The narcissistic bully gazed upon himself in his mind's recess until he died of his own dear nastiness. Bona

When bullies grow old and frail their only victims are themselves. Fear and vulnerability paints warped haggardness upon their skin, and they become as ugly on the outside, as they are within. Bona

I sent my ex-husband a bully card: You held hate in one heart and spoke niceties with the other, you laid warm hands upon me in public and wounded me in private, your noble face hid your filthy ways, and your sorrow was but laughter. Jenny Jay 

There is one regard in which bullies show real perception when compared with their victims; it is their silent good-natured pleasure of the moment. Thornton Wilder adapted quote.

The Bully has a Jekyll and Hyde nature - is vile, vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature - only the current target of the serial bully's aggression sees both sides; whilst the Jekyll side is described as "charming" and convincing enough to deceive personnel, management and a tribunal, the Hyde side is frequently described as "evil"; Hyde is the real person, Jekyll is an act. Tim Field

The bully tends to emerge in the professional workplace where managerial positions are often filled due to educational background and/or the means to purchase partnerships. Thus, those tutored beyond their level of intelligence stroll into positions of authority. When work demands surpass their abilities, these oafs begin to browbeat and bully subordinates in an effort to camouflage their own deficiencies. Jerome Castlema

I was different unique and always happy. At school this attracted playground harassment. Nowadays, while I remain effervescent, quicker to perceive enmity I reserve my warmest touches and smiles for those who smolder with envy. Clarence Day

The proverb: “It is easy to frighten a bull from the window.” Means: When protected from retribution it becomes all too easy to frighten and torment someone more powerful than yourself. Thus in the past we associated the school- bully with size and aggression, whereas now technology has brought us the cyber-bully an anonymous wannabe who is more likely to be witless and timid.  Jerome Castlema

Writer Somerset Maugham, plagued by a lifelong stammer, relates this school belittlement: “On the first day of the term, the Master told me to construe a passage. The Latin was simple, and I knew very well how to put it in English, but I was shy and nervous. I began to stammer. One of the boys started to giggle, then another, then a third, and in a minute or two, the whole class was shouting, screaming, yelling with laughter. I pretended not to notice, but continued on, stammering my head off. At last, the master thumped the table at which he sat with his clenched fist, and shouting to be heard in the uproar, yelled, “Sit down, you fool! I don’t know why they put you in this form.” The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham by Selina Hastings

The bullying was hideous and relentless, and we turned it round by making ourselves celebrities. Julian Clary

I know strong men with sharp minds who can afford to be gentle and kind. I know Bullies like you who can only be cruel to support your malevolent mind. Bona

It was awful on and off for so long, and the memories linger on. If I had not endured the horrible I would not be where I am now. Success is a learning process. Adrian Guilin   

If the wicked flourish, and thou suffer, be not discouraged; they are fatted for destruction, thou art dieted for health. Thomas Fuller 

The best indicator of a sociopath serial bully is not a clinical diagnosis but the trail of devastation and destruction of lives and livelihoods surrounding this individual throughout their life. Tim Field

Cyber-Bullies can be defined as the ultimate cowards. Technology offers a shield behind which they can snipe at random victims. Would these latent bullies have surfaced otherwise? Probably not. The childhood beast within them need never be tamed by social conditioning. Instead of being suppressed it becomes expressed, cultivated. Bona

The cyber bully is nothing more than a coward with a gadget. J. R.  Bowen 

The bully has the power to do, but lacks the compassion not to.  J.K. Thomas

Components of a bully

One cup of cruelty
One pound of power
One jug of greed
One flagon of delusion as to infallibility
Topped with a bucket-load of grandiosity.
By Michael Swan

Occasional kindness does not cancel out cruelty. Hitting is never acceptable under any circumstances.  Quote source: Taking the Bully by the Horns by Sam Horn

Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist; two to one, he is a pedant. Oliver Wendell Holmes

A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no. That's where toughness comes into play. Toughness is not being a bully. It's having backbone. Robert Kiyosaki

Cruelty ever proceeds from a vile mind, and often from a cowardly heart. Lodovico Ariosto

I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race. Bertrand Russell

Bullying exists because of a lack of adult intervention. Stuart Green

Gossip harms relationships and that's why it's bad. While we all do it at times, there's a point where it crosses the line and becomes bullying if it damages friendships and causes people to dislike someone. Rachel Simmons

The malicious have a dark happiness. Victor Hugo

My whole life has been a war against malice and nastiness from those who are envious. Janet Ewing 

