Were you a bully?

The recent news about the school shooting in San Diego indicate that the alleged shooter had been picked on by bullies for a long time, and that this treatment could have been the motivation for his crime. Other reports indicate that it could have been a factor in other school shootings.

This made me wonder. I was unmercifully picked on during my teenage years for a variety of reasons (short, southern accent, deaf, only kid in school with hearing aids), and can understand how such treatment can provoke someone to violence, although I never acted on it.

Now a question came to me. Anybody here a former or (God help us) current bully? If so, be brave and tell us why.

Come on. Confession is good for the soul. :slight_smile:

I used to be a feisty little jerk up until around 10th grade of so when I got tired of being frusterated alla time and started trying to turn my life around.

But I was always scary-looking. So I hardly ever used to actually have to bully kids–because anyone who bothered me I could usually frighten away with a nasty glare or a few harmful words. I can think of a couple cases where I slugged one kid and put another up against a locker-room wall, but that was mostly in defense. The first was harrassing me and the second was trying to pilfer money out of my locker.

Oddly enough–ever since “Interview with the Vampire”, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and “Castlevania” started getting popular–I started becoming less ‘scary’ and more ‘sexy’. Your guess is as good as mine. All I remember is a time when underclassmen used to shy away from me and I used to make people nervous by looking at them.

Compared with how I used to behave back then, though–I’m a complete teddy-bear. I try to never hurt a soul. I personally attribute my progress to a man I met who became a ‘father-figure’ for me, when my own father always came up short on the ‘inspirational’ and ‘role-model’ charts.



I was a skinny, shy, kid, unable to fight worth a hoot. I was picked on a lot until I got bigger. Then I started defending my skinny, shy, non-fighting friends.

I hated being bullied and I hated the guy teachers who ignored it, the coaches who considered it horsing around, the system which allowed daily beatings at the bike rack after class and the teachers who scowled at the picked on for being ‘cowards’.

Most of all, I hated the bullies and still do.

I cheered when I read a report on some kid being arrested for beating up another kid, whom he had been bullying at school. The kid’s reason for being a bully? Because he could, because he liked it and because he didn’t like the kid.

Nope. I always befriended those picked on by bullys. Being picked on gained you automatic entrance into our group. A couple of times, we’d befriend a new kid that was being picked on, they’d make it into the popular crowd, and then try to start picking on us.

By high school, I was popular with a lot of people, but never conventional. I never picked on anyone. All of my boyfriends were considered geeks until they started dating me. I still had the same friends from grade school. I still befriended those that seemed lonely and out of place to talk to, and usually found a crowd for them to hang around with.

No, I was a victim of bullies. I wonder where they all went. I ran into most of them during high school, when I was a skinny, awkward, buck-toothed, near-sighted bookworm, (or study buddy, as the kids call them nowadays). I came from a large urban high school where there was a good-sized population of shy, bookish people, to a small town high school of people who mostly had known each other all of their lives. That high school, I later learned, had a reputation for being sort of a rough school.

My brother had a little better time of it than I did. He was skinny, but appearances can be deceiving. When someone tried to initiate him (he was a junior in high school when we first moved there; the bully must have mistaken him for an incoming freshman) by attempting to hold his head into the toilet and flush it, he collared the kid and marched him to the principal’s office (my brother was a long distance runner who also lifted weights). He doesn’t remember this, strangely enough, but my dad still tells the story occasionally (my dad was a new teacher at the school) and I remember Dad telling Mom about it when we came home from school that day.

I was both a bully and a person being picked on, just depended whether I was with people I know (bully), or not (picked on). I wasn’t really bad. I never beat up anyone, just made lots of bad jokes about them.

Most of the people that bullied me ended up becoming very good friends of mine. I don’t know how to explain that, other than I kept up my sense of humor when they picked on me, and they thought I was cool and stopped with the teasing.

I wasn’t a bully. My first day of grade four at a new school two boys told me they were going to beat me up after school. Looking back I think they thought I was a guy (I had short hair). After the one time, I wasn’t bullied or popular, just sort of ignored. When I got older, I looked tough but again, wasn’t a bully.

Strangely enough, I have since run into boys I was in grade school with, and they just hit on me. Funny how things change, it may be petty, but I enjoy the opportunity to put them in their place.

There was a girl, Allison Palmer, who I went to grade school and junior high with who was picked on horribly. They destroyed school prokects and made fun of her all of the time. Her family eventually moved to B.C. My small group of friends and I tried to be friends with her, but we weren’t “popular” enough to help her. I tracker her down a few years ago. I wanted to tell her that I was sorry for not being stronger for her when she needed it, and that she had never done anything to deserve it. She said she doesn’t really remember the things that happened to her back then. I still feel badly, I wish I had been stronger at standing up for her.

