Recognizing the Four Types of Adult Bullies. Keeping Calm.

    Originally Posted May 28, 2014

    Recognizing the Four Types of Adult Bullies. Keeping Calm.


    Identifying what type of bully you are dealing with can be very important when you are trying to fix the problem. Not all bullies are the same; therefore trying to mend every situation the same way will not be effective. Although there are several types of bullies we will concentrate on the four primary types. Remember when dealing with adult bullies, they are serial bullies that are an adult on the outside but a child on the inside; he or she is like a child who has never grown up. You can usually identify them when you see them display nasty behavior all the while wearing cartoon shirts, referring to childhood movies and having strong connects to small children. Typically, the adult bully can get along well with children but not other adults unless the adults are kept at a distance.

    Most adult serial bullies seem fun, witty, humorous and charming. However, in a blink of an eye they can turn vial and mean. Because of this behavior, they can lose friends as fast as they make them.


    The Attention-Seeker

    Motivation: to be the centre of attention

    Mindset: control freak, manipulation, narcissism

    Malice: medium to high; when held accountable, very high

    • emotionally immature
    • selectively friendly – is sickly sweet to some people, rude and offhand to others, and ignores the rest
    • is cold and aggressive towards anyone who sees them for what they really are or exposes their strategies for gaining attention
    • overfriendly with their new target, especially in the initial stages of a new working relationship
    • overhelpful, ditto
    • overgenerous, ditto
    • manipulative of people’s perceptions, but in an amateur and childish manner
    • manipulative with guilt, ditto
    • sycophantic, fawning, toadying
    • uses flattery to keep a person in authority on side
    • everything is a drama, usually a poor-me drama
    • prefers not to solve problems in own life so that they can be used and re-used for gaining sympathy and attention
    • capitalises on issues and uses them as a soapbox for gaining attention
    • exploits others’ suffering and grief as a vehicle for gaining attention
    • misappropriates others’ statements, eg anything which can be misconstrued as politically incorrect, for control and attention-seeking
    • excusitis, makes excuses for everything
    • shows a lot of indignation, especially when challenged
    • lots of self-pity
    • often as miserable as sin, apart from carefully constructed moments of charm when in the act of deceiving
    • demanding of others
    • easily provoked
    • feigns victimhood when held accountable, usually by bursting into tears or claiming they’re the one being bullied and harassed
    • presents as a false victim when outwitted
    • may feign exclusion, isolation or persecution
    • malicious
    • constantly tries and will do almost anything to be in the spotlight
    • includes Munchausen Syndrome
    • the focus of their life is to be the centre of attention


    The Wannabe

    Motivation: craves respect for being competent and professional despite lacking in competence and professionalism

