Can bullying be good?

Posted by on September 6, 2005 in general thoughts | 16 comments

I’m feeling controversial today so I’m going to engage you all with a form of Lateral Thinking known as “Po”.

“Po” is a construct invented by Edward de Bono (The Inventor – yes inventor you read it right) of lateral thinking, which means Provocation.

The aim is to change or find new ways of thinking by approaching something from a provocative angle. (Kinda, but for a short description, that’ll do…)

Bullying makes people stronger.


I once said this, to be provocative, but I actually believe it to be true.

Whilst bullying that causes severe mental (and sadly physical) trauma has its bad sides, Being able to stand up to bullying, I think, prepares you for later life.

Life can be savage, constantly changing and offering you challenges. How you cope with these challenges, determines who you are and how the world sees you.

I’ve met so many people in my life that are un-prepared, immature even in their dealings with life, being victims who constantly ask “why do these things happen to me?” rather than taking responsibility for their own lives.

Sure, we all get low sometimes, we all go through testing times… but to succeed in life, to be happy within yourself you need the strength to pick yourself up and say “How can I learn from this, or use this to my advantage?” the time it takes you to make that transistion varies from person to person.

Sometimes, you need help to overcome things, people to bounce ideas and feelings off, yes of course you do, but the strength and desire to change has to come from within.

Be in control of your own destiny my friends!


  1. Yep!! Being bullied does make you stronger. Everytime someone has tried to bully me they have been the ones who end up looking stupid. It happened just today actually!!

  2. I do think that altho bullying is a bad thing if it had never happened to me thru most of my childhood then i wouldn’t be who i am today.

    I may not have done the crazy hair and not cared what people thought, i may not have been as quick with the comebacks and i may not have worked out that talking your way out of a situation is better than resorting to the physical answer!

  3. [EDIT]I think bulling is BAD u r all wierd to think that it is good.[EDIT]

  4. Everyone is welcome to their opinion on here, however, if I think your comments are just pointless and lacking in substance I may choose to amend them.

    The other comments you posted, have been deleted as they pretty much all said the same thing. Please re-read the article in question, I was posing the possibility that learning to deal with bullying prepares you for later life.

  5. i have to do a speak on bullying (that it is good) am i bad..

  6. wow, this post… still getting googled hits? Hi Ape, no, as you can see from the rest of these comments I stand by my argument that in some ways Bullying makes you stronger. I’d add though that it’s more about gaining strength of character in the face of adversity and not the actual being bullied part.

  7. I think bullying is part of human nature, it is in our primal instinct to single out people who are a threat to the gene pool.
    Oh coarse it is illegal to just murder a person based on if there “weird” or not,but it is still embedded in our brains.

  8. elo,

    my best mate bullies me!

    i dont know what to do cos i wana be her mate .

    all i know is that it has not made me stronger x

  9. Wow this posts still getting linked too from somewhere?

    Hi Loz, A real best friend will never bully you, you deserve better. In my book list “recommended reading” there is a great book I suggest everyone (you included) reads called super confidence, stupid title 🙂 but fantastic book. It helped me, and loads of my clients understand that they dont need friends like that.

  10. Hello there.Firstly i’d like to point out that bullying is a very subjective experience. Though i agree that one cannot expect things to go one’s way all the time and so a certain amount of aggravation is to be expected, bullying in it’s extreme form is tantamount to child abuse by children on children and so i cannot disagree strongly enough that this can have any over-riding positive effects. Though there is a great deal of scientific research out there which associates bullying with negative outcomes, such as depression, body dismorphia(to name but a few) it surely depends on the person(victim)as to whether it benefits them or not in the future. There are mitigating factors such as support of peers, support of parents, support of teachers, which affect the resilience of victim. Some people are not as fortunate as you obviously were, and there is a tendency to look back with rose tinted spectacles on the past in order to maintain a positive sense of well being now. Undoubtedly, overcoming challenges makes one stronger and challenges are easier to overcome with support. Some people, through no fault of their own, do not have this support. Does that make you a stronger person than them?(reference to the gene pool comment earlier) No- It just makes you luckier.

  11. hi all,

    i used to be bullied, by an ex-friend and i felt so.. “less”
    because im a ginger and stuff. i couldn’t say anything back to him because i have no good comebacks. after a while a just ran away. so i had a talk to my dad and he gave me some tips. they worked and i felt great but only for a while. so i told my closest teacher and then this bully gets in so much trouble (= now he looks so weak and looks like he feels so sorry for himself.. he should do. now i have ways of defending myself and standing up for myself. i feel almightey to this day so yes… being bullied does make you stronger!! (but it can depend on how your bullied. also, say the right things back and the bully will feel less like a bully. and lastly, i can recognize why this person acts this way, i think that because he thinks im a bit cooler than him, he uses my weaknesess and makes me feel bad. but they backfired and on him.)

