I grew up with four brothers and in our house, you have to assert what you want, otherwise you wont be heard. Most of the time, I had to try doubly hard to be noticed, to the point Id have to elbow or punch my brother's face if he was wrong or is being a tattletale. Naturally I would get the attention, but also Id get some scolding or spanking if my folks deemed it necessary. More often than not though, theyd let it slide because they would assume that Im just a little harmless girl. Yeah right.
The saying small but terrible is what I was aptly described by the teacher who sent me to the principal's office. This was after I shoved another kid's head in the trashcan and force her to eat my lunch. Yep, it was that kid who thought my food belonged in the wastebasket.
What makes us bullies?
I dont remember bullying anyone when I was a kid. As an adult, I have had several opportunities to take part in bullying other people but I just refused to do so. Its not that I want to be self righteous about it. Its simply because I know how terrible it is to be on the receiving end. If someone has erred me and still would attempt to harass or ridicule me, I often retaliate on my own. I don't invite other people like friends, sorority sisters and fraternity brothers to help me do the dirty job. I deal with it myself.
Bullying someone is just wrong. It is obviously something a coward would do. Even as a kid I knew this and I say from having experienced it a lot of times that I refused to subject anyone to the same kind of humiliation and agony.
|the lovable wimp George Mcfly|
From what I read, children who were bullied either become bullies themselves or help those who are victims of bullying. I would say everyone has that choice to either be the former or the latter. I hate it when I hear some people say they were bullied to becoming bullies. If you cant beat em join em sort of thing. Thats a load or horsecrap and I disagree with that. Unless someone points a gun to your head and make you eat your own shit, that doesnt make you any less guilty.
I read this great site and Ill just lift the ones that I find spot on and relevant to this post. If you still want to dig through the whole lot of descriptions and even types of bully, you will find a wealth of information on the said article. However I wont be discussing it here since its very (ho-hum) LONG.
Why do people bully?
The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy.
anyone who chooses to bully is admitting their inadequacy, and the extent to which a person bullies is a measure of their inadequacy. Bullies project their inadequacy on to others:
a) to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about it;
b) to avoid accepting responsibility for their behaviour and the effect it has on others, and,
c) to reduce their fear of being seen for what they are, namely a weak, inadequate and often incompetent individuals, and,
d) to divert attention away from their inadequacy
Bullying is present behind all forms of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, persecution, conflict and violence. When the bullying has a focus (eg race or gender) it is expressed as racial prejudice or harassment, or sexual discrimination and harassment, and so on. When the bullying lacks a focus (or the bully is aware of the Sex Discrimination Act or the Race Relations Act), it comes out as pure bullying; this is an opportunity to understand the behaviours which underlie almost all reprehensible behavior. I believe bullying is the single most important social issue of today.
is a form of abuse, and bullies often go to great lengths to keep their targets quiet, using threats of disciplinary action, dismissal, and gagging clauses. What bullies fear most is exposure of their inadequacy and being called publicly to account for their behavior and its consequences. This makes sense when you remember that the purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy, and people who bully to hide their inadequacy are often incompetent.
A bully is a person who
- has never learnt to accept responsibility for their behaviour
- wants to enjoy the benefits of living in the adult world, but who is unable and unwilling to accept the responsibilities that are a prerequisite for being part of the adult world.
- abdicates and denies responsibility for their behaviour and its consequences (abdication and denial are common features of bullying)
- is unable and unwilling to recognise the effect of their behaviour on others
- does not want to know of any other way of behaving
- is unwilling to recognise that there could be better ways of behaving.
Bullying is obsessive and compulsive; the serial bully has to have someone to bully and appears to be unable to survive without a current target.
Despite the facade that such people put up, bullies have low self-confidence and low self-esteem, and thus feel insecure. Low self-esteem is a factor highlighted by all studies of bullying. Because such people are inadequate and unable to fulfil the duties and obligations of their position (but have no hesitation in accepting salary), they fear being revealed. This fear of exposure often borders on paranoia.
Bullies are seething with resentment, bitterness, hatred and anger, and often have wide-ranging prejudices as a vehicle for dumping their anger onto others. Bullies are driven by jealousy and envy. Rejection (which cannot be assuaged) is another powerful motivator of bullying.
Bullies are people who have not learned the lesson of consequences, ie that if they behave well there are good consequences (reward), but if they behave badly there are bad consequences (restriction, sanction, punishment, etc). Since childhood, bullies have learnt that they can avoid the unpleasant consequences of bad behaviour through the instinctive response of denial, blame, and feigning victimhood.
Detailed profile of the serial bully
The serial bully also:
- is selfish and acts out of self-interest, self-aggrandisement and self-preservation at all times; everything can be traced back to the self - even the seemingly innocuous "How are you today?" translates to "Is there any comeback on me as to how you're feeling today?"
- is insensitive, often callously indifferent to the needs of others, and especially when others are experiencing difficulty (vulnerability is a major stimulant to the serial bully)
- is incapable of reciprocity, ie unable and unwilling to reciprocate any positive gesture
- sees anyone attempting to be conciliatory as a sucker to be exploited
- uses criticism, humiliation, etc in the guise of addressing shortfalls in performance - in reality, these are for control and subjugation, not for performance enhancement
- appears to be intelligent but often performs poorly in academic or professional roles, despite appearances; the intelligence is focused exclusively on deviousness, cunning, scheming, manipulation, evasiveness, deceptiveness, quick-wittedness, craftiness, self-centredness, etc
- may be passive aggressive, blowing hot and cold, superficially cooperative but motivated by retribution, stubborn, uncoachable, use their intelligence to excuse and justify their behaviour, and they detest anyone more competent than themselves - which is most people
- is unable to maintain confidentiality, often breaching it with misrepresentation, distortion and fabrication
- distorts, twists, concocts and fabricates criticisms and allegations, and abuses the disciplinary procedures - again, for control and subjugation, not for performance enhancement
- uses gossip, back-stabbing or spreads rumours to undermine, discredit and isolate
- is untrustworthy and unable to trust others - this partly explains the compulsion for excessive monitoring
- is drawn to positions of power and abuses that power
- is autocratic and dictatorial, often using phrases like "you shouldn't..." or "you ought to..."
- may appear superficially competent and professional at their job, but behind the facade is inadequate, inept, poor at their job, often incompetent; survives only by plagiarising other people's work, and being carried by those they bully
- wraps himself or herself in a flag or tradition and usurps others' objectives, thereby nurturing compliance, reverence, deference, endorsement and obeisance; however, such veneration and allegiance is divisive, being a corruption for personal power which exhibits itself through the establishment of a clique, coterie, cabal, faction, or gang
- is a divisive and disruptive influence, their departments are dysfunctional and inefficient, and their behavior prevents staff from performing their duties
- is unusually susceptible to minor slights or perceived slights and bears grudges which may be acted on years later when the transgressor can be denied promotion or downsized in the bully's "reorganisation"
- gains gratification from provoking people into emotional or irrational responses but is quick to claim provocation by others when challenged
- has a short-term focus and often cannot think or plan ahead more than 24 hours
- appears to have a short, selective memory and often cannot or will not remember what they said, did, or committed to more than 24 hours ago - but is always able to remember your faults, often from years ago
- the serial bully seems to live in a bubble of the present and when challenged will spontaneously make things up; the bully genuinely seems to believe the fabrication; from a psychiatric viewpoint this could be called confabulation; from a moral viewpoint, it's called lying
- is often like a child who has never grown up
- exhibits immature behaviour and poor manners
- has poor communication skills, poor interpersonal skills, poor social skills
- often misses social cues
- has poor language skills, and uses almost exclusively negative language with few or no positive words; is often limited to parroting fad phrases and regurgitating the latest management jargon
- has poorly-defined moral and ethical boundaries
- acts out of gratification and self-interest only, often using and hiding behind the employer
- extrovert bullies tend to be shouters and screamers, are highly visible, and bully from the front
- extrovert bullies can be charismatic and seem to be able to bewitch people into following and supporting them
- introvert bullies - the most dangerous types - tend to sit in the background and recruit others to do the bullying for them - when dealing with this type of bullying, identify the arch-bully in the background and focus single-mindedly on that person - the others will melt away
- is a killjoy, a wet blanket, is unreceptive and finds fault with or pours scorn on other people's ideas and suggestions, but may regurgitate them later claiming to be the originator
- often has a hatred of a sector of society, eg ethnic minorities, disabled people, etc
- often has a hatred of certain professional groups, eg psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counsellors, therapists
- is unimaginative and lacks the skills of creativity and innovation
- rarely has any ideas of his or her own; tends to regurgitate what others (especially superiors) say rather than use own thinking
- is a plagiarist, steals other people's work - and the credit for it
- has a writing style that is disjointed, lacks flow and consistency, tends to make contradictory statements, and has the feel of a young teenager trying to write like a grown-up (apologies to teenagers)
- often uses false praise or praise which is inappropriate to the circumstances; this is partly to make the bully feel good, partly for the benefit of witnesses, partly poor judgement, partly immaturity, and partly for control and subjugation to throw their target off guard
- is unable and unwilling to value others and their contributions and achievements; is often scornful
- shows discrepancy in valuing tasks, deliberately devaluing the work and achievements of others; when the bully does a certain job, it's onerous, difficult and the bully needs lots of recognition; when their target does the same job it's trivial, of little or no value, not worth mentioning
- is ungrateful and rarely (if ever) says "thank you" or "well done" (except, perhaps, if impressionable witnesses are present)
- is frequently sarcastic, especially in contexts where sarcasm is inappropriate and unprofessional
- is unable to assess the importance of events and tasks, often making an unnecessary fuss over trivia whilst ignoring important or urgent things
- exhibits duplicity and hypocrisy, eg says one thing one day and denies it the next
