Contrary to popular thought, bullying is about power -- not conflict. It stems from contempt for others.
Bullies typically have little or no empathy toward their victims, and may consider their targets inferior or worthless. Bullying behaviors include verbal harassment, physical assault, and subtle coercion (Wikipedia).
The US National Center for Education Statistics breaks bullying into two categories:
- Direct bullying, which involves physical aggression;
- Indirect bullying (also known as social aggression), which involves forcing the victim into social isolation through gossip, rumors, teasing, name calling, or the silent treatment.