What Happens When You Become A Bully? (PLUS: What is Bullying, How to Stop Being a Bully)

Ciao lovelies! Today’s post is about bullying, but specifically I wanted to talk about what happens when you become a bully, how it affects your self-esteem, how it affects those around you, and how to stop being a bully.

What is Bullying?

Bullying is a big problem for people of all ages. It can come in many shapes and forms.

According to StopBullying.gov - a site made by the US government- bullying is set apart from singular situations because bullying is repeated, unwanted, aggressive behavior and usually involves some kind of real or perceived power imbalance.

 What Happens if You Become a Bully?

So, now that you know what bullying is, what happens if you realize that you are being a bully? How does being a bully affect your self-esteem? How does it affect the people around you? And, how can you stop being a bully?

How Does Being a Bully Affect Your Self Esteem?

Being a bully can really take a toll on your self-esteem. Sure, you might think that tearing others down will make you feel better, but in the end, you just end up feeling alone. When you try to control everyone around you, like bullies tend to do, people won’t want to spend time with you anymore.

Further, even if you start being a bully because you want to be popular, after a while, that popularity will fade, and those new “friends” you thought you had will turn on you too.

In the end, bullying really isn’t a fix for low self-esteem. If anything, it makes low self-esteem even worse.

The right thing to do if you’re feeling down about yourself is practice self-care and affirmations, to seek out meaningful friendships and talk to a counselor or trusted adult.

If You’re a Bully, How Does it Affect Your Friends/Friendships?

Like I mentioned earlier, nobody really wants to be friends with a bully. People that purposefully “befriend” bullies are usually just trying to save themselves from being a target. Oh, and so called “popular” kids that encourage you to bully others to earn their favor are just using you to make themselves more powerful and will turn on you easily.

Unfortunately, when you become a bully, you make it harder for yourself to form meaningful friendships. People around you are either scared of you or really don’t like how you’re acting. Old friends may stop hanging out with you if they see you turning into a bully.

If You’re a Bully, How Can It Affect Your Future?

People who are bullies and never stop, never learn to correct their behavior usually have a pretty hard life. They have lots of “frenemies,” meaning they don’t have real, meaningful friendships, which can be pretty lonely.

Bullies will also find themselves having a harder time in future jobs. They will have less coworker acquaintances and friends, they may find themselves getting written up by “HR” (Human Resources, the office that usually manages how employees act, as well as hiring/firing) more often than others. They might even get fired due to poor attitude and being rude to bosses or fellow employees.

The truth is, bullying won’t get you far in life at all. The best option is, as soon as you notice any sort of bullying behavior in yourself, to stop right away and evaluate yourself.

How to Stop Being a Bully

The first step to stop yourself being a bully is to learn to be “introspective.” Being introspective means learning to look at yourself in an objective, also called “impartial,” way. If you can judge your own actions in an objective way, you can see the truth about your own actions, instead of being biased.

If you’ve looked at your own actions in an un-biased way and discovered that – “Oh no, I’ve been acting like a bully!”- don’t panic. It’s good that you recognized your mistakes, and now you can move on to the next step.

Taking the next step to stop being a bully means apologizing. Apologies can be hard. Something important to remember when you apologize is that they may not be able to forgive you right away. Don’t try to force someone to accept your apology. You might have really hurt them, and you might need to do more, like show meaningful changes in your actions, to get that person to truly be able to forgive you. Do not “apologize” if you don’t plan on changing your actions. Apologies mean that you are very truly sorry, and will change your actions in the future to reflect the lessons you’ve learned.

The last and most important step to stop being a bully is to change your behavior. Like I said earlier, apologizing means nothing if you don’t stop doing the offending behavior. If you apologize for teasing someone about their appearance, you need to stop. Don’t continue to make comments about their appearance. Always stop the behavior that you apologized for.

A bonus step, to ensure that you are never a bully again: always think about your actions and words, and how they will affect those around you. Is that joke truly funny, or is it rude? Is that comment really necessary? Thinking ahead like this will change how you behave to avoid a situation like this in the future.

Final Thoughts?

If you discover that you’re being a bully, you need to:

1.       Look at your actions and be un-biased.

2.       Figure out what actions were hurtful.

3.       Apologize for your actions and do not force people to forgive you right away.

4.       Change your behavior to reflect your apology.

5.       Think ahead of your words/actions in the future to avoid being a bully.

It is not hard to stop being a bully, and ultimately you will feel better if you are not being a bully to others.

What do you think of this information? Did you ever have a time where you found yourself being a bully? Let us know what you did in the comments below!

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