What makes a bully & can they change?

What makes a bully?

Many readers of Beating the Workplace Bully have asked me, “what makes a bully?”

As a woman raised from childhood as a target, this question challenged me. Here’s what I’ve discovered from coaching hundreds of targets, as well as a few Darth Vaders sent me by client organizations.

Wired in

Bullying is wired into the bully, like being a victim had been wired into me. Which offers good news: I’ve cut those wires; a bully can as well.

Understanding the roots

Bullies learn how to bully by watching one parent raise his voice, swagger around and smash things. This parent teaches a masterclass in anger and ruling the home, showing others how to be feared, a “manly” man or fearful.

A bully learns to be tough so he or she won’t become prey.

Bullies view the world as dangerous. Toughness becomes a survival strategy and addictive.

What you see

Bullies are controlling, self-righteous and judgmental. Empathy is taught away as a weakness.

Do bullies “get it”?

No. Bullies don’t see themselves. They justify their actions. They say, “I get angry because you make me mad.”

Can a bully change?

Yes, if they realize what bullying costs them and what they’ve given up.

 © 2020, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016, https://amzn.to/30V5JO6) and “Solutions”, https://amzn.to/2GYlnAN (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at lynnewriter10@gmail.com, visit her @ www.communicationworks.net or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.

2 thoughts on “What makes a bully & can they change?

  1. Lynne, these comments are elucidating and helpful and telling.ANd they are a source of hope and action. Thank you!

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