The Bully Proof Classroom


Do Bully’s Have Low Self-Esteem?

Written By: James H Burns - Feb• 25•13

Psychologists used to believe that bullies have low self-esteem, and put down other people in order to feel better about themselves. While many bullies are themselves bullied at home or at school, new research shows that most bullies actually have excellent self-esteem. Bullies usually have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others, and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. They enjoy being cruel to others and sometimes use bullying as an anger management tool, the way a normally angry person would punch a pillow. Research does support the fact that bullies have low empathy, and they really don’t know how it feels to be in someone else’s shoes.

A bully is motivated by power. He/she is very clever and can victimize anyone. He likes controlling other students, and sometimes likes controlling his/her parents and teachers as well. As long as the bully is able to manipulate another person or a situation, his/her self-esteem remains high. Once a bully loses control of their victim, or realizes that they can’t manipulate situations to their liking they begin to experience problems with their self esteem and they will then seek out other people to manipulate and control to raise their self-esteem. It almost becomes an emotional fix that they need in order to feel good about themselves.

Intervention programs usually work to help the victim, and rightly so, the victim needs assistance in dealing with the person who is bullying them. In working with the bully we need to help the bully find things that will help him keep a consistent self-esteem index. Everyone has ups and downs in life, and bullies should experience the same ebbs and flows that are associated with becoming an adult. A bully’s self esteem cannot be based on how they treat others. If clear lines are not drawn and the bully is allowed to continue his behavior without consequence we are doing nothing more than prepare him for prison.


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One Comment

  1. garczynski says:

    “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain

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