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How do I know if I'm a bully?

183 Answers
Last Updated: 12/23/2021 at 4:13am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
May 6th, 2018 8:21pm
people will be afraid of you some people may straight up tell you, you may find yourself picking on a kid.
May 9th, 2018 6:00am
Being mean to someone, such as rolling my eyes to them, yelling at them or pushing them for no reason. Hurting them with my words or being aggressive to them
May 27th, 2018 4:02am
If you are... Constantly maming a person feel bad, you are most likely a bully. Of course they is a chance you are accidentally bullying, but I think the best way is to ask people how they feel. Check with those YOU feel like your bullying to know for sure
June 15th, 2018 9:56pm
Before you say something, think about whether you would like it if someone said it to you. It's always good to put yourself in someone else's shoes to see how you come across.
June 23rd, 2018 6:12am
Having been a bully once, I would recommend broaching this concern with whomever you think you're bullying because you may not know when you are making them feel nervous or apprehensive or insecure about themselves.
June 28th, 2018 9:38pm
If you are making fun of something or someone even after realizing that it’s getting out of the limit instead of saying sorry and stopping right there , you are carrying on with the immature attitude.
July 6th, 2018 1:15am
You could know if you’re a bully,when you’re making someone feel bad and when you intentionally say specific things to hurt people’s feelings
July 11th, 2018 10:43am
A bully is a person who repeatedly hurts others, verbally and non-verbally, usually targeting people who they think are weaker and/or different. Ask yourself: do I derive satisfactions from other people's hurt feelings or failure? There is a feeling called Schadenfreude – it means pleasure derived from another's misfortune, and while it feels good, it leads to bullying. Another thing that can make you a bully is the feeling that you have to appear tough and control others. Think about your conflict-resolving skills. If you avoid conflicts by aggression, you may be a bully. Sometimes we also bully under the pressure from other bullies, when we feel like we have to pick a side, and we prefer to be a bully than to be bullied.
July 25th, 2018 10:27pm
You can tell if you are a bully by your actions with others. Do you encourage them or make fun of them? Do you offer friendship or having friends pick on them? How do you feel you interact with another person?
July 28th, 2018 6:33pm
If you use your superior ability/influence to intimidate somebody else (eg. to force them to do something) that's bullying. Bullying is basically making someone feel small consistently.
August 2nd, 2018 5:24am
You tend to pick on people for unnecessary reasons. You feel as if making someone feel bad will help you be popular.
August 11th, 2018 5:39am
Take a very long and hard look at the things that you do and say to the people around you if you wouldn’t want them things being done or said to you you might be a bully
August 17th, 2018 3:29am
If it does affect the person you are bullying, whether it is emotionally or physically, then you are technically bullying others. This does not matter whether you do in individually or with a group. There is a thin line between joking and bullying and it is important to know the cut-off. It is also possible to bully someone without being aware of it yourself, so it would be highly appreciated if you would think whether your actions will be fine if you are on the receiving end. There is also indirect bullying, that could take forms in rumors or gossips. Please do be careful.
August 17th, 2018 10:25am
You know if you are intentionally hurting someone else as a way to feel better about yourself or in order to get a sense of acheivement, self worth or strength. If you feel as though you are doing so, don't blame yourself but try to understand your reasons for doing so, this will help you stop hurting both yourself and others. Talk to listeners and other experienced individuals here in 7 cups, who will guide you through this. Don't feel overly guilty as well. Try and reach out to the person you think you might be bullying, and speak to them about your behaviour towards them. This will help you both understand each other, get rid of ill feelings and relieve hurt. Hope you feel better!
September 29th, 2018 12:39am
This one is a hard one to answer as you'd think you would know that you were a bully or not however it's not always as crystal clear as you'd like to think. There are many signs that you are a bully, the more obvious ones are that someone starts avoiding crossing your path, people start avoiding eye contact when speaking for you, people start becoming more silent around you or you ignore someone with purpose. Some other signs which is not as obvious is that you blame everyone else for your problems and you surround yourself with people who never challanges your views.
November 30th, 2018 9:06pm
If you’re hurting someone, whether it is hurting them physically or emotionally, and you continue to hurt them even after you know they don’t appreciate it and you know it’s wrong, it is bullying. On the other hand, if both people involved are mutually having fun (both parties understand that it is lighthearted and both parties are able to share the laughter) and no one is taking offense at your actions, it’s not considered bullying. If you are very concerned about this issue, then seeking help from a professional (like a school counsellor) would be the option to take.
