What happens when the Schoolyard Bully or Mean Girl grows up? Childhood bullies tend to become adults who bully. It is that simple.
If a child has a biological predisposition to behaving abusively or aggressively in social environments, it’s a major red flag that they are likely to become active Abusers once they hit their adult years.
Bullies tend to get off on manufacturing chaos and inflicting pain on other people. Most tend to do so in order to stimulate pleasurable emotions in themselves, net gaining both an endorphin rush and an adrenaline surge by creating high tension scenarios at random times throughout their day in order to make themselves feel powerful as well as to eliminate mental boredom.
A handful among them abuse innocent, targeted people in order to elevate their social prestige among toxic peers. Viewing all social interaction as competition, any collaboration that would produce a win-win situation for themselves and peers is irrationally seen as a total social loss for them.
There are four types of aggressive, socially harmful personality types defined in the DSM5, the diagnostic manual used to classify and diagnose mental health conditions and disorders worldwide. Known as CLUSTER B, the grouping consists of four core personality types, all rooted in grandiose egocentrism, entitlement-based thinking, and lacking the biological capacity to process complex social and emotional insight.
Presented here ranked from bad to worse, the last two conditions are considered not only unmanageable but untreatable:
- The Borderline — can be helped with Psychotherapy, Behavior Modification, and Anger Management techniques
- The Histrionic — can sometimes be turned down in volume a bit with personality relaxing medications
- The Narcissist — friends, family members, romantic partners, children of, and co-workers oftentimes end up in therapy to deal with the frustration of dealing with or being abused by the Narcissist
- The Sociopath / Psychopath — those closest to them are brutalized verbally, psychologically, financially, socially, spiritually, sexually, and personally by them on a daily basis while scapegoat targets not related to them live in fear of physical harm or are pervasively terrorized by them
Borderline Personality Disorder
People with Borderline Personality Disorders tend to use temper tantrums to get their way throughout the duration of childhood and their adult life.
A person with Borderline Personality Disorder is likely to present as having lots of positive qualities, yet due to their belligerent nature, irrational demands on others, constant striving to dominate conversations, and manipulative threats to do themselves bodily harm whenever someone does not agree to do what they want, they tend to only have shallow quality associations with even those who consider themselves closest to the BPD throughout the duration of their life.
Secretive, willing to lie to promote their own best interest when it suits their needs, and highly manipulative, they all tend to bluster on about how their mood highs and lows are so very hard to control. Prone to using Narcissistic Rage to MANIPULATE and dominate, they will rage and froth at the mouth (seemingly uncontrollably) at their closest co-workers, friends, and family members while attention demanding — telling victims they were unable to control themselves.
They compulsively blame shift accountability for their own words, deeds, and actions (or lack of action) onto other people, harbor longstanding grudges over real or imagined Narcissistic Injury, and are masterful at both manipulating and gaslighting.
Most of their friends and family tend to report they feel sorry for the BPD, noting that spending time around them leaves most people feeling psychologically drained, like their time has been wasted, and emotionally battered. Actually, their most obvious poker tell is people can only typically stand to spend a few short minutes or hours talking to them.
People with Borderline have the ability to radically shift mood and behavior from dishing out the most extreme forms of verbal and emotional abuse you could imagine one moment, then the minute someone walks into a room who they want to impress, they are the most happy-go-lucky, opposite of uptight looking, red-faced, barbaric bellowing or control freaks that they present continuously as to those already a member of their Enabling Narcissistic Harem.
Always the drama mama of the group (whether male or female), for every solution a family member, friend, or co-worker comes up with in life, the Borderline will create or verbally gaslight to assert the illusion there are twenty problems. If an idea is not their own, they will do all they can to insult, undermine, sabotage or outright refuse to entertain it.
Ready to re-write historical scripts at a moment’s notice, after every bridge burning, suddenly they write revisionist history to make themselves look like the put upon, abused, good guy — while “splitting” (meaning aggressively smear campaigning against any perceived social rival, claiming they have virtually no valuable or redeeming character traits or thrashing their character once they fall out of favor). In the schoolyard, this unique form of bully might not be so obvious. The public face the personality type tends to present to teachers is of a child who is virtually unteachable.
