The bully and bullying...

Bullying occurs when one person, typically (but not necessarily) in a position of power, authority, trust, responsibility, management, etc, feels threatened by another person, usually (but not always) a subordinate who is displaying qualities of ability, popularity, knowledge, skill, strength, drive, determination, tenacity, success, etc. The bully has conditioned himself, or allowed himself to be conditioned, to believe that he can never have these qualities that he sees readily in others.

Displaying high aggression and lacking appropriate interpersonal skills, the immature behaviour skills of the bully are insufficient to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the position into which he has been, or allowed himself to be, recruited or promoted. The nature and demands of the position may have changed over time, perhaps without being realised. If in a position of management, trust, etc, the bully is also unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for the physical and mental well being of those in his charge.

Insecurity and a lack of confidence cause the bully to desire to control the individual using aggressive physical and psychological strategies. The bully seeks to increase his confidence, not by raising his own, but by bringing the other person's down to below his, so that, in relative terms, he can feel good about himself. This process is repeated on a regular basis and becomes both addictive and compulsive.

Through fear, the individual establishes domination, leading to disempowerment of, and loss of confidence. In order to avoid having to face up to, tackle and overcome his own shortcomings, the bully seeks to project his own failings on to other people whilst at the same time actively abdicating responsibility for the consequences of his own shortcomings, the bully seeks to project his own failings on to other people whilst at the same time actively abdicating responsibility for the consequences of his behaviour on others.

If necessary, the bully abuses his position of power, or calls on those with power, to achieve these ends. The bully’s behaviour is exacerbated by his own predominant behaviour style, also by stress, change, uncertainty, financial pressures, the prospect of failing to meet budget targets, lack of resources, and being bullied himself... 

Tim Field