Why Bullies Bully

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Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash



Bullies very often bully people because the person is different. But to be more precise bullies bully people who are different because they don’t like people being different. Speaking about the mindset of bullies is not something I could put in a general way because there is different reasons. I have never been a bully myself so thankfully I have not personal experience of the mindset but been bullied myself for years has certainly giving me an insight into how bullies think and operate. I am a writer, I observe, they didn’t bank on that one! 🙂 To be really clear bullies bully because of so-called norms in society. Nearly every person who has ever been bullied has a near same story of being bullied for being different to what is the supposed norm in society and my story in no different. My experience was being introverted in a world where being extroverted and assertive is valued and put above introversion as the ‘right’, ‘valid’ and ‘superior’ way of being. You could put so many things into that same sentence and it’s a very similar story. Examples:

  • My experience was being black in a world where being white is valued and put above being black as the ‘right’, ‘valid’ and ‘superior’ way of being.
  • My experience was being trans in a world where being cis is valued and put above being trans as the ‘right’, ‘valid’ and ‘superior’ way of being.

And look there is countless examples but bullying at its heart almost always boils down to the fact that bullies think they are better than those they bully in some way. Are bullies insecure? Yes. Do they also have big egos? Yes. A bully is insecure that a different way to theirs is happening so they bully people to stop that person from being proud of who they are. They also have big egos because they believe who they are is how everyone should be. Other aspects come into the reason why those who bully bully like jealousy but most of the time bullying at heart is about difference and about a difference which is not harming the bully. People are taught to think they are superior in some way by family and/or society but there is also something within them which bullies. It is a mixture of the two things. There is a power dynamic to situations where people are being bullied. The bully wants power. The bully thinks they have a right to bully that person because they see them as inferior. They think the person is fair game and they do not believe that the person has any right to stand up to them. They think they deserve it just for being who they are. They may see the person they bully as an easy target because family and/or society has made them believe that person is weak. They may see the person they bully as a strong target who they don’t think should be proud of themselves and they want to tear them down so they no longer are proud. They may start off thinking they are weak and realise they aren’t and therefore their ugly goals about that person change. I do think the role of difference to supposed norms is extremely important to understand in regards to bullying. It is that mindset of what I am is valid and right and what you are isn’t which leads to bullying.



A bully doesn’t also understand when people stand up for their rights. No one should have to go into a room where they are targeted by bullies for being who they are. No one should ever feel uncomfortable for being who they are. They should feel as relaxed as anyone else in that room. Simple as that. When people stand up to bullies there is often dangerous territory they go into. Some bullies get a kick out of it which encourages them to bully more because they feel like they are getting to that person. Other bullies play the victim. They act like they are being bullied. Why? Because it goes back to thinking they are superior again. They think they have a right to be hurtful to people they see as ‘other’ and not as good as them. But that person has to be bullying them in their mind because they have no right in their minds to challenge anything about them. It’s a mindset of they should know their place which is really rather disgusting and to be honest a huge insult to people like myself who have genuinely faced bullying in their lives to be maintaining that they are being bullied.

3 comments on “Why Bullies Bully

  1. cheriewhite says:

    This is such a well-written and powerful post, Lisa. And I’m so sorry you were bullied. It’s hurtful and can be damaging to the psyche. The points you made here are dead on right. Thank you for posting.

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