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 two-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

Bullying, Shame, and the Possibility of Redemption

The inclusion of so many isolated, yet deeply painful, shaming experiences under the rubric of ‘bullying’ is an attempt to give language to this pain—to legitimate it to ourselves, while giving it expression within culture.

Feeling Paranoid?

Paranoid fears are common and have a variety of causes but new research shows specific issue cognitive behaviour therapy can bring significant benefits

Card Drives

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in In Excess
A number of years ago, I helped a leading Internet poker company do some research on different types of poker player and developed a typology. The typology was based on a survey of 2000 poker players and produced seven different types of player. But what were they? Find out more by reading this article.

The Sexual Boundary Issue That's Seldom Discussed

By Michael Castleman M.A. on March 02, 2015 in All About Sex
Many couples struggle over men's wish to ejaculate into women's mouths and have them swallow.

Why Bullies Don't Feel Bad (Or Don't Know They Do)

If you assume that bullies are aware of feeling bad about themselves, you may be ineffective in dealing with them.

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Blaming the Victim

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on February 28, 2015 in Memory Medic
"What did we do to make them hate us so much?"

Should Health Care Providers Joke About Patients?

By Jean Kim M.D. on February 26, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Medical Gallows Humor can help providers cope, but at what cost to the care provider-patient relationship?

Stop Hating Yourself Once and For All

By Lisa Firestone Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Compassion Matters
Throughout a given day, we experience a barrage of sadistic thoughts so smoothly and so frequently that we hardly notice we’re under attack. We may try to compensate for insecurities, but deep down, we are our own worst enemy. So, what causes us to turn against ourselves and how can we stop?

8 Tips to Ease Parental Anxiety

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Singletons
Parents have cornered the market on anxiety when it comes to their children. Worry paralyzes both parent and child, making children fearful and stifling their curiosity and development. Here’s what parents can do to modulate and minimize their fears.

Detecting Darkness: How to Spot Leaders Who Will Derail

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in A Sideways View
We know that leadership derail is both common and costly. We also know that there are many very good psychometric tests, which can help identify those who will derail. But so many selectors are afraid to use them. Why?

The case FOR social media, TV, phoning, and video games

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in How To Do Life
Why parents shouldn't worry so much about their kids' electronic recreation.

Witnessing an Abusive Relationship -- 'Whiplash': the Movie

By Barbara Schildkrout on February 22, 2015 in The Clinical Picture
This psychological review of the film "Whiplash" discusses one of the most powerful but least apparent dynamics in an abusive relationship -- the manipulation of truth. “Whiplash” was nominated for Best Picture 2015. J.K. Simmons won the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

How Workplace Bullying Destroys Well-being and Productivity

By Ray Williams on February 21, 2015 in Wired for Success
Bullying at work grinds victims down and makes them an 'easy target' for further abuse according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Family Dinners are Great for the Body and the Soul

By Anne K Fishel Ph.D. on February 20, 2015 in The Digital Family
Science says Michelle Obama is right about the importance of family dinners. Potus, Flotus, and the First Girls take full advantage. Does your family?

There Is a New Paradigm for Psychiatry

The hope for a molecular-biochemical explanation for psychiatry is false. It is believed we are on the verge of proving that psychiatry is a brain disease, no different from cancer or diabetes. But there is a paradigm that fully illuminates psychiatry - the ‘Play of consciousness, which is consonant with biology, neuroscience, and evolutution.

Inequality on the Rise? Workers of America Adapt!

By Peter T. Coleman Ph.D. on February 14, 2015 in The Five Percent
The American Dream has been replaced with a nightmare for the working class; the harder you work, and the more jobs you take on, the more you seem to lose ground. So what can a hard working American do to get ahead? Adapt.

Attachment Styles Can't Change, Can They?

John Bowlby, the founding father of attachment theory, argued that the attachment style formed in early childhood often continues to shape a person’s behavior far into adulthood, permeating all future liasons. The attachment style of adults, however, need not completely reflect the child’s early interactions with a caregiver. Sometimes it undergoes a radical shift.

Obama’s Almost Perfect Speech on Religion

By Izzy Kalman on February 12, 2015 in Resilience to Bullying
Barack Obama's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5 was excellent. It was attacked by many Christians and political pundits who cannot handle criticism of their own beliefs. But even Obama's speech was misleading about the full meaning of freedom of speech.

Love Was Just Around the Corner

By Judith Coche Ph.D., ABPP on February 11, 2015 in No Ordinary Life
Just when Eva assumed love had passed her by it stopped to call and stayed a while. Perhaps the reason is that Eva has done superb work to strengthen her troubled family experiences and to build positivity and resilience. Join us as we stop in to see how she built her career and found a Valentine’s Day love just around the corner when she was 55.

The Greatest Challenge a Couple Faces, and 5 Ways to Beat It

By Kerry Patterson on February 11, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
According to a study, couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who struggle to discuss disagreements.

3 Relationship Myths, Debunked (and 1 Proven True)

A lot of love advice out there is nothing more than myths and urban legends. If you are an experienced myth buster, go solve some puzzles on Mensa's math site. If not, continue reading.

The Trouble With Spirituality

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Ambigamy
Spirit, by definition is an immaterial goal-oriented cause of material effects. Anyone can claim its on their side. The go-to ghost who sides with you is a nice friend to have but lousy friend for your opponents to have. Time to give up this go-to ghost and yet it isn't easy. Even most scientists rely on them.

When Love Brings Pain - #1

Your brain seeks the good feeling of letting down your guard. But the slightest threat puts your brain on alert. If you learn to manage these alerts, you can have lasting love.

Creativity’s Monsters: Making Friends with Complexity

By Lisa Rivero M.A. on February 08, 2015 in Creative Synthesis
Creativity is about more than what time you wake up or what apps are on your phone. Being more creative requires us to be open to all the voices in our heads, even—or especially—the crazy ones.

“Je Suis Moath al-Kasasbeh”

By Dr. Kathryn Seifert on February 07, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
ISIS and other terrorist groups enraged the world with their actions. Fighting terrorists with lethal weapons will be part of, but not the entire answer. Examining the roots of terrorism will lead the world to ideas about prevention.

Is Electronic Recreation So Bad?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 06, 2015 in How To Do Life
The case FOR TV, videogames, Facebook, etc.

Leaving Junior High Behind

By Rick Miller LICSW on February 05, 2015 in Unwrapped
Though we may have left junior high school a long time ago, the scars from the shame, humiliation, and fear we experienced in those years may still be with us.

Coca-Cola & Microsoft Spread #Cyberhero Meme

By Dana Klisanin Ph.D. on February 02, 2015 in Digital Altruism
Coca-cola wins best Super Bowl commercial by reminding us that everything in life has an opposite, even cyberbullies.

Overprotective Parenting Doesn't Work

As it turns out, negotiating real-life, reasonable risk can be a very good thing for kids. It can teach them that they have power in this world--or someday will. That they’re competent. And that sometimes, if you really really want something to happen, you have to MAKE it happen, without mom or dad’s help--even if it’s scary to try.