Bullying. Why would someone who is self-confident bully others?

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  1. jantamaya profile image59
    jantamayaposted 11 years ago

    Bullying. Why would someone who is self-confident bully others?

    I think it doesn’t make any sense. Does it mean that bullies have a poor self-esteem?

    They feel that, when they bully their victim they would gain a better self-image. Why they don’t know that, through bullying, they’re damaging exactly this positive self-image?

    Are bullies that stupid?

  2. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 11 years ago

    To make their ego even bigger and to look like the coolest kid in the school at anyone elses expense. They don't take into consideration how much damage they are doing to their victims and their self worth, only to make themselves feel superior. And others who go along with the bully and laugh and urge them on are only doing so hoping they will not be their next target.

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your great answer. I think bullies are very sad individuals. Maybe they need psychological help?

    2. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. Thank you.

  3. fpherj48 profile image59
    fpherj48posted 11 years ago

    Bullies are far from self-confident individuals.  Bullies are attention-seekers, in the most immature and negative manner.  They have a a lack of empathy, common decency and societal morals.   
    To have the vices of unkindness, cruel behavior and abusive actions, is to be a lonely, frightened and uneducated individual, who has a need to isolate and ridicule others for the sheer sake of transferring his own fears onto those others.
    It goes beyond the probability of "stupid."   Bullies have not been able to realize that to harm others, he harms only himself and his public image...He seems to not understand that...to taunt, tease or terrorize innocent people, for his own selfish motives, makes him a hated terrorist who deserves to remain lonely and fearful for a lifetime.  Bullies are their own worst enemy.

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Great answer. I like your last sentence most :-)

    2. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I think fpherj48 has summed up the subject very well. Bullies fall into two categories--those with low-self esteem and those with over inflated egos. Both are looking for recognition and they obtain this by being bullies.

  4. dashingscorpio profile image80
    dashingscorpioposted 11 years ago

    I believe a lot of bullies are passing on the treatment they have received from others either in the past or in the present. Oftentimes kids who are mistreated at home will take it out on others when they get to school. Bullies are generally unhappy with their lives and don't want to see others living a happy life either.

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for answering dashingscorpio. It sounds plausible. Kids bullied at home don't know anything better as bully at school or somewhere else around.

    2. TNSabrina profile image60
      TNSabrinaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree, and I think bullying usually starts in their own home. It's hard to feel sorry for bullies at times; however, I do have empathy for them. I do not believe they were born that way, and they can change and learn appropriate behavior.

  5. profile image56
    ctraneposted 11 years ago

    The answer to your question is a simple one.  No one who is self-confident would bully others.  But then again, is anyone really completely self-confident?  I don't believe so, which is why so much bullying exists.  Yes, bullies have poor self-esteem, which may stem from a varitey of past tramas, and maybe even being bullied themselves at some point.  Bullying is a vicious parasite that feeds on low esteem and gives nothing back but sadness, and more desire to distribute that sadness onto seemingly weeker peers.

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know if anyone is really self-confident. I think, I'm ... to some point... :-) Ctrane, thanks for answering, yes bullies are sad individuals.

  6. rouilliewilkerson profile image60
    rouilliewilkersonposted 11 years ago

    Can't have it both ways. If you bully others you aren't self-confident and undoubtedly unstable mentally and emotionally. People with this condition need help  at a minimum and the death penalty at a maximum to protect the rest of us! tongue

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      smilesmilesmile Yes, you're radical: however, you're right to some degree too. When bullies cause suicides (see Amanda Todd) they deserve a penalty. No question.

    2. James-wolve profile image74
      James-wolveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Death penalty is not a solution.It can end the life of that person but the problem always will be there.

  7. profile image0
    il Scetticoposted 11 years ago

    It is easier to break something down than build something up.  Bullies are not confident people and are simply trying to gain confidence.  It is much easier to try to break everyone else down so they stand below you, than to try to build yourself up so you stand above others.

    Both bullies and the people they bully are just victims of the "System of Teeter-Totters."  For you to rise, someone on the other end has to fall.  The sad truth the bullies have to realize is they are only raising themselves up in their own eyes, and making themselves look worse in the eyes of everyone else.  This further lowers their self-esteem and self-confidence, causing them to bully even more until they grow up and learn to break out of this system.

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It sounds right il Scettico.

    2. passionatelearnr profile image85
      passionatelearnrposted 8 years agoin reply to this


  8. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 11 years ago

    I've researched the subject of bullying for articles a couple of times; but also, since I've grown up (not at all when I was a kid), I've kind of been a magnet for some subtle forms of bullying.

