The dominant thinking on bullies has changed dramatically over the years. Folks used to see bullies as insecure and cowardly underneath, with something to prove. But the truth is often much simpler: some taunt and torture because it feels good. They enjoy fighting and provoking fights. To them, it’s fun.
The nature and prevalence of human aggression is generally poorly understood. This is especially true when it comes to differentiating reactive vs. predatory aggression. To avoid victimization, you really must heighten your awareness about the kinds of aggression disturbed characters exhibit.