From a favorite site of mine, Bullies Be Gone:
Covert bullies are sneaky, manipulative and controlling. They abuse in secret; it’s much harder to get evidence against them.
Some of the techniques overt and covert bullies use:
- They get out of control and throw temper tantrums (like children).
They’ll have physical or verbal explosions or give the “Loud Silent
Treatment.” They get power by anger and rage.
- They indulge in personal vendettas and scapegoat victims.
- They make harsh judgments or remarks or put-downs. They’re experts in personal criticism and negativity.
- They talk down to people. They push sensitive places in order to make other people feel bad.
- Their feelings matter; yours don’t. They make the rules; you
don’t. Their reasons make sense; yours don’t. They’re right; you’re
- They’re instigators. They pour gas on the fire, get other people to fight and they create “uproar.” They’re splinters.
- They’re control-freaks and turf protectors. They’re always right and righteous.
- They’re relentlessly negative, critical, naysayers who are impossible to please. They complain until they get attention.
- They tease, taunt and use name calling put-downs. They use people as emotional punching bags.
- They make nasty, ugly, vicious, snide jokes or cut you down,
followed by “I was just kidding” or “You’re too sensitive” or “I didn’t
mean anything bad” or “I was only having a little fun.”
- They mock with non-verbal, disrespectful “editorial” comments like eye rolling or snorting.
- They form school yard cliques to cut out their targets.
- They’re passive-aggressive. They manipulate, triangulate, and stimulate unhappiness and drama.
- They spread rumors, gossip, innuendos and lies.
- They’re great debaters who never let you win. They’re antagonistic
boundary pushers who do the minimum and undercut authority and systems.
- They always blame others. Nothing is ever their fault. They have
endless excuses and justifications while showing little-no improvement.