Do not trust the person of spite; though you have loved and tamed them, the snake will bite. Britney Morgan 

The flagrantly gay Quentin Crisp dealt with homophobic bullying by refusing to bow to its onslaught. His number listed in the phone directory, he responded to derogatory remarks accompanied with a stated intent to kill him by asking, “Would you like to make an appointment?” Quote cited in: Doing it with style by Quentin Crisp

Like father, like son, like bully. Bona

He was a hero to his valet, who bullied him, and a terror to most of his relations, whom he bullied in turn. Only England could have produced him, and he always said that the country was going to the dogs. His principles were out of date, but there was a good deal to be said for his prejudices. Oscar Wilde

Power when wielded by abnormal energy is the most serious of facts. Henry Adams

Bullying is the manifestation of an infantile and primitive need to become the leader of the pack. The modern day bully believes he is a human being, but he is an animal. Bona

A doctor, confronting within two weeks, his second case of attempted suicide by a young person due to homophobic harassment, reflects: While “gay” remains an acceptable playground slur and teachers shy away from talking about Gender Characteristics 
openly in their classrooms, all we can do is treat medical problems and hope that things change. The time to tackle homophobic bullying is in the classroom, not when the child is sitting in Accident and Emergency. Quoted from: The Doctor will see you now by Max Pemberton

The Practical joker can be a funny guy, until he finds someone who doesn't find him funny. Then the bully within him has identified a potential victim. Barridoff 

I’d been an expert at taking beatings. Then I had a lucky break where I did a bully in, by total sheer luck. ... One minute I was the mark, and with just one swift move, I put the big man in school down. … Once he was down, the whole atmosphere in the schoolyard changed.  A huge cloud seemed to be lifted from me. … I’d never been aware the cloud was so large. Source: Life by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

Bullying is an H thing, the annus-horribilis, hateful, harmful, and hurtful, yet sooner or later it is conquered and becomes humorous. Source: overcoming power by John Siskins

Bullies are masters at holding others responsible for their misbehavior. Instead of claiming “the devil made me do it”, they argue “You made me do it”.  Taking the Bully by the Horns by Sam Horn

It’s awful being a closet bully, you can’t be coming-out. I'll join a right wing party or strict religious sect, then believe and dream that I am justified in death. Clayton T Grassant

We have got to dispel this myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage.  President Obama 

When my wife hit me, I knew I had-. The next time I knew I must try harder. The next time I knew I must become something, not me, and the new me accepted the next times forever. Fortunately someone else rescued me. Jerome Forbes 

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen; she quoted "Nobody can be kinder than the narcissist while you react to life in his own terms". This reflects the meaning of the previous quote.

"A pedestal is as much a prison as any small confined space". by Gloria Steinem. This invokes discussion related to the above type of bullying relationship.

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse. Edmund Burke
The more kids are aware of what bullying is the better. Simple teasing can really take a toll on a kid. We just want kids to know bullying when they see it, so they can at least try and stop it. Carl Sousa 

Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke. Benjamin Disraeli

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit. Thomas James

Judge Brian Forster in sentencing a besotted lover quotes: it was difficult to summarize the terror he had caused.  “She had stood by you at every turn. She had tried to make a go of things, despite the abuse and violence in the relationship. But you turned on the person you loved.”

Far off, men swell, bully, and threaten; bring them hand to hand, and they are feeble folk. Emerson

The schoolyard gang made my early school days misery and fear. It was by-chance that I left a lesson midway to go to the washroom  Upon entering; there stood drying his hands, the head bully. Initially I froze with fear, and then composed myself realizing that it was him and me alone. With what confidence I could stump up from my timid self I shouted at him -Why are you bullying me?- Expecting to be hit or laughed at, the stand alone bully shrunk, voiced denial, and hurried to the exit. I was never bullied again by him or his clique. Quote from: My Days by Rupert Jones

Nasty to the end. (Extract from a note attached to a victims final wage slip)  Dearest miss you. I am not being critical; I bring to your attention a number of small grammatical errors in your letter of resignation. Firstly, the words (bully boss) should be capitalized --

Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying. Aldous Huxley

To ignore or use silence is a cruel tool. Hence this quote: Silence is all we dread; there’s ransom in a voice; but silence is infinity. Emily Dickinson 

When you meet a potential partner who appears kind and sensitive, give them the bully test. Countenance any behavior  never argue or contend. Thus you will discover who they truly are, before you fall in love. Bona

