Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are bigger or taller than everyone. Some get in trouble a lot. Some are popular kids who seem to "have it all," with lots of friends and good grades. But look inside their heads and you'll find one thing that they all have in common: Something or someone is making them feel insecure, so they're bullying to make themselves feel better.
Remember, though, that everyone is different and lives with different experiences. If we looked even more inside a person's head, we'd probably find some extra reasons why he or she is acting like a bully:
- She's having problems in other parts of her life, like something going on in her family or struggling with school.
- He may not feel like he's getting enough attention from parents or teachers.
- She's watched her parents or older siblings get their way by being angry or pushing other people around.
- He's being bullied himself, maybe by another kid or a brother or sister...or even his own parents.
- Her parents have spoiled her or haven't taught her about not hurting others.
- He's getting exposed to a lot of violence in movies, TV, and video games.
What about the person who's always nice to you when he's alone, but will join in when his friends start teasing you? Well, as you probably know, peer pressure is a powerful thing. People like to do what their friends are doing. They might think they're just having fun and not even realize they're bullying someone.
Some people act like a bully for a year or two, and then grow out of it. It can also go the opposite way: some people are bullied when they're younger, and then once they're a little bigger and more confident, become a bully themselves. Some kids only act like a bully to one person, like they have their own personal punching bag.
Some bullies set out to hurt someone, with the goal of making him or her cry. Others don't even know that their behavior is doing so much damage. In fact, you may be a bully yourself and not know it! We'll talk more about that later.
So, wow. Lots of different types of bullies out there. The good news is that we can deal with all of them in the same way.
Next up: Who's A Target?