    Mindset: deceptive

    Malice: low to medium; when held accountable, medium to high

    • similar to the attention-seeker
    • is one of life’s chronic underperformers and is best described as ineffectual in everything
    • craves undeserved respect and attention and will go to considerable lengths to acquire them
    • hangs around the fringes of a profession
    • not professionally qualified but claims they are a professional because they sit next to a professional or work alongside or near or in the midst of professionals, or provide services to professionals
    • lacks the ability, competence and professionalism to be a qualified professional
    • wants so much to be seen as competent professional person but is unable and unwilling to put in the work to achieve this
    • is unable and unwilling to apply knowledge gained from experience but instead devotes time and effort to improving skills of deception, manipulation, false claim, denial and projection
    • may have been rejected by their chosen profession for lack of competence
    • is spiteful towards and despises anyone who is qualified in the profession from which the bully has been excluded by virtue of lack of competence
    • is likely to be vilifying the profession they want to belong to or which they’re claiming to be part of or which they are claiming to represent
    • displays a deep-seated envy and jealousy of the professionals that he or she works alongside or claims to serve
    • harbours a bitter resentment, grudge, distaste and contempt for the professionals that he or she works alongside or claims to serve
    • is likely to be criticising, condemning, disadvantaging and causing detriment to the professionals he or she works alongside or claims to serve
    • may seek positions of power over the professionals he or she works alongside or claims to serve, perhaps to facilitate a compulsion to criticise, condemn, disadvantage and cause detriment
    • is irresistibly drawn to organisations, roles and positions which offer the wannabe power and control over the professionals s/he despises (eg inspection regimes, approval roles, regulatory bodies, ticksheet compliance schemes, political correctness police, trade union official, etc) – and is often described as a talentless jobsworth
    • when in a position of power associates with and makes alliances with or surrounds him or herself with clones, drones, minions, fellow wannabes, sycophants and brown-nosers
    • instinctively objects to any suggestion of change, reform, improvement, progress or evolution, but has no viable or positive alternatives of their own
    • opposes every idea, suggestion, opinion, contribution or reform on principle but has no original, positive, constructive ideas or contributions of his or her own
    • is likely to plagiarise and steal others’ ideas which are then put forward as their own
    • may place undue emphasis or reliance on an old, minor or irrelevant qualification to bolster their claim of belonging to or deserving to belong to a profession
    • may claim ambiguous or misleading or bogus or fraudulent qualifications, associations and experience
    • displays a superior sense of entitlement because they associate with or serve higher performers
    • emotionally immature
    • controlling
    • easily provoked
    • when challenged is adept at rewriting history to portray themselves as competent, professional and successful, regardless of multiple witnesses and overwhelming evidence to the contrary
    • quickly and loudly feigns victimhood when exposed and held accountable, often repeatedly and loudly accusing the person holding them accountable of being a bully
    • when held accountable makes conflicting and contradictory threats and demands (eg demands apology but orders the other person not to communicate with them)
    • when held accountable makes lots of loud but empty threats (eg of legal action such as libel, slander, defamation etc)
    • only carries out threats of legal action when in the presence of a superior serial bully, especially a sociopath type
    • may indulge their jealousy and envy of professionals or those they claim to serve by pursuing vindictive vendettas, sometimes with the help of a superior serial bully, especially a sociopath type
    • is easily manipulated and controlled by a superior serial bully
    • female wannabes may be arch bullies (some people might call them puppetmasters or queen bees)
    • may surround herself with drones of the opposite sex
    • may exploit some perceived vulnerability in self to ensure drone loyalty
    • gives the appearance of loyalty to drones but will discard them when they’ve served their purpose
    • is likely to have affairs to gain power, status or position


    The Guru

    Motivation: task focused

    Mindset: confusion, inability to understand how others think and feel

    Malice: zero to low; when held accountable, low to medium (it’s often the absence of malice that identifies a guru type of serial bully) but could be medium to high if narcissistic or psychopathic traits are present

    • often successful in their narrow field of expertise
    • regarded as an expert
    • valued by the employer because s/he brings in the money, status etc
    • ruthlessly pursues objectives regardless of the cost
    • ruthless determination to succeed
    • can be successful over the medium term in their field
    • task focused
    • zero people skills
    • control freak
    • mainly but not exclusively male
    • often has a favourite who receives extra attention but who is expected to reciprocate with sycophancy
    • favours, protects and promotes non-threatening sycophants whilst marginalizing and hindering the advancement of those with higher levels of competence, especially in people skills
    • apt to betray those formerly favoured, especially when the favoured person starts to show independence of thought or action, or starts to receive more attention or become more popular than their mentor
    • a male Guru in a position of power may exhibit inappropriate sexual conduct
    • gauche, aggressive and unpleasant but not evil
    • may not be overtly attention-seeking but dislikes those around them getting more attention than they’re getting, or getting attention which doesn’t include the bully
    • selfish, self-centred, self-opinionated, dogmatic and thoughtless and with a tendency to pontificate
    • apt to throw temper tantrums when things don’t go well or can’t get their own way
    • emotionally immature, perhaps emotionless, sometimes cold and frigid
    • convincingly intellectualises feelings to compensate for emotional immaturity
    • intelligent (often highly) but lacks common sense
    • is happy to lie to suit own purposes
    • can have a rigid routine
    • does not accept responsibility for their own behavior
    • blames others for own inadequacies
    • refuses to recognise that they could have any shortcomings of their own
    • does not live in the present
    • usually extremely neat (for example, desk is always clear)
    • organized (sometimes overly)
    • tempts fate but always gets away with it
    • has stereotypical ideas about gender roles (though this may not be expressed consciously)
    • makes assumptions about others’ thoughts
    • does not follow social rules, for example may display bad table manners in public
    • appears unable and unwilling to engage in and sustain small talk
    • seems unaware of the nature and purpose of rapport
    • seems to exhibit some symptoms similar to autism, although autistic people tend to be shy, introspective and lack manipulative skills and are usually the targets of bullying, not the perpetrators (it’s unknown whether there might be a common cause or whether the similarities are just a superficial coincidence) [more on autism]
    • appears unable to read people and their thoughts and especially feelings
    • when held accountable exhibits genuine confusion as to why their behaviour is inappropriate
    • in cases where malice is low or absent the person my be regarded as somewhat avuncular or mildly jovial or charismatic in nature
    • likes the appearance of normalcy but rejects responsibilities of relationships
    • is unable to comprehend or meet the emotional needs of others
    • often puts work and duty above everything, including relationships
    • makes power plays, for example leaves the room when someone is speaking, or pretends not to hear and constantly asking a person to repeat what they just said, etc
    • doesn’t share information about self (thoughts, insights, etc) and is not open to receiving this type of information from others (allegedly knows it all already) secretive
    • possessive of objects and sometimes people
    • may view people as objects (this enables controlling behaviour of other people)
    • thinks of self as superior and above the law / rules / regulations etc (these only apply to other people)
    • uses denial as a defence mechanism
    • there are likely to be problems with succession