I wasn’t a bully. But as an aside to some of the above comments. Bullies do not go away after high school. They continue to be bullies in work and home life. You see them around. I think a lot of them end up going to jail for one reason or another.

I was never the bully quite the opposite actually. The quiet kid that was smart and had few friends in grade and middle school.

I can still remember plain as day the bully of my school tried to beat me up. He started some crapped up story about how I didn’t give him his seat on the bus WTF? We got off on the same bus stop and he decided he was gonna “emberass” me and beat the crap outta me. Well my bigger brother was there and said he wasn’t gonna help that this is something I had to do for myself if I was ever gonna be respected. Now any of you remember the movie A Christmas Story were the beloved main character Ralphie unmercifully beats the crap out of the red haired troll of a bully? Same thing happened here. I tore this bullys head into the ground and emberassed him so bad that in fact he was no longer the bully actually he was getting bullied around. Talk about feeling justified. This kid was getting what he deserved. That felt so damn good. Nowadays in college I don’t have to worry about the asshole frat boys up here harassing me(considering I’m bigger than most of them), which they do quite alot to people who aren’t “worthy” by their standards. I guess finally getting that growth spurt after I graduated high school when I went from about 5’10" and 150lbs to being 6’ and 200+lbs made people not wanna fuck with me. All I can say is to all the people who got picked or or who still get picked on is that I hope in their life they get to feel the justification I felt.

Or they become petty office manager tyrants or bullying factory supervisors.

I, like Louie, was both a bully and someone who was picked on in sixth and seventh grade. In elementary school I was a jerk like everyone else trying to be cool. In sixth and seventh grade, I picked on lots of people by calling them names and such and then I was picked on right back by others who made fun of my underbite; I was a loudmouth jerk who said what was on her mind (I also got D’s and F’s). In our school we had double session–a morning and afternoon. Rumor was that my friend Nicole and I were so terrible to this one fat kid that he moved to afternoon. At the time I was proud, but now I feel ashamed because I know how it feels to be picked on and want to get away from the situation.

Then we moved to a whole new city, and starting eighth grade I was completley reformed. I was shy, said nothing unless spoken to, but was still made fun of by my underbite (got it fixed during ninth/begining of tenth grade). Now, as a senior in high school, I’m ashamed for how I acted.

I was constantly teased and harassed for my poor social skills, my intelligence :confused: and my weight. It made me feel like shit, but I was amazed when I graduated high school to realize that I’d never been physically attacked in my school career. The emotional torment was hell, though, and I was so glad to realize that people are actually mature in college and university.

I think there is a sort of bully food-chain going on here. There will always be some huge musclebound jerk who deals with his inadequacies by making those smaller, weaker, fatter, skinnier people around him feel bad. The aformentioned jerk bullies the kids on the playground, those kids get together to bully the kids in the chess club, and those kids roll up their sleeves to take out their frustrations on the kids in the Dungeons & Dragons club.

Whoever ends up at the bottom of the bully chain, with nobody under them to receive their wrath, gets to take it out on society as a whole. Enter Columbine.

I was never a bully, and I avoided them, luckily.

The only thing I remember from jr-hi was once a group threw a stone at me from across the street, when I hadn’t even noticed them until it hit my bike. It was big enough to break a spoke, so I had to stop and walk home. They were in my school, but I never talked to them before or after, so it may have been random assholery.

I was always too skinny to be a bully when I was growing up. I’ve filled out a bit since then, but in high school I was 5’9" and about 130lbs. With my long hair I was a dead ringer for Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. Anyway, I got picked on a lot, but that eventually passed as I always stood up for myself. I got my ass kicked a few times, but eventually word got out that I took no guff. It’s no fun bullying people who fight back.

It’s like looking in a mirror, friend.

The only difference is that I did get beat up now and then when my asthma prevented me from outrunning my tormenter.

Also I remain deeply and permanently emotionally scarred by the memory of always being the one who was never picked when choosing up sides for any game at school–except the spelling bee. It’s been 30 years and the phrase “HA HA YOUR TEAM HAS TO TAKE HER” still echoes in my ears.

:insert wistful, tearful smiley here:

an earlier thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=41856

You don’t seriously think someone like this is going to post in this thread, do you?

Where I grew up, we of the Dungeons & Dragons club were not on the bottom of that particular chain. We were not physical enough for the jock clique and not smart enough for the chess club crowd, but we were strange enough that neither picked on us.

I had a similar high school experience to Ashtar, though it’s a little less explainable because Interview With a Vampire hadn’t come out yet and the whole vampire infatuation some kids have now wasn’t around yet.