To fellow students they are likely to be seen as the life of the party in front of strangers and simple acquaintances, but their playmates or BFFs are all likely to report that while the Borderline can be a lot of fun to hang out with at times, that they are routinely put down or made to feel small by them.
BPDs always have to be in total control of whatever a group or person they are getting together to hang out with does, and that they tend to have mood swings that alternate between a depressed moodiness, out of control rage while driving or discussing special topics of interest, and hyper elation.
If their mood swings did not happen so quickly and if it was not easy to watch them turn spitting, red-faced, throwing things and slamming door temper tantrums to crying fits off, one might thinking the BPD has something akin to manic depressive disorder.
Don’t be fooled into feeling sorry for them.
If they care enough about their friends and family, most BPD people can successfully manage their egocentrism and entitlement issues working with a Behavioral Therapist in conjunction with honest Psychotherapy.
Look for self-harming behaviors like body mutilation or cutting, attention seeking styles of dress (that make them look out of place in the crowd), a “party” persona, and predictable argumentativeness in a classroom setting to identify them as AT RISK students on during their academic and “proper socialization” training sessions.
BPD people tend to fear being left alone, so they do all they can to prolong conversations or to control social interactions. In their mind, the worst thing that could happen is they end up being held responsible for their own attention-seeking and perverse controlling behaviors.
When they have their ego offended or feelings hurt, expect smear campaigning to be wild and to see an uptick in passive-aggressive behaviors. Manufacturing triangulations, gaslighting, and hypersocial behavior striving to envelop the time and attention of their preferred scapegoat target’s friends and family almost inevitably happens, as the “wounded” aggressor pretends he or she was harmed or damaged in some way by their abuse target.
Third-grade triangulation tactics are likely to be used to undermine the social relationships of the BPD abuse target’s social network, the Abuser’s goal being to socially shame, humiliate, and isolate the target as a form of punishment.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
The Histrionic personality child is likely to be the biggest drama queen in the school. Their theatrical nature tends to be seen as “high strung”. Incredibly shallow by nature and emotionally sensitive to criticism, a person with Histrionic Personality Disorder will do anything they can to command the attention of a room.
Their goal is to be lauded and worshiped by all people they encounter in personal or professional settings. Histrionics cannot wait to tell you how great they are, going on and on about how they are the smartest, the most professional, the most skilled, the most whatever. They see themselves as the best of the best of the best of the best of the best and by God, all hell is going to break loose if they even begin to suspect someone is not starry-eyed impressed with them.
Always the most flamboyant person in the crowd, many people with HPD appear to be narcissistic. They are — but they are unique in that they have a bit wider range of emotional capacity. Many will have companion animals that they dote on, seemingly with great empathy — but understand they will then do things like send the animal to the vet and subject it to multiple painful surgeries and experiments without a bit of conscience. All HPD people have an extreme sense of entitlement.
They not only expect to be treated like a Diva, they expect to have complete and ultimate control over every friend, family member, and social interaction (even with strangers present). The character played by Nathan Lane in the movie “The Birdcage” (also starring Robin Williams) typifies a person with mild to moderate HPD.
In a schoolyard setting, paying attention to who behaves in a dismissive manner while walking around with a haughty air can help you find the child with Histrionic Personality Disorder in their future. In real life, expect them to show their ass to customer service professionals and waitstaff at restaurants, in hospital settings abusing nursing staff and demanding the best possible care and treatment, or verbally abusing their caretaker companions.
Drama, drama, drama is the overarching theme of the Histrionic life.
If they can bemoan their fate or draw attention to their former greatness, such as talking for decades about emotionally charged pinnacle or turning point events in their life that they claim made or broke them, expect them to use such stories to justify modern day, in the moment, Narcissistic Abuse heaped on scapegoat targets relentlessly without care or to be used to manipulate the emotions of new Narcissistic Supply Sources and unsuspecting targets.
The fastest way to spot them is to look for the one person in a group who always seems to demand special treatment from both followers and people who should be seen as authority figures. In the Histrionic person’s mind, all are considered obligated caretakers, owing the Histrionic their total and complete attention and prostrated devotion at all times.
