Are bullies bullied too?

One question I often ponder is, do we believe that a bully bullies others weaker then them, because they are bullied also? For example, might it be the case that typical child bullies pick on weaker kids, because they are picked on either at home by older family members or someone stronger/bigger then them.

A part of me wants to believe this, but then I’m not sure I’ve seen any scientific evidence to back this theory up. If you have, please comment and add a link.

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About Alan Eisenberg

Alan Eisenberg is a Certified Life Coach, Bullying Recovery activist and author of "A Ladder In The Dark: My journey from bullying to self-acceptance" and "Crossing the Line". He has been writing and speaking to various audiences about the issue of C-PTSD and Bullying Recovery. Mr. Eisenberg has been featured on several print, radio shows and podcasts on this issue, including NPR and in the Boston Globe. He is currently working toward his Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling.
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  1. I have witnessed this unfortunately with my son.We moved to Fla. 3 years ago and had a horrific experience with retaliation by the school district in palm beach county. My son is Dyslexic and gifted in intelligence They do not have the trained teachers to teach these children with learning differences. The school retaliated against my son because of our advocacy for him. They wanted him out of the school so teacher’s bullied and they allowed children to bully.This type of unprofessional and immoral behavior was so foreign to us so it took us 2 years to figure out what was going on .Our beautiful , witty ,good natured and morally sensitive son lost all self esteem and became depressed. After placing him in appropriate school he came out of it but is now very angry. He bullies his younger sister who then bullies our youngest son …..who in turn kicks the dog. No exaggeration ,just the sad facts of senseless bullying, It can devastate and destroy families.

  2. Thank you, Susan, for this honest feedback and story. I also feel easily angered and feel on the defensive many times when others tell me it is inappropriate. I do feel like this is due to the years of bullying that I experienced and I’m just in defensive mode more than normal. Sometimes I do feel like I am now the bully when I get this way. I’d love to talk with your husband, and know that you and your family are not alone.

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