How to Deal With the Adult Bully who Makes you feel like Sh*t

We’ve all been there. The victim of a grown ass bully who’s had a bad day.

So, how did that person make you feel? Worthless, mortified, sad, small, depressed, anxious, and invisible are only a few adjectives that come to mind. Maybe this person maliciously called you out at a conference table full of your co-workers when he easily could have had a private conversation with you instead.

Perhaps this person threw a party for all of your friends and conveniently forgot to send you an invitation. Maybe all this person does is speak negatively about everyone else in their life in an effort to boost their own miserable little ego. (P.S. If they talk sh*t about others with you, chances are, they talk sh*t about you with others.)

Women whispering
They couldn’t be laughing at me, could they? I mean, I JUST bought Tina that hat at Nordstrom. Maybe they’re making fun of my new haircut. That has to be it. I knew I shouldn’t have gone to ProCuts. I look like an idiot. Why did I tell my stylist I wanted to look like Pink? There’s no way I can pull off this look. Oh God, they’re definitely laughing at me. I’m such an idiot. I’ll never fit in.

Are you picturing this person in your head right now? Of course you are. Does the thought of them just fill you with anger and anxiety? Of course it does – especially if you’re one of this bully’s frequent targets.

In this context, the term “bully” is interesting…

See, we are used to hearing this word as it is used so freely in school systems in order to spread awareness and prevent things like hazing, teasing, and even suicide. The anti-bully movement that is in place for the youth of this country is imperative and it is saving children’s lives every single day. The hope here is that these young bullies will learn early on that their behavior is grotesque, unacceptable and does not contribute to the growth of mankind.

Sadly enough, it now seems that the world is in desperate need of an anti-bully movement for adults as well. Young bullies continue to slip through the cracks without ever actually growing up, learning a lesson, or taking part in any kind of self-improvement and they, unfortunately, become adults who are making a feeble attempt at contributing to society.

Man yelling into phone
“HOW is it taking you THIS long to reset my WiFi, Denise!? Do you KNOW how busy I am? I’m in the middle of writing a presentation! This is the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced! How do you even have a job!? I WEAR HIPSTER GLASSES AND EXPENSIVE SWEATERS WITH FANCY ZIPPERS! I AM IMPORTANT! YOU ARE NOT!”


These little bullies who grow into big bullies are the most dangerous bullies of all. They’re seasoned. And bitter. And they love to hate. Something happened during their life where they handcuffed themselves to emotions like anger, resentment, and pain. As a result, they’ve dedicated their lives to making other people miserable.

“If I feel like sh*t, everyone else around me has to feel like sh*t too.” Some grown ass bullies consciously make this decision on a daily basis and others are so used to living this way that they aren’t even conscious of it anymore.

Other people’s success and happiness kill the adult bully.

Your marriage, your job, your family, your looks, the clothes you wear, your financial situation, your great personality, your talents, and skills… these are only a few of the things that boil their blood.

Something will set this bully off, causing them to immediately start talking trash about their victim because their ego cannot handle seeing other people achieve the things they want in life. Furthermore, they might even go as far as pitting people against their victim by spreading rumors or releasing private and embarrassing information.

women whispering
“OMG, I have to tell you something but you have to promise not to tell ANYONE. Do you want to know the real reason Allison didn’t come to my Christmas party? I mean, like, I’m GLAD she wasn’t there but she just found out that her daughter is pregnant! And you’ll never guess who the father of the baby is… Cheryl’s husband! What a shit show! I can’t believe it. How did Allison not know what was going on between her own daughter and her friend’s husband!? She’s such a bad mother!
They’ll say anything to knock down their victim’s credibility because they want everyone else to view their victim in the same negative light.

Interestingly, the adult bully’s actions are not much different from the actions of a young, adolescent bully. However, the anger and resentment toward others are now much deeper and more intricate. This bully is now old enough to comprehend exactly what is going on around them and has developed very sneaky and complex tricks, mechanisms, and ways to undermine and injure their victims.

They’ve had years of practice and they’ve finally figured out how to properly fuel their own painful fire that lives within, knowing there’s no chance of it going out anytime soon.

It’s a really sad world for the grown ass bully.

I mean, can you imagine living every single day of your life after all those years feeling that type of pain? Can you imagine living a life where 80% of your conversations consist of you talking trash and judging others?

