To Be A Bully

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on June 1, 2011 9:46 am

A bully is someone who feels empowered or strengthened by using force, intimidation, teasing, name calling, scare tactics, violence or threats to achieve a desire.   A bully is someone who feels superior or inferior. Their sense of superiority or inferiority can be derived from a variety of areas including their own personal IQ (intellectual quotient – whether high or low); belonging to a particular clique or organization; a religious order; their personal status or their families status in a community; economic standing; or in any other area whereby they feel a sense of superiority or inferiority in relationship to another being.


A child who bullies may be bullying out of fear. Children bully based on their environment.  Has the child been bullied, harassed, embarrassed, and/or subjugated to intense scrutiny, intimidation, or pressure?  A bully’s wrath may be due to a conditioning derived from poor, neglectful, or abusive parenting. It is not uncommon for a child who bullies to be dealing with a psychological condition.  A child may have exaggerated fears, anxieties, and a deflated self-esteem.

Bullies are often feeling unacceptable, unapproachable, and unlovable. What is the answer? Are there solutions for dealing with bullies?

1.) Children desire the unconditional love and admiration of their peers, family, teachers, and others; without restrictions or conditions.

2.) Children yearn to belong; to feel a part of a group, a community, and their niche environment.

3.) Children desire someone to show unconditional acceptance, without being punished for it, or angering those who wait upon them.

4.) Children have a desire to have something good occur in their lives.

5.)  A child’s optimism, hope, confidence, conviction, and belief will help him/her to prove resilient.

6.) A child’s optimism strives to persevere, while maintaining hope, confidence, conviction, and belief that there will be something good derived from all he/she encounters.

7.) A child desires to be loved.  Children want to be unconditional loved by those that they deem important.

Bullies are simply crying out to belong, for approval, for acceptance.   Bullies need an ear to hear a shoulder to lean upon. Ultimately, children need an opportunity to discuss their problems.

Schools need to provide an environment that is accepting and nonjudgmental.  It needs to be an environment that is safe.  They should educate their students on their individual rights to safety and care.  Schools can prove the students greatest ally, advocate, mentor, and motivating force.  While teachers are the equivalent of the academic parent, the school is the equivalent of the academic family; therefore, schools should be instilling the power of inclusion.

The educational atmosphere should be unconditionally accepting, motivating, encouraging, loving, affectionate, and supportive. Bullies and those who are bullied should ultimately feel protected by this system and not at odds with it.

There should be placed an emphasis on good communication between the parents and the school.  If something seems out-of-the-ordinary with a student, the student should be given an opportunity to discuss any issues with a school counselor.

All students have the right to a bully free school.  Bullies and those being bullied deserve the right to counsel. Having access to a school counselor is essential for the bully and the bullied. Moreover, having an access to a school counselor is vital for the health of the school.

Bullying should always be considered a serious issue, but humor is sometimes a good way of deflating a potential issue from occurring.  Be resourceful and proactive do not let situations or circumstances get out of control.  Sometimes people need to simply laugh.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

14 comments on “To Be A Bully”

  1. Disney’s Family Channel will be hosting a Bullying Awareness Week November 12 – 17! Family wants you to Stand UP! to bullying by Joining the Stand UP! Network!

  2. I wanted to share the following documentary posted on CBS News…. Excellent documentary, heart-wrenching as well.

    Bullying: Words Can Kill;contentBody

    Thank you for your time.

    Dr. Asa Don Brown

  3. i’ve checked this blog a couple of times now and i have to tell you that i find it quite great actually. it’ll be nice to read more in the future! =)

    1. I am sincerely appreciative of your very warm remarks. I do hope that this and future articles will prove a positive force in your life.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  4. Lisa Terrill says:

    This article reminds me of the cycle of perpetuated abuse…victims of abuse becoming the abusers. When I was teaching, I witnessed all too much of bullying, and experienced bullying myself. I believe that as teachers in the United States become less empowered to do their jobs as TEACHERS, bullying will occur more frequently among students! Not a trend we want to see!!!

    1. Dear Lisa

      I am sincerely appreciate your feedback. As a former student and a current professor, I have always had an idealistic view of the educational environment. However, despite my idealistic viewpoints, I realize that there are many concerns that are related to the educational environment. Bullying should never occur among the staff or the students. How can we eliminate bullying? It will take a village to repair the issues in the educational environment.

      May this article and future article prove a true inspiration.

      Warm Regards,
      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  5. Dear Deb P.

    I am sincerely appreciative of your very thoughtful remarks. Bullying is one of the most egregious forms of hate offered in our society, and overcoming it is crucial to achieving harmony within our global community.

    First of all, we must begin by accepting that everyone born on the face of this earth as being worthy, acceptable, and capable. As a society, we have become a civilization that has developed social classes which detracts from us achieving complete human harmony. We should advocate for those who are incapable of advocating for themselves, and for those who are unwilling. We have become a society that rejects those who are different. It is vitally important that we develop a community of acceptance.

    Deb, if you are enduring the egregious affects of bullying, then I would recommend joining a support group and/or developing a support group in your community. If the effects are burdensome, then you might considering seeking out therapy. There are several good therapists both online and within many communities.

    Deb, if you are enduring bullying at work, then I would ask you to consider speaking with the management of your company. If you work for an union, then it is advisable that you speak with your local shop steward – union representative. In counseling – psychology, we are taught to first address the issue, if possible, with the perpetrator. Do not address the issue with the perpetrator if he or she might cause you additional harm!!! Secondly, you might consider taking someone with you to address this issue with this individual. Again, be certain that your environment will be safe! Thirdly, consider going before your management, shop stewards, and others who play a managerial role in your workplace. Always be certain that you are capable of having an environment of safety. Do not approach a bully, if your safety is in question. In some cases, the first approach would be to discuss it with a shop steward or manager.

