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do people habitually slag off their peers to others for some kind of verification that they exist and matter, or is there another reason?
the nature of bullies and those who exhibit the bully behaviour but without a demonstrable evil streak was an upsetting topic when i was young - now i can look at it dispassionately and objectively i thought i'd get a better inkling of why they do what they do.... but verification is the only thing i can come up with :S

anyone else got a theory they care to share? is there a study somewhere that has drawn a conclusion?
asked in human nature, bullies, children

vultan answers:

I assume there's some kind of atavistic jostling for position going on. People are asserting their dominance in the social structure by exerting power over those weaker than them. It's a kind of security blanket - if you pick on someone else and single them out for abuse then it's most unlikely that people will do the same thing to you. It's perhaps a verification that they matter more than some other people. It's like the internal politics of any animal that lives in group, I guess.

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rasputin1309 answers:

Perhaps sometimes people need slagging off - having a go at someone isn't always bullying - or at least if people want to classify it as such then we need to rethink our attitude to bullying - Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross are currently receiving a royal kicking from everyone and his dog - at what point does this thus become "bullying" and therefore apparently unacceptable or will it always remain a pair of unpleasant, unfunny oafs getting what they have deserved for a long while?

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Maygs answers:

I agree that it is part of a status thing.

My friends and I have shared small living accomodation for three years now and we know that bitching goes on, but we accept that because we live in such a small condition, things are bound to get heated and instead of upsetting each other, we vent our frustrations with another housemate and then forget about it and nothing more is said.

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Bubs86 answers:

In a way I think it is healthy to talk about something someone else has done that has upset you. I dont mean the slaggin off like he is so ugly she is so fat kinda thing.

But if someone has done something to really offend you you sometimes need to vent your frustration on a friend to get out the annoyance and move on with that person. You definately need to tell the person that has offended you but sometimes you just need to let your anger out aswell.

I think people that ***** and slag people off for no reason (not for an unreasonable action) are probably insecure and do it to make themselves feel better and to try and ensure they turn people agains that person, hence having more friends for themselves.

TBH it is just a part of society that goes on at work, home and within social circles. There is little anyone can do but accept it!

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