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What are the intents of "bullies?"
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What are the intents of "bullies?":

Inspired by this post in another thread, I figured it may be worthwhile to discuss bullying, and why it's engaged in.

First off, I think bullies ARE aware of the emotional damage they cause. They'd HAVE to be aware of it with all the news of bullying-related suicides and the like.

The real question, then, is whether it's a matter of intending to cause emotional damage or being indifferent to it.

I Care Not...
Bullying tends to be pretty fun, especially when you're a kid and you honestly don't have that much better to do.
"I didn't steal it; I'm borrowing it until I die."
bitchy queen
By "not realizing the consequences", I meant they wouldn't realize that their victim was going to shoot everyone.
"Without a fairy, you're not even a real man!" ~ Mido from Ocarina of Time

Inexplicable Student
It's easy to fall into a habit of insulting someone you have contempt for, for one reason or another. Especially if you already have a good deal of personal issues yourself.

What I never understood, though, is how people can be wilfully and continuously cruel. If I insult someone, just once, even in an argument, I always feel guilty over it later and often return to apologise. That kind of sustained bullying is alien to me.
[up][up][up] So why do they pick "hurting others" in particular? Are you saying it's society's fault for... not giving kids better things to do?

edited 12th Feb '11 9:27:22 AM by neoYTPism

The Other Wiki's take.

I've heard that in schools where the Popularity Food Chain exists, bullying is sometimes about social status: the nerds self - select their role as victims because they do not accept social norms and play the popularity game. If these students are not "taught their place", then anyone can be popular, thus rendering social order meaningless. The bullys are thus students whose position in the social order is precarious; if the majority were to reject the pecking order and adapt a new one, they would be the most likely to take a fall.

I suspect it creates a sense of identity: the bullies go from being a nobody to Bad Ass.

edited 12th Feb '11 9:49:33 AM by FrodoGoofballCoTV

 7 snowfoxofdeath, Sat, 12th Feb '11 12:29:25 PM from San Francisco Suburb
Thou errant flap-dragon!
If I may be so cynical, I'd say that it is human nature to want to belittle those that we dislike.
 8 Pykrete, Sat, 12th Feb '11 12:40:31 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
Having spoken with one of my bullies years after the fact, he has explicitly told me wanted to break me in the most spectacular manner possible because he thought it was funny.

edited 12th Feb '11 12:51:34 PM by Pykrete

Element of love
I've alwyas wanted to know this
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis
 10 Aondeug, Sat, 12th Feb '11 12:46:45 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
In my experience, both from my own bullying of my siblings and speaking with others who bully, it's because they find it fun to annoy, frustrate, and/or distress this person or people in general. As for why they pick that over other less cruel forms of entertainment, because they do? That seems like asking why someone chooses to play video games over watching giant robot anime when they find both things amusing.

If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
 11 Rottweiler, Sat, 12th Feb '11 12:52:07 PM from Portland, Oregon
Dog and Pony Show
Schoolchildren are subordinate to the faculty and to their parents.

No one wants to feel they're at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Bullying others shows that at least they're below you, satisfying the lust to rule.
“Love is the eternal law whereby the universe was created and is ruled.” — St. Bernard
Was?
Well there is also the question of immediacy. In school or the office you can't just go out and jog or slot in a hyperviolent video game to blow off steam. You are stuck there for a few hours. And to make your day worse there is this idiot who keeps pissing you off. They just can't help but get in your way, or they won't shut up. In that situation the obvious solution is to tell them off, either to let off some stress or hopefully get them to stop doing the irritating behavior.

Yeah that's a thing a lot of victims of bullying overlook. The ones who get bullied are often irritating as all hell, either in general or in the right circumstances.

edited 12th Feb '11 12:58:45 PM by Alkthash

 13 Aondeug, Sat, 12th Feb '11 12:57:03 PM from  Our Dreams
Oh My
Oh yes. Alk raises good points.
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
betaalpha
Reminds me of the South Park episode where Damien, the new kid in town, gets bullied. Butters explains that he was the school's punchbag before Damien came along, and before Butters people were picking on Cartman. Damien learned his lesson, bullied Butters and was accepted by the other boys because that hoisted him up the pecking order.

Satanic powers aside, this episode struck me as pretty damn realistic. To the kids, bullying Butters was a fun group activity and maintained gang cohesion. Obviously this was unhealthy, but no-one's lauding the South Park kids as being well-adjusted kids.

To toss in some more reasons people might do this: 'cos of a bully"s low self-esteem, because the bully wants cash off the victim, force of habit (the bully never learned other ways to get what he wants), the victim is a romantic rival or someone he envies (being rich, popular etc.).

