Bullying - The causes and how to prevent it?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Gwazi Magnum, Feb 25, 2015.

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  1. While I watching video's on YouTube one of the vids I ran into was this:

    And it dawned on me, in all the discussion we had about bullying in the other thread that we really only addressed how to respond once already in the middle of a bullying situation. We didn't really dig into the root cause of bullying itself and ways to prevent it from ever arising in the first place.

    So the first question is probably "Gwazi, then why aren't you updating that thread instead of making this new one?".
    And the reasoning is quite simple, the debate tag. I'm expecting this topic to lead to a lot of back and fourth which generally isn't tolerated in a discussion thread, so I made a new thread with the debate tag.

    So, now that's out of the way.
    What do you people think about the causes of bullying?
    What do you think causes and leads to bullying?
    What methods do you think need to be exercised to prevent a first incident from ever happening?

    Remember, this is talking about the causes and roots of bullying, not how to respond to it once you're already in the middle of a situation such as being attacked on the bus.
    #1 Gwazi Magnum, Feb 25, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  2. Honestly, there are so many different reason that kids bully, but I'm going to go by my own personal experiences in school.

    I went to a private Catholic school. Most of my classmates were rich, where my mother worked full time, lived rent free with my grandfather just so she could afford to send me to school. I didn't have the best stuff, but I had what I needed and that was all that mattered to me. Things were fine until we all reached the 6th grade, which is technically considered middle school, but in our school it was just moving from the first floor up to the second.

    Things changed as they often do during adolescence. Everyone started worrying about their hair and their clothes (Even though we all had to wear the same fucking uniform.....) Cliques formed, and life at school became hell for yours truly. The two biggest bullies in my case were the two richest girls in our school, Diana and Randi. They first targeted me after I had to get glasses, and from that point on it became worse, and soon everyone began to join in. I was an awkward kid, and my mom and stepdad only made things worse by constantly cutting my hair the way they wanted it cut, and dressing me in clothes that were more appropriate for an old lady. I'd go to school with a butchered haircut and get laughed at constantly. Their nickname for me was Troll, and because it took me forever to develop, the famous saying around the school was 'Tina Shull, flat as a wall'. It hurt, but I ignored it all, deciding it really wasn't worth getting upset about.

    The more I ignored it though, the more relentless Diana and Randi became. It got to the point where I would run into the bathroom after lunch to hide from them, and even then they would stand outside the stall I was in and wait for me to come out so they could shove me around, pour water on my shirt (We had to wear white, button up shirts and navy blue skirts. Imagine how embarrassing it was to constantly walk around looking like you were just coming from a wet tee-shirt contest, without the boobs to show off....)

    It was during the summer between 6th and 7th grade that I got an invitation in the mail for Diana's birthday party. (Her mother invited everyone in our grade.) I tried talking my way out of it, but my mom insisted that I go, and when my mom said something I had no choice but to follow her orders.

    So I went, and I can remember the house being huge, Diana's mother being a complete sweetheart, and seeing her get everything any girl our age could possibly want. Makes no sense right? How could a girl who had everything find a reason to be such a heartless bitch? Well, later that year Diana's parents got divorced, and the big fancy house turned into an apartment with just her and her mother. Now that she was no longer rich, Randi was no longer her best friend, and you would have thought Diana's bitchiness would have faded. It didn't. If anything, it got worse. Now that she was a solo act, Diana focused all of her energy on tormenting me, and I couldn't for the life of me understand why. Where everyone else was gossiping about her behind her back, talking about how she always smelled funny, and how much of a bitch she was, I kept to myself and tried to ignore her, which only kept her attention on me even more.

    Looking back on it now, I could say that maybe I was just the easiest person for her to take her misery out on, but to be honest, I think that's a bunch of bullshit. The reason she was a bully was because she was a hateful, spiteful, spoiled brat who was throwing tantrums because she could no longer have her way. She had a mother who adored her, and would have done anything in the world for her, yet she talked and treated the woman like shit. It was her rich bitch attitude of 'My daddy's got money and I can do whatever the fuck I want' that made her a bully in the beginning, but in the end it became more of a 'I'm just a bitch and I don't give a shit' thing.

    There are some kids who bully because they are crying out for help. Either they're being abused or neglected at home, or there's some issue that they're dealing with that it too much for them to handle on their own. Other kids, they do it simply because they don't care. They don't give a shit if they hurt someone, or drive another kid to the point of having ulcers at the very thought of going to school. Tormenting people is funny to them, and those are the bullies that everyone should be worried about. They're the ones who are going to grow up to become abusers, or worse.
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  3. When you were a child, did you have a flagrant disregard for life? Did you step on ants, mess with insects, and only develop a sense of empathy into your late teens? Do you have a black-and-white worldview and regularly pigeonhole many issues?

