My Story of Working For a Bully

Bullies Like Themselves!

Bullies Like Themselves!

Boss Bullying Worker

Have you ever wondered if bullies actually like themselves? They are constantly yelling, tormenting or intimidating their employees. How can they feel good about themselves? I know I couldn’t treat people with disrespect and feel good about myself. Do we, as nice people, try to put a spin on it and attempt to convince ourselves that he can’t be all bad, that he’s just misunderstood, he’s had a lousy childhood, or some other excuse for the behavior?

Well, guess what. Bullies really do like themselves just the way they are.

The bully intentionally tries to humiliate and shame others. They do this by instinctively recognizing someone’s insecurities so he/she can attack. Research indicates that the bullying is a projection of their own shame and feelings of inadequacy. When a bully attacks, it stops any sort of inclination to look within themselves. They can also find bullying exciting because it actually stimulates their physical experience of power and authority. My own experience has been that the bully I’m trying to cope with thinks he is very powerful and only he has the ability to wield that authority. I have seen him react to his bullying with actual satisfaction showing on his face.

In actuality, research has shown that a bully does have feelings of shame but they have developed a mechanism for dealing with this shame. They utilize the most primitive and destructive shame response: they attack others.

Stop Bullying Button

Do bullies have low self-esteem?

If so, they don’t feel it as one normally would. Again, research has shown that in fact bullies don’t experience low self-esteem. Rather, they have a tendency to be egotistical and in some cases could be considered narcissistic.


Narcissist Quote


A bully usually doesn’t attack a confident person, but prefers to attack someone who is vulnerable. In my opinion, this doesn’t mean that the person being attacked is weak, but more likely a very nice person who believes in respect and being treated fairly. To a bully, this means “fight on.”

My First-Hand Experience

My first-hand experience with a workplace bully has been an interesting one. I will admit that when I first encountered the bully-like behavior, I tried to convince myself that there was something in his past or in his life experience that had made him mean and bitter, but that deep down he was probably an okay guy. As time went by, however, I noticed how he seemed to take pleasure in treating others badly. It seemed he was “happy” with his behavior and thoroughly enjoying tormenting others.

After a while I stopped caring, honestly, about whether he’d had some sort of trauma in his past. The fact that he continued the harassment and abusive behavior to nice, caring people just enforced in me that he was bad and would always be bad.

I remember many times going home and calling my mother, or dropping by her house in tears. I would say to her that I could not understand how someone so horrible could be successful. Her response was always the same, “well, you know, the devil takes care of his own.” How right she was!

Black Apple

Don’t Give Up Hope

What I’m trying to get to in this article is that if you are trying to deal with a workplace bully, don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that deep down they must be okay. They aren’t. Now what you really need to do is protect yourself. I’ll be discussing some ways to do that in a future blog. For now, just don’t give in to the notion that he/she is suffering inside. Remember — they like themselves!

If you are being bullied at work, or you have seen it or have someone close to you that is experiencing it, please get in touch with me. I want to help, if I can. There are options out there and ways to get out of the awful situation you have found yourself in. Please don’t give up hope!

There are always options, even if we can’t see them at first. One of mine has been to start a new career in working from home and becoming an online entrepreneur. I’ll delve more into this in other blogs, but I just wanted you to start thinking about what you might be able to do to get out of your bully situation. More later!


— The Bully Basher


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6 thoughts on “Bullies Like Themselves!

  1. I can identify with having to deal with a workplace Bully. Sometimes you just have to leave and get another job. However, if you can’t, one way to deal with them is to react differently. I think these type people feed off intimidating others. This may or may not work but it is worth a try. Great information here!

    1. Hi Cynthia. It sounds like you have some experience with a bully. Maybe you could fill me in sometime. It would be great to get away, but the job market and my age make that impossible for me. I certainly would tell anyone that can, however, to run and run fast! You are very right that bullies feed off intimidating others. The problem with my boss is that his attacks are always unpredictable and I am usually caught off guard. I will try to react differently though as you suggest. It can’t hurt!

  2. Great article, I just love this website as I can see so much of my own supervisor as a bully and can relate in many ways. I know many people through the years have said that many times a bully is not confident in themselves and have to use bullying to prove a point that they have power. This article really changes my thought process on bullies as maybe they are just plain mean to nice people and if they like themselves that way, I would have to say they are a bit narcissistic. You do have to wonder how bullies could be successful.

    1. Hi Dena, thanks for your insightful comment! It is true that bullies tend to have low self-esteem and are not truly confident in who they are. However, they also seem to thrive on being mean and cruel to others. I agree with you, they are a bit narcissistic. It makes me so upset to think that bullies can be successful, they certainly do not deserve it. I hope you come back to visit me often as I enjoy hearing from you!

  3. This article is so true!

    I can relate to the part where you said that bullies don’t just attack those who are weak. When a person is nice, and believes in respect and fair treatment, they will attack these types of people too. I know because years ago I was bullied by this horrible VP.

    I am the type of person who is often perceived as a nice guy. One who does not like to create problems or trouble. And I treat everyone with great respect and fairly. And I expect the same of others. But this VP obviously saw that in me and thought I was weak. And she would find issues with me, and constantly scream at me.

    But I did not let it affect me. I just let her scream. Give her a blank look. After a few months, enough was enough. I did not need to work to such a point that I must tolerate such inhuman behavior. So, I resigned. And even on the last day of work, she screamed at me.

    I just gave her the same blank look and ignored her. But with my beloved colleagues, we had a great farewell lunch. Everyone else was smiling and happy with me.

    1. Thank you so much for your comments Timotheus! I’m proud of you for standing up to your bully! It gets very hard after a while to “rise above” the situation and not say or do something to defend yourself. It sounds like you got out of the job before it got to the point of not being able to take it anymore. I know my own experience with screaming bosses and there does come a time when the nerves just can’t take it anymore. Every employee in every job should be treated with respect. I mean, how hard can that be? I am so glad you had a great farewell lunch and that your co-workers were supporting you. Thanks again for sharing!

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