Degrading Others for Self-Validation

Degrading Others for Self-Validation is a essay and presentation I did for this class. I believe it was based off an article I had to read. This was definitely not one of my favorites, mainly because it was an oral presentation; but also because I always found my writing here kinda dull.

Emma Fackenthall  

English 10, per. 1

2 April 2019

Degrading Others For Self-Validation

Seventy percent of bullies are likely to have experienced stressful and traumatic situations in their lifetime. In fact, studies show that a great majority of bullies have been harassed themselves. Hurt people have a tendency to try and diminish others to not feel so alone or to have someone hurt like they do. Therefore, when given the chance, people often single out and degrade others to improve themselves. 

Many people who take advantage of vulnerability in others and debase them are most likely fighting something of their own. It is most common for abusive and traumatic childhoods to play in effect with this behaviour but continuous and compulsive degrading of others can be linked to many personality disorders, such as: Narcissistic, Borderline, Obsessive-Compulsive and in extreme cases Sociopathic Disorder. 

These people point out flaws in others to dilute the attention from their own flaws. They have a need to demean others for their own self-esteem. In order to feel superior, they choose to take these harsh mesures to raise their their own self-standards. Most of the time, they start using it compulsively as a coping mechanism to hide their own hurt. That’s why, most bullies are repetitive, they will constantly harass one specific person because they are different or better at them at something. By hurting them, the bully rises above their level, they feel in control for once,  but the euphoric feeling usually doesn’t last last long, their constant need for self-validation prohibits it. Therefore, they harass again and again, until it it seems like routine to them. 

As said, many harassers or bullies are dealing with traumatic situations of their own. Emotionally damaged people strive off extremes, this is why they seem to show no resentment when they are being mean to others and why they seem to be very egocentric. By degrading others, bullies are under the illusion that by doing such, it will make them feel better about themselves. In most cases, they will feel good after bullying someone, but it will not be long until those crippled emotions resurface. Tormentors are in a constant and vicious cycle of self-loathing, egotism, and depression, all at once. Many believe that bullies make up only of egocentrism, but that is false. Tormentors put up a facade of egotism although they are very self-conscious and hateful towards themselves on the inside. In fact, intimidators are more likely to develop depression and suicidal tendencies than the norm. Bullies are fighting many wars at once. By winning a fight with their victim, wether it be a small shove or a rude nickname, they feel like for once in their life they have accomplished something, they can control the reaction of the victim. Intimidators feed off others pain. It reassures them so they keep on doing it, with no regard for the people they are hurting. Bullies point out negative things about others because it helps them cope with the hatred they have towards themselves. Hence, implying that when given the chance, people will most likely single out and degrade another to improve themselves. 

An actual example of someone who has taken advantage of others pain to temporarily reduce her own would be Kat from Washington, USA. Kat bullied many people for a great majority of her years at school. Kat was a prodigy at twisting facts and making up stories that weren’t true. She was very persuasive amongst her peers and led them to believe stories about other students that she made up in her head. Kat was the perfect emblem of a bully. Although, Kat was not always so mean to others, she used to be your generic middle school student, until the day she told one her closest friend about how she was talking anti-depressants, that her parents has recently gone through a rather messy divorce, and her mother was a raging alcoholic. Kat ran away from home and spent many nights sleeping on the streets. Her mother was verbally and physically abusive and it impacted Kat immensely. Her friend ended up turning on her and telling the whole school about what Kat was going through. She became the victim for many mean jokes, many of those about her anti-depressants. Kat was already battling depression and her mothers wrath. Her mother said one night that her and her dad would be happier if she were dead. Kat was already struggling with so much she did should not need to go through such harsh stuff at school too. 

Kat felt helpless, she had no one. She tried to take her life many times. Eventually, Kat moves in with her dad, this means she needs to change schools. At this school, Kat was the bully, the means to channel all of her feelings. It made her feel like for once in her life, that she was in control.  Kat hated herself because everything that was done or said to her by her mother or the kids at her old school, she inflicted on others. 

Eventually, Kat got help. She realized that she was not the only one going through this. Kat only realized she was bullying others to cover up her own hurt in the last years of high school. She was dealing with her traumatic childhood, her psychologically and physically abusive mother, her self-esteem issues and her depression for over seven years of her life. The only way she could deal with it was to hurt others. Kat’s story is an example that demonstrates how people often single out and degrade others to improve themselves, when given the chance. 

To conclude, hurt people: hurt people. Therefore, when they are given the opportunity, they will most likely hurt or degrade others to improve themselves because they do not know what else to do. Developing these bullying tendencies serve as a coping mechanism to these already overly damaged people. Bullies and tormentors are equally struggling with so much. Just because someone doesn’t show it, doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting.