Definition of the word “Bully”:
1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing
2. A hired ruffian; a thug
1. To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner
2. To force one’s way aggressively or by intimidation
Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person, physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person.
Once I had a grasp on exactly what bullying was, I wanted to know why? Why do people bully? Here is what I found:
Studies have shown that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying. Research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results. While some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic, others can use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self-esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser feels empowered.
I asked myself many times, as most victims of bullies do, why me? What did I do to deserve this type of treatment? The answer is absolutely nothing. Bullying has nothing to do with the victim and everything to do with the internal struggle of the bully. Bullies are simply crying out for attention that they cannot receive in other ways. It is actually quite sad, especially when seen in adults.
Previously, when I would think of bullies and bullying, I would picture a group of big kids picking on a smaller kid on the playground. It was only after watching myself get bullied did I realize that adult bullying exists. I found the following information interesting, informative and extremely familiar.
There are several different types of adult bullies.
1. Narcissistic Adult Bully: This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.
2. Impulsive Adult Bully: Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior.
3. Physical Bully: While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim’s property, rather than physically confronting the victim.
4. Verbal Adult Bully: Words can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage – to the bully – of being difficult to document.
5. Secondary Adult Bully: This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves.
Not all bullies fit into one category. Some adult bullies possess a variety of traits from each. The question is, how do we handle these adult bullies? In my research, I am yet to find the answer. At this point, all I can do is bring awareness to the fact that adult bullying exists and should not be a behavior that is glorified.
One never knows the personal struggles an individual is going through at any given moment and we need to be cautious and careful with one another. If you are unable to come to a common ground, it is best to agree to disagree, exit stage left and remove yourself from the situation and the person that is bringing negativity into your life.
What I experienced was extremely difficult and emotional for me, as I’m sure it is for all victims of bullying. At the same time, I now have a platform to bring awareness to the issue of adult bullying in today’s society.