"You're a bully, Mother."
"I am not!"
"Yes, you are. Anyone who makes another feel less of themselves is a bully."
~Sue Sylvester, calling the kettle black in 'Glee'.
Bullying. What a stupid word to describe such aggressive, terrorizing, malignant behavior.
Bullies come in all sizes, genders and ages. They can be found in all environments where human interaction takes place. As parents we focus on protecting our children from bullies at school, but that can just as easily be in our workplace, neighborhood, even our place of worship.
When I was a kid I had my share of teasing but not what I would call aggravated bullying. There was a little girl younger than me, though, in my neighborhood who was harassed by her brother. He could be verbally vicious, and that was what I saw. God knows what happened behind closed doors. It still makes me cringe that I did nothing for that child, even though I was a child myself. Where the hell were the parents? Probably confusing run of the mill "sibling rivalry" with the horrible reality of the sibling bullying occurring in their home.
As a grown up I ran into bullying from an unlikely source – my boss. It took years and comparing notes with co-workers to fully comprehend what was going on. Rather than continue to absorb the psychological blows, I quit. Workplace bullies are not as uncommon as I naively thought. Today sexual harassment and environmental safety laws help but I believe that has only driven the behavior underground.