They don’t just expect their ass to be kissed as well as the ring on their hand. What they truly crave is for their “subjects” and “staff” to feel lucky they are allowed to be able to take the abuse the Histrionic always seems to dish out in their presence. In your best Hyacinth voice from the BBC show “Keeping Up Appearances”, read the following passage aloud:
“Oh waiter!” she claims, humiliating friends. “This fish is overcooked. This knife has a water spot on it. This coffee is cold. Our table is in the wrong corner. My food is not prepared properly. Bring me my water in a wine glass, please. Did you see what that woman sitting next to us at that table is wearing! I will expect you to pick me up for dinner and the opera promptly at 6:05 on Saturday evening… and by the way your car is horribly uncomfortable to ride in so please don’t forget to bring me an assortment of specialty seat cushions and a velvet tushie pillow… and please drop me off just near the door but out of site because I don’t want my friends seeing me step out of such a commonplace vehicle. You understand, why I don’t want anyone to see me with you, don’t you? Oh and by the way, come over to help clean my house Thursday at 8:42 AM, pay my pool people out of your own pocket, do my grocery shopping on your own time and dime, and after I conveniently forget to have cash to pay you or can’t find my checkbook to repay the debt, I’m going to uninvite you to the party I just made you help plan for and set. Why? Because you know so and so is coming and they really don’t like you but it’s really important to me that they feel welcome so I hope you understand, don’t you, why you simply cannot be present.”
Got it? Not only are they morally insane, being around them for any extended period of time leaves victims with a host of complex PTSD issues from having been exposed to their constant attention-seeking ploys coupled with the most humiliating of social transgressions.
Yes — you know you are being worked over psychologically and emotionally by them, but they are so colorful and eccentric. And, of course, to keep their Narcissistic Supply sources “hooked”, they will always tell you in a fake and condescending tone how wonderful, special, and important to them you are supposed to know they really think and feel you are… all the while chomping at the bit to flame you to friends the minute your back is turned.
You are never going to be as great as they, they are always to be treated with kid gloves, and the less fuss you make over them, the more likely they are to be morally outraged, claiming, of course, they have been “rudely” disrespected.
The Narcissist. Oh, the Narcissist. Narcissists come in many forms, the most common being Somatic Narcissists, Cerebral Narcissists, Introverted Narcissists, Covert Narcissists, Overt Narcissists, Narcopaths, and Malignant Narcissists.
The run of the mill Narcissist lacks empathy for others. So do extreme Narcissists, noting that all narcissists are egocentric, socially competitive thinkers prone to engaging in pack mentality behaviors while acting like social predators.
The Somatic Narcissist is all about status. Designer labels, how much things cost, which side of the tracks someone lives or grew up on, looks, and shallow aesthetics are their obsession, and they will ruthlessly bully and strive to shame or disenfranchise anyone who is not just like them.
The Cerebral Narcissist is into competing for grades at school as well as obsessed during adulthood with presenting themselves as an authority figure. Cerebral Narcissists are the mean geeks, those obsessed with who went to what school, where.
They are so obsessed with their own academic elitist views that if a person who is a non-degreed individual has an insight or an idea that’s meaningful to share (either in business or an academic / scientific environment), not only will they ridicule and strive to invalidate the speaker as an individual, they won’t even bother to read or entertain the notion that someone other than they or someone with a higher level of degree status might actually be capable of proffering an opinion that’s valuable.
Chess club members and band geeks who verbally abuse other kids for being stupid grow up to be adults who do the same thing to their workplace contemporaries (and oftentimes they situationally bully their own children about academic achievement in private). It’s not just the self-proclaimed “popular kids” who can behave in mean-spirited and exclusionary or elitist ways; it’s also common for Cerebral Narcissists to run in packs of Grammar Nazis.
Introverted Narcissists are typically those who are more introverted by nature, but rather than withdrawing from crowds from a lack of social confidence, they tend to avoid social interactions because they truly hate most people and think they are better than everyone.