    One of the pieces of research that I ran into was reference to a report/study that pointed out that bullies aren't always (as once was believed) people with low self-esteem.  Instead, they're instead narcissistic (to some degree) and don't tend to see their victim as a person (with feelings, etc. etc.).  In other words, they think to highly of themselves and too little of their victims.

    What I've so often run into as an adult is that I'm a strong person who won't be controlled and won't take the part of being the subordinate of someone else.  Perhaps for women in particular, this can invite bullying (not necessarily physical bullying but emotional or verbal bullying) by people who don't think a woman (or whoever else) has a right to, or could be possibly be, strong and capable and doesn't want, need, or deserve to have another adult "over" them.  Either because they don't see that the woman is so strong/capable on the inside (because she doesn't fit their stereotype of what someone strong/capable is supposed to look like), or else because they resent her (the undeserving of her own voice) for showing/expressing/asserting her strength/capability, even some otherwise non-bullying type of people may become emotional/verbal bullies of someone they see as "the low person on the totem pole".

    I don't think that person who thinks too highly of himself, and too little of someone else, will damage his own self-image.    Not only do they seem to enjoy attempting to exert control, criticizing, or otherwise seeing themselves as "over" the other person, but I think they see themselves as "all the bigger and more important"  by either seeing/treating the other person as "less" or else seeing that the other person is not "less" and then resenting it (at which time the bully may express his resentment by engaging in yet more bullying behavior of one kind of another).  Violent bullies are often people who have witnessed or experienced violence at home at children.  From what I've seen of "emotional/verbal bullies", I tend to think it's a matter of not having had someone point out to them that they aren't the "Big Cheeses" they seem to think they are.

    A lot of them aren't stupid.  They're plenty smart.  Trouble is, they don't really how smart most other people also are.   hmm

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Lisa, thanks for answering. I understand bullies - in your answer - as the Nazis (or something similar). But still, when I'm better than others and bully I probably don't believe that I'm better than others... Is there something right in my thought??

    2. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      jantamaya, Nazis are a good example.  People who truly think they're superior often also enjoy, and feel entitled to, controlling/demeaning those they see as deserving mistreatment.  Aggression/wish to dominate need to be there too, though.

    3. profile image0
      il Scetticoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I love that you brought in the narcissism when it comes to bullies, which is very true (Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy Jr. are two very known examples of this).  But doesn't this more represent a minority of bullies?  Or bullies in certain places?

    4. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      i scettico, I don't think so.  I can't say that all are behaving out of (even a small degree of) narcissism.   I don't know that they all are.  In people who are far from those you named, though, there can be "I'm No 1; don't threaten it" thinking.

  9. James-wolve profile image74
    James-wolveposted 11 years ago

    People bully others because they have a certain imbalance in their psyche that can only be fixed when they bully a powerless victim.From the outside bullies might appear strong and in control but from the inside most of them feel insecure, inadequate and inferior.another popular reason for bullying is attention seeking. Some people become bullies because they are desperately in need of attention and bullying in this case is the only thing they can do to bring some attention to themselves and it has nothing to do with selfconfidence because if they are, they wouldnt  bully others.
    However,the misuse of that power destroyed their selfimage because they perceived as disliked..

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      James-wolve, thank you for your answer. I would like to know if there is any medication to resolve this imbalance in the bully's psyche. Probably there isn't.

    2. James-wolve profile image74
      James-wolveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There is a medication to solve this imbalance in the bully s psyche.If parents are modeling aggression, the kids might learn that.the things they say to their kids about how to handle conflict and the way they handle conflict, are important.The probl

  10. d.william profile image74
    d.williamposted 11 years ago

    Great question.  While your commenters have given some valid basic causes for this behavior they are only touching the surface of the phenomenon. 
    The main reason people bully others is that something is lacking in their cognitive view of society and the concept that everyone is supposedly equal. These people are labeled sociopathic or psychopathic personalities.  They cannot feel sympathy, empathy, compassion, or love as the average person does; and are usually more intelligent than the average person.  They learn early that they are able to manipulate others and gain psychological control over them easily. 
    Some of these people rise to power quickly and never really hurt others around them, but manipulate their behaviors without them even knowing it.  They have enough intelligence and common sense to know where to draw the line between manipulation and breaking the law or actually exposing themselves as what, or who,  they really are.  They can marry, have a good job, have children and live in society without any major problems, all the while hiding their lack of feelings for anyone.
    The more severe forms of this condition (psychopathic) tend to be harmful to others, display aggression, use mind control as a tool to mold people into conforming to their wishes, and often physically punish those who resist them.  They can murder without guilt, destroy others to get to the top, without any second thought about the harm they do to those they use as stepping stones to get what they desire.
    When we see bullying in the school arena, these bullies are testing the waters to see how far they can go before they become obvious social pariahs.  They are actually training themselves to identify their limits and to control those anti social limits that they must have to actually fit in amongst the 'normals' they have to live with.  They see themselves better than other people and treat others accordingly and they are extremely self confident in their abilities to control others both psychologically and physically.

