Do you remember, back when you were in elementary school, and there were one, two, three or more kids who weren't very nice to others in class? I'm not talking about the upper grade school bully, but the ones found in every grade level. The minor bullies, I guess you'd say. The ones who point and laugh, say mean things and make you feel like s**t by the end of the day. (Not the ones who actually do the beating up and stealing of lunch money or whatever.) Okay....
Well, why do they do it? What's the point? As I'm writing my story, I'm believing my school was full of minor bullies, and when I was quite young and stupid, I wasn't afraid to stand up to them and tell them they were wrong. What could possibly have possessed me to do this?? What could I possibly have been thinking? Why would I do such a thing? What was the point?? Maybe I'll find the answers as I write, but I'm hoping for some insights.
After a few years, I gave up. (like, by 3rd grade) I saw no point in continuing, cuz it didn't seem to do any good.
Why they do that ?
2. Ego Boost
5. Maybe few more reasons..
Oh! Just had a thought - maybe fear of self realization?
I was going to reply to the Boredom and Ego Boost - you think this would be the case during elementary school? Wow, I didn't think Ego's came into play so young.....
Ego boost -maybe in high-school.
Boredom - at any age (it's quite random you know).
all of what Skyfire said plus
1. Low self esteem;
2. Low self confidence;
3. Need for power;
4. Attention seeking;
5. From abused homes (psychologically damaged);
6. Venting at others who are "safe" -- knowing that these people will not strike back.
Why you did it:
1. You knew right from wrong;
2. You were confident;
3. Your self esteem was intact;
4. You knew you had a right to be you;
5. You were taught that it was okay to stand up for yourself.
6. There are more reasons, but you have to find these out for yourself.
Interesting. The 'Bully excuse' can go for the verbal bully and the physical bully, then, right?
I wonder how they know who the 'safe' people are and if their intention is to destroy the 'safe' persons identity in order for them to feel the same as the bully...or if the bully thinks they'll be able to 'steal' the 'safe persons' identity. Does that make sense?
I don't think bullies have low self-esteem. They do it because they can and they enjoy doing it. It gives them a power trip.
Bullies tend to come from a history of being bullied themselves. Generally, they have a family history of abuse, alcohol, drugs and/or any combination of these. In addition, they themselves have been bullied by the addicts, thereby losing their self esteem and self confidence. They bully because it gives them the feeling that they are in control which in turn feeds the need to feel good about themselves (self esteem).
Is that in general Beth that they were bullied upon and have low self-esteem? Cause I don't think that's true. I think people would like it to be true. Most bullies, from what I remember were street smart, they were bigger than most kids their age, were pretty bold and weren't afraid to get physical. They know which kids they can pick on and they tended to pick on the kids who weren't socially adept and were easily intimidated.
Yes, this is true. Based on my research and other doctorate researchers and doctors, this is true and a fact. I have written on the subject of bullying and there are several links to external sites that will support my statement.
They are street smart because they are abandoned children. They are not always the bigger kid. They are bold because they have nothing to lose. They aren't afraid to get physical because they were taught that that is the way to communicate.
They learn from watching and from experience how to litmus test their victims. Thus they are able to choose the weaker kids who have been bullied by others.
Sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me is a motto people should truly take to heart.
It instantly takes away any power any individual would gain from saying anything in which to demean or degrade.
OMG - that cute little saying gave me nightmares when I was a kid!
Nightmares of sticks and stones breaking my bones....not a pretty picture!
Unfortunately Rafini, you surrender power to others, whenever you choose to let what they say, have an effect/affect on you.
Yeah, I understand that. But today, as I was writing my story, I came to the realization that most of my issues came from classroom bullies and my mother not understanding. lol This has been a problem I've been searching my entire life for the answer to. I think I'm finally understanding it! (About D@mn time!!)
No matter how many times I hear that old saying repeated I will never believe it or that it has any effect on a group of bullies.
It just does not 'hold water' and I believe that you can be scared and hurt by unkind words. Some bullied school children resort to self harm or even suicide and they are not driven to it because they are weak and should toughen up they are driven by the relentless pursuit of 'baiting' that goes on. It is the pack mentality that empowers bullies.
