What Makes a Bully?

This is my penultimate bullying post, and I feel I’ve learned a lot from the last few weeks – I hope you have to. We’ve heard from a former bully and an expert in the field of children. Both have fascinated me and given me food for thought – specifically in terms of perception, which I wrote about last week.

But I’m also intrigued as to what the average parent thinks about bullying – after all, that’s what’s most important should our children come against the issue. So today I’m handing over to some of my blogger friends who’ve kindly shared their thoughts and experiences…


I was bullied and I often wonder what made her do it. I don’t think there is a one size fits all and certainly in my bully’s case I do think she had psychological issues. The people that joined in though, I think that just comes from a place of insecurity – wanting to be part of the ‘in crowd’.

Katy from What Katy Said


I was bullied badly in school, they made my life hell for years. There was a gang of 7 girls and I think it was purely just each off them egging each other on and using me to make themselves look cool or whatever. They would encourage each other and it just got worse as the years went on. I don’t think any of them had any issues, I do just think they were horrible people. Unfortunately it’s left me with such low confidence that I’ve been the victim of work place bullying since as I don’t stand up for myself. I have no idea how to tackle them, I’m 28 and still struggle with it all.

Ally from Mother Under Measure 


I was bullied at school for being thin, I wrote about it. I’m not really sure why people bully. I think some people are just nasty and enjoy making others suffer, they find a weakness, a point of insecurity and then jump on it. Others get dragged in with herd mentality, or being afraid of the bullies turning on them instead. I also think it’s to do with morals and your conscience. I was always one to not join in, maybe why I was also a target.

Eilidh from Mummy and Monkeys


I think sometimes with children its a cry for attention I have seen this a lot as they know they will get attention even if it is negative attention . Sometimes with adults I find its their own insecurity that’s why they bully others.

Jessica from Beauties and the Bibs 

What Makes Someone Bully?

I think sometimes children don’t think about the impact it has on the other person! Often bullying is done by a “friend”. But some people do it for power. ?? 

Amy from The Smallest of Things


I don’t know what causes it as I think it varies from upbringing to jealousy etc, but it’s my biggest worry about my kids going to school especially nowadays with social media and camera phones. Recently my Mum (in her 60s) has been bullied at work so I guess it is just a certain kind of person, whatever age.

Laura from Waffle Mama


I think it often comes down to a lack of empathy – people know it makes them feel better when others see them as superior / dominant, but just don’t really care what it does to the person they bully. It’s really important to ask children how they would feel in whatever situation – even if you sound like a broken record – because it’s something that doesn’t always come naturally.

Jessica from Babi a Fi


Sometimes I think it may start off with the not understanding why the other child is different, they never bully a popular child always a ‘different’ one, if that’s quiet or a disability that child is different. Think it just progresses from there really. Kinda get some sort of buzz from it maybe. Some other children talk to them and they think they are clever. Or when they hit that child, someone laughs and it gives a little boast to their ego. Then it carries on for attention.


Adults who bully are just horrible. Why would anyone bully someone else I don’t know, young kids you can make exceptions for, older kids are still learning, even though they know it’s wrong, adults who bully, there are no excuses.

Jo from First Time Valley Mam


I think children and adults bully when they are being suppressed elsewhere. So they take out their frustrations on someone else.

Jacinta from Jacintaz3


I think it’s based on a lack of control or wanting to control others, especially in adults. They bully to make themselves feel like they have power and control over an individual or situation, usually to cover up their own insecurities.

Kayleigh from Candyfloss Dreams 


Gosh I’ve been bullied a lot. People say to me, ‘it’s because you’re too nice!’ The thing is, when someone bullies me I see them as looking for a target, adult bullies are the worst. I see them as weak and needing to shift their insecurities onto me. Once I stand up for myself they seem to act as if I have over-reacted. It’s so psychological. With kids I think it’s similar but not as messed up. I think kid’s are playing a power battle, or copying behaviour from other kids or adults.. I think it’s attention seeking too. I remember being threatened in work when I was pregnant by an older single and non-parenting female. We were once friends and she turned when I was pregnant. It was horrible! Was it envy of the pregnancy? I sometimes think so… I can give more examples if you need them. I’ve always been a target. 

Kelly from Kelly Allen Living the Dream


I used to advice people on the bullying forum of a uk parenting website. So often I found there is a lot of information and advice available to parents of a child who is being bullied but not nearly enough support for parents of a bully. It’s so important to get to the source of such destructive behaviour and while many people are in denial, though who accept their child need support hit a deadend.

Emily from A Slummy Mummy


Thanks to all who contributed to this post. I’m particularly interested in Emily’s point about a lack of support for the parents of the bully, which I think is an essential element in educating our children and helping them to resolve conflicts.

Next week I’ll be finishing up with a round-up of tips for handling bullying.

In the meantime, have you found these different perspectives and attitudes helpful? Who do you agree with – or do you feel differently altogether? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments.


An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is a huge advocate of personal growth, focusing on journaling to increase positivity and facilitate mindful motherhood. With a wealth of experience in breastfeeding and CMPA, Kate is also an expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.


  1. Kate Tunstall Reply

    Thanks so much for being involved! I’d love to think this series might help somebody. X

  2. Kate Tunstall Reply

    Not at all, I’m totally with you! Thanks for being involved xx

  3. I found this so interesting. Especially to hear everyone’s opinions on why bullies bully. I wanlsnt bullied as a kid but I’ve come across work situations where bullying has happened. I can’t understand it. The bully mind is something I just can’t comprehend 🙁 #Thelist

    • Kate Tunstall Reply

      I suppose that’s why I wanted to write this series, to see if it would be possible to gain some comprehension. I think perhaps there’s room for understanding in *some* circumstances. X

  4. Kate Tunstall Reply

    I think you’re right; there are many common reasons, but often it’s more complex. Thanks for commenting.

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