- often has an overwhelming (and unhealthy) need to feel recognised and wanted
- is fastidious, often has an unhealthy obsession with cleanliness or orderliness
- is insincere and false
- has never learnt the skills of and has little concept of empathy; may use charm and mimicry to compensate
- attempts at empathy are superficial, amateur, often inappropriate or inappropriately high, and based on mimicry rather than genuine concern - and are for the purpose of making the bully look and feel good, especially in front of witnesses
- when required to show empathy, eg someone is in distress or needs help, responds either with impatience and aggression (if no-one else is present), or with a fulsome and effusive attempt at empathy (if witnesses are present)
- is unwilling to apologise for mistakes, except occasionally when witnesses are present, then the apology is fulsome, artificial, and inappropriate - but sufficiently convincing for peers and superiors
- is quick to blame others
- is uncharacteristically fulsome and effusive, especially in front of witnesses - but hollow and insincere
- is devious and manipulative (especially female bullies)
- is spiteful and vengeful (ditto)
- uses aggression almost exclusively but claims to be assertive (assertiveness is about recognising and respecting the rights of oneself and others)
- has unpredictable mood swings, blows hot and cold, often suddenly and without warning
- is inconsistent in their judgement, often overruling, ignoring or denying what they said previously
- is inflexible and unable to evaluate options and alternatives
- is unforgiving and often seizes on and exploits others' mistakes or perceived mistakes
- is quick to anger and often has an unpredictable temper
- can be unpredictably and disarmingly pleasant, especially when you are unmasking them in front others - this plays on people's sympathies and is a use of guilt for manipulation and control
- is often humourless and emotionally flat; attempts at humour are often shallow and superficial
- is insecure and sees others as a threat; the threat seems to comprise a fear of exposure of inadequacy, and often borders on paranoia; the individual may have a paranoid personality
- is uncommunicative and uncooperative, and is evasive when asked for information (eg by subordinates)
- has no listening skills, ignores and overrules you; it can be like talking to a brick wall
- makes inappropriate eye contact, either too little (or none at all) or too much (staring)
- often reported as having an evil stare, sometimes with eyes that appear black rather than coloured
- is unable to sustain a mature adult conversation (you may only realise this in retrospect)
- sees people as objects (in the same way that child sex abusers and rapists see their targets as objects for their gratification)
- often displays interpersonal behavior that is ill-advised, especially with a sexual overtone, eg invasion of intimate zone, gestures or comments which include inappropriate sexual references or innuendo, being inappropriately intimate with clients, being too friendly too soon, etc
- lacks a conscience and shows no remorse
- finds ritual important and comforting, and frequently indulges in ritual and ritualistic activity
- often forms or joins lots of committees to look busy and important but never achieves anything of significance or value
- gains gratification from bullying people by imposing rules, regulations, laws etc and insisting on adherence thereto, regardless of their relevance or efficacy
- often exhibits a psychopathic personality, the main features of which are:
- an unwillingness to conform to the rules of society: thinks that rules, regulations, procedures and the law do not apply to them - but insists that others adhere rigidly
- an inability to tolerate minor frustrations
- a tendency to act impulsively, recklessly and randomly
- an inability to form stable relationships (the bully's private life is usually a mess)
- an inability or unwillingness to learn from past experience, however unpleasant - this "learning blindness" is a key feature of the serial bully and differentiates the serial bully from the unwitting bully; this inability to learn seems to be concentrated in the area of interpersonal, social, communication and behavioural skills; closer inspection suggests that the bully does learn from experience, but only how be more secretive and how to be more skilled at evading accountability
Other adjectives to describe the serial bully include cunning, conniving, scheming, calculating, cruel, sadistic, ruthless, treacherous, premeditated, exploitative, pernicious, malevolent, obnoxious, opportunist, unconcerned, etc.
There you go! Yeah its a lot and the website I read has more but I just highlighted those that I find obvious and common to the usual bully you encounter nowadays.
I experienced being bullied as an adult. It happened almost 2 years ago. It was a minor annoying event, just like shit being stuck at the bottom of your shoe that has to be meticulously scraped and brushed off. Fortunately, I am resilient and the fact that I have been through so many difficult experiences in the past that such harassment didnt faze me.
I was insulted by a hoity toity ugly dwarf and her minions and was even called a maid, ugly, a nondegree holder and poor. I refuse to pander to her feelings of self-importance though since its a waste of time. I find it funny that they probably think their government is an idiot though for allowing me to work in their country if I did not finish college. Ah the stupidity of some people truly amuse me. They should add one of these buses for SBS Transit to accommodate these kind of indviduals.
Trademark of a classic bully is they would usually incite for their rabid friends or followers to do the dirty deed for them since they are too much of a wimp to handle it alone. Let them keyboard warriors enjoy that veil of anonymity to the hilt.
I think the most logical way of dealing with these kind of cowards is to just avoid or ignore them. Reacting to them, based on my experience, only adds fuel to the fire. Why try to explain or prove yourself to morons? You are crazy to even consider that. If their head bully said 2+2 = 5, the idiot followers will believe it. no sense defending yourself. its not accepting defeat but simply knowing that explaining even basic math to a bunch of monkeys is futile.