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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her @ www.communicationworks.net or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.