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I loved to read your answer. In the first part of your statement, you're writing about the intelligent manipulators. Those we are able to accept. The second part allows me to better understand the mind of a bully. Thanks for an exceptional answer.

    2. d.william profile image74
      d.williamposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      bullying is simply a form of manipulation from 1 extreme 2 the other.  I did a hub on this very subj:
      http://dwilliam.hubpages.com/hub/The-Or … ical-study  that deals with this social problem in more depth.

  11. tsmog profile image85
    tsmogposted 11 years ago

    Great answers and I learned from each. Respecting many of the answers and agreeing I would like to offer another for consideration. Just off the cuff the term 'bullying' is both generic and specific. Today, bullying as a subject is both promoted seeking some resolve and, too, is misunderstood.

    Questions come to mind to the social setting, the culture, sub-culture, and family structure - patriarch vs. matriarch. Oddly, the latter is controversial within the American social strata with the many, many diverse cultures offering challenges to understand social interactions.

    The diversity we all run into will vary. What is considered bullying within teen group settings - church, school, and neighborhood, contrasting those same settings yet with adult venues - Kiwanis, Rotary Club, and more gives pause to ponder.

    The understanding I have regarding bullying is there is always a target first. More than likely that target is deemed adversarial by the 'bully.' Again, generally it is an issue of comparison/contrast seeking self-esteem when considering the individual desiring resolve.

    One might bear in mind bullying is not specific just to an individual and is a group function as well. Bullying can have exponential growth transcending the positive traits with personality and group dynamics regarding loyalty, service, patriotism, and even sovereignty.

    One could speculate using Maslow's pyramid of the Hierarchy of needs that entity, either individual or group, may be stuck in the middle. Or, is not able to transcend beyond fulfilling the level of 'Love and Belonging' within friendship, family, and sexual 'intimacy.' The next level of 'need' fulfillment - 'esteem' is not reached by the bully, seeking the 'dream?' of self-actualization. 

    The oddity is this pyramid within an open social strata and that optimal level of self actualization just may produce 'a bully' from the perspective of the 'another' or the observer of the observed. Hence a conundrum occurs. Is one being bullied or is one 'feeling' bullied, which leads back to 'esteem;' without the attachment of self.

    I should have offered that there is a 'difference' between 'esteem' and 'self-esteem' a bit back. I apologize, yet I am writing as I ponder, sipping coffee, and listening to Pink Floyd. Again, maybe a hub would have been more appropriate and less intrusive. I am being greedy and capitalizing on the characters offered with the answer section. Experimental, yes. Informal, definitely. Bullying?

  12. profile image0
    GoldenThreadPressposted 11 years ago

    I wrote a Hub about this: http://goldenthreadpress.hubpages.com/h … d-Bullying From my research on the topic, I would say bullies aren't self-confident. They hide behind a facade of strength. If you ask people (if they'll admit to it) why they bullied, they would say that they were being mean and nasty and didn't know they hurt the other person (i.e. victim). But then, they might add that they were unconfident or needed to make someone feel bad to make them feel better. To this, I would say that they had a lack of self-esteem.

    I would also say, and would agree with other Hubbers, that going to the extreme may actually be an indication of a deeper psychological problem. And, yes, consequences need to be exacted when a bully is confronted.

    But truly, we can't make a blanket-statement and call them "stupid." They aren't. They just haven't dealt fully with their own problems, which is truly sad, but true.--Deb

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      An interesting hub. Thanks for sharing it here.

  13. kathleenkat profile image83
    kathleenkatposted 11 years ago

    You won't find a self-confident person being a bully.

    Bullies are typically people who have been bullied/abused in their lives, and are mean to others to validate themselves. It's a vicious cycle; "I don't understand why this would happen to me." "What's wrong with me?" 'How embarassing!" "I can't believe that person would do that, don't they know how stupid it is?" "I'm going to go make them feel bad, because if I can't be happy doing it, they shouldn't, either!"

