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I think sometimes I bully people because I am insecure. I am often anxious. And when I happen to be anxious when someone vastly subordinate or a better word might be inexperienced in comparison to me, when this person is around me, the chances are that I will push him around to avoid the humility of the fact that I am anxious. And I don't do this around people with more experience than me, not because I am afraid of a fair fight or a challenge necessarily, but because I find it permissible to show humility in front of some one above me.

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I have a similar problem, but with professional peers, people who are approximately equal to me in skills and experience. There's more competition in that situation, for me, so I find myself less tolerant of their opinions and more likely to disagree strongly. The underlying issue is that I want to be right, otherwise I'm afraid I'll seem less competent. Maybe what that's saying is that I am "afraid of a fair fight", at least until it starts. And as you say, it's more difficult to express humility in that context. For me, it's harder there than anywhere else I go ...

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