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Sad But True! Depressing Reasons Why People Actually Bully

Why Do People Bully?
There are several reasons why people treat others in an dishonorable way. This article will let you know why a bully stoops down to purposely act hurtful towards others.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, or indifference, or sheer helplessness. - Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
While the above is true, it is definitely not acceptable. Throwing your weight around on people who are defenseless against your meanness is the worst form of cowardice imaginable. The desperate need to intimidate and control others in order to feel good about oneself is the most pathetic way to let out emotional and psychological steam. Everyone has some problem or the other in his/her life, but not all of them resort to bullying! When we think of bullying, we generally think of bullying in school. However, bullying may take various forms and may happen anywhere. Bullying at work and cyber bullying are also some cases that are coming up nowadays.
Chief Reasons Behind Bullying Behavior
Many people bully in order to attract attention to themselves. Such behavior may even lead to a big fight if the person who is getting bullied is one who normally is the center of attention. It is certainly not a good thing, particularly if the bullying is taking place in a corporate environment. A person also bullies others because he/she may think that he/she is superior to them. He/she may consider superiority in terms of intelligence, social status, financial status, etc. Bullies in school may also target others because they desperately want something they cannot achieve or obtain, something which other individuals have, such as study notes, video games, gadgets, etc. Following are some factors that instill bullying behavior in an individual.
Domestic Issues
domestic violence
A disturbed and abusive family background is often one of the primary reasons a kid turns into a bully. He/she tries to make up for feeling unwanted and powerless, in an abusive and dysfunctional household, by intimidating others. This way, he/she feels in control and gets a sense of power over his/her victims. Also, bullying allows such individuals to take out their own frustrations on others.
Having Been Bullied Before
bullying
The idea here is the same as in ragging or fazing - the seniors did to us when we were freshmen and we couldn't do anything about it at that time; now, we will take it out on our juniors. They feel the need to share the stress of being a victim of bullying by making others suffer. Who better to pick on than someone who is emotionally, psychologically, or socially vulnerable at the given point of time, such as a freshman or a new employee?
Low Self-esteem
bullying
Feeling insecure about one's looks, social status, grades, performance, etc., can lead to bullying behavior as it makes such a person feel good about himself/herself when he/she humiliates and harasses vulnerable targets. The 'insecurity' factor may exist even in a person on the highest rung of the social ladder. Such a person gets so used to his/her popularity that he begins to crave constant reassurance of his/her greatness and power. By bullying, he/she gets to overpower his/her victims and wins the adulation of his/her coterie of sycophants. This serves both psychological purposes of the bully, trapping him/her in a vicious cycle of undesirable behavior.
Lack of Empathy
bullying
A person who lacks empathy and doesn't realize the effect his/her behavior has on the victims, even after seeing them suffer, often suffers from some psychological disorder. Especially, if such a bully gets kicks out of other people's suffering (inflicted by him/her), there is a possibility that such a person suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). Such a person should be reported to the concerned authorities and must be sent for psychological counseling as soon as possible.
Envy, Anger, and Peer Pressure
bullying
Fear of being discriminated against and a strong need to be accepted by a popular clique may make an otherwise normal kid turn into a bully. Peer pressure, especially in schools, often leads to an individual participating in group-bullying activities, albeit reluctantly. Jealousy and anger may also make a person unfairly target his/her victims by acting nasty or violent towards them.
Some of the most common ways of bullying are assigning embarrassing names and using such names, talking and writing filthy things about people, not allowing them to participate in activities, jeopardizing them, and making them feel uncomfortable and frightened. Bullying also includes taking and damaging their stuff or property, physically assaulting them, and making them do things that are simply not acceptable to the society. Arrogance, selfishness, and a superiority complex are also some prominent aspects of a typical bully's personality. The hostility that a bully directs towards his/her victims may be direct and obvious as well as clever and subtle. The latter variety is usually seen at the workplace, where any kind of rude or violent behavior is likely to invite harsh disciplinary action. Bullies are, in essence, cowardly losers.

While it is human nature to envy others' success and covet your neighbor's property, a healthy way to go about it is to incorporate improvements in oneself and work hard towards achieving those things. However, there do exist people who want what others have, resent others for having what they don't (such a deficit may be actual as well as perceived), but would rather expend all their energies in dragging those others down than raising themselves to those successful heights. Indeed, it is a sickness.