Bullying is one of the most common issues that teens will face during their teenage years. Most schools report that bullying happens at least once a week, and appears to be most frequent in middle schools.
Teens who are bullying others might show some of the below signs:
- Justifying extreme violent behaviour – They have positive views towards violence and may justify violent behaviour, such as verbally and physically hurting someone.
- Building friendships with other bullies – Like-minded people who share similar opinions and preferences will often group together. As such, teens tend to build friendships with people who share the same interests and mindsets.
- Aggressive towards others – Usually bullies are aggressive towards others. If a teen exhibits aggression as a result of anger, there is a higher risk that they may be involved in repeated aggressive behaviour, like that involved in bullying.
- Urge to control others – Needing control is a common trait among teens who bully others. They seek to dominate and be in control of others and situations.
- Gets in trouble at school – Detention or a call from the principal’s office is not new for bullies. Detention is something that most teens experience once or twice. However, if detentions become more frequent, it may be a sign of bullying.
- Have difficulties in sleeping – Bullying can often be a result of underlying stress at home and other mental health problems experienced by the bully. This can lead to sleep difficulties in some teens. Bullying also creates its own stress, so sleep problems can be a flow on effect.
- Worry about popularity and their reputation – Bullying behaviour is often driven by personal insecurities held by the bully. As a result, bullies are often highly concerned with their appearance, popularity and their reputation amongst friends.
- Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, they blame others – Passing the blame is common amongst bullies. This is part of maintaining control and preserving their image.
- Often test limits and breaking boundaries – Bullies often have a disregard for rules and authority figures (parents, teachers, and maybe even the law). As a result, they often break rules and may not understand, or even care, that it’s wrong
No sympathy towards others – Bullies can sometimes lack sympathy towards others and might struggle to understand how others feel. They may not fully understand the effects of their behaviour on another person, however, this is no excuse.