    I believe that bullying in some children is an unavoidable symptom of growing up. Humans are creatures of experience. You don't appreciate something until you've experienced it yourself.

    See here:


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  4. Personally I would largely agree that a lot of the roots of bullying are one of three things:

    1) Family Issues that add's stress and pressure to one's life
    2) A lack of discipline, empathy and respect has been raised into the child
    3) The child is either at an age or has a mental disorder where empathy is hard concept to develop/understand

    Now obviously I'm not saying anyone in the above situations are bullies.
    Just that these three situations tend to be big causes/contributors to bullies being a thing.

    And we could argue some people are just assholes, but I feel that largely falls under having a lack of empathy or respect.
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  5. Bullying isn't just going to go away like that (just like racism). You can't teach someone to stop bullying, it's like telling people to not drink/smoke. They will do it anyways.

    It will always be in us. After all we are humans. I'd say that we shouldn't try to make bullying disappear, it should be there to teach us a lesson. The lesson is that the world isn't all that sweet and kind to you, there will be people out who will think you're odd. But, to not be overcome by them, you must block out those people and move on.

    Then again, some people could just be bullying others for fun.
  6. I'm not suggesting preventing bullying is as easy as going "Bully no bullying!", there's more to the causes than that.
    I'm also not suggesting that it's something that can be completely eliminated, although it could be reduced by certain actions.

    And yes learning to grow thick skin is an important lesson.
    But that can be gained in ways other than dealing with bully's.
    Raising children to accept constructive criticism would be one good manner.

    Plus, may bullies exist or not things like popularity levels will still exist.
    There will always be people who you generally can't relate to or get along with.
    And therefore will still need to learn to not let damage your self confidence.
  7. The best way to prevent bullying is to hang out with guys who look like this:


    There's really no solution to the bullying problem, it's something that's always going to happen. No amount of trying to find the cause of it and how to address it is going to change the fact it happens. A bully comes from a broken home, you can't really fix that. Likewise, some bullying comes from social circles in school. My own bullies were all the popular kids in public school. It's not like ratting them out to teachers was going to solve anything; you can bet your sweet ass that the collective group response to one of their own being scolded by a teacher or put into detention was less than ideal for me. There's as many types of bullies and causes of bullying as there are kids in the school. At best, your teachers aren't overworked and are capable of looking out for the students and address situations effectively on an individual basis, at worst there's dick they can do and the victims have to deal with it for as long as they're in school with their tormentors. Best thing to do is give kids the ability to defend themselves.

    And now, fuck... there's the whole cyber bullying thing. At least when I went to school, going home meant sanctuary. Now for a lot of kids, their torment continues online and over the phone the entire day through, and whereas time meant things were forgotten before, now if someone took a picture and uploaded it on the internet, that one instance can haunt you for your ENTIRE school career. That is terrifying.
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  8. While I haven't read the comments before mine yet, I'd like to share a story with you all. I don't talk about this often on forums, so it'll be different for me.

    My daughter is special needs. Her disabilities are purely physical, in the form of a movement disorder. It does not affect her intellect, though it does greatly restrict her physically.

    Anyway, there's this kid in her pre-school class. She is absolutely in love with this kid. Her first day of school, she came home telling me all about how she had a boyfriend. A couple of months had passed and I was chaperoning a field trip to the pumpkin patch for her class. This boy's mother was also there. This whole day, all she wanted to do was play with this little boy, but he was leaving her behind for another little girl in their class. She couldn't keep up with them.

    We were standing with the kids in line for face painting, and my daughter was set on getting a rainbow (I know it sounds childish, but I swear this has a point). After about 10 minutes of her talking about how excited she was for it, this kid turns around and pressures her into getting something different. She looked at me and said, "I HAVE to get the cupcake, mama." After she was so set on the rainbow. My heart sank. I encouraged her to do whatever she wanted, no matter what her friends said. After a while (this line was freakin' huge), she looked up at the tree next to us and told me how beautiful the mulberries were and how she wanted to climb the tree and get them.

    This kid turns around again and tells her, "Well, they're MINE. I can actually climb the tree to get them and you can't because your muscles don't work, so you can't have them." My daughter started to cry and hung her head, as if she were ashamed of this. My jaw dropped and my blood boiled.

