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Why do people bully other people ? How does it benefit their lives?

lele asked this
February 10, 2015 at 3:50 PM

A:

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Though I'd like to start by saying that a reason for a behavior doesn't necessarily excuse it, people bully others for a number of reasons. Their home environment may be part of it. If the bully's parents are openly critical and judgmental of other people, the bully may be mirroring their attitudes and behavior. If the bully's parents are harsh or neglectful, they may be transferring their hurt and frustration onto others. This can be reinforced by having peers who act the same way (we typically make friends with people of similar upbringing to our own) and provide positive feedback for bullying behavior.

At the root of bullying or aggressive behavior are issues around power and control. In reality, of course, there are some things we have power/control over and something we do not. People who tend to look inward and are more likely to blame THEMSELVES for a conflict, subconsciously perceive themselves as having more control and responsibility than they actually have, and tend toward depression. People who tend to look outward and are more likely to blame OTHERS for a conflict, subconsciously perceive themselves as having less control and responsibility than they actually have, and tend toward anger or aggression.

Deep down, angry or aggressive people who judge their level of control/responsibility as too low don't feel good about themselves. They bully as a means to regain some feeling of control (and with control, safety) and to make themselves feel better about themselves in comparison by making someone else feel worse.

They haven't learned kindness or compassion, probably because they haven't seen enough of it in their lives.

Erin Froehlich answered
February 12, 2015 at 10:55 AM

In the case of my Grandson, his bully began because he thought what he was doing was "funny". What began as a single incident, was propelled by "others"; the bully was encouraged by others around him to continue, probably because they weren't capable of being "the bully", but were capable of prompting someone else to do the work. The bully became emboldened, and the acts continued.

James answered
November 18, 2015 at 6:48 AM
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