What the difference between a Child Bully and Bossy Adult?

What’s the difference between a child bully and a bossy adult?  Not much.  Childhood bullies often become bossy adults.  It’s a form of domination based on insecurities.

If we can understand bossy adults, maybe it’ll be easier to understand childhood bullies.

So, what builds a bossy adult?  There are a few key ingredients, some may seem contradicting:

  1. They were spoiled children who always got their way.
  2. They were neglected children who never got their way.
  3. They were not popular at all, almost meek at school.
  4. They were very popular at school, loud and outgoing.
  5.  They were all insecure growing up.  Either about their appearance, their intelligence,  their ability to be interesting, their fashion/finances, their popularity, etc.
Notice the only thing they all had/have in common is insecurities.  They also tend to have high stress levels, are the ones who hold grudges, fester and stew over things when they don’t get their own way.  It’s their way or the highway.  They know everything, even when they’re wrong.
They are prone to being envious of others, complaining about what they don’t have, seeking control that they didn’t feel they had growing up and they’re in a constant spinning cycle of the need to be the authority on everything.  They often search out jobs which enable them to boss people around.
So how can you prevent your children from growing up like this?  It’s quite easy, you make them accountable, unspoiled and give them chores!!!  Also give them a healthy amount of control over their lives.  Make them part of the process of how they’re raised.  Ask them what they like, don’t like, how they feel, etc.  You’re still in charge of the discipline, but they can certainly have a say in family matters.
Don’t forget to sign up for your FREE disciplining system.  
Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach


2 thoughts on “What the difference between a Child Bully and Bossy Adult?”

  1. Hi I found this rather interesting and right on point with my situation. My bully is a 40 plus year old team lead in a billion dollar company. I have learned to take her bulling as a compassionate person. I have documented numerous events with her in hopes of using the “open door policy” however our General Manager wasnt very interested in such.. It is degrading,embarrassing ,and straight up harassment however I really enjoy my work I do and I attempt to hold my head up as much as possible. My co workers have seen her behavior towards me as well however and one or two have stood up for me…. I guess I will never get into a confrontation with her as I do need my job.
    Anyway thanks again for posting your site and Im taking this with me as encouragement….

    Kitty Pippin

    1. Happy people are never nasty or snarky … it’s impossible. My Mom told me that years ago … very wise woman.

      Bullies are unreasonable, insecure and work hard at bringing others down to their miserable level. Also, envy is a huge driving force in how they pick their victims.

      I’ve also found most bullies are not highly intelligent. An intelligent person knows that lashing out is showing how much they hate themselves. A highly intelligent person wouldn’t want to be laughed at and/or pitied for being so low in character. Even if they had that mean streak, they’d squelch it to appear more in control and confident. Bullying is a sign of ignorance.

      It’s different with kids as they’re still learning all this social stuff. But adults have no excuse. If they’re not smart enough to understand all this, then they truly are to be pitied.

      I’d stay under her radar if I were you.

      Good luck,


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