You seem to be missing the point. It is not to have any affect/effect on a group of bullies. I would have thought that would be obvious.
WORDS spoken only harm if YOU let them. Otherwise they have no affect/effect. If YOU think there is truth to the words, then change self.
You completely misunderstand the statement, no wonder you responded as you have.
that saying is not understood, as it was originally uttered by slaves who were beat physically. they preferred the words to harsh beatings.
they probably became desensitized to words in comparison to the beatings.
children and adults are definitely hurt by words. yes, it would be nice to not allow the heart to be hurt, but it's not so much the words that hurt, but the emotions and intentions behind the words.
I think anyone who says they are never hurt by words is lying. or afraid to admit they have feelings.
I agree with you. I think anyone who doesn't admit to being hurt by words is afraid to tell the truth.
I think you misunderstand, or I misstated myself. Probably me.
When you were 3-4-5-6 years old or so, I'm sure you didn't fully understand the sticks and stones, and were hurt by words occasionally until you did.
At that age, I wasn't bullied. It didn't start until at least 8 or 9 or 10.
But being hurt by words doesn't exclusively mean being bullied.
Being bullied is limited to physical actions, to be honest. Should you apply "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".
Someone cannot be bullied at the age of 3,4,5 or 6 years of age. Because, children are not completely aware of their actions to begin with at that age.
Just another thought.
Okay, I can go here.
If you remember to apply the 'sticks & stones' format, yes, being bullied would be limited to physical actions, however, many people out in the world don't have the supportive environment to understand the 'sticks & stones' ideal when they first encounter a bully.
Even if you believe a 3,4,5,6 year old cannot be bullied, it doesn't mean words don't hurt. (and, yes, pre-schoolers and kindergartners can be bullies! - besides storing the information necessary to bully their classmates in the coming years)
What I meant by someone being hurt by words but refusing to admit it is, everyone has feelings and at some point in your life I'm sure you were stunned, surprised, shocked, felt put upon or put down, - any of these feelings (or others) due to another's words, which would point the finger at being hurt.
It happens. No shame in admitting it. Being hurt by words isn't only about being bullied.
I have feelings Rebekah, and my feelings cannot be hurt by words. I was bullied as a kid, but more than you could possibly imagine. But, I never let the words affect/effect, because I knew what was being said did not apply to me.
Just a thought.
Bullying is the exemplification of cowardice and (I personally believe)low self-esteem. If you feel comfortable about who you are tehre is NO reason to pick on others -- be they younger, smaller, or just "different."
It does seem to come with the territory with kids. Inevitably in every class there are the picked ons and the bully (and his/sher minions).
Of course there are thow who never outgrow the need to put others down. In adulthood they abuse their wives/partners and kids.
And even that doesn't make them feel better about themselves.
The weak ones are there to justify the strong.
Both Rafini, the one who lets the words affect/effect them and the bully is also a weak one, because it comes from another source that they have learned to do it from.
Bullies single out weaker people to push around to justify to themselves that they are strong and powerful.
Usually a bully was once the weak one getting bullied around until they find another to make them feel strong.
"Do unto others what has been done to you." Tool
Okay, but then what keeps one from becoming one of them? By choice, I mean.
A proper role model who treats people with compassion and kindness.
I was bullied as a child, I joined a martial arts class when I was twelve. I stood up to every bully who approached me ever since.
Martial arts taught me to respect others, as well as gave me the confidence to stand my ground.
bullies are at heart, cowards. they pick on those that can't fight back or who they view as physically and/or emotionally weaker, just to raise their own self esteems. you'll notice bullies never try to pick on other bullies or people that are capable of fighting back. the rationality of that is because bullies, for the most part, don't know how to fight. sure, they can beat up a smaller person because of their obvious size advantage. however, if they have to fight with a person that CAN fight back, you'll notice almost all of them tend to show their true cowardly colors.
as cagsil would say as i hope he doesn't mind me ripping off one of his lines. lol. "just a thought."
