The bullied child, who is not set limits or educated in respect and empathy, can become a narcissistic and Machiavellian adult tomorrow. Furthermore, those boys and girls who bully in schools will continue to use bullying in the future to gain power and strengthen their self-esteem. We are facing a social reality with a greater impact than we think.
Often, we usually comment with great accuracy that bullying is a monster with the face of a child. However, something that we do not always take into account is the imprint that this kind of harmful behavior can have after a few decades. We know that life is not easy for any victim of bullying. These experiences leave an indelible mark that, in many cases, transforms into trauma.
The social drama is immense. Now, what happens to the child who harasses tomorrow? What about that adolescent who is so skilled in physical, psychological, verbal and even cyberbullying harassment? The high school bully, that boy or girl that no one put limits on his day, can lead to a not too distant future in a personality type very harmful in any scenario.
“When someone is cruel or acts like a stalker, do not put yourself at their level. The lower they fall, the higher we must be.”
The child stalker and our failure as a society
The figure of the child stalker is, in a certain way, the essence of our failure as a society. Despite the fact that the term ‘bullying’ emerged in the 1980s, violence in the classroom has always existed. Now, we currently have more means to exercise that intimidation. Factors, like new technologies, intensify (and facilitate) that the child and youth harasser have more land to display their aggressiveness.
When we ask about the origin of this type of dynamics, based on harassment and violence between peers in educational centers, it is necessary to point out that this is a multifactorial reality. It is the upbringing and education, they are the parental models, it is the normalization of violence, it is the centers themselves without effective prevention mechanisms, without tools for action, and they are also those students who see bullying and what they mute
We could talk about many more triggers, but we are also interested in another aspect. What is done with the harassing child? Here, we fail again as a society. The classic strategy of focusing on punishing the harasser and giving support to the harassed, falls short. We need more strategies, better approaches and more practical sensitivities for both the victim and the perpetrator of violence in all its forms.
Not doing well, or simply leaving the harassed and neglected to the harasser in abandonment, can have important consequences.
The child stalker can become a violent and narcissistic adult
In the classrooms we have bullying girls and children who act as early high school bullies. Some act alone and others as a group, but almost always have the support of a close group and, in turn, the law of silence of those who witness abuse and do not report. Be that as it may, the center of power falls on an individual who, from an early age, has a very specific profile.
Doctors Effrosyni Mitsopouy Theodoros Giovalias, from the University of Athens, conducted a study in 2015 to understand what personality factors can explain bullying in children and adolescents.
This work revealed that the most evident was the lack of empathy, both affective and cognitive. The harasser is unable to put himself in the victim’s place. Its sole purpose is to humiliate and obtain power and reinforcement with that daily practice.
In turn, behind these children lives a remarkable lack of self-esteem, a clear inability to manage adverse emotions, as well as the refusal to take responsibility for their own actions.
They are also children and adolescents with a very rigid thinking, they only take into account their own personal positions and perspectives.
Also, something that was also evident in this study is that they are children who have completely normalized violence. It is their instrument and they use it daily.
The child stalker and the narcissistic adult of tomorrow
In 2013, Dr. Holly M. Baughman Sylvia Dearing of the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, discovered something eye-catching. The child stalker ends in many cases, shaping in adulthood what is known as the dark triad. What does this mean?
The dark triad refers to those personality patterns where someone scores high in three very specific dimensions: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. The most characteristic factors or features that appear in these adult ages are the following:
- Emotional instability.
- Need to be the center of attention.
- They are skilled and cold manipulators.
- They need to have control over others and exercise power.
- The narcissism and lack of empathy that was already visible in childhood and adolescence, manifests in adulthood more clearly.
- Antisocial behavior in many cases.
- Lack of remorse when they carry out abusive or negative behavior towards other people.
We are a society that often flies banners by defining itself as mature, empathetic, judicious and balanced. However, just scratch the surface and go to more private scenarios to see that this is not always the case. The data tells us that the bullies are getting younger and worse, more aggressive.
We have seven-year-old children who already harass their peers. When they reach adolescence a good part of those who do not exercise bullying have learned to be accomplices, to observe, laugh, silence and share in the networks the suffering of the victims. When they reach adulthood, these patterns of behavior and personality have completely normalized.
Looking to the future is also everyone’s responsibility. The child stalker may be the day of tomorrow a narcissistic manager and lack of empathy directing a company. It can also be our partner or even that neighbor who mistreats his family in the privacy of his home.
Let’s think about it and generate changes, we should be more aware of this reality, because if bullying has the face of a child today, tomorrow will be an adult who has learned to exploit violence as a way of life.