Although some look at it as just part of a child’s growing up experience, it’s still important to know why people bully. This knowledge can help you or someone you know, react when in this kind of situation.
To Show They Are in Charge
One of the most obvious reasons kids bully in school is to show the class, who’s the boss. By pushing the other kids around, that person feels superior. The fact that the other kids will be afraid adds to this feeling of power. It won’t make them popular, but it gives them a reputation of being tough. For some, having a reputation in school as being mean or notorious is something they crave for. As more kids cower, the feeling of superiority increases. The same applies to adults who like to assert their power. Bullying is a tactic, employed to intimidate people and constantly emphasize a sense of authority and superiority.
Feelings of Insecurity
The act of intimidating other kids can be used to mask feelings of insecurity. Deep inside, the person may feel inferior in some way. To make up for this, they put up a facade of being strong and mean. By making others insecure and afraid, their own feelings can be mitigated somewhat. Knowing that some kids are scared of them somehow boosts their self-confidence.
Victims of Bullying Themselves
Another basis for this behavior could be that the victimizers have themselves been victims, at some point of time. Even though they cannot get back at their tormentors, by tormenting others, they can find a release for their own pain and frustration. Although this is by no means a justification for bullying others, this could also be a cause for explaining their behavior.
Jealousy or Envy
In some cases it boils down to jealousy. For instance, a bully in school often likes to pick kids that get high grades. The victim might also be more popular than his / her bully. In a way, this is similar to one’s feelings of insecurity. Their aggressive actions can be seen as their way of drawing attention to themselves.
Dealing with the Problem
If someone is harassing you, talk to a school official. Let them know what is going on. Although some view this as just something natural, you should take action so it doesn’t escalate. It is also important that you talk to your parents about it.
If you would rather deal with the situation yourself, there are a few things you should do. The most important step is to stand your ground. You don’t have to get into a fight. That’s one of the reasons why people bully – to pick up a fight. On the contrary, despite the provocation, you should avoid responding. When they say nasty things, what they are looking for, is a response. If you respond the situation will escalate, which is exactly what they want. Just walk away. Eventually, they will get tired of chasing after you.
If you know someone who is being victimized, do your best to stop it. If you don’t, the bully will just be emboldened. Helping others when you can, is the right thing to do.
There’s no need for you or anyone you know, to put up with this harassment. By knowing some of the reasons why people bully, you will be able to take the proper course of action.