Why People Bully Others

Someone came to me with a burning question that I used to ask all the time. I am certain that millions of people around the world have asked the same question, “Why do People Bully?”.
There are many answers and they all depend on the individual bully.

1. Spoiled, Coddled, Narcissistic bullies.

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These kinds of bullies bully because they are arrogant and overconfident. They truly believe that they are superior to and better than anyone else and will stop at nothing to let you know who’s boss. They are self-entitled, self-serving and have no empathy. With people such as these, the ends always justify the means. They do everything possible to keep the spotlight on themselves and hog all the glory. They consider themselves highly privileged. These kids are also jealous of anyone who outshines or outdoes them in any way because they believe that any happiness, successes, accolades, and victories should be reserved for only them. If you have a talent which brings you recognition, look out! Because these bullies will punish you for it and they will pull out all stops to crush your self-esteem and kill your confidence.

You will often find these kids in the popular and preppy crowd. These kids will often be jocks, cheerleaders and sorority/fraternity nuts.

2. Hurting and Victimized Bullies (Bully-Victims)

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These types of bullies bully because they are being bullied themselves either in the home, at school or both. These kids feel powerless. So, in order to reclaim some of the power which has been stripped away from them, they search for someone they perceive to be even weaker than they are and bully them. These kids have a strong need to feel like they have control over something in their lives.
Here’s an example:
A child is yelled at by his parents, then he gets mad and kicks the dog. This is why I call this “Kicking the Dog”.

Also, no one wants to be on the bottom of the pecking order. As the age-old saying goes, “Sh** rolls downhill and lands at the bottom”. So, in order to stay off the bottom, these kids will often find someone else to bully so they don’t feel like they’re the ones stuck in the basement.

3. Bullies who Are Followers, Drones and Wannabes

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These bullies are to be pitied because they are quite pathetic when you really think of it. These kids will suck up to the in-crowd (the narcissistic bullies) and all too often, they do this by either bullying those lower on the social totem pole, or participating in the bullying somehow. Many of these young people will say, ‘How High?’ when a person from the in-crowd tells them to jump. They often do the dirty work of the narcissistic bullies, join in with them in bullying others, or agree with them. But understand that these kids are only kiss-butts and brown-noses and are only bullying you or your child for a ticket into the popular crowd or because they’re afraid of becoming their next target.

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How Bullying Affects a Target’s Performance in School

Wooden Doll in Action

Wooden Dolls in Concept of Domination and Humiliation.

As we all should know, bullying can have a devastating effect on grades and class performance. Here’s how:

Anytime you are a victim of bullying, you are forcibly put on constant alert for an attack. It feels as if you have a target on your back and you must grow eyes in the back of your head. You become hyper-vigilant, which breeds anxiety and leads to exhaustion. Not only is the body tired, but also the mind. When so much focus must be placed on ways to protect yourself and maintain dignity, safety takes priority over studying lessons. How can one concentrate on schoolwork when they’re constantly bombarded with threats, taunts, name-calling and physical violence? How can a student study and learn effectively when the mind is tired from being stuck in what seems to be a never-ending fight-or-flight mode? It’s almost impossible!

I can tell you this because it happened to me.

F Failing Grade Score Report Card Poor Performance Failure

Letter F grade on a report card rating a terrible, bad, poor preformance in school, a class, job or other scored activity

In my book, “From Victim to Victor”, I talk about having been on the honor roll before I began attending school in *Oakley (The school I was bullied in). I also talk about the transfer to *Roseburg High School during my senior year and how my grades skyrocketed overnight! After leaving that toxic learning environment and moving to a new school, my grades went from ‘C’s and ‘D’s to all ‘A’s with maybe one ‘B’. I made honor roll again for the first time in five long years!

Here is an excerpt from my book, “From Victim to Victor”, which explains things a little deeper:

“…when anyone, even the most logical and rational of anyone is under a large amount of stress over a long period of time, the glucocordicoids that have flooded the brain and body for so long will cause the atrophy of areas responsible for memory, emotional regulation and ability to maintain positive relationships…”

Therefore, should it be any wonder that the majority of victims of bullying have such poor grades and class performance?

Second, after being told repeatedly and for so long that they don’t and never will amount to anything, victims begin to believe it themselves. A condition, known as “Learned Helplessness” develops and victims simply stop trying altogether.

In conclusion, bullying can affect ALL areas of a victim’s life. Not just social, but academics and achievements as well.

The more you know, the better you will be able to protect yourself.

(*Not the real name of the town.)

Ways Bullies Bait Their Victims Into Altercations or Embarrassing Situations

concept of a mob attacking a person that they think is different

1.Twisting and distorting the victim’s words

First example:

A victim is accosted by two bullies. The first bully wittily insults the victim. The second bully laughs at and jeers her.

Sencond bully: “Haha! She really told you a thing or two!
Victim: “Really? Ah! It’s no big deal!”
Second bully: “No big deal, huh?”
(Calls out to first bully)
Second bully: “Hey, (first bully’s name)! (Victim’s name) just said that you were no big deal!”
First bully: “So, I’m no big deal, huh? Really? I’m no big deal? How’s this for ‘no big deal'”?

And the first bully physically attacks the victim while the second bully watches with satisfaction.

Second example:

The bully shoves the victim into a locker and the victim mumbles under his breath without thinking about it.

Victim: “(Under his breath) God! This is so stupid!”
The bully hears the statement and twists it to suit his agenda.
Bully: “Did you just call me stupid?”
Victim: “No.”
Bully: “Yes, you did because I heard you!”
Victim: “No, I didn’t!”
Bully: “Are you calling me a liar?”
Victim: “No!”
Bully: “Yes you are because I heard you call me stupid under your breath and you’re denying it! So, you’re calling me a liar!”

In both scenarios, the bullies twisted and distorted the victim’s words to suit their agenda’s. In the first example, the bullies distorted what the victim was saying by replacing one pronoun with another. In the second, bullies not only replaced one pronoun with another but also deliberately distorted what was implied. As we know, one spoken sentence can have several possible implications. The bully picked out the possible implication which would best suit his objective, which was to bait the victim into an altercation and provide himself justification for it.

Remember that one statement can have several possible implications. However, a possible implication does not make it the correct one.

You must understand that bullies are not the dumb clods they are often portrayed as. Most bullies are slick and silver-tongued. They are experts at finding ways to covertly misconstrue and mislead. Bullies also have high social intelligence and superior theory of mind and have a flair for sussing out low self-esteem in others.

Always find ways of communicating which convey confidence, self-assuredness, and lack of fear. Anytime a bully attempts to twist your word, you can do something as simple as telling the bully to shut up and dismiss him/her as a cowardly and petty drama-baiter. When you tell the bully to shut up, then walk away, you automatically reclaim your power and chances are that they’ll leave you alone.

Deliberately running into the victim in a crowded hallway

Example: (This is a classic)

The bully is walking through the crowded school hall between classes and sees the oncoming victim. He covertly but deliberately runs into the victim.

Bully: “Watch where the #&*% you’re going, jackass!”

If you are a target, know that bullies are looking for an excuse to confront you…any excuse! And they will find one even if they have to create one. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to protect yourself.

Peeling the mask off the bully, one layer at a time!