The Covert Narcissist is masterful at gaslighting, triangulating, manufacturing chaos, blame shifting, and victim shaming. They are the NPD type most likely to willingly enable stronger social predators. Always disingenuous and two-faced, they pathologically lie, withhold information, or skew truth in casual conversation to lead other people into making poor decisions. Their goal is to get others coming to them for advice in all personal and professional matters while alienating them from other friends and family members.
By positioning themselves as the hub or go-between between parties, the Covert Narcissist is free to make up whatever lies or stories they want, betraying confidences and spinning personal information in such a way that when a target confides in them, anything they say can and will be used against them.
Always playing the victim while leading the pot stirring, mobbing, and smear campaign enacting, the gossiping, bitter, and vendetta-harboring coverts literally tend to view most of their closest friends or family members as COMPETITION. As such, they are typically trying to undermine, control, sabotage, or malign them.
Overt Narcissists are the braggadocios of the NPD world. The first to tell you how great they are, how wonderful their life is, and to strive to manufacture social competition, they are the football fans who get into fights in the stadium parking lot about whose high school, college, or NFL football team is “better”. In a schoolyard, they are the pack members of a clique that treats other groups abusively or disdainfully. As adults, they are the people most likely to compete for bonuses.
Narcopaths are narcissists with an anti-social streak. That does not mean they avoid socializing; what it does mean is they tend to have a haughty nature and really mean streak.
Thinking of themselves as above the law, they tend to be the kid who bullies others by verbally abusing them shamelessly. They may destroy another’s personal property, push or shove scapegoats down or “pants” them while trying to humiliate them, and they are likely to have a long list of “enemies”. Sadly, the people they decide are targets are oftentimes the sweetest, kind, and emotionally sensitive children or adult human beings you could ever meet.
Malignant Narcissists are incredibly Machiavellian social schemers, tending to engage in acts of cyberbullying and publicly ridiculing other people routinely throughout their lives for fun and sport. They present themselves as superior know-it-alls with an incredible chip on their shoulder against anyone who is not impressed by them.
The Malignant Narcissist is the person most likely to start a mobbing incident or to launch the most socially humiliating of smear campaigns they can dream up to emotionally cause extreme duress or fear in their targets. They are always at the ready to spin a negative angle on any piece of information they know about a Narcissistic Rival.
Their rival need only breathe to annoy the Malignant Narcissist, a personality type prone to harboring the most extreme of persecutory grudges against preferred scapegoat targets.
She’s the gal who started all those hate-filled rumors about the girl in class who was prettier than her being a massive drug addict, criminal, or slut — knowing full well the target was a kind person who did absolutely nothing unloving, unkind, unhelpful, or wrong. The crime her target committed might have been nothing more than the MN saw her being looked at in an affectionate way by a boy they wanted to date who truly was never interested in them.
[It could also be that the target got a better grade on a book report in school or got praise from the boss in an office environment when the MN thought they could have been given accolades or more credit.]
A male MN is likely to triangulate wife from children, parents against his spouse, and to keep misogynistic and racist practices at the forefront of his habitual lifestyle methods. Into control and psychologically abusing, the male MN tends to have a high IQ but low moral ethics.
They are the schoolyard bullies who act like the playground scene’s criminal mastermind.
Many Schoolyard Bullies grow up to be career criminals of the white collar variety. Many enter corporate environments, moving up the ladder by concocting and enacting Machiavellian schemes to dominate in business. They rise to power in such structures by brown nosing and back stabbing, always placing their own financial interests above ethical behavior.
Disingenuous to the core, Malignant Narcissists are only nice (on the surface) to people who they want to use or impress. Not only do they lie to those they want to capture the attention or affection of in order to “win” them over, once they think they don’t need that person anymore, they are the first to throw their targeted social abuse marks into the discard pile.
Malignant Narcissists are the hardest of the personality types to shake off if they have you in their Narcissistic Abuse projecting crosshairs.
They tend to resurface time and time again when they lose favor with other Narcissistic Supply sources, sometimes hoovering, while other times doing nothing more than Aggravated Stalking and or to enact Revenge Obsession style menacing whenever they get bored or have a stress issue in their personal life they themselves more than likely created and are too morally insane to consider mending.
