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Are YOU a bully? Here's how to tell: Psychologist reveals her six red flags

From the playground to parliament, bullying exists everywhere.

In fact, a recent report into bullying in the UK's parliament revealed just how serious this issue is, urging behavioral change among MPs.

But why is bullying so widespread and difficult to tackle? Part of the problem is that bullies sometimes do not even realize that they are bullies.

So how can you know whether you are a bully? Here, Chantal Gautier, a psychologist at the University of Westminster, reveals the six red flags.

In a piece for The Conversation, you may find some of the points below to apply to you.

Chantal Gautier, a psychologist at the University of Westminster (pictured, Nelson from The Simpsons, a character famous for being a bully), says: "They are bullies."

Chantal Gautier, a psychologist at the University of Westminster (pictured, Nelson from The Simpsons, a character famous for being a bully), says: "They are bullies."

You'll update someone around you

Complains about your behavior or is tearful often. These reactions are indeed a red flag and should be taken seriously.

You have a lack of empathy

This is not always easy to recognize in oneself. You may want to think about it, or even take an empathy test.

You can get aggressive

This may include openly shouting, threatening or humiliating someone in front of others. But it could also be passive aggressive comments, like 'Oh, you are doing that way, that's good'.

You thrive around insecure people

If you make yourself feel better by evoking discomfort or insecurity in a colleague, that would be a classic sign of bullying. This could be done, for example, by persistently picking on someone or deliberately setting them up to fail.

You spread malicious rumors about a staff member

It may not seem like a big deal, but spreading rumors could make someone's life a living bright – costing them professional and social success.

You misuse your power or position about performance issues

For example, you may intentionally block someone's promotion or responsibility without any rational or substance. Other options include deliberately and persistently ignoring or collaborating on collaborative and social events.

From the playground to parliament, bullying exists everywhere (stock)

From the playground to parliament, bullying exists everywhere (stock)

Academics still disagree on how bullying should be conceptualized and defined.

The first researcher to investigate bullying – in Norway – uses the word 'mobbing' to describe it in 1973.

Most Western countries have borrowed the English term for bullying, yet this is not always the case.

Bullying may take many forms, from physical assault, verbal abuse and social exclusion to cyberbullying.

What is the #MeToo movement?

In the wake of sexual misconduct revelations about Harvey Weinstein, millions of shared stories about being sexually harassed and assaulted.

The movement started in October after actress Alyssa Milano followed by a friend and tweeted: 'If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write me' as a reply to this tweet. '

The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours.

It came after activist Tarana Burke.

Generally, to be considered as individual or a group, repeatedly over time, and with an intent to hurt an individual person.

The fact that we have no clear definition might explain why it is sometimes difficult to estimate the prevalence of workplace bullying.

In 2017, the Workplace Bullying Institute estimated that 60.3 million workers in the US had bullying.

In the UK, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) reported that there were 20,000 cases of bullying and harassment in 2016, many of whom were from ethnic minority workers. dominated professions.

They are being bullied. The real figures may be distorted.

If your self esteem has been crushed, you may end up blaming yourself, thinking you are worthless and even justify being bullied – not realizing you are actually being abused.

Bullying is particularly likely to take place in stressful workplaces with poor leadership and a culture that rewards aggressive, competitive behavior.

We know that bullying can trigger an array of mental health issues including depression, burnout, increased absenteeism, low self-confidence and stress.

Employers who do not provide a safe environment for their employees are in fact breaking the law.

Bullying in place (including Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, and Denmark) we need a greater global push to recognize how widespread the problem is.

Educating people about bullying is a positive step forward. This will therefore create a safe environment for victims to come forward.

Hopefully, the change brought about by the #metoo movement with regards to sexual harassment will soon spread to include bullying.

In the meantime, we should all make sure we are doing everything.


Bullies have traditionally been viewed as having low IQ and being socially inept – painting in social cognition.

We now know that this is often the case, but it may contribute to people failing to recognize themselves as bullies.

Some researchers have found that the bullies actually score high in their social information processing abilities, as it takes a certain amount of skill to identify who to target and how.

What bullies often do to seek out people with low self-esteem to pick on.

In doing so, they maintain their confidence and confidence, which in turn raises their own self-esteem to unrealistically high levels.


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