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How being a bully can hurt you

Two disgruntled looking girls with their backs to eachother.

Did you know that being a bully can also cause you serious problems? Young women who bully are more likely to drop out of school, have poor grades, use drugs, and shoplift. Bullies are more likely to get in trouble, especially when they are caught bullying others. Would you want to always get in trouble, have bad grades, and hurt other people? Probably not! If you’re still not convinced that bullying is bad, keep reading to learn more interesting facts.

  • Childhood bullies are much more likely to commit a crime by age 24
  • Often, childhood bullies are violent when they are older
  • Bullies take part in many bad things, such as drug and alcohol use, and smoking
  • Childhood bullies may not change and may be bullies as adults
  • Bullies are more likely to get into fights and steal

Some people bully because they don't feel good about themselves in the first place. Learn more about having good self-esteem.

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A former bully speaks:

I made a real effort to get to know people I wouldn't normally spend time with and found out how wonderful these people were. I made so many real friends. I knew these people wouldn't stab me in the back or talk bad about me when I wasn't around.

I apologized to everyone I had made fun of. This was the most difficult task for me. It meant I had to admit I was wrong. It meant I had to admit that they were bigger, better people than I was. But I knew it had to be done, not just for my own sanity, but because I knew I would feel so much better if those girls who had tortured me would only apologize.

My senior year, my year of change, was one of the best of my life. I made so many new friends and found out that you don't have to be mean and hurtful to have good friends. I was more popular being respectful and kind to others than I would have ever been had I stuck with being mean.

- Anonymous, Age 21

Source: Odd Girl Speaks Out by Rachel Simmons

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Content last reviewed September 22, 2009
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.

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