For the adult bully, there’s hardly any room for constant and never-ending self-improvement because their huge ego is shoved so far up their huge ass. They choose to bask in so much misery because stopping and taking a really good look at their own life is too hard and too scary. They don’t feel good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, confident enough, skinny enough, rich enough, happy enough, tall enough, fulfilled enough, loved enough to look at their own lives and start putting in some serious work.

Just like the rest of us, the bully’s ideal self exists somewhere inside their soul but that bitch is trapped under a big, steaming pile of hatred and fear.

Adult bullies are as toxic as the pollution and plastic ingestion that endangers our beautiful planet on a daily basis.
litter on beach

They’re the parasite that infects this earth and the people and animals that inhabit it – especially when they’re chasing things like money, power, fame, and control over other people’s thoughts and emotions in order to negatively influence those in their circle.

At times, it can feel like we cannot get away from the trail of poison these bullies always leaves behind.

“I just I can’t escape this person.”

“Why does this person have to be in my life? Why is this happening to me?

“Great. Just when I started to feel stronger, happier, and more confident, this person came and ruined everything.”

Man looking down at cell phone
Boss: Hey Kevin, great presentation today. You’re going to have to come in this weekend to finish that portfolio before our meeting next week. I know it’s your daughter’s birthday but this is really important. Also, I know I said I would sign off on all of your internship hours but you still don’t have enough experience. Sorry. See you on Monday. Thanks.
Does any of this sound familiar?

When I was younger, I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t wait to grow up so people don’t treat me like this anymore.” Ha. If only.

See, the thing with bullying is that it never stops, no matter how old we get.

We will ALWAYS be in close proximity to a bully whether it be a family member, a friend (hopefully not), a neighbor, someone behind us in line at Target, or someone shaming everyone in the comment section of the YouTube video we just watched.

Mean, unhappy adults are EVERYWHERE. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.

However, just because bullying still exists around us as adults, doesn’t mean it has to effect our lives the way it did in our younger years.

There are many effective ways to deal with the grown ass bully in your life who makes you feel like sh*t.


Do you want to know the real secret?

…drum roll please…

Bullying will only cease to exist in your life when you commit to living consciously.

Woman meditating
“I am content in this moment. My heart will guide me. My treasures lie within.”

When you choose to take part in your own constant and never-ending self-improvement, that is when you can begin to exist on a higher plane. When you exist on this higher plane, you become untouchable. If you are focused on your own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth while taking steps to live your best life, you end up not even having the time or the patience to entertain this bully anymore. All of a sudden, this person will target you less and less and when they do, their words and actions will be deflected by the guiding light that surrounds your being.

In the world we live in today, it is imperative that you transcend and rise above the evil that exists.

It is absolutely crucial that you continue to learn, grow, challenge yourself, be mindful, and spread your love and light along the way.

This won’t be easy as you will experience ups and downs and as soon as you’re feeling empowered, someone or something will come and knock you right on your ass.

However, this is the pivotal moment in your life where your true transformation is right around the corner. This is the moment you have to get up and march your ass up that hill in order to get to the other side because, trust me, the other side is absolutely beautiful.

You can’t quit and you can’t give up on yourself because when you do, these grown ass bullies win. If we all give up on existing on a higher plane, these bullies will rule the world.

I don’t want to live in that world. Do you?

I didn’t think so.

Now that you know the true secret to abolishing these bullies from your life, I am also going to share some extremely important tips for dealing with this person IMMEDIATELY:

1. Make sure you’re not a bully too. It is absolutely critical that you take a moment to objectively look at the bullying situation you might be engulfed in at this present moment. Ask yourself the following questions: What really happened? What was the sequence of events? Why do I believe this person is targeting me? Could I be considered a bully too? Did I ever target or inflict pain on this bully in my life? Am I genuinely happy for others when they succeed? Do I want the best for everyone around me? Is my heart kind and genuine? Do I feel like people are out to get me? When is the last time I hurt someone’s feelings? Am I the reason I wasn’t invited to the party?

Take an honest, deep look within yourself. If you’re a bully too, admit it.

Come to terms with it and change. Then, start being kinder to everyone around you because you never know what type of battle other people are fighting. Listen, you can continue to make other people feel like sh*t, but I PROMISE you that if you do, you will feel like sh*t for the rest of your life.

