Why Bullying Really Exists and How to End It

Jesse Martinez
7 min readJul 14, 2023

Bullying represents a primal aspect of human nature that may have served a crucial purpose in our early evolution. However, as millennia have passed, we have clung onto these ancestral patterns, unable to let go of our most primitive instincts. The root of this behavior lies in our inherent fearfulness, which continues to shape our actions and interactions.

The Nature of Bullying

If we observe herd animals, we can witness the dynamic where an alpha figure emerges. Interestingly, there is relatively little bullying within the herd at the adult stage; however, among the younger male calves, a different story unfolds. As they reach adolescence, a hierarchy begins to form with bullying taking place, setting the stage for those who will ultimately vie for the position of alpha. It’s a primal drive for survival.

Let’s look at another mammalian species and observe how the phenomenon of bullyism exists as an integral part of their culture. An excellent example would be canine packs, predatory creatures that roam the wild. Within each litter, there emerges one who is selected to bear the brunt of bullying. This unfortunate pup leads a precarious existence, always relegated to last in line for nourishment. Its meals are mere scraps, obtained only after the others have had their fill, and even then, it must humbly beg for sustenance. There is no protection or solace granted to this pup, no matter how intense the aggression from its fellow young ones becomes. In fact, should this pup dare to retaliate, the alpha bullies waste no time in ruthlessly tearing it apart.

The behavior of sparrow flocks also show us this primal instinct in avian creatures. Within these lively gatherings, we can witness the presence of remarkable aggression towards one another. If we carefully study these groups and mark their members, a distinct pattern would emerge. Amongst them there is always one sparrow who, no matter how little food it receives, the rest of the flock will relentlessly pounce on it and attempt to snatch away its sustenance. It is a harsh reality for this lone sparrow, as it finds itself without any defenders in the face of relentless aggression from its peers.

From these examples, we can see that bullying manifests itself in various forms across…

--

--