    In my daughter's four years of living, she has always had a kind heart. She has always faced all of her medical problems with a smile on her face and this one day tore it all down. She started doubting herself. At this point, I looked at his mom, who was watching the interaction with no intention of saying anything. I decided to address it myself, not to him, but to my daughter. In a nutshell, I said, "(MunaSpawn), not everyone has a heart as kind as yours. A bully is someone who goes out of their way to make kind people like you feel bad about themselves. You can't let that stop you from doing what you want."

    Two things happened that day: My daughter learned what a bully was and I made a mother realize that she was raising a bully.

    On to my response for this thread: I am a firm believer that bullying starts at home. Whether there are problems within the family or the parents don't pay attention to their child's behaviors, it starts at home. There is no reason why a four year old should be bullying another four year old. This notion just seems ridiculous, but I've seen it happen with my own eyes and if it's not taken care of, it will only get worse.

    If parents would actually take the time to talk to their children, from a young age, perhaps bullying could be preventable by explaining to them that not everybody is the same. There are some things in life that cannot be changed and that should never be used as a weapon against that person in particular. I'll stop this post now before I start ranting.

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  9. Bullying is a natural behavior. o_o It's about social hierarchy within the pack. People like to say we're above all that and we're evolved, etc, etc, but that is a load of crap. >>

    Bullying is not the ONLY way to assert your social standing. And it's definitely the shittiest. It's usually rooted in fear and insecurities. Fear of different things, fear of someone hurting you, fear of being powerless, etc. Someone who GETS bullied will often turn around and BECOME a bully in a way that they have control over.

    Mean bitchy girls for example, that pick on other weaker girls. Those bully girls are probably suffering from a lot of insecurities due to social and media requirements of being pretty/popular. So they try to be the prettiest and most popular, then hassle girls who aren't so everyone knows who is on the top of the chain.

    Those people that physically beat on other kids, they are probably getting that same abuse at home from family or even from a bully of their own.

    And then there are the people that are simply mentally fucked up in head. You just can't source and fix that one. >>

    The most frustrating kind of bully is from the people who are bullying for a good cause. >< Their fight is just, but their methods suck ass and they end up doing MORE damage to their cause than they are in helping it. You'll find that in people who are radical supporters of something.

    Really, the only way to "prevent" bullying would be better education on how to handle aggression, problems, etc and just being better role models. But that's a cycle that's WAY TOO COMPLICATED to be resolved easily.
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  10. You have a hell of a lot more patience than I do! Kudos for not tearing into that kid's mother for not speaking up. Just reading your story made me want to track the woman down and say something to her. That is one thing that I can't stand is seeing and hearing children being picked on for any type of disability. You'd think parents would be quick to teach their children that behaving that way is wrong. I know when my kids were younger they'd say something if they saw someone with a disability, but I put a stop to it before it could become a habit. I always tell them that there is always a chance that someone could happen to them, and they could end up in the same situation as that person, and then make them think of how they'd feel if someone started making fun of them for it. They stopped shortly after that.
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  11. I feel the need to repeat that the thread never suggested that bullying could be completely fixed/resolved, nor did it claim reducing the amount of bullying that happens would be a simple/easy matter.

    Though as to bullying on special needs?
    Yea, that's a low blow from bullies.
    It sickens me that people feel justified in bullying it and that Parents see nothing wrong with it.

    I'd like to think it's the whole "Oh, my child can't be bad!" mentality that a lot of parents have, but I'm pretty sure that if they're some kids who think it's acceptable then some of those rotten kids probably also grew into adults holding the same messed up beliefs.
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  12. The only thing I never get is when people who get criticism or get told off claim it as "bullying", yet the person who claims they are being bullied does it to people or others. I don't get it. I left Iwaku for a year and a half, due to one rude person who was uncontrollable in behaviour. I came back and realised he was banned.

    This also baffles me. Why are the ones who claim they were "bullied" are bullies themselves? Much like a friend of mine has been stalked, harassed and bullied by a near 30 year old who pretty much assumes he was bullied. So, I don't get this. Are some bully's logic like this?


    I don't get it. I don't get it at all.
  13. Because it's exactly as simple as it sounds. A lot of bullies end up bullying in turn because it's a way to feel empowered when there's another force at work that makes them feel worthless or angry, be it another kid at school or a broken or abusive home.
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  14. I been bullied before and then get the said person crying that I am bullying them. I can't name names here, because that person has been banned here, but still continues going on about me and it's been causing loads of stress.

    I always wondered with these bullies. Are they really insecure? Or are they getting their jollies? I seen some people bully others, because the person doesn't like what they like or like their OC, story, art, etc.
  15. In addition. Certain people are wired to display dominance or are inherently greedy or narcissistic. Many kids don't realise there's a limit to which they are protected from consequence... Or maybe it's that they do realise that exactly. It comes with a sense of ego and entitlement that they start to reinforce their own special snowflake syndrome. We don't just outgrow this behaviour either. Not without proper support anyway. And even then.

