they take it out on other
- i dont know
- People not fitting in.
- pure fun and messing around not
knowing its really affecting the person its being done
- people cant handle diversity or
they think they are better than everyone
- Girls are rude as
- drama between friends, but mainly
- Being humiliated or talked about.
It might make you want to hurt the other person
- I think that most subtle bullying
is motivated by self insecurity
- not sure
- the person is trying to make them
self feel better about them self.
- to look cool or feel better and to
try to be funny and get attention
- to feel better about
- Dislike for the person or just
- Differences in people
- mostly a friend to friend
perspective nothing, serious.
- it makes the person feel better
about themselves/ to feel more powerful
- People's cold hearts and the fact
that teachers won't react. It's discouraging and
- The jokes made among friends and
others, or a person known for something usually motivates
people to joke, maybe sometimes too far.
- They might not have a good home
- Because they think that they can't
get in trouble if they don't physically fight, or they
think its easier to avoid blame.
- People being insecure can cause
them to bully others.
- People thinking that what they
have to say is more important than the feelings/opinions
of others. Also people generally just being horrible
- i dont know
- the enjoyment of causing others
physical or mental stress and pain but not wanting to
face the consequences
- to get their point
- jealously, rumors being spread,
fights amongst friends, relationship drama, all kinds of
- To be funny and try and make a
- popularity, jealousy, self-hatred,
- people in life do these things
because they want to fit in so much and they cant face
the fact their own life is shit so they deside to make
others bad so they feel better about them
- How you dress
- the haterade towards the person
that wronged you or others you know.
- i don't know
- You can find the easiest thing to
bully anyone about. That's what makes bulling
- I think it is looking too deep in
to problems that don't really exist.
- Lack of follow through on
- The fact that people around the
culprit find the acts comical is what motivates this
- Trying to fit in
- There are various reasons but one
of the most common is the fact that subtle bullying is
harder to detect so the abuser believes they will be less
likely to be caught in the act. The abused then feels as
if they are less likely to be believed if they tell
someone about what is going on because they are the only
ones who can really detect it and the abuser has kept up
their image when no one else notices.
- the bully is most of the time
jealous of you or they have a lot of anger and take it
out on you
- Because they can
- This is high school, people are
petty. We cant just go hit someone or push them around so
people resort to mentally screwing people up.
- I don't know.
- No consequences or discipline for
- Super lame kids.
- The fact that they can get away
with it, very easily.
- I think it's when someone doesn't
like a person or the victim looks 'weak' to the
- People to have bad lives at
- Irritation, and or over pride in
- Others happiness.
- Students thinking they are better
than others just because of their
- to make the person feel better or
for bad fun.
- Wanting to seem cool and funny to
- To make themselves feel better/
Problems at home
- Just a natural part of our human
nature. It is human nature to want to pick on the weaker
people who do not stand up for themselves.
- Bullies are insecure with
- Finding something to make
themselves feel better.
- People just want
- people thinking it's funny to hurt
people. or people getting off on others hard
- The subtle bully probably feels
insecure or threatened by the person they're
- People trying to fit
- Insecure people who have nothing
better to do.
- People that are having issues
within the family
- no clue
- differences in opinion.
- People think their joking but it
can be taken seriously
- Insecurity, a social norm that
occurs when someone feels bad and doesnt take
responsibility for their own actions and then takes
another persons actions personally
- I have no idea
- It can be easy to get away
Q7: What grade are you
currently in? Responsed: 100: Senior 3.00%; Junior
43.00%, Sophomore 50.0%, Freshman: 7.00%.
Q8: How has Subtle bullying effected you?
(97 answered: 3 skipped)
- I ignore it because if they feel
the need to be mean they aren't worth my
- it hasnt
- It hasn't. It has affected the
people that are close to me though.
- Its made me realize how shitty
everyone in this god-awful school. Even staff subtle
bullies you, Ms. Acosta makes students feel awful, just
take a poll.
- it has made some days really
- it hasnt
- The environment is tense and does
not feel safe.
- hasn't effected me, if it happens
to me i just laugh it off because its mainly messing
around and i know
- it hasnt
- i have gotten into
- It hasn't really affected me but i
have seen kids drop out because they feel threatened at
school because of in direct bullying.
- i see some of my friends getting
bullied and made fun of and it hurts me when i see that
- It hasn't really this year. Not a
- has not
- it never has
- It hasn't.
- When someone bullies me I don't
take it offensively
- not that much
- It doesn't really have an effect
on me personally because I simply don't let it bother
- it doesn't
- Not wanting to come to class and
- Said at my table about other
- It makes you want to stand up to
bullies and help others
- has not changed
- it has made me feel stupid because
i'm a lot more slow at learning because of my
- I weight 200 pounds, I'm not in
the petite sizes, so I wore a crop top because I wanted
too and boys make vomiting noises at me. Even teachers
have told me that I can't wear a crop top but nothing has
been said to girls who are skinnier, and their crop tops
are shorter than mine. I shouldn't be told that because
of my size I can't dress like other girls.
