Patrick Allan wrote a great original article for LifeHacker about being bullied and ways to stop it. He talks about what it’s like to be bullied as an adult, compared to being bullied when you’re a kid.
You may not be getting squeezed into your locker by a pack of football players anymore, but adult bullies can still act out in similar fashion. What’s more frustrating about adult bullies, however, is they’ve gotten much better at hiding what they do. An adult bully is much more subtle than their “give ‘em a swirly,” “that’s so fetch” teen counterparts. They know how to poke and prod without attracting the attention of their superiors. Even worse, they might be your superior.
As sad as it may seem, it’s the same song and dance you see young bullies do. You’re smart and they have a harder time learning, so they lash out. You have a good home life and they don’t, so they lash out. Something is unsatisfactory in their lives and they don’t know how to deal with it, so they look for the first person they think will be their punching bag. Basically, they have problems and they want you to pay for them. Of course, there are still some bullies that just do it for the kicks. They’re usually few and far between, but they know they can get a rise out of you, and they enjoy it. Their life could be great, but there’s something about having the control over someone’s emotions that makes them happy.