  12. I was bullied since I can remember by my only sister, both mentally and physically. She is an extremely jelous, self-centered person and I was always a treat to her in ways i couldn’t have immagined. Not, until I severed communication completely between us. I’m fifty years old and she’s 53 and it effected me very badly. I had nobody to turn to, not until I married. Mu mother turned a blind eye and was ashamed of me because I was weak and used to say ” You’ve always been a torn in our sides. Why can’t you be like your sister.” This was all hidden from my father and any time there was an act of violence against me I was treatened not to tell my father and I didn’t because I was afraid of what might happen. My sister, eventually had me convinced that I was mentally impared and that nobody would want to listen to me and that if I didn’t keep my mouth shut (If I caused any hassle buy spilling the bens on her) they’d (my parents) probably put my in a home for mentally impared perple. I listened to all of this, (even though I doubted it) I was soo insecure and learned to trust NOBODY. So I bottled everything up. I turned to alcohol on occasions to ease the pain in my soul and my sister used this as a reason to say that I was alcoholic and should be locked up. I eventually met and married my soul mate and love of my life, but the road was very rocky for quite some time because I, not only was not ready to actually deal with my sister, I actually couldn’t see ( even after attending a few phsycologists) I couldn’t see that I had been actually bullied. I was blaming my husband, his family and every one else arould me, all except my sister and my mother, for my awful situation and what’s worse, after every argument with my husband I would talk to my mother and she would pretend to care and give me all the wrong advice, telling me that I should never have married him. Thingsgot bad. My daughter was born and nothing changed I knew that if I did’t change my marriage would eventuallt break up and all the whild my mother and my sister patted me on the back every time I spoke of leaving my husband. My daughter was only four or five and there was a bully in her class who not only bullied my daughter, but most of the class and the higher grades too. I was in the football pitch one evening at a sports and I saw my daughter call this girll The otyher girl (bully) ignored her eventhough she was near her and my daughter kept saying Emma, Emma, Emma, all the while, being ignored. With this something CLICKED and I thought “My God that was me with my sister when I was very little.” It was a tell-tale sign of what was happening now andthen. With that I seemed to automatically be able to deal with what was happening to my daughter (eventhough it was luckily only in the early stages.) I told her that bullies are almost always jelous, insecure people and that the firl who was bullying her and calling her nasty names was doing soo in order to make her feel bad and that if she succeeded in making her feel bad that that would make her (the bully) feel big and strong) but that if she was ignored she would have lost and would eventually have to stop. Things got much better and not only for my daughter, but for me too. What I didn’t realize the advice that I was giving to my daughter seemed to automatically come from nowhere. It was a real learning and growing stage in my life and made me much stronger. My daughter grew stronger and more confident as, I always praised all of achievements and if she did something wrong I frowned on the ACTION and not the person who comitted it. I was still talking to my sister, but had very little to do with her, which aggrivated her and she used to tell my mother that I didn’t call to see her because I was JELOUS OF HER. Every chance that she got she exerted controll over me,even coming into my house, walking into our bedrooms and commenting on my hoiuse being untidy and dirty, which of course was untrue. It a house that is “lived in” Her house, on the other hand, is untouched. The sign of a controll freek. On a few occasions she had bullied my daughter. (I didn’t want to stop her seeing my daughter, as she is her only aunt on my side and I have no brothers)I then stopped her taking my daughter on trips, even day trips and she only saw her with me. I eventually had to stop all communication with my sister, because the more that I forebad her to have controll of my life and my daughters life, the worse she became and the violent outburste that happend when we lived with our parents started again and after an outburst I clearly told her that I didn’t want her anywhere near myself or my daughter. I clearly communicated to her that I knew she was a bully and had bullied me all my life , but that she was no longer getting away with it and she certainly wasn’t going to be allowed to have any controll whatsoever over my daughter. It’s a long, hard, painful road to recovery. By recovery I mean accepting, dealing with and diffusing all of the horrible events in my life caused by the person who bullied me, but I’m getting there. I have written every detail of every occasion that springs to my mind, as they spring to mind and every emotion that went with them and my feelings about them now and this has made a huge difference. II really helps to wash away the bitterness (as we all know bitterness, and resentment stop healing). Of course I’ll be left with some little grain of bitterness or should I say awareness, which will help me to stay vigilant. Some people, however can go over the top from the effects of bullying and lots of suicides are comitted as a result of bullying. I’m lucky. I have a good supportive husband, who really thinks that it would be great if we could all get on together, but if that’s not to be he’s prepared to support me and NOT JUDGE ME with whatever way I see fit to handle the situation. I hop that my experience will help somebody, because sometimes people are not aware that they are being bullied until it SEEMS too late to do anything about it. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE.

