It Isn’t Big to Make Others Feel Small

By: Benjamin Aguilera ’21 and  Andrea Karkafi ’19 (Guest Writers)

Bullies are everywhere, they’re in the workplace, they attend public schools, private schools, and they go to Notre Dame.

According to, bullying is aggressive behavior that involves a pattern of repeated unwanted, negative actions. So a bully is someone who uses intimidation and hurtful language/actions with the intent to hurt others.

Bullies and victims alike need help and understanding, Many bullies are usually insecure and have had past traumatic experiences. They often don’t know how to deal with their problems and instead of trying to get help, they take their feelings out on other people.

According to, bullies may develop because they lacks attention from a parent at home and lashes out at others for attention. This can include neglected children, children of divorced parents, or children with parents under the regular influence of drugs/alcohol.

Bullying is not just a matter of physically confronting or intimidating another person. Actions of a bully can range from stealing or damaging someone’s property, purposely harming another’s self esteem or reputation, excluding someone from a group, and threatening or harassing through text messages.

Sometimes bullies don’t recognize that they are bullies…

Are you a bully? Consider these following scenarios:

  1. You walk into the cafeteria and the lunch line is filled with people. You…
    1. go to the back of the line and wait
    2. use your size and strength to push your way towards the front
    3. leave the cafeteria and make your friends share their food
  2. If someone pushed you in a crowded area, you would…
    1. do nothing – it may have been an accident
    2. tell them off – they deserve it!
    3. politely confront them
  3. On Halloween night, your friends decide to toilet paper the new kid’s house. What would be your role?
    1. Telling your friends not to do it.
    2. Be the one throwing the toilet paper.
    3. Laughing, watching, and snap chatting.
  4. You see someone indirectly say something mean about your friend on social media. What is your response?
    1. Message them and inform them that what they did was wrong.
    2. Tweet an embarrassing picture of them for everyone to see.
    3. Tell your friend, but don’t take serious initiative.
  5. You are on the football field, and the referee calls a penalty. You…
    1. accept it and continue playing.
    2. try to intimidate the referee using force
    3. confront the referee and rudely refuse the penalty
  6. Your best friend is crying because a popular girl in school posted a cruel video of her on an instagram account that has 4k followers. You decide to…
    1. contact the school to try and take it down.
    2. post an embarrassing video about the popular girl, which can really damage her reputation!
    3. engage in a fist-fight with the rude girl.
  7. You are at a kickback and you feel like your friends are disrespecting you by making a joke at your expense. You…
    1. laugh along and ignore the negativity.
    2. decide to tell a joke that really hurts their feelings.
    3. start to get angry and tell them that their behavior is unacceptable.


If you got mostly a’s, you are an upstander. You do not tolerate bullying behavior.

If you got mostly b’s, you might be exhibiting behaviors of a bully.

If you got mostly c’s, you are treading ice on being a bystander, which is part of the problem.


If you got mostly b’s you might want to reflect on your behavior –and consider what kind of person that you really want to be. Consider why you have done certain actions, what were your motivations? Reflect how those who are affected by your actions feel. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Lastly, kindness is a muscle, so find a way to flex yours.



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