- I had to deal with a degrading
name for most of this school year.
- My height.
- It can damage me or my friend's
self esteem and can really damage people emotionally.
They feel like they can't talk to a teacher or a
counsellor about it because subtle bullying cannot be
- It hasnt
- When i'm subtly bullied I find it
kind of funny, it can cause me to get heated but not
- It has changed my opinion of a lot
of people, not the bullyee, but the bully themselves. I
have less respect for someone if they can't show it to
- I haven't directly been
- It has helped enlighten me to the
way humans interact.
- people have talked bad about me
when I am in the room
- It doesn't really affect me
personally, but seeing it happen to friends isn't very
- It has not affected me at
- It made me afraid to come to
school, made me fear going anywhere in case i got
- It's made me depressed, suicidal,
insecure, self-conscious, etc. It has caused me to
- it doesn't cause I would turn the
bully into the bullied
- It doesn't
- I haven't witnessed or had that
happen to me so I can't say
- it hasn't
- it doesn't really effect me just
because I don't really mind what others
- It hasn't that's kind of the
- I don't like school at
- It hasn't had an effect on
- It has made me feel small. Helps
me know who my real friends are.
- I have not experienced a lot of
this but what I have experienced was not pleasant at all.
I was able to ignore the person who was taking these
actions because I knew them really well before they
started to do it. Basically, I just thought they were
being ridiculous so it didn't truly bother me or create a
lasting effect on me. However, what was happening could
and does affect others, much more severely than it did
me, every day.
- I cannot say if it has affected me
very much, I think people need to grow a thicker skin
because the world will not consider a dirty look subtle
- No Way man
- making me and others
- Never has Never will
- I have a lot of anxiety. I used to
be a happy kid with lots of friends then in middle school
i became depressed and lost all my friends. they bullied
me and called me names and acted like i was crazy. its
not as bad anymore but its definatly impacted me to this
day. i dont talk to people as much and when i do i feel
anxious and regret it. i hate it here and coming to
school makes me literally want to die. no im not
suisidal, sorry for the spelling im tired af.
- It hasn't.
- It made me really self conscious
about a lot of things
- has not.
- It distracts me in class. Most
teachers don't do anything about it.
- It hasn't. I don't get bullied nor
have I seen bullying.
- I'd rather not answer.
- It hasnt
- Made me a cynical, cold, and mean
- It has made me more afraid of
people than I should be.
- I dropped a college class because
I couldn't handle being in the same class as the people
who were bullying me. I often left that class in tears
due to the treatment I received.
- not at all.
- Not much, I've gotten use to
- Being a shorter male, I get picked
on a lot by everyone and they think that they can get
away with it because they don't think I am going to fight
back. The way I have combatted that is made sure that I
stand up for myself and make myself a dominant presence
that other people know not to mess with. It sounds weird,
but it has helped me especially on sports
- It hasnt.
- Not at all
- made me do lots of things that
- it really angers me that people
think it's okay to treat others like they are lower than
- It makes me feel low and
- It's hard to come to school and
- Makes me not want to go home but
sometimes i runt to beach and turn off my and go away for
while but im hungry now
- It changes the way you act in
- Someone said I was easy and it
hurt me deep inside.
- It really hasnt effected
- Its subtle, it doesnt
- It makes me feel like everyone
- It has made me not want to
participate in class discussions. Some people react
instead of responding reasonably when they hear something
that is foreign to them.
- It hasnt
- It hasnt
- it hurts my sister
- It rarely ever affects
Q9: Have you talked to a
counselor or administrator about being
bullied? Responses: 100. Yes 15.00%' No:
Q10: If you have talked to a
counselor or administrator, how has it helped? 83
answered: 17 skipped; Showing 16 responses
- no it hasn't helped, and it never
will. The school cannot control minds, media does. if you
aren't like anyone else then your instantly a bad person.
Even without facts just by assumption
- it wasn't
- it doesnt really help. i get to
talk about whats been happening and i see how things go
- It never really is, they ask me
how to better approach the situation and to use non
fighting words, But when someone says something like that
to you, you can't ignore it.
- It helped me decide how to end,
and what to do when it happens
- They helped me leave an abusive
- I have notified the counselor
about it, but given time and a break, it has become less
of a problem. But that is only for one case.
- They didn't really. There wasn't
anything they could do
- Just being able to talk to someone
about my problems and being able to get help. Having
someone there makes you feel like maybe people do care
but I stopped going because I realized that it's their
job to listen. They have to listen.
- When they call for me, I never
actively seek them out to tell them my
- It didn't
- It was when I was in middle
school, and it helped me realize I needed different
friends who wanted to help me rather than hurt
- i didnt
- They stopped talking to me but not