It's not my saying. Those are just words anyone can say. I hold no exclusivity to them.
yeah, but you do say that all the time, so i kind of associated it as your catch phrase on hubpages. lol. you know, kind of like how "Whats up doc?" is often associated with bugs bunny. you just say, "just a thought" so often that i kind of started to associate that phrase with you exclusively. lol
I am sorry Cagsil, you are right, in that case I cannot understand it. Maybe it is a subject that I find difficult to comprehend and that led to me miss reading your posting. It is late here I will read it again tomorrow. Thanks.
You don't become one of them if you choose not to behave the way they do.
We all have a choice to hurt or not hurt ourselves or others.
Recognizing what a bully is and how they bully is the first step. The second is choosing not to take on the behaviors of one and act out like one.
well said, i agree with you about that.
I realize I didn't ask my question very well, but you were still able to answer it.
What I was trying to get at is, What causes one to choose not to become one of them?
Your answer: Choosing not to hurt ourselves or others.
Now I feel kinda silly, actually, LOL, for all the nights I've cried myself to sleep saying "I don't want to be like them!!" All I had to do was remember, it's a choice!!
Thank you rebekahELLE I did not know the history of the saying in that context it makes complete sense.
I think the type of personality also makes a difference when it comes to becoming a bully. Bullies tend to have less empathy for others, of course, and if you are an empathic person and sympathetic person, you choose not to be a bully.
Would you say bullies are natural born or exist due to learned behaviors?
It's the nature versus nurture argument. It's a no win for either side.
Personally, I believe that it's more nurture -- the environment creates our choices. Let me explain.
I work with high risk kids. These kids are all males, bullies, addicts of one type or another. They are all from broken homes and are not afraid to bully their way to attaining what they want, whether it be a stick of gum or the running shoes on your feet. They have learned only one way to cope with life: force the others hand and receive what you extort.
A part of the program involves teaching them that they have a choice. A choice to choose how they behave in different situations. They are taught how they can react through example. They are pushed to the limit; taught to trust each other with their lives (specifically relationship building); become independent; right and wrong behavior that society will and will not accept. There are strict rules that are enforced and they are held accountable for breaching the rules. They are taught that they are responsible for their own actions and they cannot blame another for what they choose to do.
Depending on the severity of their environment and their willingness to change, some take longer and others take less time, but 100% of them change. They choose of their own free will to behave in a way that they accept for themselves, and in turn, to society. Many of them return as leaders for the next group.
This is why I know that we have a choice and that it is the environment that makes us who we become. I watch them and realize the power that we hold within ourselves if we choose and stick to that choice.
Well, I think there's a type of personality that responds to stresses at home and reproduces it in a small way at the schoolyard. In my opinion bullies aren't introverts and Beth may be enlighten us on that part since she has done studies with bullies. It just seems to me that bullies probably do learn these behaviors at home and according to their extroverted personality, they pick up those bullying skills probably by watching parents or some authority figure who dominates people around them. And in order to be noticed by the popular kids they pick on kids who they recognized as intimidatable and they bully them. And their parental figures probably don't see anything wrong with that because they think that it's part of growing up.
And I don't think the kids have to be high risk. There are kids from wealthy families who bully as well.
So, you're thinking it's kind of a mix of natural born and learned behaviors, right?
That's the most difficult thing to remember throughout our lives. Even as adults, we forget we have the choice.
Don't beat yourself over that. I have to be reminded every so often still.
3-5 yrs is basically when a true bully will start hurting others. I've seen it over the years and the little bully children DO realize they are hurting others. it gives them a sense of control and brings attention which is probably lacking at home. the kids generally come from homes with very controlling parents, or parents that are physically/verbally abusive. but this is not always the case. sometimes a child's nature is sadly 'off' due to genetic abnormalities.
edit: one huge reason why it's so important to give a young child a chance to make some simple choices. but there's a way to do it where you're not giving full reign over to the child.
an important topic for sure. I've got to sign off for now.
Thanks everyone for participating in the discussion. All thoughts much appreciated.
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