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Am I a Bully?

If you think you are bullying someone and want to change the way you act, you have taken an important and positive step. Read the section below to learn why people bully and how to stop.

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Why do people bully?

There are many reasons people bully. But, none of these reasons means it is okay to bully someone else. The reasons people bully include:

  • They aren’t aware they are bullying. Many people who bully think what they are doing will not hurt anyone or think it is just a joke.
  • Bullying makes them feel powerful or popular. It’s a mistake to think that bullying will make them popular just because other people will laugh at their actions.
  • They are going through a hard time. Some people who bully may have been bullied themselves or are experiencing a hard situation at home or socially. They may feel insecurities and use bullying as a way of coping.
  • Pressure from friends. Some people may bully to fit in with their friends. In some cases, they might not want to bully but feel like they should do it to fit in.
  • They believe the person they are bullying deserves it. Some people think it’s okay to bully someone because the person deserves it. This is never true.

How can I tell if I’m a bully?

Sometimes you may not even realize that you might be bullying other people. If you’ve ever:

  • Teased others, been mean to them, or made fun of the way they look or speak (and they seemed hurt or very quiet afterwards).
  • Spread rumors or gossiped (either online or by word of mouth).
  • Kept another person from sitting with you, playing with you, or joining you in group activity.
  • Kicked, shoved, punched, or physically pushed someone else because you felt like it.
  • Called someone names or “nicknames” they didn’t consent to.

How can I stop bullying?

If you are looking to stop bullying that is a great first step. There are several things you can do:

  • Admit to yourself that you’re bullying. Think about what you are doing to others. This will help you understand what to avoid when moving forward.
  • Understand why you are bullying. Are you bullying because you are struggling with something and taking it out on someone else? Is it because your friends are bullying others? Talk to a trusted adult or contact KidsHelpPhone anonymously to discuss why you are bullying.
  • Apologize and give space to the people you have bullied: The person(s) you bullied may not be ready to talk or be around you. They also might not be ready to forgive you. Put yourself in that person’s shoes and think about t the best way to move forward from their perspective.

What Next?

Want to explore and learn more? Here are a couple options that will help you.