Posted by: l2bb | February 19, 2010

Preventing bullying: Understanding those who bully

To prevent bullying, we first need to understand what it is and why it happens.  My previous posts have been about the “what”, now I want to explore the “why”.

I watched Hungry Beast Episode 12 the other night and they did a great interview with three people who had bullied others.  There were some key similarities in the “bullies'” stories:

  1. They themselves had been teased, “bashed” or been socially isolated by others.
  2. They were responding to personal issues such as the difficult divorce of parents, rejection or neglect from a father or other “insecurities”.
  3. They now recognise and regret their actions.

Annie’s final words were particularly poignant.  In essence she stated that her bullying was “not about you, it was about me.”

I highly recommend you watch the 6 minutes or so of this episode (from about 4mins 38sec), and visit the Hungry Beast forums on this topic.

While these three cases do not necessarily represent the whole gammut of reasons why people bully, they do serve to remind us that “bullies” are people, too.

We often get caught up in focusing on the aftermath of bullying – which is understandable and important.  But we also need to see what comes before, and provide the support our children need to prevent them from becoming bullies.


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