The Bully

Bullies are bred in homes which have inconsistent parenting patterns and consequences. Their parents use passive or abusive, bullying behaviours which become a role model for their bully kids.

Some have poor relationships with their parents and thus feel inadequate and insecure.  Some bullies are spoilt children who have never experienced behaviour boundaries. Some come from homes where there are so many problems that they are neglected emotionally or where the relationship between their parents is poor, stressful and even abusive.

There are two main types of bullies, the malicious who have been born with psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies (their brains are wired differently to ordinary children eg they like hurting animals) and those who are basically non-malicious but use bullying behaviours.

All these bullies have been allowed to get away with their bullying behaviours, they are not taught how to behave more respectfully, be made accountable,  suffer any discipline or consequences.

They think:

  • It’s a game
  • I can get away with it
  • It will make me popular
  • They are so weak
  • It does not hurt
  • Everyone does it

Gender stuff:

Both girls and boys can be bullies and victims.

Boys

  • Boys bully both boys and girls
  • Boys bully more openly and experience more physical bullying and threats.
  • Boys use bullying tactics to make a reputation and girls use bullying tactics to protect their reputation.

Girls

  • Girls generally bully other girls.
  • Girls can be physical, but prefer indirect methods such as verbal, emotional, cyber & social bullying.

Girls use teasing, taunting, devaluing, isolation from the group and spreading malicious rumours to bully (all less obvious to teachers).

Damage to bully:

  • Many bullies find it hard to cope with their studies in higher grades; they are more likely to drop out of school earlier.
  • Once the peer group have developed a sense of identity they associate with kids who respect equality in friendships. They abandon the bully because they don’t want to be bossed or bullied and told what to do and say, what to wear, where to go or whom to befriend.
  • Many students want a career and want to achieve at school, thus the lazy bully can be forced to hang around other losers.
  • Many bullies apologise to their victims later in their life as they were feeling guilty for years.

The Bully's Future

According to Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today, (1995) research has found that many bullies embark on a ‘downwardly spiralling course’ for the rest of their lives because of their inability to deal with conflict and violence.

  • Their bullying behaviours can interfere with their learning, friendships, work, intimate relationships, income, physical and mental health.
  • They are more likely to become anti-social as adults and have difficulty creating close friendships.
  • Male bullies are more likely to batter and bash their wives, abuse their children, abuse alcohol and drugs.
  • Female bullies tend to lose their friends.
  • Bully dropouts are more likely to have a criminal record by the time they are 24.
  • The bully who is successful in his career can be tripped up later on, when the impact is greater.
  • They are more likely to create another generation of bullies.

Sadly, bullies end up being losers in a big way.

Society as a whole pays the price for their inability to relate to others in an assertive, empathic, respectful manner.

Bullies have a basic right to live a normal life, respected (not feared) by others and able to maintain healthy, rewarding relationships!

When does bullying occur and for how long?

  • A student can be bullied by one child or mobbed by a group for years.
  • Bullying can happen sporadically or over a long period of time.
  • Some children are bullied wherever they go, at any school.

Who are the bullies and victims?

  • Apart from saints or sociopaths, most children have the potential to bully, become a bystander or be targeted.
  • Both parents and teachers can bully or experience bullying within the school community.
  • Research shows that there is more bullying in the “staffroom” than the “classroom”; this creates a very negative, toxic role model.

What do children think about bullying?

  • Many children believe that bullying cannot be stopped.
  • They believe that if they report it that nothing is done or it gets worse and often this is correct, according to Assoc. Prof Ken Rigby.
  • Most children say that they would feel happier and learn better if they felt safer at school.
  • Bullying is one of the major reasons children contact national helplines and leave schools.

Bullying is subjective
It is based upon the target’s perception and experience, even if the bullying behaviours are subtle, it can damage you severely.

Targets:

  • The crucial feature- target feels powerless and bullied.
  • The critical issue – extent of physical, psychological and other damage that injures the victim.
  • The impact on the target is made worse by fear of future attacks and fear adults won’t help.

Bullies:

  • Many bullies don’t realise at a conscious level that their behaviours are mean or abusive.
  • At an unconscious level they know that they’re taking the target’s power away because otherwise they couldn’t do it.
  • Most bullies don’t know that their bullying behaviours can boomerang back later on and hurt them.

Statistics:

  • Most children have either been bullied, bully others or witnessed bullying at school.
  • More than one in four/five children are bullied regularly at school.
  • About one in five children can bully.
  • In many schools:
    • Many children miss school every day, due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students.
    • Some students carry weapons to school to feel safer.
    • More students are victimised at the beginning of the year and less are victimised during the remainder of the year.
    • More than half of all students know of a student who had switched schools to feel safer.
    • School results are 3% to 6% lower when students are bullied ( APA Monitor. Oct 2011)
  • Many suicide victims had been bullied at school.
  • National School Safety Centre, USA, estimates that 525,000 “attacks, shakedowns and robberies” occur in an average month in public secondary schools.
  • Two thirds of school shootings were conducted by victims of bullying.
  • More than 50% of teachers report being bullied at school (BBC TV 2006, NSW Teachers Union Study 2004)

Eighty per cent of teachers have experienced some form of student or parent bullying or harassment over the past nine to 12 months, with just over 85 per cent thinking it was a problem in Australian schools, according to new research. (La Trobe University.)

Evelyn M. Field, OAM is available for consultation by phone, Skype or FaceTime.
Email: efield@bullying.com.au to make an appointment.

The Bully