Understanding Bullying

Bullying is a distinctive pattern of deliberately harming and humiliating others. It's a very durable behavioral style, largely because bullies get what they want—at least at first. Bullies are made, not born, and it happens at an early age, if the normal aggression of 2-year-olds isn't handled well.

Bullies couldn't exist without victims, and they don't pick on just anyone; those singled out lack assertiveness and radiate fear long before they ever encounter a bully. No one likes a bully, but no one likes a victim either. Grown-up bullies wreak havoc in their relationships and in the workplace.

Many experts believe that bullying behavior is on the rise because children increasingly grow up without the kinds of experiences that lead to the development of social skills. It has been well-documented that free play is on the decline, but it is in playing with peers, without adult monitoring, that children develop the skills that make them well-liked by agemates and learn how to solve social problems.

Recent Posts on Bullying

How to Stop a Bully

Nobody likes a bully, so why do we have so many? Based on an honest analysis, here is how we can stop one....

What We’re Not Being Told About Anti-Bullying Laws

By Izzy Kalman on February 11, 2016 Resilience to Bullying
The NJ Board of Education is playing with statistics to make negative results of its anti-bullying law to look positive.

The Naked Truth About High School

By Marty Babits on February 10, 2016 The Middle Ground
Crossing the great divide, experience high school from the front lines.

Bullies With a Cause

How do schools deal with nonconformists, and what happens when "excellent sheep" go to college?

When You're Hot, You're Hot

Living at the mercy of a hot temper is miserable for everyone.

Blake Griffin's Mea Culpa

How Blake Griffin could earn back the trust of fans and supporters after being a bully

Why New Jersey Can’t Fix Its Anti-Bullying Law

By Izzy Kalman on February 05, 2016 Resilience to Bullying
New Jersey is repeatedly bemoaning the problems with its anti-bullying law and wondering how to fix it. It can't because the problem is the psychology, not the law.

Tracking School Shooters

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 01, 2016 Shadow Boxing
Expert on school shooters offers comprehensive website as resource for anyone who might have to know about or deal with such incidents.

Of Sibling Rivalry, Stepfamilies and Bullying

What to do about sibling rivalry and stepfamilies

15 Control Tactics of Difficult People

Be on the lookout for these, before you get blindsided!

They Ridiculed My Big Ears, So I Killed Them

By Izzy Kalman on January 28, 2016 Resilience to Bullying
One of Canada's worst shootings occurred last week in La Loche, Saskatchewan. A teenager killed 4 people and injured 7, apparently because his ears were ridiculed. How can we help?

Prisons Perpetuate Trauma in Female Inmates

Perpetrators of sexual violence in prisons are often prison staff, and their crimes are going unpunished.

What Makes Anti-bullying Programs Effective?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on January 27, 2016 Media Spotlight
Children and adolescents become bullying targets for a wide variety of reasons though race, ethnic background, appearance, or sexual orientation appear to be the most common.

The Rise of Toxic Leadership and Toxic Workplaces

By Ray Williams on January 27, 2016 Wired for Success
The truth of the matter is that we are hypocrites, and we are witnessing the rise of toxic leaders and workplaces. We tend to choose or follow a very different kind of leader.

Workplace Bullies Are Bad, Really

Workplace bullying isn't going away soon so smart owners and managers will be prepared to deal with it. It's both the right thing to do and the smart business move.

When "Fun" Gets Racist, What Should Schools Do?

Five ideas for creating the right conditions for safe and appropriate outcomes.


A steady increase in reported incidences of bullying indicate this epidemic is on the fast track as bully behavior permeates our society. Let's open our eyes and put a stop to it.

5 Do’s and Don’ts of Helping Kids Handle Bullying

The bad news is that bullying is pervasive among school-aged kids. The good news is that there are many ways parents can safeguard their children and empower them to cope

Trump, Bullying, and Narcissistic Culture

The mockery launched at detractors (anyone “un-American” enough to have alternate points of view) is undergirded by a sense of patriotism that meshes well with the me-generation...

The Sounds of Rudeness

Rudeness is sadly becoming the acceptable way of communicating, because models of incivility are loudly displayed in politics, the media, the trolling blogosphere, and conversation

Trump, Bullying, and Narcissism

Social aggressions can be re-cast when the narrative is one of a mythic lone rebel taking justice into his own hands, or David taking on Goliath (America loves an underdog).

Advice to Isis (Brown)

By Izzy Kalman on January 15, 2016 Resilience to Bullying
Isis Brown's viral video pleads for help for kids who get made fun of because they share a name with the world's most despised terror group. Here is the timeless solution.

The Germans and Their Crowds

When Germans blame foreigners and the world blames the Germans, it is time for a second look.

Do You Know How to Recognize Controlling People?

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on January 03, 2016 In Control
Being with others in ways that let them be and also allow us to get on with our own being is, perhaps, the most urgent quest of our time.

Psychopaths at Work

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 01, 2016 A Sideways View
There is increasing interest in the "normal psychopath". How do your recognise them and how should you react to them in the work place?

Sibling Abuse and Bullying, Part 2

Practical ways that parents can minimize sibling aggression and prevent it from escalating to bullying

Sibling Abuse and Bullying

Brothers and sisters can hurt each other very, very badly, and because they live together, there’s no escape for the victims. Learn the facts about sibling bullying.

"The Emperor’s New Groove," A Movie that Teaches Ethics

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on December 29, 2015 Moral Landscapes
"The Emperor’s New Groove" is an enchanting animated movie about how a self-centered king learns compassion through friendship. It teaches ethics for life.

Disciplinary Problems and Bullying in Youth Sports

Removal from sports is a last resort that should occur only after reasonable efforts have been made to correct the problem.

Lame Blame

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on December 25, 2015 A Swim in Denial
In the season of giving, the key is forgiving. We victimize scapegoats by blaming them for what we hate in ourselves. But the better it works, the more it injures you.