What Goes On In The Minds of Bullies?

Presentation Lee McKing and bullying

Bullying happens all over the place and might be more common than you think

Of course, everyone know about school bullying

And some of you might know or even experience office bullying which may link with office politics too

Then we have online bullying, otherwise also known as cyberbullying

What’s going on?

Why does it occur?

What is going through the mind of such bullies?

How about the victims?

Of course, I might not be able to go through everything

But hopefully, whether it is a bully or a victim, or just a bystander

Whoever reads this can have a greater awareness of themselves and/or the people around them 🙂

Why does bullying occur in school?

After all, one might think children are so young and innocent right?

As it is with most things in life, there are a few factors of consideration

Firstly, let’s talk about the kid bully

You might have already read this article on how kids learn from their parents

If you haven’t, go read it~

In this instance, what this might mean is that the kid learn from their parents how to bully!

To be more precise, if there was verbal or physical abuse happening at home between the parents…

The kid might develop a similar trait to their friends and peers

Because if parents are doing it, then it must be right to do with their classmates

Of course, if the parent(s) abuse the child, it is also possible for the child to replicate to their peers

In both instances, it is also possible the child will develop fear (as an example) and don’t bully others, however this will develop into a victim instead

So the school bully might also have one more issue that cause them to bully others

They might have low self esteem, and in order to compensate for this low self esteem, they end up wanting to show their power on others, usually one with low self esteem as well

Now we go into the victim’s mind

As mentioned briefly already, the victim might develop fear of being bullied or abused, or develop low self esteem due to the abuse at home

However the victim might also develop low self esteem due to other reasons

For example, a remark from an elder that the child is not doing as well as others might cause said child to develop low self esteem (among other possibilities)

This low self esteem can be observable!

When we read the body language of one with low self esteem, they have a tendency to slouch over, or look downwards

One might hang their head lower, walk slower, even drag their feet

A word of caution: Just because you exhibit or see someone exhibit one of these does not mean they have low self esteem, it is more of a combination of things

Anyway, if all these body language show that one has low self esteem or low power, what might happen?

The bully wants to establish power or show their power, and it is easiest to pick on people with low power

That’s how a bully and victim encounter each other

And yes, everyone can read body language unconsciously

Ted Bundy, the American serial killer, said that he can spot a potential victim ‘by the way she walks down the street’

So yes, it is real and I am not making this up

Of course, as mentioned earlier, there are several factors, whether its learnt from parents, or even maybe a trauma

While the victim needs help, the bully needs help too

When I was in Primary school, I was bullied by this particular boy who wasn’t even in my class

He and his friend prevented me from going to Catechism and when I managed to get away from him, he grabbed me and punched me

A parent saw and someone called the discipline mistress and later on, she shared that the boy is known for his bad behaviour

Honestly, I just want to get to catechism so I didn’t do anything

If I look back, perhaps he was beaten by his dad and he want to release his frustration on other people and perhaps I happen to look really timid

Regardless, he needs help

Presentation Lee McKing and laptop call

What about bullying in the workplace?

Similarly, there is a level of power and control that is happening for bullying to occur

Perhaps the boss was raised in a family where shouting and scolding occurs every day

And so, it is easy for him to verbally abuse his staff

In case you are wondering “won’t they know better since they are adults?”

The short answer is no – but I shall see if I got time to share later or in another article why it is so

One shift that is more common in the workplace as compared to school is envy (again low self esteem)

The envy of your fellow colleagues who are doing well, succeeding etc

This might cause one to harass the victim or spread rumours of the victim, in order to tarnish the reputation of said victim

In a sense, the bully possibly felt threatened by the victim’s accomplishments and thus, seek to bring them down through bullying or office politics

And then of course, we might have an abuse of authority

Essentially the senior bullies the junior through the work

It could be in the form of micromanaging, assigning more tasks or their own tasks to the junior to handle

And the junior cannot say no

Although of course, the micromanager could be a control freak too, while the one who gave their tasks to the junior could just be lazy and wanting to get out of work

Then we have sexual harassment

However in this case, perhaps the victim has rejected the other person’s advances, causing them to spread rumours as a way to “punishing” the victim for rejecting them

Hence, bullying the victim into “submission” or “leaving the company”

In truth, as long as there is a group of people, it might surface out as bullying or even office politics

Presentation Lee McKing and hypnosis with female client

Lastly, on cyberbullying

This is similar yet very different from the above settings

The key difference is that it is done online

Before you ‘duh’ me that it is online lol…

It is an important factor

Because the cyberbully’s face or identity is not known, it is easier to do it

Of course that is with fake accounts, or in forums where you can hide your identity behind a username

