Bullies with Napoleon Complexes

Many bullies in school were insecure because they were short, skinny, or both. To compensate for it, they would try to intimidate others by walking around with a scowl on their faces, or they’d scream, yell, and talk real tough. I had one particular classmate, Tammy, who was a weak little pipsqueak with a big, strong, mighty mouth. It’s hilarious when I look back now.

But I’ve found that many of these squirts do this, and there’s a name for it. It’s called either the “Napoleon Complex” or “little man syndrome.”

Think “Maddy Webber” on the new MacGyver reboot.

Understand that their bark is worse than their bite, and they bully as a defense mechanism. Maybe the little ankle-biters at my school gave me a hard time because bigger kids were bullying them. But they would never admit it. So, they took the coward’s way out and searched for someone they thought was weaker.

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They’d come at you with their spitfire tempers and want to try you, then wonder why they got a good whack in the nose. Next, they’d either run, crying to a teacher, or they’d go bark up someone else’s tree.

I was small myself, weighing about 115-120 lbs and only 5’3″-5’4″, but some of these kids were even smaller than I was. Such kids are in every school, and you even have tiny adults who behave the same way at work.

We even had a few short and skinny teachers, and they’d scream and yell at the students when they’d get too noisy. I knew of one male English teacher who’d go nuts- slamming his fists down on his desk, shaking his fists in the air, throwing erasers at students, and screaming like a banshee. We just knew this little guy was a future resident at the state mental hospital.

Even as an adult, I’ve seen different people (especially men) at work who were short and squirrely but would bark loudly, and I couldn’t help but think that these men only felt they had to compensate somehow for their stature. Their screaming, cursing, posturing, and jockeying seemed to give them some sense of power.

I’m not posting this to make fun of little people. Not all of them are like this. As I mentioned earlier, I’m only 5’4″.

We all come in different sizes and varieties, and we should celebrate those differences. But when you feel you have to bully others to make up for what you perceive in yourself to be a weakness or shortcoming, you only show what a scared little coward you are, and people like me see right through you and only laugh.

Try a little kindness instead. Then when a bigger bully comes for you, we just might come to your defense instead of laughing at you.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

12 thoughts on “Bullies with Napoleon Complexes

  1. I don’t think we can generalize by judging people by their stature. I know that Goliath was a giant who, according to biblical accounts, was defeated by the child David, only with god’s help and only with a slingshot and a well-aimed stone. 🙂

  2. Very true Cherie. I had experiences like this with little punks like these. They knew that if you called them out on it, they could use their small stature to turn it around and play the victim.

    • Exactly! It’s a manipulation game. I used it on some of my bigger bullies a few times when they would try to jump me. Ha! They backed off real quick! 😂🤣😂🤣 Mine was for self protection. I never used it to manipulate anyone.

  3. Spot on! One of my worst bullies in 7th grade AKA Hell was this boy who was shorter than me. I was about 4″6′ at the time. I got a week of respect after beating him up for stealing my authograph from an SU football player who did a talk at our Catholic school. That was the last time I got into a fight.

    • You go girl! So proud of you for giving that bully a dose of his own medicine! Don’t you just love those little pipsqueaks! I had a few in my class- one was Tammy and the other’s name was James Bubba! Hahaha! Those two were laughable at best!

  4. I think people associate height with power which is not always the case. But I also think that small people who are outweighed by a hundred pounds etc sometimes do exactly what you describe and try to make up for their lack of sigh by trying to bully and intimidate those bigger than them. Someone significantly larger and stronger a lot of times isn’t going to bother because of someone who weighs 250 lbs puts it on someone who weighs 100 lbs, they are going to be considered the bully though it isn’t always the case. And in terms of short, small men I think that is one of the reasons some women think they always have to have taller men or short men want to be even with shorter women because if he is smaller he will try to make up for it with the Napoleanic Complex (not everyone of course). That being said Cherie, you strike me as someone who can more than handle herself even against a bigger opponent if necessary.

    • Thank you so much! 💖 I definitely could handle myself against a bigger opponent even if I had to pick up a baseball bat, a chair, etc, if the opponent outweighed me by 50-100 lbs a day was trying to physically assault me. And your lines:

      “Someone significantly larger and stronger a lot of times isn’t going to bother because of someone who weighs 250 lbs puts it on someone who weighs 100 lbs, they are going to be considered the bully …”

      This was spot on because, many times, a smaller bully will bait the bigger target by provoking him to get him in trouble with authority and use their size to make them look like the instigator! I’ve seen this happen many times!

      Thank you so much for your thoughts on this topic! They’re so appreciated! 💖🌺🌷

  5. Most people who bully and abuse others have their own bag of insecurities. They need to feel empowered and target those unfortunate people around them! I agree that when looking back at certain instances in our lives (in this case the kids who bullied you and were small themselves 😂) it does seem astounding..
    Kindness and compassion goes a long way and can heal many hearts!
    Thank you for sharing, dear

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