 15 rmctagg09, Sat, 12th Feb '11 2:09:10 PM from Brooklyn, NY Relationship Status: I won't say I'm in love
The Wanderer
Quite a number of reasons. Poor self-esteem, unit cohesion, annoyance, and simply getting off on picking on those that they deem weaker than themselves.
Hugging a Vanilluxe will give you frostbite.

It's typed rmctagg09.
 16 Bobby G, Sat, 12th Feb '11 3:07:39 PM from the Silvery Tay
vigilantly taxonomish
First off, I think bullies ARE aware of the emotional damage they cause. They'd HAVE to be aware of it with all the news of bullying-related suicides and the like.

Only if they think that what they are doing is bullying. Social bullies (which is what the thread you linked is about) usually don't.
Yeah that's a thing a lot of victims of bullying overlook. The ones who get bullied are often irritating as all hell, either in general or in the right circumstances.

Mhm. I think all the trouble could be saved if the irritated bullies just kindly say they (the victims) can be more mellowed out — instead of that "Hard-To-Get" bitching/snarking/pissing/meaning game that makes black holes in life.

That is one thing so many people overlook— it is generally hard for people to automagically consider themselves 'objectively.' The irritating people do not see themselves as irritating, until they realize it, or someone helps point that out for them. And likewise, the bullies do not see themselves as bullies, but merely a hero in the 'Kick this Doggie's Ass' situation.

"Don't you think that if I were wrong, I'd know it?"

edited 12th Feb '11 4:12:57 PM by QQQQQ

Failed Comic Artist
Tsukubus@ Could you PLEASE cut out with your sociopath bullshit? Its getting really tiresome.
I dont know why they let me out, I guess they needed a spare bed
 19 daltar, Sat, 12th Feb '11 5:19:36 PM from the fantasy of green. Relationship Status: All is for my lord
The Maid
[up] I wouldn't say that it's due to some sociopath thing... at least that comment.

Bullying is fun. Annoying someone, calling names, spreading rumors, preparing pranks... All those stuff can be quite a deal of fun and most of the time people don't think about how much damage they might cause. They just want to see a reaction out of the bullied person and it doesn't even pass through their minds that they could do some lasting damage.

To some of them it's just a game.

edited 12th Feb '11 5:20:01 PM by daltar

If I'm sure of something it's that I'm not sure of anything.
 20 Pseudonym, Sat, 12th Feb '11 5:30:41 PM from The Keebler Tree
I like it here.
Bullying is damn fun. Also, it's social whittling, like a sort of vigilante system.
<(-_-<)(>-_-)> "FUSION HA"
"Only if they think that what they are doing is bullying. Social bullies (which is what the thread you linked is about) usually don't." - Bobby G

The point still applies. Social bullying is known for driving people to suicide as well, and it would take some pretty damn selective thinking to convince oneself that them doing the same kinds of things that helped caused other suicides couldn't help cause new ones.

And even if THAT'S the issue here, one has to ask why that'd be convincing themselves of that in the first place...

bitchy queen
^ Some people have that kind of selective thinking, I'm afraid. Otherwise more suicides/shootings would have been prevented.
"Without a fairy, you're not even a real man!" ~ Mido from Ocarina of Time

Was?
You can't entirely blame bullies if a child is depressed/angry enough to shoot themselves or somebody else. A decent chunk of blame sits with the parents for not picking up on it or doing something to fix it.

 24 Nick The Swing, Sat, 12th Feb '11 7:11:34 PM from Ya really wanna know? Relationship Status: Dating Catwoman
BFS Enthusiast
A bully, I have found, usually has the intention of maintaining and using control over his victims to get something he wants, sometimes its sadistic pleasure in causing pain, ala a Troll, or its that the bully wants the person to do something, and if the person does not do the task to the standard of the bully, more bullying is applied. Its one of the nastiest kinds of manipulation, and not just found in the play ground. Its found in high school, college, and even the work place.
[up] [up] But those who kill themselves and others (and the parents of such people) ALREADY get a significant chunk of the blame. Right now the bullies who actually drove people to it don't seem to get as much of it, on the basis of arguments like "we're all bullied but don't all X." (Which don't take into account differences in severity of bullying, in extents to which popular opinion is on their side, etc...)

[up] [up] [up] But do you really think it's about selective reasoning? What makes you think they aren't aware of the emotional harm they cause?

edited 12th Feb '11 7:13:11 PM by neoYTPism

Total posts: 144
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