Anti-Social Personality Disorder
Anti-Social Personality Disorder is a lump sum classification that currently, as of the DSM5 edition of the diagnostic manual for mental health conditions, has not been divided into categories. However, in order to help professionals in the field more adequately address the trauma healing needs of their victims, several types of ASPD people are currently in the process of being defined in self-help social circles.
There are several types of ASPD people, including but not limited to:
- Psychopaths, and
- Dark Triads.
The Sociopath is emotionally stunted typically due to exposure to trauma at a young age. They have flatline emotions, with a tendency to use drugs or alcohol to alleviate boredom while self-medicating any random or lingering sense of emotional pain.
Sociopathic traits reflecting a lack of empathy coupled with pervasive egocentrism can also be brought on by a Traumatic Brain Injury. Concussions have the ability to cause the brain to work in a dysfunctional way, noting that upon reflection, most parents who are observant are likely to note that after suffering a head injury where a child lost consciousness, appeared to be dazed, or where the child’s head was jarred by impact, that their personality — “for some reason” changed (either subtly or in the extreme) after it all.
TBI most commonly occurs during a bad fall, a sporting event, thanks to a car accident, or from an abuse incident where a child, infant, young adult, or otherwise normal person is hit in the head; however, medical conditions that limit a person’s capacity to behave non-egocentrically or with empathy for others can also cause any age person to have anti-social personality disorder types of affectations.
Psychopaths have a tendency to have low EQ coupled with a sadistic streak. Prone to violent outbursts, they lack any sense of moral conscience. They are the worst of the violent offenders, prone to enjoying power and control games, Sadism and Masochist role play, and committing human abuse crimes in general.
Both Sociopaths and Psychopaths have a difficult time forming loving relationships. They tend to position themselves to socially consume their mates, using a variety of brainwashing tactics on them consciously in order to manipulate.
A Dark Triad is the most extreme of their type. Think Darth Vader meets Cruella Deville.
When Machiavellian scheming is coupled with Malignant Narcissist tendencies and Sociopathy, the person is likely to rule their home or cult followers with an iron fist. When that person has Psychopathy or a proclivity to delight in Sadism, the person is actually prone to controlling their loved ones by using an ACTUAL fist. You know by or before the time these jokers are 10 that they are likely to grow up to become career criminals of the violent variety. You find most of them skipping school to vandalize, get high, or steal — or in and out of jail.
The odd red flags to help out them in a courtroom setting is they all tend to have had road rage issues, have had one or more people have to put a restraining order on them in order to stop them from harassing or doing bodily harm, and or to have gone through a high conflict divorce.
Animal abuse issues like harming or neglecting other people’s pets are also typical Dark Triad BS.
So is threatening to harm or kidnap children, to do bodily harm, or to refuse to do things like pay timely, honest financial rate, or (for that matter) any willingly provided child support.
Dark Triads routinely engage in extortion. They all tend to do things like:
- threatening to photoshop a person’s face or body into a photograph or movie sequence to make it appear as if they were engaging in clandestine affairs in order to win a divorce in a state where infidelity costs a cheating spouse plenty
- threatening to mail nude photos of a person to their employer, friends, and family
- withholding financial support from spouses in order to control
- fail to pay child support without a court order
- frequently are in contempt of court with regard to divorce agreements
- blackmailing friends, family, co-workers, and targeted marks in order to feel powerful and in control
- commit misdemeanors and felonies with alarming regularity
- have horrible driving records and/or a history of contentious litigation
- target social rivals for personal, professional, and financial destruction
Dark Triads use implied threats of abuse or social humiliation to control other people’s everyday actions and emotions.
They lie, cheat, steal, gossip, play the victim, blame shift, manufacture chaos, abuse, and do everything in their power to do psychological, spiritual, and social harm to their preferred scapegoats, targets, and collateral damage victims with ruthless disregard for the fundamental human rights as well as civil rights of others.
