Bullying and Peer Abuse

Well, the new year is upon us and that means another year of bullying and Peer Abuse. As we continue to explore this problem of Peer Abuse, one thing we need to be aware of is the bully. In dealing with this problem, it is important to try and understand these folks or at least what makes them the way they are. I have done some research on this and here are some theories I have that seem to aid in making the bully the way he or she is.

1. Reactive Attachment Disorder: This develops very early on in the life of everyone. As babies, we are not able to get our needs met so we cry. As we cry, we have a caregiver who is generally the mother or some other maternal role model. What happens is that this maternal figure gets those needs met for us during the first couple of years of life. As they meet our needs, trust develops between infant and mother and along with trust, the development of empathy occurs. Also, this helps in the development of optimal brain development and emotional health.

However, in the case of the bully, when these needs are NOT met, trust and empathy do NOT develop. Instead, the infant learns to mistrust and develops an impaired ability to know that the world is a safe place. Without trust, they become viligant and they do not allow others to care for them in a loving and nurturing manner. Instead they become controlling, demanding and empathy does not develop as well. Without empathy, they grow without a conscience and the concept of "what hurts me will also hurt you" does not register with them. Brain development is lacking here and attachment does not take place. So, to compensate, they develop strategies to get their needs met such as cute and charming behavior to get what they want, indiscriminate affection with adults, lacks affection or may loathe care givers and nurturers, occupied with blood, death and
fire. Also, are cruel to animals, destructive of others belongings, blames others for their problems, lack of remorse, controls and manipulates and develops a grandiose sense of self importance.

2. Someone is hurting the bully: The only way that someone learns these patterns of behavior is through those in his own environment. For a child to be so mean that he has to target other children, he is hurting and misplacing his anger on his targets or victims (bullies carry a LOT of anger with them). Possibly, the bully is being peer abused by someone else at school, home or somewhere else in his environment. He could be experiencing any form of child abuse or maybe has not been taught respectful behavior by his care givers. His background needs to be investigated further.

3.Help the bully early on: It is important to detect these problems early on in the development of a child. In the schools, authority needs to be aware of a child expressing this behavior repeatedly. The earlier this is nipped, the greater the chances are of saving the bully from getting worse.

4.The bully as an adult: In adults, they carry these disorders of anti-social problems (psychopath and sociopath) and narcissistic personality disorder. Many adults who are bullies are in prison as they lack the personality skills to follow rules in society. In the workplace, it is important to recognize these problems and develop some code of conduct towards getting this stopped. There are many trainings out there which teach managers and other employees how to deal with these issues. If the manager is a bully, it is time to go over his head if possible.