In Bullying Help, Health Professionals

How Does A Bully Think?

How Does A Bully Think

So, How Does A Bully Think? Ask the average person what bullies think and why they act the way they do, most will tell you these “bad eggs” rolled out of their mother’s womb and into the world that way. While it is admittedly difficult to separate the actions from the person, sometimes we need to do so in order to understand them better and to help bullying victims to better understand this as well. Here, we will attempt to tackle this important topic, getting closer to the root issues and thought processes that drive bullies to inflict pain upon others.

So How Does A Bully Think?

The thought of bullying conjures up images of playground brawls in which one person has a clear and distinct advantage over another. And while that is definitely one form of bullying, it simply scratches the surface of the types of bullying seen today. Here, we will lean on this definition given on “Bullying is best defined as a form of abuse, be it emotional, verbal or physical. It involves repeated and increasingly aggressive or manipulative behaviour that is intentionally directed toward asserting power over another individual or group.” Bullying affects not only children and teens, but adults can also be the victims of bullying as well. This is a major factor in understanding How Does A Bully Think for real.

This negative and intentionally destructive behaviour begs the question — how does a bully think? The answer is more complex than you might imagine. Challenges to the bully’s self-esteem is always a huge factor, but various studies are revealing that those who bully others are not always suffering from low self-esteem; instead, some have an unusually high level of self-esteem that leads to narcissism. We’ll delve first into the thinking of a bully suffering from low self-esteem.

The bully with low self-esteem is often a person who doesn’t fit in well with his or her peers. They can be the person who is, in effect, the “odd ball out” in social circles, largely rejected and subsequently left feeling depressed and isolated. This is the person who often acts out in an attempt to fit in to groups from which they have been denied. Often, they are impulsive and rationalize the behaviour internally and often from an almost cynical point of view. These are people who have very little control over their impulses and can come across as extremely brash because again, a part of their motivation is to simply gain the attention and acceptance of people who have either overlooked them or who have already displayed a lack of acceptance.

How Does A Bully Think, learn more!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the bully with high self-esteem can often possess a personality of entitlement. Said differently, these are not simply people who walk the earth with a healthy regard for themselves; instead, they are often elitists who feel very deserving of special treatment. Often, when this type of personality suffers an insult or otherwise feels slighted in some way, the reaction can be a highly emotional one as their ego takes a hit. Anger is, in many cases, the outward expression of an inner fear. This personality can lash out in an almost irrational anger which boils down to the defence mechanism used to cover up the fear of losing their image of being powerful and in control.

How Does A Bully Think? Common to everyone is the fact that we all operate based on motivation. In the case of bullies, though, it is important to understand that bullies act out in response to unconscious motivations. Most often, they, too, have experienced some form of trauma (even if it is simply disappointment) that has resulted in emotional baggage that manifest outwardly in the form of extremely negative behaviour.

So, How Does A Bully Think? According to research recently published in School Psychology Quarterly, bullies are often products of homes filled with conflict. The emotional and psychological wounds suffered by the bully leads, in many instances, to negative feelings about himself or herself as well as others around them. In this way, bullies can often possess feelings very similar to those they target; however, the resulting behaviours land them on opposite ends of the spectrum. We hope this helps with understanding How Does A Bully Think?

We at are dedicated to putting an end of all forms of bullying, especially cyber bullying, by offering relevant education, counselling and advise on the topic. We hope that by answering the question, “How does a bully think?”, we are providing valuable insight for parents, educators, bullies and victims of bullying to aid in dealing with the deep seated root issues driving this destructive and devastating behaviour.

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