17 Adult Traits of People Who Were Bullied as Kids

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By Jonathan Trent

There is usually a reason why some grown-ups may act in different ways than other adults. Childhood experiences such as being bullied can leave a lasting mark, carrying well into adulthood. Let’s take a look at 17 adult traits of those who endured being bullied as kids.


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Having been victims of bullying when they were younger, adults may have developed empathy towards the struggles of others. Their experiences have enabled them to have increased self-awareness and a strong sense of compassion, which comes out in their unrelenting support of others.


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Adults who were bullied in childhood are passionate about preventing others from suffering and going through similar ordeals. They are more likely to have the confidence to speak out against injustice, striving to create welcoming environments to stop the bullying cycle from repeating. It’s a truly admirable trait!

Mental Strength

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The BBC reveals that one in four children has suffered frequent face-to-face bullying, but even online bullying leads these children to cultivate inner resilience and high emotional intelligence. They are able to understand and manage their feelings well as adults, with a strong sense of inner strength and endurance.


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When they are bullied as children by others, many adults learn to develop coping mechanisms during moments of adversity. This has allowed them to navigate difficult situations with resilience, enabling them to bounce back from obstacles and setbacks with determination.

Compassionate Leadership

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Victims of childhood bullying often emerge as leaders due to their empathy; they will take the lead in certain situations and support the growth and well-being of others. Their commitment to positive change is unwavering, as they advocate for kindness and understanding.


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Despite The Guardian pointing out how childhood bullying can cause poor mental health in adulthood, many of these individuals actually thrive later on in life. They will experience flourishing relationships and will constantly strive for self-improvement and a sense of purpose, so even something as horrible as bullying has its silver linings!


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As they were excluded in childhood, bully-victims will stick up for marginalized groups because they know how it feels to be shunned. They will appreciate differences and promote inclusivity, standing up against discrimination and bias to make society more tolerant. More of that, please!

Empathetic Communicators

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Many victims of childhood bullying were ignored and neglected in childhood, so they are more dedicated to offering genuine support and understanding as adults. They will listen intently to others expressing themselves openly and honestly, becoming skilled in the art of resolving disputes peacefully.


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Dealing with bullying as a child makes individuals more likely to speak out on issues that matter to them. Having been robbed of their voice in childhood, they will have the courage and confidence to address unfair treatment in order to create a fairer society, sticking up for others–not just themselves.

Positive Role Models

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Victims of childhood bullying care about inspiring others, serving as examples of resilience and strength, and using their experiences to encourage self-acceptance in others. By promoting confidence and self-worth, they will lead by example in spreading compassion, making them excellent role models to follow.

Ambitious Achievers

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Sufferers of childhood bullying are likely to adopt a goal-oriented mindset that they didn’t have in childhood. While Psychology Today discloses how low motivation from associated depression is also a concern with victims of childhood bullying, as they age, these individuals will usually start to set and pursue ambitious goals.

Empowered Individuals

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Children who were bullied will often become confident in expressing their needs and boundaries as they get older, learning to stand up for themselves in various situations to rewrite the past. They have a tendency to take ownership of their narrative, refusing to let their past experiences define them.

Supportive Allies

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When they were young, adults who struggled with being bullied may have had no one to confide in. This is precisely why they are so dedicated to providing emotional support to those in need and creating inclusive environments for all. They will promote empathy and understanding in interactions, which is truly admirable.

Inspirational Figures

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By sharing their stories of resilience and perseverance, adults who were bullied as youngsters will be transparent about their triumphs over past challenges and setbacks. By encouraging individuals to embrace their inner strength, they will become role models for those who are being bullied, giving them hope.

Beacons of Kindness

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It’s common for adults who were picked on as kids to engage in acts of kindness and compassion. Contrary to Psych Central’s revelations that many of these individuals may feel resentful about the past, they will continue to inspire others and foster environments of support and empathy, becoming true beacons of kindness.

Nurturing Mentors

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Being taunted and mocked as children allows many of these kids to become nurturing mentors in adulthood. These individuals will possess invaluable skills in guiding others through various challenges and stages of growth, excelling in developing resilience within individuals, and aiding them in developing the confidence to overcome obstacles.

Champions of Social Justice

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Finally, having experienced negativity as children, such adults will drive for social justice by promoting fairness and equality. They will challenge societal norms, pushing for inclusivity and acceptance while empowering others to speak out and find their voice. As we have covered, this is just one of many silver linings of the horrors of bullying.

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