The Adult Bully: Who is This Predator?


As noted in current media reports, the focus is on children who bully and rarely are adults described or reported to be bullies. An adult bully is more likely to use verbal bullying as opposed to physical abuse exhibited by children. The goal of an adult bully is to gain power over their victim and assert themselves as the dominant adult. These bullies attempt to humiliate victims and show them who is the boss. Does this person seem familiar to you?

There are many different categories of adult bullies and can be identified by the following characteristics;

1. Narcissistic Adult Bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. This bully exhibits little anxiety about the consequences of their actions.They are narcissistic and think highly of themselves and has a need to put others down to maintain their level of importance.

2. Impulsive Adult Bully is highly spontaneous and usually do not plan their assaultive acts. These bullies seem to find it quite difficult to restrain their actions and displace their anger on innocent victims.

3. Physical Bully are rare but do threaten to harm a victim with highly descriptive assaults. They may channel their aggression to possessions of the victim by destroying their property or treasured belongings or choosing to steal them instead.

4.Verbal Adult Bully uses damaging words such as highly destructive rumors about their victim. Sarcastic and demeaning language is used to dominate or humiliate an innocent person. Such bullying is, indeed, difficult to document by a victim and may effect the quality of life, job performance and is a factor in causing depression for the victim.

5.Secondary Adult Bully is demonstrated by someone who does not initiate the bullying but does join in with other aggressive individuals with the intention of protecting themselves from being a target of other bullies in the future.

Bullying in the work place can create a miserable and difficult, unproductive work environment. It is relevant that supervisors be made aware of bullies since they can disrupt productivity and create a negative atmosphere for the workers. Morale usually is poor in such a setting and risks for potential law suits do exist.

Bullies do not wish to address their behavior problems and reporting them rather then attempting to work things out is the only intervention for a victim. Bullies are more interested in power and domination and they wish to feel that they are important and preferred and accomplish this by bringing others down. A positive aspect of reporting a bully is that their behavior can be documented and there are legal and civil laws for harassment, abuse and other forms of bullying.

Bullies were frequently bullies as children or a victim themselves as children. Understanding this behavioral aspect of a bully will assist you in understanding their dysfunctional behavior. However, all one can do is to ignore the bully, report the behavior and document the bully’s behavior.

Have you met this predator? Do let us hear your voice and what are your feelings about bullies.

My next post will continue to discuss bullies, the bully not in the work environment but the bully within the family, the home environment.

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