reasons why people bully

Reasons Why People Bully – 7 Most Common Motives

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Are you a victim of bullying who has been desperately trying to figure out the reasons why people bully? The first step to overcoming bullying is to know your enemy. Listed below are the 7 most common reasons.

reasons why people bully

Bullies are unpredictable and if people are bullying you, you probably don’t understand the reasons why people bully. As someone who has experienced bullying and has researched it for several years. I’m giving you the answers you’ve been looking for.

Therefore, you will learn the most common reasons why people bully, whether it’s insecurity, or jealousy, or other motives.

After learning about all of these most common reasons, you will be able to better prepare yourself for the next time your bullies approach you.

This post is all about the most common reasons why people bully that every victim should know.

Most Common Reasons Why People Bully:

1. the desire for Power.

Bullying is all about power, domination, and control. Bullies get a massive rush of power at your expense. Moreover, power is addictive. It is like a drug and bullies can never get enough of it. To bullies, bullying is an aphrodisiac, it feels good to them.

You must understand that targeting others to attack and harm is how some people find meaning in their lives. And the power they get through their meaningless lives is in the mistreatment of their victims. Simply put, bullies bully because they enjoy it!

People crave power, fame, notoriety, and influence, even the best of them. But most people can get those through love and through their hobbies, jobs, talent, and creativity. Bullies, on the other hand, don’t have these things going for them. Some might have jobs but aren’t satisfied in their positions. So, they abuse people to gain the desires they can’t gain any other way.

Without victims Bullies Have No Power

Again, bullies either can’t get those benefits any other way, or they can’t get enough of them. So, for them, destroying the lives of their targets is the only power they have.

Moreover, once their victim is no longer available to them because he’s either quit, moved, or committed suicide, the bullies’ drug isn’t there anymore. Therefore, they search for another target to get their next fix because bullies need authority over somebody, anybody.

Understand that this “fix” always wears off, and it wears off quickly. Bullies consistently need another dose, and another and another. If they cannot find another easy target, preferably someone outside their peer group, they will eat their own. In other words, they will turn on one of their friends in their social circle and target them.

Here’s another thing to think about. Bullies usually pick jobs that give them power and a title. They usually aspire to become politicians, teachers, correctional officers, police officers, supervisors, managers, and the like.

2. The most common Reasons Why People Bully include The Need for a Scapegoat

Many bullies need a scapegoat to unload all their own insecurities on. In other words, they need someone to blame for their own faults and to take all their hurts, anger, and frustrations out on. Always remember this. Bullies need victims because they need scapegoats.

Moreover, the use of a scapegoat is nothing new. People have used them for many millennia!

The idea of a scapegoat comes from the Old Testament of the Bible. People gave burnt offerings to cleanse themselves of sin and they would sacrifice a lamb and burn it.

So, when bullies scapegoat their victims, they use the victim as a sacrificial lamb to project all their wrongdoings and imperfections on. Understand that bullies need targets to blame their stupidity and bad behavior on.

Here’s another example:

During the Medieval Period, scapegoats were used by kings to make sure the monarch’s hands stayed clean- or, more appropriately, looked clean.

Back then, it was common practice to blame and execute scapegoats for the wrongdoings of kings. Blaming them, then putting them to death kept the scapegoats quiet and the kings unquestioned, above reproach, and looking good. Bullies do the same today, only in different ways.

Furthermore, bullying and scapegoating go hand in hand. The purpose of scapegoating is for bullies to project blame and continue to appear as good, upstanding people.

Put simpler, bullies force another person to accept blame for sins of which they, themselves, are guilty so that they can go on living in blissful denial. Sadly, the person blamed is often innocent, has the least power, and is least likely to fight back. The person is then punished and sacrificed.

Remember that bullies are cowards. If you’re a victim or target of bullying, this is a way bullies can avoid any accountability and live in the safely of denial while continuing their evil deeds, causing harm to others.

3. The Desire for Social Status.

The reasons why people bully often include the desire for social status. And usually, it works like a charm. The reason it works so well is that the social status of the bully skyrockets, while that of the target plummets.

For many people, having the respect and admiration of their peers is of more value to their sense of self-worth than money and material wealth. Although one can achieve elevated social status through wealth and material things, it can also be attainable though bullying if the bully doesn’t have those things.

Bullies who are poor will often bully you out of insecurity and the social status they achieve from it is compensation for the money and material things they don’t have. On the other hand, if the bully does have money and material wealth, the social status he gets from bullying is just icing on the cake.

Bullies Who are Poor are Known for These Tactics

However, most bullies aren’t affluent. Therefore, the only way they can achieve social status is by demeaning others and exploiting their mistakes, flaws, and shortcomings. In other words, bullies will take the tiniest mistake, add to it, and make it bigger.

In short, they increase their social ranking by decreasing yours.

But remember this. Bullying is not a healthy way to move up the social hierarchy. A healthy way of increasing one’s social ranking requires some type of achievement, such as joining a positive movement or donating to a charity.

