The Bully: Why They Bully and Tips for Prevention


Bullying is an on-going issue that has affected people of all ages. It comes in many different forms – from physical to verbal to digital. It is hurtful and inappropriate, regardless of the way it is displayed. Oftentimes, it has lifelong outcomes for the victims. Why do bullies bully, though? What makes them behave in this manner or say what they do to others? Below are a few explanations for why students bully, and a few tips for preventing bullying at your school. 

Why they bully:

Although there is no excuse for treating others with violence and disrespect, bullies frequently have experiences that identify causes of their negative behaviors and attitudes toward others.

  • To be popular
  • Because it makes them feel bigger, stronger, smarter, or better than the one they are bullying
  • To keep from being bullied themselves
  • Often have poor social skills
  • Often lack the ability to empathize (showing immaturity)
  • Most feel that they are superior to others and have the right to push others around
  • Some deal with low self-esteem issues
  • Some may have personality disorders, and need assistance from mental health professionals
  • Some may have been victims of bullying themselves, often by a parent or other adult


Tips for prevention:

The best way to stop a bully is to prevent the behavior from developing at all. Watch for signs of problem behavior, and intervene immediately and firmly. Below are some warning signs – typical behaviors that could lead to bullying.

  • Needs to win or be the best at everything
  • Has friends who bully
  • Refuses to accept responsibility for their negative behaviors
  • Is quick to blame others
  • Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained
  • Is often referred to the principal’s office or to detention
  • Gets into physical or verbal fights with others
  • Becomes violent with others



(2010). Retrieved 1 21, 2012, from Teens Health:

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