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  • Does bullying happen to people with traits that by theory should deter it (WTF immense physical strength and HUGE TALL BUFF Body, lots of social connections, superb people skills, not a nerd and is someone into the latest fads, etc)?

Self Defense/Does bullying happen to people with traits that by theory should deter it (WTF immense physical strength and HUGE TALL BUFF Body, lots of social connections, superb people skills, not a nerd and is someone into the latest fads, etc)?


QUESTION: I read your article about social connections, bullies, and violence geeks, and hierachy of Badasses and while I agree with the gist of their contents, I do have a question thats been disturbing me lately.

So far so many experts from various fields (psychology, sociology, history, criminology, etc), many people who you chatted with online, and even yourself state that the primary reason why people bully you is often because you are seen as weak and a wierdo. I cannot tell you how many times the cliches are thrown "oh you're into nerdy Sci Fi rather than cool stuff such as football and you don't even know the latest box office hits", "you're a small puny 17 year old who's 5'2", "you don't have any friends", "you piss people off easily and need to work on verbal communication to avoid being ganged up on","you're 10 years old and you still bedwet and have to wear diapers to avoid messing the futons", "you're paranoid and freak out at the sight of that stupid jerk jock" etcetera etcetera etcetera.

I will be the first to say many bullied people I know are targeted for many of the above reasons and I agree with your articles pinpointing such stuff in your articles as something you need to resolve to avoid being target.

However from my observation even people who lack issues often found among bullied types such as your average teen who is just plain average-nothing significant in popularity, number of trustworthy friends, etc- still get targeted for bullying.

What shocks me the most is that from my experience both in primary and secondary education and even in college is that I SEEN Popular people who have lots of loyal friends, dress fashionably, are not in anyway into nerdy hobbies but instead listen to the latest Billboard Chart hits, and are even FUCKING STRONG with clearly BODYBUILDER physiques and even renown locally as being local martial artists/boxers champs or successful athletes whose contributions are essential for winning many school games and they even got scholarship. I'm not even getting started that these same people are often very physically attractive and charming and have a 0 crime rate record thus are in good standing with local police; some even genuinely help the community by donating to charity or doing community service,etc out of the kindness of their hearts.

So by all attempts they SHOULD not be BULLIED at all. The social connections alone should mean no one should hold contempt for them or at least be deterred by all the friends they have locally.

Yet I have seen so my share of popular SEXY sociable jocks or cheerleaders get bullied and I seen a few cases of death from physical battering or even suicides.

At first I thought they had bad luck to get into contact with predatory criminals or other dangerous sociopaths. However the people who physically assaulted them or bullied them emotionally or verbally into suicide WERE to my shock not even bully students but normal students, in some case even physically nerdy wastes or obese people who are just plain average kids (no bad records, happy in their lives,etc).

I initially just shrugged off such incidents as isolated freak cases that happened in my smalltown. But  I am just shocked upon research how popular supposedly happy students who HAVE everything us average folks could ever dream off (stunning good looks, top athletics and physical conditioning, so savvy into the latest trends and fashionable, not nerdy at all,etc) actually happens everywhere not just in my town and the predator are not hardened criminals or juveniles but average kids who satisfied with their lives and with a clean record and average in every other way.

However the cases are still WAY lower than the bullying that happens to your typical small unathletic kid and your social outcast and your nerds and other types you mentioned in your articles so I am still wondering if these are just outliers in the grand scheme of things.

From your experience in the street fighting world and the psychology and sociology fields, have you seen bullying happen to people who lack the associated cues and traits that you stated would make you a delicious target for bigger fish on the chain? Because i a few articles you stated its the appearance of being weak that is the handsdown the SOLE reason people are bullied and all the things you and other experts and your associates  mentioned such as strong circle of friends are supposed to deter other predatory fish from seeing you as a  weakling for dinner.

I mean this post is a typical example.

Particularly this part of the above link

"(Note: this is why socially awkward people are always getting targeted by bullies...they have a hard time building those connections, therefore their status is low/in question according to the people in their group, and therefore they are safe targets for predators.)"

Which I have some problems with because as I stated above I HAVE seen people with strong local connections and lots of friends (some even coming from respected families that stayed in the area for generations and are have cemented their reputation centuries ago that they are so BELOVED by the town that just having the family surname would guarantee locals respecting you even if they don't know you personally) GET TARGETED for habitual bullying that includes the cliched verbal slurs everyday at school and outright physical assault and just plain emotional violence (aura of you're not human so I have the right to disrespect you just because).