December 29th, 2018 5:01pm
Applying your own power as a sense of being inferior to another individual. This includes having a lack of care of how your actions may affect another individual's feelings and having no respect or acceptance for who they are. There are many forms of bullying - it is not just picking on them after school, there can be verbal, physical and cyber bullying and there is help available for those who believe to be a bully or are unsure whether they are one. There is also help available to parents who may be concerned that their child is a bully.
January 5th, 2019 6:20pm
You have all the freedom you want, as long as you don't hurt someone. When someone tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to say you didn't, or that their feelings are wrong. And if they don't say it to you directly, you can watch their reaction to your actions (arethey crying, does their laugh sound fake, are they laughing, do they feel embarrased, WATCH THEIR BODY LANGUAGE,...). When you see you hurt them in any way, apologize and NEVER repeat it again. You become a bully when you reapeat the actions of hurting someone in any way.
January 23rd, 2019 4:53pm
If you are hurting someone by hitting them or anything to the body that can cause them physical harm you are a bully. If you are posting mean and hurtful things on social media then you are a bully. When you say things to someone that breaks their self esteem or hurts them emotionally then you are a bully as well. Bullies are not always aware that they might be doing hurtful things to a person because most bullies were bullied themselves. If you know that you are causing someone harm on purpose then yes you are a mean bully.
February 16th, 2019 4:23pm
Everyone's experience in life is different, so the only way to know if you're a bully to someone else is to ask them. In asking them you can have a conversation about it, and if they feel like you have been a bully towards them for some reason, you can decide then how you want to respond to that. I have found in my past experience that talking to people about something is the best way to really understand how I have had an effect on that person and it is usually not as bad as I have thought. If you need advice on this I recommend reading the Bullying self-help guide on 7 cups or by starting a conversation with one of our trained listeners.
February 17th, 2019 9:14am
If you notice you enjoy hurting or making people afraid, it is likely you are behaving like a bully. Feelings of power and control may dominate your mind when you hurt unassertive individuals, this should indicate it is time to think about your thoughts and behavior. Bully's usually experience the feeling of being out of control in their own lives (home/school) or even experience abusive situations. If you are exhibiting aggressive or harmful behavior to weaker people, then it is likely you are trying to subconsciously re-gain that power. Self-esteem and assertiveness can be taught, so changing aggressive or harmful behaviors and replacing them with more healthy responses/thoughts is relatively easy when you understand why you originally behaved and thought that way. If you are unaware of what fear looks like in others, a good indicator would be facial expressions. Do people avoid you? Do people always just agree with you? are they confident to challenge you? Have you ever asked someone you know to be honest and tell you what people think of you and how you make them feel? Bullying doesn't always mean physically threatening or harming someone. It can be ostracizing weaker members of your group (Children/adults). Social media is a prime example of bullying without touching someone. Excluding friends from group social media platforms or posting mean pictures supposedly representing the person being bullied, are all gross acts of harmful psychological bullying. If any of this resonates it may be a good time to address these behaviors and seek support in implementing change.
April 28th, 2019 2:25am
If you persistently and systematically bad-mouth, intimidate, name-call, insult, exclude, make fun of, make life or tasks difficult or delayed on purpose, or mistreat a particular person or group, you are a bully. More so if you are in a position of power such that it is difficult, risky or even dangerous to the victim or victims to defend themselves from you. A bully has a target. The target may be randomly chosen. Usually, they will accuse the victim of being somehow defective. The bully may sincerely believe that the victim deserves that treatment. The bully may also feel intimidated by the victim, the successes or good traits that the victim may have, in such a way that the bully feels the need to defend itself from the victim. They may, thus, feel envy of the victim, but it is also often not the case. The bullies often (not always) have low self-esteem, care a lot about the opinion that others have about them, find pleasure in getting attention from the victim or others and in feeling that they have such power that they cannot be confronted. Abusing another person makes them feel in control, release anger that they feel against another person (whom they cannot confront) and thus feel better about themselves or their situation temporarily. If you suffer from malignant narcissism, chances are that you are a bully. Bullies have little to no empathy for their victims. They are seen just as objects for gratification or a threat to be rid of. Bullies don't seem to often believe that what they do is wrong anyhow. They don't tend to see themselves as bullies. If confronted about their conduct, bullies may blame the victim and play themselves as victims. The victim can almost never become "good enough" for the abuser to decide not to abuse.
