This May Be Why You Bully Others (Here’s What to Do)

Understand Why You're Bullying

Sometimes we realize difficult things about ourselves. If you’ve noticed yourself blowing up at others or lashing out when you’re afraid you won’t get what you want or need, you could be bullying people around you.

While that can be hard to accept, I want to commend you for looking for ways to stop bullying others. There is always hope when we’re committed to understanding how we hurt others and to stopping our harmful behavior. 

Why Is Bullying Harmful?

It’s probably obvious on the surface why bullying is harmful. After all, no one feels good after being treated cruelly by someone else. But even if the people you bully seem to shrug it off, your choices could have a lasting impact that may make it difficult for them to feel safe or find joy in other friendships and relationships.

Bullying is harmful because it creates a pattern of fear. The person fears you and believes you to be in control. The longer the bullying persists, the more difficult it is for that person to break the cycle and get the help they need to heal.

If you’ve found your way here because you want to stop yourself from bullying, I know it’s hard to think about how your choice to bully has hurt others. But you can do your part to break the cycle, too.

Why Are You Bullying?

When I want to stop doing something I’m not happy with, it’s more than just forcing myself to do it (in fact, that’s usually not very effective). I have to think about why I’m making poor choices. When I better understand the root causes of my behavior, I will have a clearer idea of how to change it.

Think back on your life and some of the things you went through growing up. Maybe you were abused by someone close to you.

Or maybe your parents divorced. Trauma like that can definitely make understanding, controlling, and expressing tough emotions like fear and anger difficult without the proper support. 

What Can You Do About It?

There’s good news amidst this challenging work. You can change, and there are people who want to help you make that happen. 

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to ask for forgiveness from the people you’ve bullied. If they don’t feel safe talking things over with you, or if the bullying happened a long time ago, that doesn’t mean you can’t be forgiven. God’s forgiveness is vast, and He is always willing to listen when you reach out to Him for help during a time of change and struggle.

Since ending bullying behavior often means healing from trauma, it’s a good idea to seek out a counselor or therapist who can help you talk about things in a safe place. 

It may also help to talk to people close to you about the things you’re working on, so they can support you if you need to find ways to care for yourself and express tough emotions that are healthier and more constructive.

Above all, don’t give up. Breaking your patterns of bullying behavior isn’t easy, but it is possible, and your friendships and relationships will get so much healthier because of it. 

If you’re not sure where to start or feeling fearful about reaching out to someone, talk to a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine. We are here to listen and help without judgment, and we are proud of your decision to make kinder choices. 

Are you being bullied? Read this blog on how to recognize bullying and how to get help. 

Dawson McAllister
Dawson McAllister, also known as America's youth pastor, was an author, radio host, speaker, and founder of TheHopeLine. McAllister attended Bethel College in Minnesota for undergraduate work where he graduated in 1968, began graduate studies at Talbot School of Theology in California, and received an honorary doctorate from Biola University.
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