In fact in the inverse I know some people are are loners who fi every bill of the "nerd" definition but are never targetted by others.

Is the above posts and other stuff pointed by experts and your associates and even your articles are just a SIMPLIFIED "Child's LIE" to a topic far more complex? Is there far more in the process of bullying style violence than your articles on the subject at NoNoneSenseSelfDefense touched on? I am honestly confused because I seen real life examples that contradict the claim while at the same time I seen real life ones that match your articles and experts and associates statements to a T. Or do I just have happened to come out into some bizarre outliers?

ANSWER: Let's start that with 'experts' in the field fucking things up, getting a working definition of bullying is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.  Now days bullying means whatever some idiot who either gets a paycheck or has widdle boo boo hurt feelings says it is.

And instead of focusing on the individual dynamics and behaviors, folks are trying to pitch the solutions as societal or administrative.  (We'll make a policy.) The shit is so screwed up that when you try to frame a question, you can't help but falling into in cliches and assumptions promoted by the field. And that effects both the question and what you think you hear as the answer. For example,

"Because i a few articles you stated its the appearance of being weak that is the handsdown the SOLE reason people are bullied and all the things you and other experts and your associates  mentioned such as strong circle of friends are supposed to deter other predatory fish from seeing you as a  weakling for dinner."

Weakness is not a word I use. That's your interpretation.

An actual quote from the Bullies page is
"First off, most people who are selected in this manner don't understand what they are doing to attract the attention of bullies. The build up to violence is always a two way street. What you do affects whether or not you are selected to be the bullies' entertainment."

You ran that through your head and came up with the interpretation of "weak."

Here's another quote
"Actually, about 80 percent of the people don't even notice when a tough guy walks in. They're too busy doing something else. Believe it or not, this saves them all kind of trouble because the "door" that trouble would enter is closed. By simply not looking at them, the message these people are broadcasting tells the bully that those people don't want to play the bully's stupid little game."

It's not weak, it's that the target is sending the signals that he's a prime candidate for the game. They have done something that attracts the bullies attention. Usually paying some kind of attention to the bully, but without having the other aspects, social skills or abilities to hold their own.

Again, this is not weak. It's not having the resources to play that particular game. For example Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world. He got there from his strengths in technology and business fields.  Is he a fighter? Not physically. But he knows how to more than hold his own in business squabbles. And he's not afraid to do it.

What you're not seeing is how much more complex the whole issue is. That it extends WAY past just the two individuals. For example, overt bullying behavior doesn't happen when I'm in the room. Why? Because it's not safe for the bully. On the other hand, bullying behavior often comes about when the bully is feeling something particularly strongly. If he/she isn't feeling that then the behavior doesn't manifest. On the other hand, among a select group (people of similar interests) there is all kinds of hierarchy and social jockeying that has been deemed bullying - but is in fact social order. The nerds who people think are the targets of bullying engage in the same behavior inside their own group.

It gets WAY more complicated than what you think

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: SHIT its been a long time since I asked this question I almost forgot about this.

OK lets get the first thing over with. To  repeat a quote one of your online buddies posted in one of your FB commentaries.

"(Note: this is why socially awkward people are always getting targeted by bullies...they have a hard time building those connections, therefore their status is low/in question according to the people in their group, and therefore they are safe targets for predators.)"

How true is the above Facebook post link (especially the part I copied and pasted under quotes)? Your online friend genuinely believes that if you have strong social connections, you will NEVER face bullying and even if you somehow do, your powerful friends will scare bullies ASAP.

INCREDIBLY CLICHED like you state and in my experience COMPLETE UTTER BS. Recently there was a suicide in my town. The girl comes from one of the richest families who owns an established restaurant so beloved and she was EXTREMELY POPULAR. As in ALL the guys wanted to date (FUCK I WISH she hadn't died because she was GORGEOUS). She recently faced bullying from one student.

GUESS WHAT? All her friends THREATENED this jerkass to stop bullying her and some even gave this douchebag a brutal beating. Yet he still continued doing NASTY BULLYING (not just verbal, physical assaults,etc) and one day she just lost it and hanged herself. We're talking about a girl who was so beloved every guy in school literally ganged up on her bully and beat him to get him to stop. After she was found dead, some of her biggest admirers joined together and got the kid and savagely beaten him so hard; THEY were ACTUALLY going to MURDER HIM brutally but the police stopped them and now these guys who had such a hgue crush on her are imprisoned behind bars.

