This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Young people should ideally be worrying about things like how to improve their math grade, but this can be difficult if they are also having to deal with bullying.
Of course, bullying isn’t limited only to the playground. Bullying can occur at any stage of life and in all kinds of environments, whether at school, at home, at work, or any random place.
But what are some of the most common causes of bullying? In other words, why does bullying take place? Having a better understanding of the sociological and psychological reasons for bullying can help give us a better idea of why bullying may be occurring in a given situation.
So, read on to learn more about the most common causes of bullying.
Common Causes for Bullying
Bullying is a plague on society. It has affected many people and may stay with them for life, causing long-lasting trauma. The following list will help you understand why bullies bully, but it is not an exhaustive list given the brevity of this article.
And if you need more resources on bullying, you may want to consider the helpful articles offered by BetterHelp: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/bullying/
Lack of Control
Without healthy coping mechanisms, many people will lash out at others in an attempt to show their frustration or as a way to feel they have some control and power.
While this may end up being substance use disorder, another unhealthy coping mechanism is to bully.
Many people take a dog-eat-dog view of life. This may come from their own unhealthy upbringing, i.e. what they see at home. They may have siblings who bully them or even their parents.
Whatever the reason, many bullies will bully those who seem like a threat to them in some way. They may simply be jealous of you, so they try to bring you down in order to feel better about themselves.
Violence in the Home
Many people who are bullies have experienced some kind of bullying themselves. The kid at school who bullies other kids may be the subject to violence from their siblings or parents.
Since violence is part of their world, it may seem normalized to them. They may also use bullying as a way to cope with their feelings of pain and resentment.
Crying out for Attention
Oftentimes, bullying is a cry for help. Bullies may seem tough on the outside but, on the inside, they may be suffering deeply.
If someone is bullying for attention, it is best if they can be guided towards other, more productive ways of getting attention. After all, the negative attention they attract won’t do them any favors in the long run.
Peer pressure often causes bullying and often makes bullying that’s already ongoing worse. This is due to the mob mentality that often exists in social situations.
People may bully simply because they perceive you as different from their group. They may bully you because their friends are encouraging them to do so. This means that even someone who knows it isn’t right may bully due to peer pressure.
Fear of Difference
You see it in political discourse. The fear of the other is always played up to make people feel unsafe and scared. Fear sells in the media and it also helps some politicians get votes.
Whatever its true origin, a fear of difference is a common cause of bullying. People who are insecure will often feel uncomfortable around people who don’t look like them or who have different a cultural background. Depending on the severity of the bullying and its cause, this may even be considered a hate crime.
Bullying is truly awful, but it’s an unfortunate part of being human. Anywhere you go around the world, you’re bound to find bullies. What can be helpful, however, is understanding the reasons why people bully. In general, it tends to emerge from a place of serious self-doubt and self-esteem issues.
Those who are being bullied can at least take comfort in knowing that the bully is likely deeply unhappy. In the best possible circumstances, the bully will be punished and prevented from bullying. Then, ideally, they will get treatment to help address the true cause of their bullying behavior.