Finding The Root Cause Of Bullying: Who Or What Should We Blame?

October 29, 2018 13:45

First of all, yes, bullying is a huge issue in our society. The consequences of such behavior can be extremely devastating for both victims and bullies. But bullying has always been in schools. Don’t you remember how children were fighting or calling each other names? So what has changed? Is it that bullying somehow evolved? Or maybe today’s generation is different from ours? To answer these questions, we need to look at the main causes of bullying behavior and understand why some people bully others.

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READ ALSO: Most Common Types Of Bullying: How To Recognize If Someone Is Bullied?

Causes of bullying: the root of the problem

Human society has spent a lot of years analyzing bullying behavior and trying to find the main reason why people do it. While some experts believe there should be one specific cause, most psychologists are adamant: here are more than enough reasons for bullying. Let’s look at the most common ones to try and find out if they are somehow connected.

1. Asserting dominance

Did people come from animals? If so, the natural selection mechanisms are still embedded in our brain. Multiple studies suggest that the ancient brain that we had inherited from our ancestors millions of years ago is still doing its job. This part of the human brain is called the reptilian brain. Besides being responsible for heart rate, balance, and body temperature, it also plays a key part in forming self-esteem and keeping us safe. In other words, people have to have a social life and are afraid of death thanks to the reptilian brain.

We all know that the strongest animal has the best land, the best partner, and the best quality food. Therefore, it is absolutely natural to fight for the better life. The same applies to the human world. We have thousands of tools to assert domination over somebody, where one of them is bullying. The reptilian brain finds someone weaker and tries to basically “show who’s the boss here.” Such behavior is often copied by young children from their “bossy” parents. In other cases, parents may be bullies themselves.

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READ ALSO: New Ways To Prevent Bullying And Protect Our Children. Do They Really Work?

2. Loneliness

We can surely “accuse” the reptilian brain of being responsible for this next cause of bullying. Children form groups basing not only on the same interests, but also the same behavioral patterns. That’s where the reptilian brain kicks in. We strive to have social relationships and seek someone of our own kind to be friends with. We form groups to create a sense of power and security. Here works the only rule – prove that you deserve to be a part of the group, i.e. show that you are the same. That’s why groups of bullies keep bullying people, similar to the wolves who keep hunting prey.

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3. Center of attention

Public recognition is a drug. When you are sitting on the top of the mountain, you will do everything to stay there. Similarly, you will try to maintain your rank in the community. The combination of a huge ego and impunity is a highly explosive mixture. Such children often have exceptionally powerful families behind them. Following in the parents’ footsteps, they try to build their empire at school. Bullying is a simple tool to achieve respect, in such case.

A lot of children value power more than kindness, isn’t it true of the world of adults? And at this point, we can once again refer to the reptilian brain. Being the center of attention, the king or the queen, the number one means having all the goods. We all know very well that people who have power can often abuse it. No one wants to lose power.

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Every parent should understand that every school’s community has its own rules. And because child’s consciousness develops gradually, it can often neither handle nor adapt to those rules. That’s why the reptilian brain has much more power over children than adults. It forces them to assert domination, to avoid loneliness, and to strive for a better position in society. Therefore, the root cause of bullying is our animal nature.

But that’s when the things get tricky. How can we perceive something natural as wrong? Maybe then it’s not the reptilian brain which should be blamed for the devastating effects of the modern bullying. Maybe it is adults who are to be accused of not teaching the children the limits of acceptable social behavior, of not paying enough attention to them, or of being bullies themselves…?

READ ALSO: Every Parent Should Pay Attention To The Warning Signs Of Bullying. Only This Way Tragedies Can Be Prevented

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