paige21099 asks:

why do people bully

In Topics: Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 10, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

What a great question with a huge amount of possibility for answers.  In order to best answer this, it may be best to take a step back and look at the three components that make up a bullying situation…

-The bully uses their power over the target in an unfair or cruel way.
-It is done intentionally to hurt somebody.
-It is a repeated action.

When a situation has these three elements, then it is a bullying situation.  The question as to why people bully is most closely related to the first element, the unfair us of power.  

Bullies thrive on power and control and being cruel to others is one way that they try to control their environments.  For example, a strong student may threaten wearker students to feel like he is at the top of the pack, the king of the hill.  A student who has a lot of friends may make fun of a less popular student to get attention or intimidate others.  Another student may lash out at students at school because they have no control in their life at home.  Whatever the reason, it is normally related to power and control.

One common myth that you will hear is that students pick on others because they feel bad about themselves or that they do not like themselves.  This is actually not typical. Usually bullies have very high self esteem and are very well liked.  They will just use bullying as a way to demonstrate and retain their power over others.  They may even feel entitled to bully because they simply feel like they are better than the kids getting picked on or that the kids getting picked on deserve it.  

Please check out this article on about bullying.  It is a module intended for teachers, but it is loaded with great information, is a fantastic site.  


The specific reasons why a kid may bully are limitless, but the general goal that kids have in bullying is to obtain and retain power and control over their environments.

If you have any questions as a parent or you are a youth looking for help, call our hotline!  We are available 24 hours a day and are here to help!

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline-A resource for parents and teens

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Additional Answers (1)

eharlow writes:
Some people bully, because they want to. But some act like they are tough and they think they can do what they want to to.
> 60 days ago

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