You can rid yourself of this pain you are harboring by spreading love and coming to terms with the traumatic event you may have endured. Do not be afraid to seek help from formal and informal supports. Seeking out a licensed counselor or therapist and seeing him/her consistently could be one of the best things you ever do if you want to become the best version of yourself.

Just because you’ve been a jerk for a long time and have burned many bridges along the way doesn’t mean that tomorrow can’t be the start of your new life.

2. Are you in the clear? You’re not the bully? Ok, phew. Now that you’ve assessed yourself and determined that you’re actually a pretty decent human being, let’s assess the actual bully in your life. Taking the time to assess and analyze your bully’s life situation is one of the most important things you can do in order to escape this person’s grasp.

Alright. Close your eyes and think about this person. And I mean REALLY think about them.

What’s the view from 10,000 feet above? How much love does this person have in their lives? How much happiness and abundance? What do they do for a living? How do they treat everyone around them? What is their family life like? What is their love life like? How big is their heart? What was their childhood like? Do they ever seem to experience pure joy? When?

What do they value? What are they chasing? Why do you believe this person is unhappy? Why does this person treat others the way they do? Would you ever trade places with this person? What type of pain do you think they have endured in life?

Is there anything you could do to help this person experience pure joy if even for a moment?

Once you take the time to answer these questions, you will begin to look at this person differently which will make it so you can begin to develop some sympathy and probably even some empathy for them. Even if it is very small at first. This bully is in pain and although you may not care about their pain because you think they’re a horrible person, understand that this bully was so hurt at some point in their life that they don’t even know how to be decent anymore.

3. This tip is HUGE

Try to understand and accept your bully’s “pain-body.”  
woman crying
What your bully looks like on the inside

Eckhart Tolle coined this term and when you understand it, you can look at any bully in your life differently. This tip can even help you on your own journey of self-discovery.  

“There is such a thing as old emotional pain living inside you. It is an accumulation of painful life experience that was not fully faced and accepted in the moment it arose. It leaves behind an energy form of emotional pain. It comes together with other energy forms from other instances, and so after some years you have a “pain-body,” an energy entity consisting of old emotion.”

Eckhart Tolle also mentions how the pain-body FEEDS on drama. Hence, why a bully’s pain-body gets most of its food from intimate relationships and families. Their pain-body wants to wake up your pain-body so both pain-bodies can be buddies. Not good.

So, we all have a pain-body that takes over our consciousness and our actions every now and then.

With that being said, when it comes to a bully, their pain-body is SO strong and SO present at all times that it is always dictating the majority of their words, actions, and behaviors. With a pain-body so fierce, it is almost impossible for the adult bully to change – until the one day they decide to choose consciousness, ask for help, and join you on the never-ending journey of self-improvement. This doesn’t usually happen until they’ve hit rock bottom.

Until then, look at your bully through this lense and instead of letting them get you fired up, try viewing them with some compassion and understanding even when they’re being a REAL A-HOLE.

4. Own your emotions. Although bullying still exists even as we get older, the way we can choose to react to being bullied as adults is extremely empowering. We’re now old enough to comprehend what is truly going on while making the conscious decision to react differently. Instead of letting this bully dictate and control how you are going to feel, take control of your own emotions.

“This is my happiness. You can’t have it!”

Do not let this person dictate your thoughts, your actions, and especially not your feelings. Making you feel awful is exactly what they want. When you let the bully own your emotions, they win. Their pain-body wins.

You cannot allow this bully to get a rise out of you. Even when you want to scream and yell and put this person in their place, you have to keep your cool and go on with your own life.

You need to be so happy and satisfied with who you are as a human being that you are able to look within and thank God that YOU are YOU.

Remind yourself that this person is fighting an extremely painful battle and walk away with your head held high.

There are ways to explain to bullies how they have made you or others feel but the second you show them that they have taken control over your emotions, they win.

You may not even get anywhere when you politely tell the bully how they make you feel because rationalizing with an irrational person is an impossible task.

You can only take the power away from the bully by not reacting. If every single person in the bully’s life didn’t react, there’d be no one left to control. Once you understand this, you will begin to distance yourself from this person physically but more importantly, you will distance yourself emotionally. When your reactions to this bully change, you will no longer be a target.

