What Can I Do If I Bully Others?


If you are always picking on other students, you have a problem. It may be hard to admit you have a problem, but we all have to own up to how we treat other people. It’s not right to want to make others feel badly.

If bullying behaviour makes you feel powerful, you must realize that no one really likes other people who bully. You may scare kids into hanging around with you, but that’s not the same as having friends who respect you. Also, you are harming yourself. When kids who bully become adults, they often have problems. People who can’t control their behaviour have trouble keeping jobs and can even end up in jail.

Figure out why you bully. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you really mean to make other people feel awful? Why? Think about how that must feel.
  • Is something making you unhappy – a problem at home or at school? Is there someone you can talk to about it?
  • Is someone – an adult, a member of your family – bullying or hurting you? Are you taking it out on someone else? Can you talk to that person? Can you get someone else to talk to that person for you? Consider talking to a school counsellor or trusted adult.
  • Is there someone in particular that you pick on? Is there something about that person that bothers you or makes you jealous?
  • Do you hang around with friends that bully others? Why? Do you really want to be around people who like to pick on others? Can you really trust them as friends?
  • Are you a victim of violence? If so, can you break the cycle of violence and make sure no one has to suffer as you did? Talk to a school counsellor.
  • Do you have trouble making friends? Learning to make friends is a skill that takes practice. Watch someone you admire to get ideas about making new friends.

It’s time to make a change

Ask for help. Talk to someone at school about your problem and ask for help as to how you can control your negative feelings.

Changing behaviour takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t change everything you want to change immediately. The fact that you are reading this and want to change is a positive step. Being willing to do something about your behaviour is half the battle.