My Guilty Addiction This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

September 19, 2013
Bullying is a hot topic right now – everything from minor incidents of harassment to physical violence and suicide. Most stories of bullying come from the perspective of the victim; rarely are they told from the viewpoint of the bully. I have never been perfect, nor will I ever be, and there are definitely blemishes in my past I wish I could erase. Bullying is one of them.

I am an inherently proud person, which affected my early friendships. I was unable to truly connect with others because I wanted desperately to stand out, to be better than everyone else.

Even with friends, I constantly had to be superior. I would even find subtle ways to put them down and make them feel inferior.

Academics are the most important thing to me. I am ambitious. I love learning, studying, and discovering new things. And I am naturally good at these things. But there was a time when I took every opportunity to shoot down anyone who came close to me academically.

I knew what bullying was. Maybe what I did was not typical bullying, but I knew it was wrong. Yet I couldn’t stop myself.

Once I started, the desire to stay on top was uncontrollable. My only thought was I cannot fall. I must stay on top. I cannot lose my place. My ambition had twisted into a gruesome obsession. I put others down to feed my ego.

Now that I can look back and reflect, I understand that my issue was one of power, domination, and ultimately control.

Control is something I’ve always felt I lacked in life. Control over my surroundings, control in my family life, and control of myself. I had a monstrous inferiority complex because of my fear of failure. Dominating academically, even when it hurt others, was one way I felt control.

Bullying often spawns from fear or a feeling of inadequacy. And once a bully feels the powerful high of hurting others, stopping can be difficult. But the fact is, it was not just others I was bullying; it was myself. Once I realized my motivations, it was easier to change.

Bullying is a challenging problem. However, until we begin trying to understand the bullies, we will not address the issue effectively.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Mackenzierogers said...
Mar. 3, 2016 at 9:53 am
This article is very well written, and gives many good instances where you fully explain your "addicition" to being better.
mikey0302 said...
Sept. 1, 2015 at 4:52 pm
amazing this shows people do see it
Justin S. said...
Apr. 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm
That was amazing! I have 12 siblings so I have been on both ends of the spectrum, becoming the victim and the bully, and I love how you made such a bold statement! I know how you feel about trying to stay on top, there is just so much competition and it seems like everyone is trying to steal your spot so your just returning the favor. Anyways I changed a long time ago and I'm glad to hear you have to!
MissAkari said...
Jan. 31, 2014 at 1:48 am
This is a stunningly, eloquently written piece offering an interesting insight into the soul behind the mask of the bully. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for being brave enough to post this.
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