Bullies can best be defined by their personality style. Researchers describe bullies as:
- Enjoying aggression and the rewards gained from aggressive acts;
- Lacking empathy for their victim;
- Lacking guilt for their actions;
- Dominating and like to be in charge;
- Having aggressive role models; and
- Thinking unrealistically about how the world should meet their needs.
There are two types of victims: passive victims and provocative victims. Passive victims generally do not defend themselves and can be characterized by:
- Being isolated during the school day;
- Lacking social skills;
- Being physically weak;
- Crying or yielding easily to bullies;
- Suffering from past trauma; and/or
- Having learning difficulties.
Provocative victims generally tease and provoke bullies, but do not have the social or physical skills necessary to defend themselves. Provocative victims can be characterized by:
- Being easy to arouse emotionally;
- Behaving in a manner that maintains the conflict; and/or
- Possibly having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Children who are being bullied may likely:
- Have torn, damaged or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings;
- Have unexplained cuts, bruises or scratches from fighting;
- Have few, if any, friends with whom he or she spends time;
- Seem afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus, or taking part in organized activities with peers;
- Lose interest in school work or suddenly begin to do poorly; and/or
- Complain frequently of headaches, stomach aches or other physical problems.