When we get hurt it is easy to jump to conclusions, be defensive or believe the other party has done something to us on purpose. Sometimes this is true, sometimes it was done unintentionally. When processing a stressful event or strained interaction define the encounter using the following guide:
Rude = Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else.
Mean = Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice).
Bullying = Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power
Physical aggression: This kind of bullying includes hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, tripping, hair pulling.
Verbal aggression: bullying with words, name calling.
Relational aggression is a form of bullying in which kids use their friendship—or the threat of taking their friendship away—to hurt someone. Social exclusion, shunning, hazing, and rumor spreading are all forms of this pervasive type of bullying that can be especially beguiling and crushing to kids.
Cyberbullying is a specific form of bullying that involves technology. Harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices
Trust your instincts. If you feel hurt or angry-there is a reason. Taking time to think about a response will give you an opportunity to think about the offense, what to do next, and how to handle it in the future.