  13. I would first like to point out that I do not condone bullying in the slightest, I think that the damage it does to it’s victims is too perpetual and scarring for it to be seen as ‘good’, however having been bullied myself I know that the strength it gives you is something which you will get from nowhere else. I was emotionally bullied throughout my childhood. It was most severe in primary school but only really stopped when I was 14/15. Bullying pretty much became a part of my life when I was young so I had to deal with it and put up with it, I couldn’t have done anything else. It didn’t actually affect me on a day to day basis because I grew so used to it. I didn’t cry, I didn’t complain, I never talked about it, I just got on with it. I had so much strength that whatever anyone said to me it honestly didn’t get to me. My friends would hear one mean thing said about them and break down, but I just couldn’t. It also gave me so much determination and motivation, because I wanted to prove the bullies wrong. This high level of determination is extemely common among victims, and this is what I found I have really lacked in recent years. I’m 18 now, so I haven’t been bullied for 3/4 years now, and the motivation I had has dropped dramatically. All the people that used to bully me are no longer nasty, so I have noone to prove wrong anymore. Even though what I went through was horrible and I would never want to experience it again, I have to say I do really miss the determination it gave me. I would do anything to have that back. I’m also a lot more sensitive nowadays, I cry more now than I did 10 years ago when I was only 8 years old. As I said the mental scars it has given me are too great for me to condone such an act, but I do believe that the thick skin and the incentive that it gave me to be great made me who I was. And for that I would definitely want to say to them bullies; thank you. Because at the end of the day, they are the ones who force the victims to make something of themselves. The bullies try to ruin and destroy their victioms, but ironically they turn them into the high-achievers and stars they end up becoming.

  14. if you are bullied,,, learn martial arts not the crap, but the proper learning.

  15. Bullying has recently been all over the news. Most of the reports say bullying is extremely traumatizing for many children. Bullying, or being verbally or physically abused, has been around since the dawn of man and is a natural part of life. School shouldn’t crack down on bullying because it’s a natural part of life and the children will have to learn how to deal with unfairness sooner or later.
    Why should we stop an essential part of a child’s development that has been going on for ages? Bullying actually helps children. In the article “Bullying is good” Dr. Helene Guldbreg states”teachers should not protect pupils from playground spats as they can help handle difficult events in the future.” (Bullying) This shows that kids need to know that life isn’t fair; they need to learn how to deal with problems on their own such as unfair co-workers, bosses and harder situations later in life. Some people believe bullying leads to suicide, but many of the cases in the news about suicidal children are rare and they were also too sensitive and not able to handle any sort of confrontation. A recent study found that only 20% of all high school students think about suicide of that only 14.5 make plans and only 1.3 went through with their plans. (Teen) People try to link bullying to suicide when it is only a very small percentage.
    Many say bullying has long term affects. Dr. Guldberg claims “fretting over the supposedly terrible dangers of bullying in the playground can do more harm than good.”(Bullying) This takes time and energy from teachers that they need to teach the class and they aren’t paid enough to have to juggle doing their actual job and dealing with unnecessary problems. A common question asked is why do children get bullied? A blogger by the name of “techi bop” has a theory: in most cases of bullying the person is doing something nasty or socially unacceptable in the first place. (Techi) Although this isn’t the case for all bullying, it is for the vast majority of them, as most cases come from the victim doing something wrong i.e.; picking their nose, peeing their pants, or just being extremely annoying so bullying can also serve as a chastising among peers so that the victim in question will observe the reactions and or retaliations of his or her actions and will learn from them.
    Bullying has in fact receded and is not as common as it once was. Many people fail to see that true and actual bullying is beating someone up for their lunch money or swirly and wedgies or causing actual physical pain repeatedly over a long period of time. Dr. Guldberg notes that “much that is considered bullying today is not bullying at all.”(Bullying) Most “bullying” is in fact just friendly trash talking and banter such as jokingly saying you stupid or ugly that teachers hear out of context and overreact or the student in question takes too far. Most of this is not hate full or malignant words at all as some teachers and principals tend to believe, most students are in fact just talking freely and using slang terms. Dr. G also states “this boisterous banter adds creative tension to the said activity” (bullying) some examples are the trash talking in sports such as yelling out “You Suck!” which would imply that the receiver of this statement is not very good at the activity at hand.
    The news portrays bullying as running rampant though all schools as an uncontainable plague. When in fact it is quite the opposite. Dr. Goldberg points out “Bullying is a profound problem for just a small minority of children.”(Bullying) Bullying is not a huge epidemic spiraling out of control. It s contained and we should just leave it alone instead of exaggerating and digging up the problem over and over again. Joking and sarcastic comments can be and usually are mistaken for bullying. In the book Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card Ender jokes with a fellow soldier: “name kid?” “This soldiers name is bean, sir.” “Get that for size or brains?” the other boys laughed a little. (Ender’s) In the example Ender makes a joke about the boy named bean to lighten the mood around him. Although some people might consider this bullying Ender was only trying, light heartedly, to welcome the boy into the group.
    Schools shouldn’t crackdown on bullying. It isn’t as bad as everyone believes it is. The news and media have blown this way out of proportion they are creating more panic about it then there really needs to be. This issue is changing children’s lives. In many schools kids cannot even play tag or dodge ball or any contact game for the fear of it being too physical. It is sucking the fun and playfulness out of our children’s lives. Why should the rest of the kids be forced to pay for the problems of only a small percentage of the population?

  16. ^^lol i got a A+ on this paper for my english essay


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