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The Oxford Dictionary defines bullying as “Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something”.

The real life definition of bullying is someone who uses physical strength, emotional blackmail and verbal threats towards another human being to intimidate, harass, belittle and degrade them.

We joke about “being a bully” when we coerce our friends or family in a light hearted way but the sad reality is that we don’t really know what impact our words and actions are having on the other person. We don’t know what their current emotional state is, whether they are in a vulnerable place in their lives, are they having issues at home etc., we know nothing but what they let us see on the outside. That means we may in fact be making their life a lot worse by intimidating and coercing them even if we think it is all in fun.  Playing with people’s emotions is never fun and can have serious ramifications even to the point of loss of life.

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