July 11th, 2019 5:21am
It’s hard sometimes to practice self-awareness and reflection if you haven’t gotten in the habit of doing so. My question to you would be, what makes you ask this question in the first place? Do you have experience verbally or physically abusing someone else for the purpose of making them feel worse? Do you target one person and repeatedly try to take them down a notch? Taking the time to find within yourself the reasons you may do something like this will allow you to grow as a person and mend your ways. We all have space to learn to be better humans! I believe in you!
July 12th, 2019 9:06pm
You find yourself unhappy with your life, you treat others unfairly on a regular basis when they don’t deserve your unfair treatment, you find whoever you pick on or are unfair to have or look as if they have better lifestyles and relationships that you may be lacking which is why you feel better after knocking them down as your jealous or have low self esteem yourself and feel you have no other ways of making yourself feel better about yourself. If you feel like this or are struggling daily with things and feel like you treat others badly regularly you may be a bully.
September 11th, 2019 8:49am
I think the fact that you are asking this question is an answer itself . I would suggest that if you feel that you have bullied someone maybe you should talk to that person, ask them if you have done something wrong for them , what is that thing and how can you fix it .from that you can only become a better person either you are or you're not.try not to be in denial of the answer that you will be recieving , face it whatever it is and dont be ashamed or scared and always remember a person who can make a conversation is a strong person .
September 14th, 2019 1:10am
Think about the things you consistently say and do to those around you and ask yourself how you would feel if someone said and did the same thing to you. Put yourself in another person's shoes and ask "did saying/doing this hurt that person? Did it cause physical/mental pain? Have I made their day worse instead of better?" If you can answer "yes" to these sorts of questions, and you do so intentionally and regularly, then maybe you are a bully. If you unintentionally hurt someone on several occasions I would say you are just unaware of how you are making someone else feel and rather than labelling yourself a bully you should try to change. If you think you're hurting someone, ask them, you would make yourself and that person very happy. Always think before you speak or act. Empathy is a very powerful thing, put yourself in someone else's shoes and treat someone the way you would like to be treated. Always be kind to others.
October 23rd, 2019 7:49pm
The best way to tell if you're a bully is to watch how others interact with you in your daily activities. For instance, if they tend to always avoid you, if they tend to never look at you, or if they tend to move away from your general area, you can see that something you've done to them in the past is affecting how they view you. While it could be something entirely different, your best option would be to go up to them, try to talk to them and see if there's anything you may have done. Apologize about it and see if they can forgive whatever it is that they feel you did wrong to them.
November 24th, 2019 10:50pm
It's an interesting question, and I have personally never been in that position but quite the opposite actually. Asking such a question shows you have compassion and reflect on your own actions, which can be a good sign. Now, it does not mean that you cannot be a bully anyways. I would suggest you ask yourself if you ever did things such as : making someone publicly, being mean to someone just to fit in, created drama on purpose, invented rumors about someone... Also, if someone has ever told you that you hurt them or someone else and it was a very conscious act (by that I mean, not by accident), then it's a red flag.
December 26th, 2019 5:05pm
A bully is somebody who seeks to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone perceived as vulnerable. The actions of a bully are often repeated and harm the victim emotionally and/or physically. Bullying can include name calling, manipulation, assaulting the victim, isolating them etc. People may often bully others due to peer pressure or to feel superior. If you know that you are doing any of the acts mentioned previously then you are most likely a bully. Sometimes people may not even realize they are doing it as they don't realize they're hurting the victim's feelings though it is done. Think about why you're questioning whether you're a bully and if you're questioning it then you may well be a bully.
January 12th, 2020 5:29am
when you make a joke/comment that make the other person uncomfortable and even after seeing the person get sad you keep doing it or you know that your actions may hurt the other person and do then with the purpose of hurt the person then you're a bully . If you feel that the other person got sad and uncomfortable try say sorry , this will show that you didn't mean to hurt ( the person) with your actions/jokes. Sometimes you cant tell if the person is uncomfortable so you just have to be careful with your words around the ones that you don't know .