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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Back to Bullying: What Makes Adults Bullies?

This blog seems to alternate subjects: bullying one day, primatology the next. Actually, the subjects are more closely related than you would think. Chimpanzees are known to bully other chimpanzees. It is a very big part of chimpanzee culture. Primatologists are also known for sometimes bullying other primatologists, so it seems to be a behavioral pattern that none of us can quite escape.

When I was little, I tended to judge bullies very harshly. One of the adults in my life took me aside and said: "You know, for a lot of these kids, it is just a stage that they are going through. Don't be so hard on them. Eventually they will grow out of it, and when they're grown they won't do it at all. They're just too young to understand." I asked her how she knew this, and she admitted that she had once participated in bullying a child her own age. She had not been one of the ring-leaders, but she had gone along with it.

Does bullying always stop when a child matures? What about the adult bullies in the business world?

My latest hub ponders some of these issues.

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