Recognising a bully
Very often bullies themselves have been victims of physical abuse and bullying at school or in the family.
Bullies need to feel control and power over others and sometimes lack empathy for their victims. They are defiant, confronting adults, antisocial, and tend to break school rules.
They are often angry and irritable, having difficulties in coping with frustration. Very often bullies themselves have been victims of physical abuse and bullying at school (or in the family)! They can feel anxious about the situation at school or at home. They generally choose victims who are smaller, younger, weaker, more withdrawn and more passive then they are. Some bullies do not even have a slight understanding of any of their victims’ feelings and how harmful the threatening is for them.
They easily start feeling resentful and often feel aggression towards themselves, even when there is none. The bully does not necessarily have to be included in the act of violence, s/he can be the organiser, i.e., persuade and encourage others to be violent. They usually dislike school and are not well-adapted to it, they have bad self-control and are insensitive to others’ feelings.
While some bullies enjoy aggression, feel safe and accepted among their peers, others have poor school achievement, are less popular among their peers, and feel less safe. In some situations, bullies become victims.
Bullies always find a way to intimidate and tease which will most embarrass the victim: they tease because of someone’s weight, appearance, hair colour, family, popularity, hard work, learning difficulties, religion, position in the society, jealousy against the victim…
Signs warning of bullying
Parents whose children show the signs mentioned below, should consult a professional who will help them understand children and advise how to prevent violent behaviours.
Signs in young and preschool children
tantrums lasting longer than 15 minutes per day, so that parents and other family members cannot calm them down, but eventually ‘give in’
frequent fits of random aggression
they are impulsive, fearless and energetic
they constantly defy rules and refuse to obey adults
they are not tied with their parents, in unfamiliar environment, they do not look for, nor do they approach them
they often watch violence on TV, enjoy violent topics or are malicious towards their peers
Signs in school children
poor attention and concentration
often obstruct school activities
poor school achievement
often fight with other children
respond to disappointments, criticism and teasing with considerable anger, guilt and wish to retaliate
often watch violent movies and play violent games
have few friends and are often excluded due to their behaviour
mingle with children known for aggression and disobedience
constantly confront adults
tease and annoy animals
seem not to empathise with others
Signs in adolescents
do not respect authority
lack empathy for others’ feelings and rights
solve problems using violent behaviours
have poor school achievement and show inclination for truancy
get expelled from school
abuse alcohol and drugs
participate in fights, thefts and destruction of public property