The Portrait of a Bully

7:28 AM

Image Source: stopbullying.gov
I had a very interesting exchange of stories with other parents in my children's school today. The Parents Committee of which I am a member, was tasked to program parenting seminars for the school-year. In determining which areas are the most important, school bullying surfaced as one of the hottest topics. 


Bullying is defined as the act of of terrorizing or threatening a weaker person.  The determination of who is weak largely depends on the eyes of a person who thinks that he is stronger.  Therefore, the bully will have to see the weak point first before he "attacks".

The underlying principle of bullying lies in the very weakness of the bully - his inability to take action without the assurance of winning.  The arrogance of the bully comes from believing that he has the upper-hand  and in so being imagines a state of superiority where he has none.  He draws his strength in numbers  and revels in the mob mentality.

A bully presents a picture of confidence to cover up his insecurities.  He can inflict physical pain on another by choosing a target of smaller physical built or one who is not backed up by a big circle friends.  And if by some twisted nature he wishes to preserve a good image by not being an obvious bully, he can resort to words and actions designed to break the spirit of the target thereby showing no physical marks but leaving wounds just the same. 

Parents can do a lot to help their children manage this kind of menace in their lives.  By being there for them, by truly knowing them, by listening to their veiled pleas for help and by defending them when required, we can help them realize that they are not inferior in any way as the bullies would like them to believe.  Bullies are the weak ones, they are the ones who need help fast.  They are very much mistaken to think that they dictate what happens to others just because they had the gal to imagine their possession of strength.
Image Source: beliefnet.com

My Say

I cannot understand why someone would purposely make another person's life miserable by bullying.  It is probably one of the senseless acts of humans on other people they hardly even know except perhaps what is seen on the outside.  Excuse me for saying this as I rarely allow myself to release scathing remarks especially on print.  Why is it that the bullies who dare torment other people because of being ugly, fat, short, different-sounding, alien-looking, or any other excuse to put down the bullied person, are not exactly fine-looking themselves?  In fact, when the bully and the bullied are made to stand side-by-side, it is usually the bully who has more to be ashamed of.  The flaws of a bully actually shouldn't matter in the first place but to hear him or her making life hard for another because of the same flaws is really downright repulsive.  

That said, I personally believe that bullying stems from gross insecurity which is sought to be hidden by "coolness and authority".  It is not a crime to be different .  It is a crime for a bully to punish someone because he or she thinks the bullied person is not up to his or her "personal standards" of normalcy.  So many have already died because someone else had a "brilliant idea" that they were not fit to walk this earth.  

Parents, look after your children...




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40 comments

  1. Bullies are the weak ones since they need to pull people down to feel strong.

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  2. Bullies can leave scars that last a lifetime. Watch your child if he or she is spending time online and monitor their emotions and behaviors afterwards. Find some quality time with your kids too

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  3. I was bullied when I was in high school. I never thought it would happen to me. It came to a point that I wanted to transfer schools. But thank God for my supportive family and professors, I got through it. I came out stronger and braver. I was one of the fortunate ones. Those people who suffer in silence, alone, are the ones that worry me. I hope they'll be able to stand up for themselves soon.

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  4. Franc Ramon: Indeed they are the ones who are weak if they need to inflict pain on others to be happy

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  5. juanderfulpinoy: I sometimes fear for my children especially when I see other children exhibiting behavior leaning towards bullying and try to guide them to the extent that my children will not consider too invasive. It really is a hard balancing act.

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  6. Chilipina: I'm glad to hear that you not only survived bullying but also came out stronger. I just hope other kids will be as fortunate.

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  7. I am a victim of bullying during grade school. ;( if I can erase a part of my childhood that would be it. Crying and feeling bad about what they are saying are the worst. I hope I can protect my kids from it.

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  8. experienced it too when i was young. i just hope parents nowadays would be more aware of their kids' actions.

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  9. I've always thought that bullying is a rare thing especially here in our country. Seems I'm mistaken. Glad you too survived it too, Violy and Carizza

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  10. the person bullying should be confronted and not tolerated by their parents. keep your children equipped and always remind them that no person is either lower or higher than you. Yahweh bless.

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  11. i was lucky not to be a part of bullying when i was younger. just hopeful that my baby will not be bullied too especially that she's of a different race here. will just have to be on a lookout for her all the time.

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  12. My daughter was bullied when she was in the 3rd grade. I talked to their teacher and the 2 bullies (both are boys). I'm glad that their school is now implementing the anti-bullying act.

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  13. It is very important for schools to have processes in place for minimizing if not totally eradicating the problem of bullying because it is real and it affects children.

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  14. Bullying happens not only in school so parents must be watchful and observant.

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  15. Bullying is not blameless, nor is it harmless. We have to take what words we will utter. Words can hurt indeed. And it penetrates down,like a knife stab at the back.

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  16. It is important too, for communication to exist EVERYDAY in the family. Sad reality but we need to do something about it, fast!

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  17. Mahal Ceasar: Words hurt without any visible mark until we are looking at the lifeless body of someone who has given up.

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  18. Gemma: Constant communication with our children can help us detect if there is anything to be concerned about which they may not be telling us.

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  19. Thanks for this post. You know I have a Top 10 list of the effects on bullying and I'd like to add this info on my post. Really helpful post indeed.

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  20. I would agree to Teresa. Communication between us and our children are very important. We can help them to become strong and better person.