    The Socialized Psychopath or Sociopath

    Motivation: power, gratification, personal gain, survival

    Mindset: manipulation, deception, evil

    Malice: high to very high; when held accountable, off the scale

    Also known as the corporate psychopath, workplace psychopath, industrial psychopath and administrative psychopath.

    • Jekyll & Hyde personality
    • always charming and beguilingly plausible, especially to those who are capable of protecting or enhancing the sociopath’s position
    • excels at deception (this must never be underestimated, but always is)
    • excels at evasion of accountability
    • is extremely and successfully manipulative of people’s perceptions and emotions (eg guilt and anger)
    • silver-tongued, has an extreme verbal facility and can outwit anybody (including a top barrister) in verbal conflict
    • will often engineer himself or herself into a position of authority as gatekeeper of the organisation and thus the person through whom all information must flow, and the person to whom all requests for services must be referred – which he or she then takes delight in denying
    • is adept at offering weak and inadequate people the positions of power, control, security, influence or respect that they crave but who lack the necessary competencies to achieve – such people are unaware that their consequent dependence on the sociopath makes them permanent manipulatees, pawns and expendable agents of harassment
    • identifies those essential to the sociopath’s survival and manipulates their perceptions them by making them feel special and thus obligated to reciprocate with support and protection
    • manipulates others into making fools of themselves in situations where they cannot back down or from which they cannot withdraw – these people become increasingly susceptible to further manipulation and are then trapped as pawns in the sociopath’s game
    • is likely to be surrounded by people who, having been subjected to control, manipulation and punishment by the sociopath, look wretched and who start to exhibit behaviour best described as disordered, dysfunctional, sullen, aggressive, defensive, hostile, retaliatory, counterproductive or cult-like and for whom disbelief, disavowal and denial are instinctive responses
    • creates an environment where levels of denial are so great that those involved are oblivious of the foolishness and self-evident absurdity of their denials when presented with the facts, with the result that non-involved observers are led to question whether such levels of denial merit psychiatric intervention
    • is contemptuous of disrepute to their organisation and of collateral damage and of the destructive consequences for all direct and indirect parties
    • is always surrounded by and leaves behind a trail of dysfunctional organisations, destroyed businesses, ruined careers, stress breakdowns and unexplained suicides
    • despite a trail of devastation to individuals, organisations, families and communities, the actions of a socialised psychopath may go undetected or unrecognised for years
    • a history of conducting frivolous, vexatious and malicious legal actions, especially (but not exclusively) against anyone who can recognise the sociopath for what he is
    • only after the sociopath is exposed and relieved of position, or they move on, can the full depth of their destructive behaviour be fathomed and the consequences calculated
    • is skilled at identifying, undermining, discrediting, neutralising and destroying anyone who can see through the sociopath’s mask of sanity
    • at all times restricts the actions and rights of others (especially those holding the sociopath accountable) whilst aggressively protecting his or her right to do anything without being hampered by social norms or legal requirements
    • pursues endless vindictive vendettas against anyone perceived as a threat or who attempts, knowingly or unknowingly, to identify or reveal or expose the sociopath, or who makes efforts to hold the sociopath accountable
    • is adept at appropriating rules, regulations, procedures and law to manipulate, control and punish accusers regardless of relevance, logic, facts or consequences
    • persists in and pursues vindictive vendettas using self-evidently false evidence or information, even after this is brought to the attention of the sociopath
    • will often manipulate minor bullies of the Wannabe type (who on their own might or would not merit the label ‘serial bully’) into acting as agents of harassment and as unwitting or unwilling conductors of vendettas
    • is adept at placing people in situations where the sociopath can tap into each person’s instinctive urge to retaliate in order to use them as his or her instruments or agents of harassment
