Have bullies reasons for bullying others

Bullying - not with us ?!

Why does someone become a bully? This material is about the possible backgrounds and motives of the bullies.

Insulting a classmate, treating others like air, making people feel bad, threatening, making them cry, aping or yelling - how come some students treat others in a way that they themselves never want to be treated?

Offenders want power and recognition

First of all, it is important to establish that there is no typical culprit. However, scientists have found that certain characteristics apply to many of the bullies. Most offenders want to exercise power over others. They enjoy controlling and submitting classmates. When others are scared of them, they feel stronger. They want to distract recognition from their classmates or from their own failures. Seen in this way, bullying is more an expression of weakness than strength! The perpetrators feel no empathy if the victim is bad. When choosing the victims, they have developed a special skill in recognizing classmates who tend to react defenseless and helpless to aggression. The perpetrators often state that the victim provoked them, which is rarely confirmed by their classmates.

The family - a possible factor

First of all, it must be said that it is often difficult to determine the exact reasons for bullying behavior. Scientists believe, however, that the causes of this antisocial behavior are often related to the family conditions in which the perpetrators grow up. Often there is a lack of loving warmth and concern for the child's life in the home of the bully. This significantly increases the risk that it will turn out to be aggressive and hostile. It was also observed that "power-oriented" educational methods are used in the homes of the bullies, such as corporal punishment and violent emotional outbursts on the part of the parents. The perpetrators often witness violence within the family or between parents. Aggressive and less compassionate behavior is learned from the family. The child does not learn any strategies for dealing with conflicts or disagreements and thus hardly knows how to resolve a conflict in a sensible way and without aggression.

Bullying behaviors can also be made possible or reinforced by the upbringing of the parents: especially if parents hardly set limits for their children, if their children behave aggressively towards others. Aggressive or anti-social behavior is therefore not ostracized or punished by the parents. The parents even play down the aggressive behavior of the children ("That's how boys are ...") and are "over-tolerant". The children do not learn that constant angering of other people hurts them and is not appropriate behavior.

Other favorable framework conditions

In dealing with this, other factors are also discussed. Aggressive role models in the clique or among friends and acquaintances can have a negative and violence-promoting effect if they are rated as "cool". The pronounced consumption of violent media (computer games, films) can also play a role. All of this can sometimes lead to a situation in which compassion for a victim is not as developed. So the perpetrators cannot sympathize with the fact that the bullying is hurting the victim.

Personal decision against bullying

The described factors in the family and environment can have a favorable effect on a child or adolescent bullying other people in his or her environment. Ultimately, however, every person, regardless of what family he or she comes from, can also be aware against Decide on bullying behavior. If children have become bullies, one should also be careful not to label them as bullies forever (stigmatize), but give them the chance and support to change their behavior.


Own text after:

  • Final report of the telephone bullying project 2002 (13.8.10)
  • Jannan, M .: The anti-mobbing book: Violence at school - prevent, recognize, act, 3rd edition Weinheim and Basel: Beltz Verlag 2010.
  • Bullying FAQs by and for parents. In: http://www.schulpsychologie.de/ww3ee/837706.php?sid=48735270566505897328181548154730(13.8.10)
  • Olweus, D .: Violence in School. What teachers and parents should know and can do, 4th ed. Bern: Huber 2008.

Work orders:

  1. Read the text carefully.
  2. What characteristics are mentioned that apply to many bullies?
  3. What are the reasons for bullying? Which factors favor bullying?
  4. Is there a personal and conscious decision for or against bullying? What do you think about that? Please take a well-founded position.