Is There Such Thing As Unintentional Bullying?


In psychological studies, people find it more appealing to address and cater to the needs of those individuals who experience bullying. There is an assumption that these individuals are suffering the worst types of anxiety, stress, and depression. However, what some experts miss out is the fact that bullying consists of two individuals. There is a bullied individual and a bully one. But since most health professionals are more focused on the victims, they tend not to notice the treatments needed for those bully ones.

Societal Facts

Not all bullies are born bullies. Some of them also have mental conditions. In some unfortunate cases, almost half of them are battling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even dissociative identity disorder (DID). Not all bullies are bullying others intentionally. There are cases that some of them are not even aware that they are hurting others.

“Those who behave like bullies tend to have high self-esteem and hubristic pride. They attack others to take away their shame – which allows them to remain unaware of their feelings,” clinical psychologist and professor Dr. Mary Lamia says.

These individuals sometimes cannot identify the wrong behavior towards the right one. That is because their environmental orientation tends to be different from the rest. There are cases where their families, friends, and other people surrounding them are accepting the behavior as part of these individuals’ personality. But for some, it is an act based on a negative attitude and inconsiderate trait.


An Unintentional Bullying

Sometimes, unintentional bullying has something to do with people being brutally honest. Since a lot of people do not want to hear the truth, someone’s honesty becomes a threat. Meaning, no matter how truthful bullying individuals can become, the things they say get considered as an attack to someone’s life, personality, and beliefs. Therefore, even if they prove a point, their views and opinions become worthless. That is because society sees them as individuals without considerations. That no matter how honest they can be, as long as they are hurting other people’s feelings, they are always the bad guys.

Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., tells us that, “When we fail to distinguish between bullying and ordinary meanness, we trivialize the very serious cases of peer abuse.”

In some cases, unintentional bullying refers to someone who physically hurt others without reason. More likely, it becomes a habit. There are cases when people hit, kick, slap, and pull others’ hairs simply because they want to. It gets referred to as bullying because there is physical violence involved in the act. But for some individuals, they see to it as a regular thing. Somehow it represents an emotional discomfort too.

Sad Reality

Bullying is not acceptable by all means, and people believe it. However, some individuals want experts to focus not only on the victims but to the bullies as well.

“The toughest part of the entire bullying dilemma is how to respond to those who bully,” wrote Miki Kashtan, Ph.D.

These individuals are not at all bad people. They are also victims of their past traumatic experiences. Therefore, judging and condemning them without knowing the story behind their suffering is far worse.


I would never agree with the act of bullying. But I will also not close the door in helping those people who hurt others intentionally or unintentionally.  We all create mistakes and sometimes, understanding and looking beyond things is all we need to get along with each other. Let us be fair and help both victims of bullying and their bullies.

Comments are closed.