The self-despisers are less intent on their own increase than on the diminution of others. Where self-esteem is unobtainable, envy takes the place of greed. Eric Hoffer

The bully knows he is despised for he despises himself. Marcus Boswell

You need to understand that bullies have uncivilized minds, and are unable to forgive the civilized, who gain so much more out of life. Clayton T Grassant

It is not your love that causes my suffering, it is your sense of ownership, which is loves opposite. Saint-Exupery

The gang of bullies has many heads with little brains. Proverb

Any successful teacher will tell you, you can only teach what you are by example. If you bully your pupil then it is bullying you inculcate. Clayton T Grassant

Victims of bullying spare themselves distress, by detachment; denying their ability to experience happiness. James Horace

Cruelty is, perhaps the worst kind of sin. intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty. G. K. Chesterton

We know well enough when we're being unjust and despicable. but we don't restrain ourselves because we experience a certain pleasure, a primitive sort of satisfaction in moments like that. Ugo Betti

Those that know the least of others think the highest of themselves. Charles Caleb Colton

One inept headmaster suggested to the parents of their bullied child that the distress the child endured was not due to being bullied, but to their child’s own estimate of it. Quote comment from: Robert Goldstein

Bullies enjoy dark happiness; these are the blank parts that eventually fill their minds with nothingness. Emily Shanks

Once identified, the bully shall receive advice, but we cannot inspire his future conduct. Tristan Matthews

The bully believes he has an unquestionable right to enforce compliance upon others. Clayton T Grassant

The bitterest part of being bullied is the memory that you were once happy. Perry Morgan

There is a cowardly propensity in the human heart that delights in oppressing somebody else, and in the gratification of this base desire we always select a victim that can be outraged with safety. James T. Rapier 

Bullied at home and at school, I then became a doctor, returning to practice in my home town. Those ageing bullies come to my office for treatment; they are always friendly, but I detect their apprehension, their wince of fear when I look them in the eye; I wonder why? Source: My Fears by Martin Clay 

The Machiavellian bully misuses his intelligence to gain success, tame his grandiosity and charm his victims; he is the Dark Triad. Bona

My singing silenced the bullies, but better than that, it silenced the demons inside me. When you’re jeered at, told to shut up, sit still, stop being silly, there’s a cacophony of noise rolling around in your head. When I was singing, it was peaceful. Source: The Woman I was born to be by Susan Boyle

According to one account of the New York City schools during the 1950s: The teacher could not technically hit the child, but the old crones found ways of skirting the rules.  The push-probe-pull method was popular, in which the teacher would not hit you, but would poke you with her gnarled, witch-like fingers and grab your face like a taffy pull until you screamed.  … The pull-and-choke was also a favorite.  It was executed by pulling the compulsory necktie up like a noose, until the errant boy’s face turned the school colors. Extract: The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue by Robert Klein

A young nurse, ordered by a senior member of staff to remake an entire bed due to one slightly uneven corner, recounts her feelings: Why could she not just leave me alone?  Why was it so important to her to humiliate me at every turn?  … I felt hot tears at the back of my eyes.   … Then my mind came to the rescue: you mustn't give into a bully.  … If you do, you will be the loser.  The best thing is to pretend that he has not hurt you, and to carry on and do your job to the best of your ability. Source: Pelican Crossing by Hilary Cotterill 

My dog, Ginger, is jumpy-like me-sensitive to sound and sudden movement. She wasn't that way at first, but not long after we got her, my grandfather told me to stand still outside and hold her leash tight. Then he shot a gun off by our feet, several times. “This is how girls learn to obey,” he said, “how to be seen and not heard.”  Quote cited from: The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok 

Psychopaths know intellectually what is immoral they just don't have a feeling of immorality about it. Barbara Oakley

Singer Cilla Black’s introduction to homophobic bullying occurred during a visit from Billy, a dear childhood friend. Sharing a room with Ms Black’s boyfriend, Billy Returning after having gone out by himself: collapsed by the bed and burst into floods of tears, his face bruised and splattered with blood. … “ I'm Gay,” Billy said, “and I've just been beaten up and robbed by a guy who picked me up in a bar and took me back to his place.” Source: What’s It All About? By Cilla Black

The bully mind is not capable of loving or respecting others nor can it love or respect itself. Life’s subtleties and the means of survival require its pretense of both these qualities. Rick Stein 

When the master beats you, are you less of a victim, if your master loves and favors you? Source: Billy Bunter by Frank Richards

