“Intellectual – The intellectual bully specializes in condescension. Their insecurities are masked in large words and aloof, arrogant sentences. Their offense consists of a belief that they are smarter than the competition. They enjoy making others feel inferior.”
~ Joe Bouchard
Statistics, multi-syllabic words, one arched eyebrow, historical references, identifier of logical fallacies in others, Einstein, Jung, or Hawkings quotes…..
These are the “sticks and stones” of intellectual bullies. And make no mistake, they are smart enough to know exactly what they are doing. It isn’t that they are devoid of passion or emotion. it is just that they are able to switch gears in an instant if passion and emotion are not getting the job done.
There is nothing wrong with intellect. On the contrary, intellect has brought us literature, the light bulb, the Internet, and, or course, puns 🙂 I myself am the proud owner of some substantial intellect, though I typically do not go about whipping out my IQ scores. However, when push comes to figurative shove, that is exactly what the intellectual bully does. If your viewpoint either makes no sense to them, makes them uncomfortable, or makes them apt to look in a mirror….out comes the pontificatory pronouncement. Or the statistical syllabication. If it fits into the conversation at all, the word “matriculate’ is likely to be used.
In other words: Cue the condescension.
The ironic (or is it paradoxical) thing about intellectual bullies is that they are usually quick to defend those whom they see as victims of other types of bullies. They will, with great verbiage condemn those who hit or name-call or attempt to intimidate using the more prosaic methods. This tends to make them, in my opinion, the worst kind of bully – the hypocrite.
So if you are in a passionate debate or disagreement, and someone’s impassioned plea suddenly become a demand to cite research or a “how many letters are in the words I use” competition…..it is highly likely that you have just encountered someone who attacks with acumen as his or her primary ammunition.