Essentially, when your identity is not known, our psychological guards and defences drop, and we tend to show more of our inner thoughts and feelings

Be they good or bad

So yea, some people might do good while anonymous, while some might do bad

Research has found that even just being in a group setting of strangers, where no one knows you, and it is easier to “hide” among the group, can cause one to be more aggressive

They also found that in a video chat where there is eye contact between two people, verbal aggression drops significantly

Probably because one can see the face and identify the aggressor

This is further supported when you realize putting pictures of eyes can reduce crime rate

Weird huh?

That’s human psychology for you hahahaha

Therefore the “lack of eyes” or “when no one is watching you” can potentially increase “bad behaviours”

Which is why cyberbullying is so prevalent

And also why trolling is so easy to find

Patterns repeat themselves

The victims of any of the above bullying are more likely to suffer from mental health issues later on

From the fear of making friends to having depression, PTSD, anxiety or even panic attacks

Even if they do not suffer from such issues, the minimum is probably low self esteem which might get passed down to their own children

And this child might get bullied in school

Which might beg the question, how to resolve all this?

For mental health issues, you might need therapy

To stop a bully, it depends

If the victim has low self esteem in the first place, you can’t tell them to “stand up” to the bully

It is not just an action of standing up but how you stand up, which is internal, it is unconscious

For the one in primary school (Yes I did get a few), I just wanted to go to Catechism and it was the parent who saw that highlighted to the discipline mistress

Another one in JC, this might be a bit worse actually

There were 3, maybe 4 guys in total

2 blocked the staircase so no other students can use it, while the other 2 put me in the middle

I have absolutely no idea why they decided to pick on me

Although I do realize my name is unique and I get name teased often, so maybe they didn’t like that I got a unique name


So anyway, one of the guys grabbed my shoulder from behind as I was going to walk down the stairs (we are in the middle of the staircase)

And I attempted to shrug him off, to which he immediately threw a punch at my chest

Then the other guy pushed me against the wall and kept yelling

“Don’t fight! Don’t fight!”

I wasn’t doing anything

I just looked at the guy who punched me

This was because I knew if I retaliated, it going to be 2 versus 1

AND the guy who pushed me against the wall? That guy was in the taekwondo club in the JC

Yup, just pure bullies

I wasn’t cowering either, so they can see that they don’t have power or control over me

Their provocation and acting wasn’t working

I couldn’t see the guy at the top of the stairs but I can see the one below, glancing up at me as he blocked the way

Then the guy who punched me said something, and they all walked away

Sorry, I don’t recall what he said

Earlier he said he want to talk to me about something then he punched me and then he walked away

Like duh I know he wanted to corner me for something, not to talk to me

For this one, I texted my form teacher and then reported to the discipline master

The problem was that I was alone and they got a group of friends right?

So they said they witness me punching him first and that is why he punched me back and the other guy pushed me against the wall



The discipline master didn’t know who or what to believe so nothing was done

But at least this guy never think to bully me again

Or maybe they had… 🤔

The TKD guy did say he wanted to show a new move he learned from his trainer/master and practiced the punching on my face

NOT that he punched me directly, more like punch towards my face but didn’t hit

I didn’t flinch – again, it is a power thing they want to show

Presentation Lee McKing and reflection

A lot of it is self power

Being confident, having a health self esteem, and so on is important

If you have issues and you don’t want your child to have issues, you can consider therapy

Or you can teach your child the right values and skillsets

It doesn’t have to be defence classes or martial arts

Just teaching them to be calm in the face of danger is a good skill too

Reacting, losing the cool, etc are actually signs of weakness and opens up to more

Because to the bully, it is more fun to see you cry, or act out, or whatever

Next is to be ok speaking to an authority figure

Like reporting to the discipline master or mistress

Or in the workplace environment, knowing who to report office bullying or harassment

For online bullying or harassment, ignoring is really the best in my opinion

In this instance, they really want to get a reaction out of you

Nothing better to do

Yes, you can block too, and they might create a second account to harass or bully more

Just ignore and let them be

Although I do ignore, I might play dumb and chat with them in the comments section too

The more they insult me, the more I misunderstand their words and the more they lose interest eventually

This is my secret technique shh

Just that you got to be really good at misinterpreting what they are saying and not falling for their provocations

I do that on my Tiktok videos if I feel like it 😛

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