How to Deal With Adult Bullying

Last Update on October 8, 2021 : Published on October 8, 2021
How to deal with adult bullying

When I was young I used to think that all the bullying that I am facing will go away once I grow up. Guess what? It doesn’t go away! If someone is a bully as a child it’s possible for them to grow up as a bully.

I have come across so many people who enjoy bullying others. Even when they are adults they don’t realise that bullying someone is wrong. Adult bullying is as harmful as childhood bullying can be.

If you have been going through adult bullying it’s time you should learn how to deal with it. This article addresses adult bullying and ways you can deal with it…

What is Adult Bullying?

Adult bullying is when an adult participates in bullying behavior towards other adults. An adult bully can be an aggressive boss, toxic partner, mean friends or condescending relative.

An adult bully is always trying to make you feel humiliated, oppressed or just not enough. They may insult you, ridicule you, shame you, make jokes about you or even exploit your personal space.

Also read: Understanding The Long-Term Effects Of Bullying & How To Overcome Them

Types of Adult Bullying

Adult bullying can be divided into various types in accordance with the premises. Let’s discuss the most common types of adult bullying.

I) Physical bullying: It is that kind of bullying which involves a lot of physical activity. It’s like when a bully pulls a fist to scare you or displays some violent behavior. Throwing things at you or physically intimidating you, all these actions are a part of physical bullying.

II) Verbal bullying: Verbal bullying involves verbal insults and public shaming. Their words are pinching and demeaning. There is constant criticism and teasing and mocking that you face because of verbal bullies.

III) Passive-aggressive bullying: A passive-aggressive person can easily fool you. You might think that he/she is not a bully but trust me they are the most cunning ones. They might bully you in the form of gossip and sarcasm.

IV) Material bullying: People who participate in material bullying are mostly people with power or who have some authority. It can be your boss or manager or teacher or a senior. They misuse their power to pressurise you.

V) Cyber bullying: I am sure you are aware of cyber bullying. It is the kind of bullying that happens online. It can be in the form of emails, disturbing texts, comments, posts or trolling on social media.

Now that you know what are the different kinds of bullying you might face, let’s move on to dealing with adult bullying.

Also read: 15 Anti-Bullying Quotes To Empower & Inspire You To Take A Stand

Ways to Deal with Adult Bullying

1. Choose your battles

This world is full of bullies who choose to torment you every single day. You can’t explain things to everyone or teach them a lesson every time they bully you. What are you supposed to do then? Just bear with the torture?

If you are not the bully then you are the wise one. Think wisely and choose your battles. You should keep mum to such atrocities done by bullies. Speak up when you think it is necessary and completely ignore them when you think they’re just wasting your time and energy.

2. Make eye contact with the bully

If an adult chooses to bully you, look them in the eye while they are hurling insults at you. It will intimidate them because they don’t expect you to react this way. When you choose to hide your face or move away from them it just boosts their ego.

Once you have made eye contact and if they still continue, question their statements. Ask them what they really mean or why did they choose to say something so mean? It is going to leave them perplexed and they might stop targeting you.

3. Make an escape plan

Now, let me be very clear here, I am not asking you to escape from the problem. All I am saying is to move away from the bully. If you are being bullied by a coworker, try changing your desk or floor. Stay away from their toxic behavior.

It’s best to stay away from such people. You can reply once, twice or even thrice! What will you do after that? They will continue bullying you until they realise their mistake. So, if you fail to make them realise their mistake, stay clear of them.

4. Keep a record of their offenses

Adult bullying can become very toxic and can cause psychological and physical harm. It’s best to keep a document prepared which has records of all the offences committed by the bully. In some cases of adult bullying you will have to file a complaint and that’s when you will need those records.


Participating in adult bullying is completely wrong. Nobody deserves to be dealing with such bullies but if you have to you know what is to be done.

Even if you see someone bullying others, speak up then and there. Do not let anyone suffer because of some shallow-minded bullies.

I hope this blog helps all of you who have been dealing with adult bullying. If you know some who have gone through adult bullying do share this blog with them. Thanks for reading!

Take care and stay safe!

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.


  1. HealthTimes

    Great article source to read. Thank you for sharing this.

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