    I have no idea how to be a parent. Much less a proper one. So I can't tell how and what would be good steps to take. However I do think this starts at home, which makes tackling this a very hard issue. There are some good empathy exercises for in the classroom. However, sympathy can't be taught. Only encouraged.
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  16. Thank you, Nydanna. Believe me, I wanted to rip into this mother but I figured if I calmly pointed out that she's raising a little asshole, it might speak louder than if I had yelled at her. If I had lost control in front of my daughter, that would have been saying that reacting to a negative situation in a negative way is okay and that's not always necessarily true. I already know that this won't be the last time MunaSpawn faces something like this, so I'd like to teach her early on that responding with class and kindness will get her much further than letting it drag her down and poison her kind nature.

    This is a perpetual problem, whether we like it or not. Parents who don't see the issue with their kids pointing out disabilities or making fun of them had parents just like them. Being able to admit when your child is acting like a little shit is a hurdle in and of itself, considering it's exactly like being able to admit when you're wrong or when you're acting like an asshole. Children reflect their parents in more ways than one.
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  17. What the others have said is also true.

    But I feel the need to add on that some people will act like outright dicks and assholes to others, may it be on purpose or simply the result of a very strong bias they hold is another matter.
    And often times these people will then proceed to hate on a certain individual, and then pull the "It's just criticism/fact!" card and hide behind it as a defense of not bullying.

    Ever seen cases like "Listen you shit! No one here likes you! You're a trouble maker so just fuck off and get out of here! What? It's just fact!"?
    Those are exactly what I'm talking about.

    There is a clear difference between criticizing something, and just acting like a hateful asshole.
    Yet it's a difference many people want to play oblivious too because they don't want to be painted as a bully.

    This is partly why I have issues with how easy it is to get a child and become a parent.
    It's a serious responsibility that has someone under complete control of someone's life and upbringing, but literally any shitty person in existence can become one.
  18. I hate, and I repeat, I absolutely hate that mindset. For one, you're making assumptions, don't make blood assumptions. The whole "a bully comes from a broken home" is just totally bullcrap that parents spew to children to make them feel better. You don't know why they're a bully, and you won't unless you ask (and they likely won't even give you a proper answer). It could be any number of reasons; social pressure is one, superiority complex is another. Sometimes they're just a heartless bastard. Regardless of the cause, coming from a broken home should NOT be the go to reason for why a bully's a bully. Even IF it is the main cause, that doesn't mean it holds true in every case, so you still shouldn't assume. Honestly, I can't stress it enough, making assumptions like that is just a bad idea in general.
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  19. When I was in High School. I was picked on because I wore glasses, was studious, quiet, listened to Bruce Springsteen, and into sci-fi/fantasy culture. I probably would've gotten it A LOT worse, but I had an older brother who was pretty popular and a member of the football team, and in most cases his friends were pretty cool to me. He made it clear to me though in no uncertain terms that he wasn't going to fight my battles for me. If I got in trouble i was on my own. (However a mutual friend told me that my brother had said if anything happened to me my brother would seek payback.).

    I wasn't physically beaten but as we all know words can hurt just as much, and there were times that I would've preferred getting hit. This was being caused by two people, and they only did it when I was by myself. If was with others they avoided me. I had a feeling (call it paranoia) that once my brother graduated I would have 2 more years and that the physical attacks were coming. Whether that was true or not I don't know but I knew I had to take control.

    During the summer break I discovered the Weight Room in the neighborhood, and nature granted me one last growth spurt. First day of school my junior year I was in a classroom by myself before classes started and my two tormentors came in and they started their usual taunts, and this time they were getting physically closer to me and began pushing on me. Finally I stood up and when I did they had to look up at me. There was not only a noticeable height difference but a muscle difference as well. I looked at them both and said, "Do you two have a real problem with me?" The looks on their faces was sheer uncertainty they had no idea what to do next. They walked away and I never had to deal with them again.

    All of that being said would I have hit them or anything like that? I don't know. The point is that changing the dynamic changes everything. Whether it is telling someone, direct confrontation, or something else taking action makes a difference. Why does it happen? For me it is about control and the bully wants to be able to say they have control over someone.

    To the people who have posted and shared your stories...thank you and glad to see you have survived.
    #19 MST3K 4ever, Feb 26, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
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  20. I have seen people who call people who try to help others and label them as "bullies". That or they assume every single "bully" or troll is 15 years old.

    http://sta.sh/0280thfosv22 Prime example of what I am talking about.
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