7 Unmistakable Reasons Why People Bully

People can be mean! We investigate the reasons why people bully and some of the unmistakable types of bullies.

When you find yourself a target of bullying, you be might wondering what are the reasons why people bully in the first place. Why did they pick me over the person next to me? Why do they bully me and no one else? Why won’t’ they stop? There can be multiple reasons why people bully, but most bullies fit into one or more categories.

Related: 5 Warning Signs That Your Kid Might Be a Bully

7 Unmistakable Reasons Why People Bully

1. Feelings Of Power

This type of bully feeds off of preying on someone weaker than them. They might have lower self-esteem and get a rush from making someone else feel bad. Just as easily, they may simply enjoy the feeling of power that bullying can give them. Bullying can give kids a sense of control that they don’t otherwise have.

2. Feeling Excluded or Jealous

When kids feel left out, it can sometimes cause them to lash out and become a bully. This stems from feeling the need to protect oneself, but can also simply be to bring others down who appear to have more than you do. That can be physical things such as branded clothes and gadgets, or socially such as being excluded from a party or daily lunch table.

Related: Understanding the Different Types of Bullying

3. There Is A Bully For A Role Model

Sometimes if there is a bully somewhere else in the person’s life, that child will also bully. Maybe mom tends to be a little more aggressive, or Dad is very competitive. While bullying can stem from an abusive home, bullying is not always an indication of an abusive situation in the home.

4. The Bully Rolls With A Pack

Many times those who bully have a small but close knit group around them. Mean Girls comes to mind with the infamous leader and small group of followers who are all equally as tough. Not only does the leader lead the pack, but the others are constantly working towards approval from the leader, which can fuel things more. The friendships within these groups are often held together by approval and fear, not through true caring about each other.

5. Attention Seeking

Another common reason why bullying starts is that the bully is simply seeking attention. They may not receive enough attention in their home. Maybe there are other siblings in the house who require more of the parent’s energy and attention. Or it is possible another reason why people bully is they simply want more attention than they are receiving, and bullying brings the attention back to them. Many bullies in this situation simply want friends, but perhaps don’t know how to make it happen socially. They resort to bullying as a way to fill the void that quality friendships and connections should be filling.

6. Picking On Differences

Tolerance is a lesson that is not always easily learned. Bullying can sometimes stem from cultural differences and misunderstanding how to handle those differences. For example, children who eat food that is different from their peers, celebrate different holidays, speak different languages or have a different family life they can end up the targets of bullying. If you have ever seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” there is a perfect scene as the main character tries to explain her moussaka lunch in the lunchroom to a table of girls eating wonder bread sandwiches. The girls then tease her because they don’t understand what her Greek lunch is.

Related: Help Your Kids Stay Alert About Bullies With These Verbal Bullying Facts

7. Self-Protection

Some bullies take a totally different perspective. They bully as a way of being defensive so that others will not bully them. If they start out by attacking other people, it is more difficult for others to push them around.

Did I miss any of the reasons why people bully? Does someone you know fit one of these bullying descriptions? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.

Image Credit: Katie Tegtmeyer

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