Ever watch the movie "Mean Girls?" The main bully, Regina was always referred to as the popular girl at school, right?
Do you recall who and how her friends behaved around her versus when they were alone with the people they tormented?
Well, they are a really good example of different types of bullies. You see, while you might think that it doesn't matter what type of bullying behaviors they exhibit, they actually do matter.
Because how they bully people can tell you a lot about how to approach their attacks and how to help them stop hurting you or others.
So, let's get started, shall we?
The first type of bully happens to be "the popular kid" (the popular bully).
Typically, the popular bully has created his/her image due to the aggressive, controlling, and manipulative methods to be perceived as dominant. Sometimes they justify their actions because they claim to be the no B.S. type of person.
Peers tolerate this type of behavior because they have the "if you can't beat them, join them" mentality. This can also be referred to as the survival method in order to not be targetted.
People who go along with the above-mentioned mentality can also become part of group bullies. Just like in "Mean Girls", Regina is the leader of her bully group along with her best friends Karen Smith and Gretchen Wieners.
Here is a bit more about group bullies.
Group Bullies: these types of bullies are part of a group that has a sense of being in a unified community that looks out for their pack, but only when they’re together. They bully mostly when they’re together and behave very differently and less hurtful as individuals. Group bullies usually have a pack leader who they follow and even withstand a certain level of abuse from their leader or others in the group. They accept this because they believe that they’re getting tough love.
These bullies usually have a sense of entitlement, they gas-light people and hurt them emotionally, mentally, and even physically.
If you're asking yourself if your child shows signs of bullying, here are some signs to look for:
If you notice that your child is very popular (at an abnormal level) or if you notice that other kids' behaviors appear to be that of avoidance, fear, or stress due to your child's presence, then your child might be a bully.
Other signs are:
While these signs are more related to the “popular bully”, I want you to know that these same signs can be exhibited by other types of bullies too.
The other types of bullies are:
The bully-victim: this is usually a victim that becomes a bully because they feel that the only way to survive is to do the same that has been done to them. They want to normalize what has happened to them in hopes that they will not feel the pain. This is most often a subconscious decision.
Serial Bullies: these bullies are also pretty popular and they are very calculating, controlling, and systematic. They are seen as good citizens in their communities, particularly by parents, teachers, and community leaders.
They remind their victims that speaking out will be useless because of the high positive image they hold among adults. Serial bullies usually use physical bullying in combination with other types of bullying and they will purposely be fake friends to do what they want to others or to get what they want.
Because serial bullies are usually very nice, charming, excellent with persuasion, and twist facts, it makes it harder for victims to get good results when they report them.
Indifferent Bullies: unfortunately, these types of bullies enjoy seeing and inflicting pain on others. They behave in a cold, detached way and show little or no remorse for the pain they inflict on their victims. Indifferent bullies are the most dangerous type of all, although they are not as common. They are not persuaded to stop their actions by disciplinary actions and they often show signs of deep psychological or mental health problems.
The relational bully: this is usually the person who is somewhat popular. They enjoy deciding who is popular and they even rate their popularity level. They exclude, isolate and ostracize those who they do not see as good enough, so they use verbal, emotional, and social bullying as their main methods of attack. They do with by using rumors, spreading gossip, spreading harsh criticism, name-calling or even getting others to stigmatize their victims with a nickname or always telling a story about them that paints their character in a negative light.
Regardless of the type of bully a child is, the best thing to do is to let them know that they are loved and get them professional counseling.