Menu Close

Why Bullies Do It – Top 10 Motives For Bullying

Why Bullies Do It - The Top 10 Motives for Bullying
Why Bullies Do It - The Top 10 Motives for Bullying
Why Bullies Do It – The Top 10 Motives for Bullying

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the top 10 primary motives for bullying.

First a quick update:

The Breakup Test
Are you heartbroken, angry, lost, lonely, confused, depressed, hung up, or pining over your ex? Do you know how your ex is truly affecting you and do you want to benefit from personalized advice, action steps and revelations? Take my free breakup test and get your own personalized report.

I Was Wrong About Self Esteem – It Can Be Harmful & Dangerous
“[Free of anxiety in one session.] Most therapists keep you there because they are not getting to the core of it.” Phone Therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy and, there are 6 reasons that phone therapy is even better than in-person therapy. Watch my video on self-esteem

Now, let’s talk about the top 10 primary motives for bullying.

Bullying takes many forms from physical and verbal to overt and covert actions. Studies reveal that generally girls bully verbally while boys bully physically. The simplest definition of bullying is repetitively being cruel to others who are weaker.

Children who are victims of bullying and those that are engaged in bullying others are reported to be more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and social withdrawal; the negative effects of being bullied in childhood flow into adulthood.

There are 3 key misconceptions surrounding bullies and the motives for bullying.

1. ‘The bully himself has been bullied or he suffers from low self-esteem.’ False. There are many other motives for bullying as I will reveal further below.
2. ‘Bullies are dumb and are not socially intelligent.’ False. Bullies are adept at choosing their victim i.e. choosing children who have lower social skills and less social or physical power.
3. ‘Young, poor, uneducated children will often become a bully.’ False. Children of all ages, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds engage in bullying. Younger children tend to look up older bullies.

Here are 10 reasons why children bully other children:

1. Power: The need for power is the single most significant characteristic associated with bullying behavior. Power is the ability to influence others. The bully may feel weak and powerless at home or may simply seek power as a means to feel significant and secure.
2. Control: The need for control over others is closely associated with the desire for power. Some bullies will form ‘goon squads’. They will carefully select big, strong, muscular kids who are slower or with low self-esteem and then become their best friend and use them to bully other children. This is again motivated by power and control; they control the goon squad and have power over other children.
3. Revenge: The desire for revenge or retaliation after perceiving to have been slighted or wronged. They may have witnessed this behavior at home or be treated the same way at home.
4. Envy: Envy is the desire for something that someone else has often coupled with feelings of inferiority (i.e. ‘I cannot have what he has.’) Children will bully smart, successful or even popular children from a place of inferiority and envy.
5. Popularity: Children seek to belong, and receive approval and acceptance from others, and so they will bully to stand out in the crowd, and get attention, fear and respect from others.

6. Peer Pressure: The desire and need to belong can result in peer pressure of a culture where revenge, machismo, extreme confidence, physical strength, callousness or conformity are demanded and where non-conformity, differences or weakness are all condemned.
7. Delusional Justification: Some children will provoke others to bully them by engaging in annoying or negative behavior. Some bullies believe that they are justified because the other person annoyed them, did something wrong, is weak, unable to defend themselves, unpopular, different, depressed, nervous, anxious or has low self-esteem.
8. Quiet Permission: Some bullies do it because they can. Perhaps the parents allow it; the schools allow it (teachers do nothing, other children fail to report it or choose not to get involved and become bystanders or participate in the bullying once they see it happening); many teachers and coaches are also bullies themselves and this sets the example and quiet permission for bullying.
9. Masking: The desire to hide insecurities and self-doubt coupled with the attempt to appear smart and confident.
10. Pain and Trauma: The bully has been a victim him/herself – of trauma, harassment, abuse, humiliation or bullying at home or at school. They may have witnessed parents verbally and physically fighting or witnessed a parent bullying a sibling.

“I was a bully. I became a bully after enduring years of physical abuse at the hands of my father, as well as psychological and physical abuse by my classmates. I never seemed to fit in at school, had no social skills. When I finally identified a child whom I was capable of bullying, I jumped at the opportunity to release my frustration, at the same time perhaps redeem myself in the eyes of my peers, both of which were a success for me at the time.” – Admission from a former bully.

Some children who were bullied turn into mass killers

Were you bullied?

If you need help to overcome bullying in childhood and its long-term effects, book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

If this newsletter was forwarded to you and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page at

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis, Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

Facebook Comments