She never faced bullying from other girls because they LOVED her and I cannot tell how many chicks tried to jockey over her to win her respect so that she will like them back as friends.

BULLYING should NEVER have happened to her using your facebook friend's post. BUT it did and none of her social connections no matter how willing they were to commit violence could save her.

Thats just one example and I can state far more.

I seen NICE GUYS get targetted despite never pissing anyone off, I seen bodybuilding athletes cry from depression after being taunted daily by a puny nerd.

I also seen NERDS-guys who don't bath, are CREEPY (as in they talk about rape and other inappropriate stuff), who are super skinny and super weak, are loners with no friends, and other stereotypes- NEVER FACE BULLYING a single day in their life. They should have been targetted, not that now dead popular pretty girl. Yet no one not even a jock ever bothered to grab this one specific nerd I know and throw him into a trash can lids (to put a cliche).

So my experience is that FB friend of your's post is UTTER BS.

But I don't have a strong understanding of the subject so what would you say about his post?

Now onto more serious issues.

What do you mean not play the bully's game? I am confused because to put another example.

Have you ever seen Hey Arnold? One of the characters Helga is often bullied verbally and emotionally daily for being ugly and a mean girl. Yet as opposed to most "bullied victimized girls" who go into a corner and cry for booboo from insults from other classmates, she FUCKING grabs whoever tries to call her ugly or whatever other insult they come up with, and she BEATS THEM UP. As in after the cartoon special effects as she leaves the area, the bully literally GETS a black eye, some bleeding wounds and bruises, and even in a few cases they get broken noses with blood gushing out, broken bones, and their teeth knocked out.

yet these same MORONS continue BULLYING her verbally daily and its become a cliche that you'd expect at least one idiotic guy to get his teeth knocked out or his faced bloodied or one of his eyes black because she always reacts by hitting the latest fool who decided to call her ugly.

By all means since she is so strong and FUCKING VIOLENT physically to the point she will RIP your neck out for fucking with her, BULLYING should stop. Yet everyday the same guys (who she just beat up brutally yesterday) continue to torment her.

Now I bring up Helga from Hey Arnold because....... BELIEVE it or NOT I seen muscular JOCKS experience the same thing Helga does! And like Helga no matter how much they beat up that fatass at the cafeteria for calling him a pussy, jocks I know still get tormented daily. In fact I could not understand how these skinny weakling (some embodying the nerd stereotype) can even muster the energy to continue emotionally and verbally bullying jocks I know because they should be in the ICU from the wounds they got in yesterdays beatings but they continue to attack jocks they targetted. And *GASP* at least one jock committed suicide because he couldn't take it anymore!

I am so fucking confused but in particular I have to ask about the "HELGA VICTIMS". Seriously why are some people willing to torment someone despite the fact they get daily beatings that will accumulate one day in permanent blindness in one eye or some other nasty permanent injury?

I have far more questions but lets save that for later and discuss the two speicific topics I mentioned in this response.

You don't know it, but you're talking exceptions rather than rules.

Or to be more precise you're talking man bites dog stories. Does it happen? Yes, of course. But it's more rare than you might think.

There's something to consider how many times does it not happen? And what in the environment kept it from happening.

Here's an easy parallel to understand. When you see some gangbangers on a bus/train acting up, odds are there are factors lacking. That's because they only act up when certain types of people and conditions aren't there. When you see gangmembers behaving themselves, look for what those circumstances are. There are some pretty reliable factors.

So you see jocks get bullied? Yeah. Are they in a place where they can't hit the dude?
So you hear about someone getting smacked around and still keep it up? Were the people who thumped them there?
So you hear about someone getting confronted and still keep coming? How many bones were broken during the "knock it off" session?

Second, you dismiss the social network.

How strong (if not violent) is it? How willing to be violent is the group in the protection of it's members?

'Cause I guarantee you a bunch of snippy cheerleaders are a lot less intimidating than a large Mexican/Italian/Greek/Puerto Rican family or a gang. Or if the family is rich enough to make a phone call and give the person no end of problems with the cops, authorities, etc.  

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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