    • gains gratification from provoking others into engaging in adversarial conflict
    • once conflict has been initiated, the sociopath gains increased gratification by exploiting human beings’ instinctive need to retaliate – this is achieved by encouraging and escalating peoples’ adversarial conflicts into mutually assured destruction
    • revels in the gratification gained from seeing or causing other people’s distress
    • when faced with accountability or unwelcome attention which might lead to others discerning the sociopath’s true nature, responds with repeated and escalating attempts to control, manipulate and punish
    • is adept at reflecting all accusations and attempts at accountability back onto their accusers
    • is adept at creating conflict between those who would otherwise pool negative information about the sociopath
    • has no limits on his or her vindictiveness
    • the need to control, manipulate and punish develops into an obsession with many of the hallmarks of an addiction
    • is skilled at mimicry and can plausibly and spontaneously regurgitate all the latest management jargon
    • exhibits minimal professional skill level and competency
    • exploits his or her intelligence to excel at talentless mediocrity
    • is always identifying the behaviours and strategies to which other people respond with the desired effect
    • is able to anticipate and credibly say what people want to hear
    • is easily able to win people over before betraying them or deceiving them or ripping them off
    • easily manipulates and bewitches an immature or naive or vulnerable or emotionally needy person to be their spokesperson or agent of aggression
    • exploits anyone who has a vulnerability
    • is pushy and extremely persuasive
    • is sexually inadequate and sexually abusive
    • is likely to protect anyone accused of or suspected of sexual abuse of pedophile activity, and will frustrate or obstruct investigations into that person
    • maybe associating with, or actively involved in, abuse or pedophile activity
    • has no emotions, no emotional processing capability and no ability to understand other’s emotions
    • is incapable of understanding, initiating or sustaining intimacy
    • the male sociopath has often convinced a string of women to feel they are in love with him and despite being treated abominably they blindly continue to be loyal to him and minister willingly to his every demand
    • may start projects with apparent enthusiasm and energy but quickly loses interest
    • frequently takes unnecessary and uncalculated risks but takes no account of consequences
    • is reckless and untrustworthy with money
    • is likely to be illegally diverting or siphoning off significant sums of money to his or her own budget, project, account or cause
    • is unreliable and untrustworthy in every facet of life
    • is likely to be leaking confidential information or secrets to third parties
    • is likely to have committed or be committing criminal or near-criminal offences, eg fraud, embezzlement, deception
    • is likely to have committed or be committing breaches of harassment and discrimination law, employment law, contract law, etc
    • disregards rules, regulations, Health and Safety requirements, professional standards, codes of conduct and legal requirements, etc
    • cannot comprehend the deeper semantic meaning of language and is thus unable to understand or appreciate metaphor, hyperbole, irony, satire etc (these elicit either zero response or a hostile response)
    • likes, seeks, enjoys and relies on procedure, ritual and ritualistic practices
    • through arrogant overconfidence takes increasingly risky chances and eventually overplays their hand or makes a mistake which leads to the sociopath revealing him or herself
    • exhibits parasitical behaviour, takes everything and gives nothing
    • grabs headline credit for minimal, flukey or other peoples’ success whilst surviving off the backs of manipulatees who are exclusively blamed for all failures
    • rarely blinks, may have stary scary eyes that cut right through you, or may avoid eye contact completely
    • is callous, cold and calculating
    • is devious, clever and cunning
    • is ruthless in the extreme
    • regards people as objects and playthings to be discarded when surplus to requirements
    • displays zero empathy
    • completely without conscience, remorse and guilt
    • malicious and evil 

    [With help from Bully Online – Tim Field. Thank you for making this information available to use. ]

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