    Achieving adult equality and harmony in the workplace and within society. If you desire to rid your community of bullying, then you must begin by ensuring that you do not bully. Secondly, work at developing a concept of inclusion within your community. Everyone is deserving, everyone is worthy. Do not develop groups that exclude. Show everyone within your community respect, acceptance, and unconditional positive regard.

    As a society, we have developed an unwritten rule of rejecting those who are different. Deb, offering acceptance of our fellow human, is not an indication that you have to become their best friend. It is offering an unconditional positive regard and with human dignity. We have lost the knack of simple respect.

    A simple step towards offering human respect. The next time you are at a grocery store, hold the door open for the person behind you. Do not worry about their age, gender, intellectual quotient (IQ), simply offer a hand up! Seek to offer positive feedback for everyone you encounter. Seek to be a positive force in your community. Do not get involved in gossip or name calling. Seek to eliminate such words of spite and hate. Be an advocate of hope and respect within your community.

    Deb P., I am certainly appreciative of your time, efforts, and feedback.

    May this article and future articles prove a positive force in your life.

    Warm Regards,

    Dr. Asa Don Brown

  6. Deborah Pickering says:

    Hi Dr. Brown,
    Thank you for such an informative article on bullying. We often hear a lot about the effects of bullying and how terrible it is these days. It is refreshing to read about some of the causes of this behavior, it helps us to understand how bullys are created. Understanding the cause is one of the first steps toward having empathy for the offender, as well as for the victim. I believe it is important to understand the causes in order to educate parents, teachers, and other caregivers ways in which to recognize the signs of what causes bully’s to evolve. Once recognized, we need to learn how to address the behavior.
    In my experience there are many adults who engage in bullying and harassing of others. I see it in the workplace, not just my own, in social settings, and so on. What suggestions can you give as to how society can address this issue and implement change in adult behavior?
    Cheers, Deb P.

  7. Gina says:

    I’m a mom who’s fed up with my child being the target of school bully. My child has a birthdefect which makes her the target of ridicule. This article makes sense, has sound points, and is desperately needed. Thank you Dr. Brown for this heartfelt article. Kindly, Gina

    1. Dear Gina

      I am appreciative of your remarks. I can only imagine the pain and distress that you have endured around your daughter’s disability. Such ridicule is senseless, but reacting negatively to such bullying is without merit. Therefore, we must be proactive, seeking to offer a peaceful solutions, while continue to advocate for the children with whom are being negatively affected.

      First and foremost, I would consider seeking out counseling for yourself and your child. Bullying rarely affects one person; it is systemic and progressive; therefore, we must act proactively seeking to eliminate in its entirety.

      Gina, I have a few suggestions to offer:

      1.) Discuss your concerns with your local Parent-Student-Teachers-Association. If there are support groups offered, join them and voice your concerns. If not, consider developing a support group for students, teachers, and parents that offers a voice for those who need such advocacy. Notably, we all need advocacy at one point-in-time in our lives.

      2.) Consider joining a local support group for parents who’s children are victims of bullying. Also, consider placing your child in such a support group as well.

      3.) Discuss your concerns with the teachers, principals, and leadership of your child’s school. If your child has an aide, due to her disability, discuss your concerns with her aide. Ask the aide to immediately report any form of bullying to the teacher. The aide may prove a frontline of defense for your child.

      4.) Consider joining a support group for parents who have children with similar disabilities.

      5.) Read online posts by credible professional organizations:

      Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association

      American Psychological Association

      Canadian Psychological Association

      6.) Read professional journal articles, books concerning this subject matter.

      Bullying Prevention: Creating a Positive School Climate and Developing Social Competence by Dr.(s) Orpinas and Horne

      Workplace Mobbing and Bullying Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research (editor) Len Sperry

      7.) Watch professional documentaries and resources on this subject.

      Bullying Prevention by Dr. Arthur M. Horne

      Gina, I do appreciate your time, efforts and very warm remarks.

      May this and future articles serve as a beacon of hope in your life.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  8. Tina says:

    Thanks for making us aware of this topic! As an educator, I feel there is still too little dialogue about the reasons for bullying. As you said, we all need to be more active in detecting bullying and dealing with it!

    1. Dear Tina,

      I am appreciative of your remarks. I wholeheartedly agree that the message has yet to find a solid platform. It is important that we begin actively searching for solutions, remedies, and reasons behind the causation of bullying. We need to create an environment of hope, peace, and reassurance. The detection of bullying begins in both the physical as well as the academic home. We need to know our children, but more than that, we need to reassure our children that no subject is to taboo to discuss.

      May my future articles inform, transform, and inspire.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  9. Tracy says:

    Thank you for the well written and thought provoking article. I am reminded that the issue of bullying has 2 sides, 2 victims: the bully and the bullied. I always tend to think of the issues around being bullied, but overlooked the even more profound issue of what creates a bully. This is a very significant issue that affects all of us, not just our children and not just in the school setting. Hopefully by focusing on the issue of bulling in schools and with our children it will eventually help reduce bullying in adult life…harassment. Thank you again for opening my mind to this issue.


    1. Dear Tracy

      First of all, thank you for your very kind remarks. I think that as a society our focus has become myopic, forgetting that the bully has a story to tell as well. I believe it begins with our message: are we simply seeking to discipline a child that is acting out, or, are we seeking to offer remedies that not only detour the child’s behavior but offer a message of hope. We need to recognize that the bullied and the bully are being challenged by some unknown egregious force. We need to offer a remedy of hope, love, and peace. Children need an ear to hear, a shoulder to lean upon, and a voice to advocate for them. As a therapist, it is important that we seek solutions that prevent the continuation of these children’s struggles.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

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