Why Bullies Bully
What do you think Bullies want? That’s easy, what do you want? Bullies want what you and everybody else does. Everybody wants to feel good about themselves. The biggest difference between bullies and people who are easier to be around is what bullies are willing to do to get what they want. Their willingness to make themselves feel better by making someone else feel worse, pleasure at the expense of others, is the main problem with bullies. One key to defeating bullying behavior is to give bullies what they want, but in unexpected ways.
Bullies require a certain type of person to be successful in their attempts to get what they want. Having found this type of person or people, a bully intentionally and repeatedly uses the fact that there’s a power imbalance that is weighed in their favor and that allows them to intimidate and abuse the other person or people for their own gratification. It takes an anti-bully community to interfere with the bully’s plan, and it takes an organized anti bully plan to give the bully what they want in a ways that leaves everyone satisfied.
The main characteristic of a person who’s susceptible to bullying behavior is they believe they lack the resources to stand up for themselves. If the bullying behavior has gone to the point where someone is being physically attacked or threatened with physical harm than parents, teachers or other authorities need to be notified.
Bullying affects too many people to be ignored or put on the back shelf to be dealt with later. The time to act is now.
The statistics on bullying and suicide are alarming:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.
- Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University
- A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying
- 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above
- According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.
- Even if the bullying behavior is unlikely to progress to the point where physical harm is inflicted, the following set of realizations practiced and applied will render the bullying behavior powerless.
Bullying is repeated because the bully gets what they want. Since the best way to extinguish bullying behavior is to not let a bully’s behavior get them what they want, one obvious solution is to train the victims of bullying not to give the bullies what they hope to get by bullying.
Research shows that focusing not on tough discipline but on building community is most effective in stopping bullying. If you’re interested in building community among a group or class check out my next couple posts that focus on strengthening personal self esteem by strengthening the esteem of those around you.