8 Common Reasons Why People Bully: Understanding The Other Side

Last Update on June 29, 2023 : Published on October 12, 2022
why- do people-bully

Bullying is an increasing and common issue that we all have experienced or witnessed at some point in our life. Be it high school students, a distant or close relative, a sibling, a colleague, a supervisor, a friend, or anyone… bullying can be seen anywhere!

According to a study, 20% of students are victims of bullying, name-calling, physical bullying, and more.

Source: youthtruthsurvey

We have always perceived that people who bully are bad, negative, or toxic! But have you ever given a single thought about the bullies? Have you ever thought about why people bully, why teens or kids bully each other, or what could be the reasons behind their negative behavior?

In this blog, we will be discussing the common reasons why people bully so that we can understand the other side and help people raise awareness of bullying.

Before directly jumping on to the reasons, let us first understand some basics about why people bully so that we can understand how to deal with bullies. 

What is Bullying?

Bullying is an aggressive or unwanted behavior from someone who intentionally harms, upsets or shows power over someone. Bullying can be threatening, pressurizing, shoving, spreading rumors, making fun of, and more.

There are several types of bullying such as verbal bullying (name calling, taunting, threatening, and more), social bullying (spreading rumors, embarrassing someone, and more), physical bullying (hitting, kicking, tripping, and more), cyberbullying (sending mean texts, posting insults, and more), racist bullying (belittling, intimidating, or devaluing someone because of their identity), and sexual bullying (posting or sending sexually explicit messages or videos, spreading sexual rumors, and others).

Bullying is more common among adolescents, teenagers, children, young people, and adults both in the workplace and social settings. 

Impacts of Bullying

Bullying can be dangerous to mental health as it can put someone at risk of developing mental health conditions such as antisocial personality disorder, anxiety disorder, and depression. 

Bullying leaves such a negative impression that sometimes people show an increased risk of self-harm or suicide. other common impacts of bullying can be: 

  • Decreased grades or testing scores
  • Difficulty learning or focusing at school 
  • Increased risk of dropout rates 
  • Increased risk related to the development of eating disorders
  • Loss of interest in scholarly activities or studies
  • Loss of interest or concentration in social activities 
  • Nightmares or terrors
  • Reduced school attendance 
  • Reduced self-esteem 
  • Thoughts related to suicide or self-harm 

8 Reasons Why People Bully

In order to learn how to overcome bullying, it is really important to learn why people bully. In this section, let us take a look at the common reasons why people bully:

1. They have gone through emotional trauma

Have you ever watched movies named Means Girls, Moonlight, Wonder, or After Lucia? If you have watched these movies, you might be aware of the fact that “hurt people hurt people.” I am not directly relating an emotional or personal trauma but you know sometimes it can provide us an insight into why they actually bully.

Sometimes, people consciously hurt people because of their own disrupting life challenges. It is one of their coping skills to manage their own sufferings.

2. They are insecure or jealous

We all are aware of how “social status” plays a major role in our society. This social factor provides us with the tendency to taunt or bully others. People who bully because of someone’s social status definitely show their insecurity or jealousy.

It is done to make them look superior. This reason is also applicable in workplaces. Curiosity to be on the top can lead to bullying as well due to jealousy or insecurity.

3. They have been bullied in past

People who have witnessed bullying or been a victim to bully can also bully others. They adopt such behavior because it makes them feel protected against other bullying experiences.

Additionally, sometimes they also try to get ahead of the bullying experiences so that they can bully others and protect themselves from the striking conversation. This is known as an unhealthy defense mechanism in psychology.

4. They have learned this behavior

Bullying can also be a learned behavior. For example, if someone has witnessed bullying during childhood or been the subject of bullying from their close ones, are at high risk of learning this behavior. Learned behavior or bullying can lead to more toxic behavior in the scholarly life, work life, or personal life as well.

5. They have poor social skills

Having poor social skills is one of the common reasons why someone can become a bully.  You can always find this example in real life as well.

Someone who has limited social skills or had a hard time getting along with the group always bullies others so that they can combat the stress of being judged, ignored, or uncomfortable. Such people lack learning healthy coping skills so they start bullying in return as a coping mechanism.

6. They feel anonymous in the real world

We all are aware of the growing concerns of online bullying or cyberbullying. It is one of growing concern because we spend most of our time online and in this world of anonymity, bullying can be common.

People who bully others through online platforms are noble at detaching themselves from the morals of life and unleashing their inner bully through the face of anonymity.

7. They lack compassion and empathy

People who bully are not only negative or toxic but also lack care, empathy, compassion, and more. They feel better at dominating, intimidating, or blaming others. They know how to take advantage of others to reach a specific goal. Their bullying pattern is to target weak people so that they can get the desired attention.

8. They want power or popularity

This is one of the common reasons why teens or kids bully each other. Teens who wish to have power or popularity in the group, class, or school can obtain social interaction by bullying others.

For example, you might have heard of the term “mean girl” in school…the girl who allegedly targets weak people to gain power or popularity.

How to deal with Bullies?

You can take the help of these below-mentioned blogs to learn dealing with bullies or bullying:

I hope this blog helps you with the 8 common reasons why people bully. Share this article with your friends or colleagues to raise awareness about bullying. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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