In his play depicting the Salem Witch Trials, the author illustrates profound psychological bullying. The ringleader of young girls suspected of unsavory conduct, frightens her friends into silence by warning: “Now, look you; All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam’s dead sisters, and that was all. … Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night, and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you. Quoted in the Crucible by Arthur Miller

Now that another is suffering pain at thy hand, trust not that thy heart shall be exempt from affliction. SA’DI 

A criminal trial is like a cultural in-flight test in which society projects its own history, fears, impatience, insolence, clemency, insecurities, dreams and nightmares upon facts. … What’s inside is every fairy-tale monster, a brutal ogre, a bloodthirsty werewolf, an elegant vampire, a scheming devil, a bullying giant, a sneering troll, or maybe just an abusive stepfather. Quote source: The Darkest Night by Ron Franscell

When you’re a child, grownups always tell you that “sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you”. They say it as if it’s a kind of spell that’s going to protect you. I've never seen the logic of it. Cuts and bruises quickly disappear. You forget all about them. The psychological wounds inflicted by bullies with words go much deeper. Quoted in: The Woman I was born to be by Susan Boyle

Childhood memory about bullying.
As a child during WWII, British writer David Nobbs moved with his family to a different part of the country. Nobs recounts: “Behind the house there was a farm, and on that farm there was a farmhand. I believe his name was Frederick, and he was a sadistic beast who terrified me. More than once he grabbed me, held me over the cattle pens and threatened to drop me in. … I recall the floor of these pens as being covered with thick, sticky, fetid liquid. I was frightened that he would drop me among the hooves of the confused beasts. Frederick swore me to secrecy, on pain of doing something worse, and I have honored this secret until today.” Source: I Didn't Get Where I Am Today by David Nobbs

The bullying nun
In 1945, five-year-old Tommy McClarren was placed in a children’s home operated by nuns, where parents were allowed to visit.  During one such visit, Tommy told his mom that no matter how near to explosion he felt, Sister Damien in charge of his class would not allow him, or any fellow sufferer, to visit the bathroom. 
To his surprise, his mother suggested the next time he asked politely and was refused; he should obey his body’s command – whist remaining in his classroom seat.  Adhering to his mother’s advice, he did so.  This act put an absolute end to the nuns’ nasty behavior.  McClarren ends his anecdote by stating, “After that, when any kid raised his hand, wanting to use the bathroom, Sister Damien immediately let him go. Source: Morsels of Mischief: Orphan Tales from my Childhood by Tom McClarren with Chris McClarren.       

Having taken on the care of foster children, a mother forced her own daughter to beat them. According to her later account: Mom puts the fly swatter in my hand and shows me how to do it: grab their wrists, and whack the plastic handle over their pink baby palms.  She stands in the doorway of their room until I can crack hard enough to make them scream. : Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood by Julie Gregory


Historically, bullying has been viewed as an attack by a playground brute upon someone physically weaker.  With time, we have come to understand that if children do not learn, during their developing years in their homes the meaning and consequences of unfair actions, these tendencies may later render it difficult to find lasting friends or develop fruitful relationships.

In terms of victims, the child who must go to bed bruised by the fists or insults of an older or stronger sibling, who has not been brought to account by adults, is likely to come to accept similar treatment from a peer, colleague or partner. Overall  our understanding has expanded to a degree encompassing browbeating on a variety of levels and an infinite number of dimensions. 

Viewed psychologically, a bully can be seen as someone who combines elements of narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders. These illnesses are characterized by a sense of the right to exercise power with a belief in an entitlement to do so. This avenue of thought tends to spur petty verbal abuse into active aggression. Concern for the needs and feelings of those perceived as inferiors is swallowed, indeed engulfed, by egomania. 

Well-hidden within the corporate sphere, many such types of sadism succeed due to their subtle and insidious nature. Such tactics tend to be marked by a bronzed threat concealed in a spider’s web of politeness. Thus, a boss might destroy the confidence of a subordinate by hinting that, if dismissed, he or she will not secure future employment. In the context of a relationship, one party might hint or voice the belief: “If you don’t marry me, who else is likely to want you?” In whatever framework, bullying begins with the unearthing of some insecurity within a victim. Once this sensitivity is understood, the harasser will make the penultimate use of this power.

Quotes by Bona, and Clayton T Grassant, and Jerome Castlema, and Jenny Jay which are published on this website are the original source and first publication on the internet.
Back to Homepage