Remember when you were bullied as a kid, and your mom tried to comfort you by telling you that bullies don't feel good about themselves or what they do? Turns out that your mom was full of shit.
"Isn't it great to be mean to other people and not feel bad about it?" (via Thinkstock)
Great news, fellow former victims of bullying: We have something new to take to our therapists this week! Researchers at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada just published a study suggesting that bullies have high self-esteem and low rates of depression. That's right — there's a good chance that the person who ruined all of ninth grade for you had a f*cking ball doing it.
Oh, and the bullies got laid more too. At least, the bullies among the 135 Vancouver high school students surveyed for this study did.
According to Jennifer Wong, the professor who headed up the study, bullying is largely about establishing social status. “When you're in high school, it's a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank, and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways … Bullying is a tool you can use to get there.”
The theory flies in the face of conventional bullying wisdom, that bullies are somehow broken people acting out because they feel bad about themselves or are dealing with troubles at home. Nope! In fact, bullying might even be in the genes, a survival mechanism helping drive these high-self-esteem, not-depressed jerks to procreate more.
Wong does admit that a survey of 135 high school students is far from definitive, but she's planning to do more research. I, meanwhile, am planning to look up all of my childhood bullies on Facebook with the hope that even if they were high-self-esteem children, they're now sad adults. And then I can laugh to myself until I remember that I'm a grown-ass adult woman, and it's really silly to look up people I haven't spoken to for 20 years to see if I'm doing better than them.
I should talk about that with my therapist.