It appears that there is a new employee profile if you want to work for the federal or local government. You have to be a bully. You must enjoy the manipulation of others to realize true job satisfaction.
Common Personality Traits of a Bully
Some people are naturally more inclined towards thugdom. Even in our everyday lives, we all know of people who seem to be born bullies, glorying in their power (assumed or real) over others. Certain personality traits are common to a successful bully. Recognizing these traits, and the psychological motivations behind them, can assist you the next time you are forced to deal with Jack-Booted Thug (JBT) - or perhaps even a possible non-uniformed bully in your own life.
NARCISSISM: A bully is a narcissist. He (or she) is a firm believer in his own importance. He feels “special” and because of this “specialness” feels that the rules that apply to the rest of us do not apply to him. A true narcissist is defined by the DSM-IV as:
VINDICTIVENESS: The vindictiveness of a thwarted bully is unparalleled. A true thug holds close every slight, whether real or imagined. Vengeance is a high priority on his or her list. The bully will remember a wrong committed against him years ago in vivid detail and will seek any opportunity to avenge that wrong, whether real or perceived. This vengeful personality will mentally enumerate a perceived lack of respect and make a point of subjugating the “perpetrator” through humiliation, threats, and sometimes violence.
LACK OF EMPATHY: A notable lack of empathy is a common characteristic of the bully. He or she remains completely unaffected by the suffering or embarrassment of others. The thug lacks the conscience and remorse that govern most people and has complete confidence that his end result justifies his means of achieving it. In his personal life as well as his professional one, he operates in a detached manner that devalues others.
CONTROLLING PERSONALITY: A natural bully has a deep psychological need to be in control of every situation. This is why the bully is drawn to positions in which he or she has authority over others. To maintain control, the bully uses criticism, humiliation, sarcasm, mockery and negativity - sometimes in the guise of making “helpful suggestions” – when in reality, these are tactics for control and subjugation. A thug with a controlling personality has an unparalleled ability to coerce others through manipulation.
ANGER: A thug often suffers from “anger issues”. He is not fettered by the moral control that governs most people. His frustration is often increased because of failures in his personal life. He or she generally lacks the ability to maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships – a characteristic rooted in a lack of empathy, a need for control and an inability to take responsibility for failure. He or she often brings this frustration into the workplace, where the anger finds an outlet when vented towards select victims. A thwarted thug can become violently angry in the blink of an eye.
Bullies and Authority: A Match Made in Heaven
While Jack Booted Thugs are present in all walks of life, they seem to be drawn to positions of imagined importance. Law enforcement, federal agencies and the TSA abound with bullies. It’s a match made in heaven. These positions require background tests, IQ tests and psychological profiling, so it cannot be stated that the agencies are somehow shocked when their new employ turns out to be a card-carrying bully. The TSA, for example, requires applicants to take a 3 hour test, part of which is a 200 question psychological profile section.
How Do Bullies Operate?
JBTs that are true bullies use the same techniques over and over in order to dominate their victims. Your awareness of these techniques will make them less effective.
1.) HUMILIATION: Publicly drawing attention to a victim and embarrassing them; touching the person inappropriately, especially in front of others; threatening to expose parts of a person’s past that they attempt to keep private – these are all attempts to manipulate a victim into cooperating. By remaining visibly unfazed, you can maintain some control over the situation.
2.) THREAT OF HARM: A bully might use superior size or fitness, a weapon or words in order to intimidate a victim. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the thug will not become violent – under the protection of a badge many bullies feel invincible. Witnesses and documentation are your best weapons against the threat of harm. If you can, draw attention to yourself and the situation, you will be safer – bullies are like cockroaches – they do not like the light and prefer to operate in secrecy.
3.) ISOLATION: If public humiliation is ineffective, a bully will often isolate his victim in order to increase control. In an isolated situation, the victim has no proof of what has occurred – it is her word against the bully’s word, and if the bully is an “authority figure” he generally feels confident that he is the one who will be believed. In an isolation situation the bully might resort to inappropriate touching, threat of rape or other sexual assault, threat of violence, or threat of secret future vengeance. (“You’ll never see me coming.”) A bully can be emboldened by a lack of audience. If you are isolated by a bully you are at your most vulnerable. In this situation, your first step is to attempt to summon a witness. Depending on the situation, a victim may be able to discern whether the threats are realistic or not. If it seems that no assistance is imminent and you must remain in the isolated situation, it may be necessary to give the impression of cooperation to survive the encounter.
Above all, when faced with thuggery, remain calm and keep your personal safety your first priority. Maintain your situational awareness and as soon as you are away from the encounter, document everything you can remember while your recollection is fresh. You might be forced to comply initially but you can fight back after the fact by going to the alternative media with your story, registering complaints with the agency in charge, and filing civil suits against both the agency and the perpetrator.
As our system becomes more and more corrupt, JBTs and bullies in uniform will become increasingly prevalent. It is a sign of our impending police state that a bullying personality is now an asset in certain workplaces. Expect this, know your rights, and stay your course.