Sadly, the world is, by default, quick to blame a person for any negative qualities or actions while slow to forgive or to give credit for good deeds. Bullies instinctively know this and take full advantage of it.

However, again, you must understand that people who rely on their ability to bully others out of existence to achieve social gain can never achieve it any other way. It’s the only way these bullies can have power.

4. Group Cohesion and Unity Are One of The Reasons Why People Bully

It’s no secret that bullies usually bully in packs.

Therefore, bullies garner support from others who are just like them and who share the same values and opinions. After all, bullying is most effective in group situations, where people unite to serve a certain objective. Bullies never work alone. They always have backers.

There is strength in numbers. Group bullying not only gives talentless bullies a sense of belonging, but it also tightens the bonds among members of the group.

Furthermore, this collective bullying gives them more anonymity. Also, in a group bullies are more successful in bringing the target down than if the bullies worked alone.

This usually requires that the bullying group have a hated enemy (you) that they can unite against.

In Robert Greene’s book entitled, “The Laws of Human Nature,” I once read that everyone needs a hated enemy and that there’s a positive side to having one. I’ve found that with packs of bullies, this is true.

Bullies in groups need an enemy, whether real or imagined, that they can band together and fight against. They need an “us-versus-them” object. Why? Because the presence of an enemy has always served to strengthen group cohesion and unite and tighten members. Groups reflexively focus on their hated target as a means for further solidarity.

You, the victim provide the bullies the assurance that their group always stays together as one. Without you as their victim, their group is weak and things get boring fast.

Therefore, once you leave the scene and move on to a better environment, it won’t be long before they split up and go their separate ways.

However, know this. These types of people are the talentless, the lazy, the insignificant, and the incompetent. They have no redeemable qualities, no personalities, and no real intelligence.

You must see these bullies exactly as they are- empty suits with zero substance. And, once you see them clearly, your confidence won’t take such a big hit when they come for you.

5. To Seek Attention.

Bullies will bully just to get attention. They not only want attention from you, but more than likely, they want attention from bystanders.

In other words, by making you look small, the bully makes themselves look big in the eyes of bystanders who don’t know any better. This goes back to number 3, The Desire for Social Status.

But realize that this is the only way the bully can get the attention he craves. It’s really pathetic when you think about it. This realization alone should give you a confidence boost because you don’t have to resort to such behavior to get attention.

6. one of the common reasons why people bully is also One-Upmanship

One-upmanship is another one of the most common reasons why people bully.

Bullies can’t handle the successes of anyone, especially if it’s achieved by anyone they deem inferior. Realize that a bully’s feelings of power and superiority come by one-upping you, their victim.

Therefore, anytime you succeed at anything, it will undermine your bullies’ sense of superiority.

Realize that your bullies need to be better than you, at everything and when you have a talent you’re exceptional at, it only arouses their jealousy and desire to take you down a few pegs.

So, be prepared for your bullies to look for and find one of your weaknesses and exploit it just to soothe their bruised egos.

Also, look for your bullies will use their social status to one-up you with. Or, if your bullies are athletes and you’re a musician, they may remind you that they’re better at sports than you will ever be.

However, you must know where these tactics come from. Your talents and success are threats to your bullies’ power because they undermine their superiority over you.

7. To Contain Threats.

Bullies always intensify their bullying when you become a threat to them somehow.

For example, you have been bullied by the same people for years and finally decide to break your silence and speak out about it. When you began to call out the bullying and assert your rights not to be abused, you are then a threat to your bullies.

Why? Because you’re exposing their bad deeds before the entire world.

Remember that bullies thrive on the silence of their victims. Once the victim speaks out and provides proof,  the bullies risk exposure. With it, they risk losing face and their social standing in a school, workplace, or community.

Therefore, look for your bullies to use tactics against you, such as lies, gaslighting, smear campaigns, and the like. They may even confront you with an angry tirade.

But realize that your bullies are only operating out of fear and desperation. Fear and desperation renders a person not to think clearly. As a result they end up making stupid mistakes and exposing themselves for who they are.

I’ve seen it happen.

This post was all about the most common reasons why people bully and was written to help you see where the attacks are coming from. seeing behind the behavior helps you better prepare your response so that you can buffer your self-esteem and preserve your confidence.

related posts:

1. A Bully’s Power is Your Lack of Knowledge

2. Bullying for Increased Social Status

3. Why Bullies Need a Hated Enemy to Unite Against

5 thoughts on “Reasons Why People Bully – 7 Most Common Motives

    • Cherie White says:

      Thank you so much, Kymber. There’s so much we need to learn about bullies and bullying before we can properly defend ourselves against them. I’ve always known that the first step is to know your enemies and that requires studying them. Just as enemy nations study the nations the nations they want to attack, bullies do the same thing with us. Therefore, we should also study our bullies closely.

  1. 80smetalman says:

    Thank you Cherie, this explains a lot and I wish I knew these things back then. However, most of my bullies weren’t poor, they were mostly spoiled rich kids.

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