5. Exist on a higher plane. This comes naturally when you begin to put all of your energy and efforts into improving your own life while striving to be the best version of yourself. Again, this is a constant and never-ending journey you commit to that will automatically make you and your energy vibrate at a higher level than any bullies in your life.

This doesn’t mean you should walk around feeling like you are better than the bully or superior to others because you’re not.

You are simply a loving individual who has chosen to remain humble and enlightened while living above the influence of negativity.

6. Get away from this bully completely or spend less time with this person. If this bully is an old “friend” you have kept for reasons you can’t even remember anymore, it’s time to go your separate ways. This person is not allowed on your conscious journey. This wet blanket will always try to hold you back because they don’t want what’s best for you. They’ll also never understand why you’re leaving and that’s OK. After years of taking their abuse, you don’t owe them an explanation. The only person you owe anything to is yourself. You owe yourself love, respect, kindness, and the freedom to be who you were always meant to be.

If this person is simply someone you physically cannot get away from, (family member, co-worker, spouse’s friend, etc.), this is where your own life work will be challenged.

This is where all of the above can be put to the test.

Working on yourself, objectively assessing your bully, accepting his/her pain-body and existing on a higher plane will make it so this person isn’t as hard to be around and like I said, they will sense your transformation and will no longer see you as weak and vulnerable and finally, their bullying will cease.

7. Help to guide your bully down the path of least resistance. Bless your soul if you have the patience and determination to make an attempt at leading your bully out of the darkness. This will not be an easy feat as you will be met with much ignorance, resistance, and probably even some name calling. When the adult bully has truly identified as being a bully, they may not even want to change because they don’t feel the need to. The sick, twisted, enjoyment they get out of hurting others is what gives them life.

If you want to help the bully, I commend you. But first, help yourself so you have the strength to go down this path.

You cannot and should not help this person at your own expense. With this in mind, if you find that you are feeling great mental, emotional, and spiritual strength that will not be stolen by your grown ass bully, take a chance and see what you can do to change a life.

As I mentioned earlier, mean, unhappy people are everywhere and this has become especially prominent today where people both young and old can hide behind computer screens while doing their dirty work.

In conclusion…

Understand that these bullies will continue to have power as long as their victims do not choose consciousness and transcendence.

So, make today the day you wake up and begin your conscious journey.

Find your higher plane and lead with your heart so when it comes to the world of adult bullies and their victims, you can be one less.

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  • Real interesting read and I agree, bullies don’t grow out of being bullies. Whatever insecurities they have that caused them to become a bully in the first place don’t just fade away or dissolve. Not without some type of therapy at least.

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my post. You’re right. Nobody’s deep seeded issues just fade away without doing some spiritual and emotional work. We’re all dealing with emotions we’ve held onto for one reason or another and people exhibit these demons in different ways. However, when we begin to harm others and try to take them down with us is when it has become a really big problem. Being mindful of how we treat the people around us and questioning ourselves when we don’t treat someone the way they would like to be treated is crucial. It’s all about soul searching and self improvement. I appreciate your comment.

  • People can be so mean young or old! I really have tried to think of older bullies as it’s not about you… they’re going through something unrelated to you and just taking it out on you, but even that can be really hard

    • Yes, I would say it’s almost NEVER about YOU. The only reason people act this way toward others is because of a pain they are harboring inside. The victim who loses sight of this fact can really head down a dark path with their bully. We cannot overcome bullying until we understand where it is truly coming from. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  • So grateful that I found your post. I’m dealing with an adult bully right now and it’s so hard. I just said that this morning that I wish that I could find a way to move on and move forward. Thank you for the tips. I’m going to try to do them and hopefully get out of this cycle.

    • I’m sorry to hear that! It’s never a good situation to be in. I hope this isn’t someone who is very close to you like a family member or neighbor. It can be more challenging when it is someone you physically cannot get away from. I am so happy you found my post – especially after this topic being on your mind this morning. I promise you that the tips and suggestions I mention really do work. As I say, it’s all about constant self-improvement and being so focused on your own life and your own journey. Also, being happy with who you are as a human deep down in your heart is important. If you’re not happy with the person you are today, take the time to acknowledge that and do some soul searching so you can begin to work on the things that will lead you down the path that has been waiting for you all along. Thanks so much for stopping by and for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it. I wish you the best of luck with the bullying situation you’re currently dealing with. I am sending positive vibes your way. I know you can overcome this.

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