Why jealousy often triggers bullying
Are you facing off with a bully who is attacking either you or someone you love?
It helps to understand the dynamics of bullying, but rest assured, pure jealousy is often the trigger for this bad behaviour.
Jealousy is not the only cause of bullying, but nine times out of 10, it is.
“You can’t fix jealousy,” says a friend of ours who is a high school counsellor. We’ll call her Anna.
“If someone hates the fact that you are a cheerleader or the owner of a new car, it doesn’t help to try to fix this. You can’t,” Anna points out. “But, you can stop trying to bend yourself out of shape, trying to make the bully like you.”
A bully, she points out, likely has hateful feelings toward a lot of people. Anything a bully lacks eats away at his or her self-esteem. So, it feels good to inflict some pain on others.
She says many younger children, especially, will play up to a bully. Why? They hate the thought of someone not liking them.
Anna instructs kids to develop a more neutral feeling toward a bully. “The last thing you want with a bully is an emotional connection,” she insists. “Don’t try to hate or feel even a friendship connection toward a bully. If you engage emotionally, it can be similar to being taken hostage.”
A neutral stance frees both the bully and yourself, if you can achieve this.
People can envy the looks, intelligence, lifestyle, freedom or popularity of another person.
The bottom line is, the bully is telling you, “I am not happy, and it’s your fault!” That’s why it’s critical to tell yourself, “I’m not responsible for another person’s unhappiness.”
It’s always a good idea to distance yourself physically from a bully, if you can, however. Never stay too close to someone who is sending hurtful vibes your way.
While jealousy is often the underlying cause of a bully’s feelings, there are other causes as well. These other causes include: Bullying to force you to work harder. Some aggressive types use an evil attitude to coerce you into doing more than your fair share.
Bullying to keep you from tattling. If you know a bully’s secret weakness, such as stealing or lying, he or she might bully you to maintain your silence.
Bullying to ensure you don’t do something. For example, a coworker might bully you, so you’ll back off from pushing for a promotion or obtaining a position the bully wants.
A bully is someone who punishes you — just for breathing. In short, a bully is a thief.
A bully can steal your dignity, steal your energy, steal your opportunities, steal your layers of protection and cause you to receive punishment of some sort. It’s perfectly OK to escape the bully any way you can.
“I once got bullied in high school,” says a college junior we’ll call Andrea. “My bully was dating my old boyfriend, and she wanted to hurt me badly.” Andrea ended up changing high schools because of this.
“My parents and my principal were all trying to convince me not to leave my school,” Andrea told us. “However, my high school was a small private school, and my bully had every class with me!”
The jealousy of the bully drove Andrea to a large high school. By doing so, Andrea ended her problem. She graduated with honours and won a college scholarship.
Judi Light Hopson is the executive director of the stress management website USA Wellness Cafe at www.usawellnesscafe.com. Emma Hopson is an author and a nurse educator. Ted Hagen is a family psychologist.