Much information on bullying is available today on the Internet websites. Still, even though current school systems, work places, and major organizations have done a lot to prevent and control bullying, many people still do not know what bullying really is, nor do they recognize the subtle forms of it when they see it. To recognize all kinds of bullying better, here are 20 of its basic characteristics found in several articles and studies.
1. Predatory. Serial bullying is predatory and sociopathic. This kind of bulling generally has a dysfunctional, mean-spirited, psychiatric, cowardly component in its psychic.
2. Incurable. One in 30 people is a serial bully (1% of the population). Most are incurable.
3. Dangerous. Truly dangerous serial bullying generally occurs in two phases:
- First. A target is controlled and subjugated abusively through isolation, manipulation, down-mouthing, backstabbing, criticisms, demeaning rumors, and direct or indirect pressures.
- Second. The target is confronted, injured, destroyed, or eliminated in some way, often socially. This phase often comes about because the bully has knowingly gone too far with his or her behavior, and feels a need to cover it up as much as possible.
4. Effects not always recognizable by others. Among adults, many people do not recognize the highly subtle or indirect bullying as it happens. For example, an adult might see a friend or colleague become quiet and withdrawn, but does not realize the friend or colleague is being abused by some kind of bullying somewhere.
5. Cautious types. In some cases, the targets themselves do not know for a long time they are being bullied because the bullying acts are done slowly and carefully behind their backs in the form of preconceived judgments and stereotyping. That is, the so-called target or “frog” is slowly boiled so it will not jump out of the hot water before it is too late. This kind of bullying can be highly organized if several bully types collaborate on a target. In fact, this kind could be called systematic bullying if it is meant to harm the target.
6. Bullying versus harassment. Bullying and harassment are similar, but not exactly the same. Bullying refers to the behavior itself at any age. It can be long-term and destructive to the target. Harassment can also be destructive. However, harassment is often a one-time incident, depending on the tolerance level of the target in question. Harassment pertains to the civil and legal rights of the targets involved.
7. Loses one, finds another. When a serial bully loses a target or victim, he or she will find a new one within two weeks. Serial bullies need a target, scapegoat, or whipping person full-time.
8. Can be male or female. Male and female bullies exist near a 50/50 percentage. Yet, women are bullied more often according to testimonials. Men might not admit to them.
9. Male or female traits. Male bullies can be loud, directly forceful, foot-stomping, overbearing, and intimidating. Females can be quietly subtle, indirectly forceful or coercive, and intimidating. Still other bullies can be mousy, sneaky, and sniveling, often feigning their own victimization to exert power over their targets.
10. Lowbrow. Certain bullies might not like things of the higher order. In particular, they might not like enlightenment, confidence, faith, courage, mutuality, integrity, true cooperation or teamwork, honesty, innovation, accurate thinking, capabilities and talents, competition, or the rights of others.
11. Selective. Bullies do not bully everyone. They will bully only their selected targets for their own selective reasons. That trait makes the smart bullies hard to spot and to control because they behave normally among most people and in the public. Spouse bullying at the home falls into this category.
12. Kid types. Young (child) bullies select their targets differently than adult-bullies do. For example, a child bully might lash out at someone for the mere emotional attention alone, or for momentary dominance. Adults might bully competitively for status, salary, and authority.
13. Criminally convicted. Kid-bullies who have been habitual for a relatively lone time will have a criminal conviction by the time they are 30-years-old.
14. Craves mental and emotional control. Bullies often focus on controlling or owning their target mentally and emotionally through fear and other tactics. They might dwell on a single ability or vulnerability of a target. For example, a bully might target someone simply out of jealously over their good looks, social skills, or talents, especially if the targets have difficulty standing up for themselves.
15. Inner needs projected. Bullies have distinct inner traits. For example, they tend to project their unsatisfied inner needs onto others, or, in a similar manner, to take them out on others.
16. Multiple faced and clever. Clever bullies can demonstrate multiple-faced chameleon-like personalities, capable of playing issues both ways, playing several ends against the middle, and changing their stories often. They also know how to exploit the darker, fearful side of the sideline watchers to enlist their help for bullying purposes.
17. Braggarts. Bullies tend to brag. They claim successes, deals, relationships, and ownerships that do not exist, and probably never did.
18. Great job resumes. Within the adult workforce, bullies often have glowing resumes, which is the only way their previous employers could get rid of them.
19. Disruptive. Bullies disrupt organizations by creating ill will, bad feelings, and misunderstandings. They can instigate layers of tangled webs through deceit and false pretenses, which will eventually lead to unethical or criminal activity through their organizations. Businesses have been ruined by being unable to do anything about a key bully. In one case, a guitar manufacturer had to watch his business go bankrupt and out-of-business before the owner could regain control of it. This owner was lucky to get it going again.
20. Not dim-witted. Habitual or serial bullies are not dim-witted. They simply have a difficult time understanding their actions are unethical or illegal, or knowing their mean self-aggrandizing actions are not appreciated or respected by others. These kinds of bullies think it is normal behavior to take whatever they want from whomever they want (who was carefully selected first) at anytime they want without having to face any consequences for doing so.