Monday, March 1, 2010

What Does a Bully Look Like?

A bully can appear in all shapes and sizes. It makes no difference if they are big or small. Some bullies can be quite popular with lots of friends, while others appear to be disliked by almost everyone. It is important that we understand that a bully cannot be labeled by what they look like. A bully can be recognized only by their actions.

Although there are many types of bullies and multiple ways of bullying, certain attributes are shared among them. One is domination. All bullies like to dominate others and use others to get what they want. It's all about power and the desire to win. While there is nothing inherently wrong with the desire for power, the bully lacks concern for the others' feelings and cannot foresee the immediate and long-term consequences of his or her actions on others.

Another common trait is to deny responsibility for their actions. When confronted about an incident, a bully will deny any wrongdoing and will often accuse the other kid for starting the incident. Bullies learn to master blame and will often manipulate adults into their own distorted version of events. What makes this situation worse is when the bully has friends or bystanders who defend and support him. Unfortunately, this situation is common and causes the bully to persist and even escalate his aggression toward his target.

Awareness of bullying is crucial within our schools and community. Teachers, parents, and students need to be "aware" of what a bully is and is not. Bullying is a very serious and complex issue that can lead to fatal consequences. Bullying awareness and communication is the first step to keeping our kids safe.

J. Itson is an educational consultant for the BMX Pros Trick Team and Perfection On Wheels. Visit us for information on our BMX school assembly programs.

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