Mental Health Blog

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Who are the bullies? We can vilify them or we can understand them.

It has long been understood that people who bully others are emotionally damaged. Social learning begins at birth. Through day to day experiences and interaction with others, a child begins to form a worldview. Abuse and neglect do cause emotional damage and this damage can begin as early as infancy. The family of origin is where the child learns social skills and develops his or her worldview. Imagine the worldview of a child who grows up in an abusive or neglectful home.

People who bully others lack social skills and have never learned how to get their needs met in appropriate ways. It’s easy to assume that anyone who has a parent has been “raised right”. This is not a safe assumption. For example, an abused mother is not emotionally available to her child and can’t meet the child’s needs. Children learn how to get their needs met by watching others. A bully can be taught how to get their needs met appropriately, but appropriate behavior must be taught, practiced and reinforced regularly. In the absents of a physically and psychologically available parent or family member, it is best that a trained professional provide the social skills training. Parenting classes, social skills training courses and counseling can make a big difference in helping bullies to develop socially acceptable ways of meeting their needs

People who bully others lack people in their lives who truly listen to them, empathize with them and care about their feelings. Yes, bullies have feelings but many of them have not developed empathy and concern for others because they have rarely experienced it for themselves. There are people and professionals who are trained to and who care enough to work through the barriers and walls of an emotionally damaged and neglected person. Developing a spiritual life, exposure to caring and loving peers and/or family and Counseling may go a long way in breaking down barriers of an emotionally damaged person.

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