When little Jimmy put gum in Janette’s hair back in third grade and thought it was hilarious watching her cry then made fun of her for having to have to have the gum cut out, he defined his social and sexual preferences. When Becky and her clique followers find themselves in the bathroom with a social rival who is shy, pretty, or well-liked by the boys that she herself wants to date, they pretend the girl is not standing right there looking at them or is in a bathroom stall listening to them talk trash about her in such a way that she not only feels horribly humiliated, the target is likely to suffer permanent psychological and emotional scarring that she’ll carry with her until her dying day.
As an adult, he’s likely to throw a plate of dinner food in her face and to verbally accost her while screaming and standing over her, claiming his meal was not right, then beating the crap out of her in private for it. Later that evening out at the bar, he’s the guy most likely to have his arm wrapped around the waist of a mistress or stripper.
The Dark Triad female is most likely to become a Mommy Dearest stereotype, with many having children not because they love them. To a Dark Triad female, children are seen as personal possessions — humans to be used and abused like slaves used to be on a plantation. To them, children can be used like commodities — traded for favors or bought and sold.
They keep their personality profile secret (for the most part), getting off on situationally abusing victims in private, then claiming the victim is mentally unstable if and when they seek emotional support from friends and family or validation that traumatizing events even happened.
Dark Triads (or Dark Tetrads as they are called in Europe) pervasively lie or spin truths and misrepresent facts without conscience. They deliberately hyper-stimulate their own pleasurable sense of emotion by engaging in the behavior.
A social victory for them is not only being able to get away with a crime or to situationally abuse without getting caught, but to also somehow shame the victim while blaming them for the Abuser’s caustic and antagonistic, abusive behaviors.
Deriving pleasure from other people’s pain, they are the “evil” personality types made famous throughout history in fairytale storybooks and legends. It’s not just some dumb thug like Nelson in the Simpson’s who bullies; the true Dark Triad is far more like the evil authority figure that owns the nuclear plant where Bart Simpson’s father Homer works, Mr. Burns.
The only thing scarier than when they are NOT hitting you, abusing you directly, or purposefully letting you know both that and why they are neglecting you is when they look you in the eyes and smile while electing to remain deliberately silent. The “sociopathic stare” is a real thing, a micro expression coupled with an ALPHA body language posture that truly reveals their bone-chilling malevolence.
The common trait of all Cluster B personality types is they compulsively tend to use, abuse, bully and con their way through life. What starts as what Enablers and Abuser’s call “child’s play” results in nurturing toxic personality disorder formation sure to plague a maturing child throughout life.
Most people with personality disorders tend to have average to above-average intelligence, but they seldom develop an emotional intelligence quotient above the age of six. When you couple a low EQ with access to money, transportation, and power over others, what you end up with is an adult who will readily use any psychological or physical intimidation tactic that worked for them as young children to brutalize any and all people who are unfortunate enough to end up related to or socially involved with them.
Bottom line, children who bully grow up to be adults who situationally abuse others. Yes, they do know what they are doing — and are eager to have YOU tell them all about your pain and how much whatever humiliating or terrifying thing they did to you hurt you… just so they can take great pleasure in watching you suffer while both you and they relive times they traumatized or abused you over and over in both their and your head.
Resist the urge to seek validation or healing from any of the four personality types aforementioned. Avoid taking them to counseling sessions with you or sharing with them details about why or how their words or abusive deeds hurt you, as it’s the equivalent of showing crime scene photos to a serial killer.
Anything you share with them in casual passing or in confidence will be used to either manipulate your emotions or psychology later. Anything you say can and will be used against you to effect control, including socially ridiculing you about any self-perceived weakness or any insecurity turned from a simple social anxiety into a large, metaphoric emotional as well as a psychological gash.
Pouring salt in other people’s wounds, torturing other sentient beings, and making fun of or physically harming other people for fun and sport is a common pastime for most BPD, HPD, NPD, ASPD, Narcopaths, and Dark Triads. Learn to spot the red flags and warnings signs in order to avoid becoming their Enabler, Co-Dependent Narcissist, or willing Narcissistic Supply Source.
They attack outside their social circle first — but when left alone with their “pack”, expect all of them to turn on their enablers without hesitation when and if the mood happens to strike them.