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  21. Bullies are insecure people so they intimidate people so think they are strong but a strong person is able to push people up since that takes more effort than putting people down.

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  22. I am fortunate that I did not experience bullying as a student. I'd attribute the absence of bullies to the very strict rules of our school. I guess there are advantages to studying in sheltered all girls school.

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  23. We can't annihilate these bullies, for they are here for one reason alone -- to impose their dominance over what they call as 'weakling'.

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  24. It's so sad that bullies and bullied does exist not only in school but even in the workplace or in the community where you live in. But we can stop this by making a stand a not allow ourselves to be bullied nor abused by these people. =)

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  25. I know lot's of friend who's a victim of this! I'm just proud to say that never in my life that I did something like this kind of bullying thing!!

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  26. Bullying I think has become a social sickness that we as parents need to take a look into. It can sometimes led to detrimental effect and might have negative results. Other than always communicating with our kids about school, visiting the school itself and discussion with their teachers might help as well to avoid such incidence.

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  27. There are really some students who loves to bully somebody in school.It makes them happy and feel superior than anybody else or it may also a sign of weakness or want to hide something like having a bad grades or just plain sick.

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  28. Bullies are weak or lacking in something (e.g. love, attention, care...) Bullying others is their way of coping. They're simply misguided, I guess.

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  29. Unfortunately, I was bullied back in grade school and HS. I had nothing to do but sulk and cry. My thoughts always revolved on "why me?", "what did I ever do wrong to those kids?".. But I thank my guardians, for they have helped mold me into a better and stronger person. They've taught me how to see the wrong from the right, and from there I stood up for myself. I just wished for those kids who committed suicide because of bullying, that they also had a strong support system just like I did.

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  30. Those children who loves to bully his/her classmates has a big inferiority complex. It is a sign that he really needs attention.

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  31. I have read several articles about bullying and I was even surprised and alarmed upon learning that kids and young adults or teenagers committed suicide because they are being forced to do it. BULLYING is a ruthless act of a sick person. I said SICK, because the person who do this to anybody needs professional help. They should be treated.

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  32. it is a very sad experience that leaves one scarred for life. and we still get so many acts and forms of being bullied even outside school and at any age. :( home plays a very important role in cultivating a child and what feelings we instill, but still one greatest challenge is how to break the cycle. :(

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  33. your post actually made me think about adolf hitler. he was the biggest bully.

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  34. I suffered throughout elementary school as a bullied kid. It was a no-brainer: I was short, very fat, and I wore thick glasses. The saddest part? I became a bully in high school. It's a terrible cycle and the only way to prevent it from repeating itself is to make the bullied see how they can forgive the bullies. As for the bullies, there's no use going down to their level and competing with them.

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  35. I still have this fear for my son. I see Germans have this strong character and I fear that my son could be bullied when he goes to the big school. Being shy and lacking of self confidence is evident in him I hope bullies won't see these weaknesses of his.

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  36. Sometimes, those who we think are our friends turns out to be bullies pala. I was teased non-stop by this boy in grade school, I just realized this now but that's considered as bullying. And it did affect my self esteem and confidence. Good thing I've recovered my confidence back when I went to UP.

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  37. I was once a bully but I never realized it until I became a teacher. I never thought of myself as "grossly insecure" as you described them here but I realized that my expression of bullying stems from fear of being oppressed because I live in a neighborhood where women can be and are abused if they don't fight back.

    It is a looong process of healing and every time I take personality seminars or leadership seminars I discover a little more about myself. Awareness is really important in the healing process because its hard to realize you have done something wrong when you don't know in the first place that what you did is wrong. It's hard to explain clearly in a comment. I guess all I am saying is that in a bullying situation remember that the bully is also a person or a child first before the label "bully". I hope that we will all seek to understand each other before pointing fingers what is wrong with the other person.

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  38. Special education philippines: This view of yours coming from the other side is well taken and acknowledged especially the part about being a person or child first before the label "bully". Bullying and self-defense are entirely different. While the latter involves doing what we can to defend ourselves , the former is an offense against another which can be inevitably used as a general defense against seeming oppression.

    When a person brings on his personal hurt on another by "bullying", it only perpetuates a vicious cycle whatever the reason or motivation for doing so. The bully and the bullied are both people but the former has the advantage of choice while the latter has to endure what I call as "gross insecurities" of the bully. Bullying is gross because it destroys people's lives.

    We can always defend ourselves without resorting to inflicting physical or emotional pain on others. Parents play a big part in making their children understand what constitutes right and wrong. Unless this is clear, many more will suffer.

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  39. a lot of child or teen bullies need help..many if not most of them have parents who are also bullies. When my kid was bullied, he fought back and got suspended in return, but the bullying stopped. Some kids don't even know they are bullies...because it is a behavior that is being tolerated and even justified. Schools should teach children that we are all different yet special at the same time, we should respect each other's difference.

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  40. Maritel Ledesma: My friend has a similar story like yours. Unknown to her, her son was being bullied for the longest time in school and even through FB. She only got to know about it when her son had a physical altercation in school when he could no longer stand the bullying. It is ironic that the bullied son bore the brunt of the incident because it would seem that he was the one who initiated the fight. My fried had to transfer her son to another school as he was being unfairly judged by others because of the incident while the bully kept his reputation intact.

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