Bullying is a major epidemic in the United States. The National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics (2015) shows that, nationwide, approximately 21% of students between the ages of 12 and 18 have experienced bullying. Only in recent years has bullying been seen as a serious issue and taken as being a crime that threatens the wellbeing of many people, especially grade school students. A bully usually preys on individuals who won’t fight back and/or those they consider “different.” There are many different faces of bullying, and it doesn’t always look like a big kid or group of kids taking lunch money from a smaller kid with glasses. Sometimes it’s an adult in a position of power over another person. Influence, fear, and insecurity are all factors that cause people to become bullies.
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One of the most substantially large reasons that causes people to become bullies has everything to do with how and who they were raised by. Many bullies are easily socially influenced by the actions of people in their family and even by people on television. Usually, the first people in their lives are the ones who they pattern their behavior after. Adolescent children are very vulnerable to outside influences, and if they visually perceive someone being picked on by an adult or other children, more than likely, they will copy those activities. If they are not taught that that behavior is wrong, then they will perpetuate to do it. There is a high chance that a bully observed someone in their family or a friend get away with bullying and hateful behavior toward other people, and they think that is normal for them to display the same conduct towards other people too. According to Bonds & Stocker (2000), family is unquestionably the pre-eminent convivial system in which a child is rooted. As such, much research has fixated on parenting approaches, the quality of relationships between parents and children, and family functioning as important factors related to an incrementation in the chance of children bullying their peers.
Another reason that causes people to become bullies is fear. Even though the world perceives bullies as tough and confident, in all actuality they are fearful of many things. They are afraid that they won’t be accepted by others. They are also afraid that people will see through their act of being who they’re portraying. People who are mean to others are utilizing anger as an embankment against their own fear. The image of being tough supersedes a bully’s low self-esteem and the need to visually perceive others as lesser, McCulloch (2016). Fear starts to show when they find themselves in certain situations. Above all else, no bully wants to meet their equal and with that possibility comes fear. A bully knows things about themselves that others could use against them and bully them about. They fear being bullied by others Sometimes, bullying others makes them feel like they are in control of their victims and they tend to feel more security because most of their peers are afraid of them. Some bullies don’t mean what they do, but fear of being an outcast or unpopular makes it all worth it. Bullies tend to look for the approval of their peers and when they don’t know how to communicate their point, they become fearful and they turn to hurting others.
Bullies are very insecure and feel superior and they use those feelings to degrade others they feel they’re inferior to. It is a bully’s objective to not get caught as they trick themselves into a false sense of influence while they plan to terrorize their victims. Most bullies seem to have a public image of being superior, really, they feel inadequate. Bullies would rather lash out at people who threaten that image. They pick on others because it takes the focus off of themselves and what they believe others see about them. It has everything to do with order and it boils down to insecurity. When bullies feel like someone is better than them, it gives them a reason in their mind to treat that person disrespectfully. All of the factors of what causes people to become bullies stems from the trait that goes hand in hand with insecurity which is jealousy. Bullies are sometimes jealous of their victims. They often lack things that they see others with and are jealous of relationships, and/or because of someone’s popularity. Bullies envy others who seem to have some advantage or power that they desire to have. They cannot stand to see another person win because it makes them feel inferior or less than impeccable. Because of this, they turn to bullying. They believe that by weakening another person’s prosperity they will make themselves feel more important.
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