    That's why the mean kids in our schools are usually the ones who have been abused, have divorced parents, have some sort of pain in their past, etc. etc.

    There is the poor kid who gets bullied for not being able to afford designer clothes, then turns around and bullies others for things they themselves can't control, either. Very common scenario.

  14. jaydene profile image60
    jaydeneposted 11 years ago

    Hi all,  I think that bullies are extremely insecure, with very poor values towards humanity.  Where they got these ideas, we get our values from the homes we are brought up in.   If children grow up with abuse, they learn horrid ways to cope with their own pain. If they are numb because they themselves are in a brutal living environment  this  energy has to go somewhere.  Unfortunately instead being addressed, it is taken out on the ones who are sensitive, and vulnerable.
        Awareness is key, and not turning a blind eye to witnessing this type of behavior. but reporting it,  and we need more active agencies to help both the bullies, and the bullied.    We need more safe centers,  as victims of bullying are often threatened that they are not to talk or tell anyone, or there will be worse things happening to them or their families.    a typical abuse pattern.. of keeping the victim in a constant state of fear, believing there is nothing they can do to stop it.  School gymnasiums, could regularly schedule talks with the whole school, explaining how they are going to deal with this problem, and having strong resources in place for the bullied to turn to as well as  consequences for bullies. 
                Families must up the education and talk, and talk, until there is deep understanding on how as a family they will deal with these incidences.   What their beliefs are,  and talk about the dynamics of bullies and what to look out for. and to act immediately......  Its not enough to send our kids to school, and that is that.   There are many troubled families,  with issues of abuse in the home, this is so very sad,  and too many children are suffering....
             In a perfect world,  this would not happen.  Yet it is out there, and easier to turn a blind eye..... I pray for a huge movement against  this problem for kids, as they are our future....  and if anyone knows any information or agencies that can help kids,  may you can share them,  and  open the help centers...

  15. sparkleyfinger profile image85
    sparkleyfingerposted 11 years ago

    In a nutshell, because they are not self confident. They simply portray themselves to be that way by reducing the confidence of others and/or by targeting people who are shy. Bullies thrive on making people feel minuscule to make themselves feel big.
      Of course, you need to also think about their upbringing and factor in certain prejudices that have been built in. Racism, for example, is a learned prejudice. Whether learned at home or school, or wherever it may be, it dictates how the person will act towards a certain race. Similar examples can be found regarding status, income, religion, sexuality.
      A combination of low self esteem and learned prejudice ensures that an individual will behave badly towards another. And even though they inflict pain on others, I truly believe we should pity them, for they are obviously unable to deal with their own issues.

  16. Pamela Sarzana profile image58
    Pamela Sarzanaposted 11 years ago

    I don't think Bullies have a realistic grasp on reality , and seem to have a distorted  view ( grand)  of themselves.

    Possibly the "beat you down-to build me up" attitude. Bullying is never ok and no one deserves it. I hope more kids today of all ages will learn how to bring others into the situation for help.

    Being afraid to let someone else know is just what a bully doesn't want you to do.

    1. profile image0
      GoldenThreadPressposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you, because a bully's power resides in the "silence" of the deed. Once it is out in the open, there's no fun and no gain, just consequences.--Deb

  17. katie1988 profile image54
    katie1988posted 11 years ago

    there just rude and dont care about others

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Right Katie, it is true.

  18. profile image54
    Lewis Burnsposted 11 years ago

    Most bullies obviously have a low self esteem and therefore feel the need to put down others in order to make the self look good.

    But if there is such thing as a bully with a high self esteem, or self confidence, then they could easily be bullying due to any of the following reasons:
    To show their power over the victim and to state that they are in charge.

    To make themself look good in front of their peers.

    Typically bullies aren't happy with their life and aren't particularly happy with themself, but if they are then that is most likely why.

  19. TerryK81 profile image60
    TerryK81posted 11 years ago

    Bullies, most everytime you dig into their heads and history, have been bullied/abused to some extent in some way. So in their minds they do it to others to feel better about themselves and happy that they are not the victim anymore. And then there are some also that it has to do with showing off to their friends, and then some (maybe a gang prospect) do it to belong to some group to prove whatever to the world or to get the world back for something. This is probably a reason in the case of some criminals that have done the heinous crimes they've committed.

    1. jantamaya profile image59
      jantamayaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I understand. An interesting point of view. You've explained it well. Thanks.

  20. passionatelearnr profile image85
    passionatelearnrposted 8 years ago

    yes bullies are stupid.a person with healthy self-esteem is nice to others.


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