Skip to main content

Ask Us: What Motivates Someone to Bully? - Episode 20

Ask Us: What Motivates Someone to Bully? - Episode 20

We are so excited to launch Ask Us, a new feature in our PACERTalks About Bullying series. In these videos, we’ll answer questions from K-12th grade students about bullying. This week’s question comes from Chloe, a high school student, who wants to know what motivates students to bully. If you’re a student and want the chance to be featured in this series, email your question (written or in a video) to [email protected].

  • Author: NBPC
  • Duration: 3:07 minutes
  • Date Posted: 1/30/2019

Series: PACERTalks About Bullying - Season 2

We are thrilled to return for another season with more videos featuring interviews, stories, and informational content. New this season will be the feature “Ask Us” in which we will respond to questions from students around the world.


>> Hey there. Welcome back to PACER Talks About Bullying. I'm Bailey. We're glad you're here.

[ Music ]

This week we are so excited to be launching a brand-new feature for this video series called Ask Us. In this feature we'll answer questions from students around the country about all things bullying prevention. Today's question come from Chloe, a high school student, so let's hear what she wants to know.

>> My name is Chloe and my question is, what motivates someone to bully someone?

>> This is such a great question Chloe. One thing I really love about your question is that it focuses on bullying as a behavior. Sometimes people might associate bullying with stereotypes like someone's appearance. But bullying is really all about the person's behavior. Now, let's get into your question about what might motivate someone to bully. So, there isn't necessarily a one size fits all motivational factor when it comes to bullying. There can be a lot of reasons why someone bullies. But much of it comes down to power and control.

One aspect of the definition of bullying is that there's an imbalance of power. So, this means that the person demonstrating the bullying behavior has more power over the target of the bullying. This imbalance of power can be shown in a few different ways. So maybe the person is older, maybe they're bigger or stronger, maybe they're more popular, or maybe it's a group of students that gang up on someone. So, power in numbers. But often what we see, is that imbalance of power or the need for power and control may be a motivational factor when it comes to bullying behavior.

With that being said, let's answer your question about what motivates someone to bully. Maybe they're trying to gain control in a situation or feel powerful. Maybe there's other things going on in their life that they can't control, so they're trying to gain control through bullying. Maybe they're been bullied themselves. Maybe they haven't taken the time to understand others differences so they're intimidated or threatened by what makes others unique. A few other reasons could include that they're trying to look cool, they're trying to fit in, or maybe they just don't understand how hurtful their behavior is. But at the end of the day, regardless of the motivation factor, it's really important to remember this. No one ever deserves to be bullied.

I hope that answers your questions Chloe, and that's all that we have for this week's episode of PACER Talks About Bullying. If you're a student and you have a question to ask, all you have to do is email us your question. It can be written or in a video, to [email protected]. And you'll have the chance to be featured in an upcoming episode. We'll see you right back here next week. And remember, together we can create a world without bullying. See you.

[ Music ]