A bully acts up in a meeting or in an online forum. He gets called on it and chastised for his behavior.
The bully then calls out the person who cited their behavior in the first place. He twists their words, casts blame and becomes an aggrieved victim.
Often, members of the tribe then respond by backing off, by making amends, by giving the bully another chance.
And soon the cycle continues.
Brands do this, bosses do it and so do passers-by. Being a bully is a choice, and falling for this cycle, permitting it to continue, is a mistake.
I've seen this cycle when I was a classroom teacher, seen it in online forums and chat groups, and in my adult life. After the fuss, most people just want things to just go back to normal, so they try to forgive and forget until next time. I left an online reading group I had long enjoyed because the moderator didn't call bullies on their behavior, but allowed them to do exactly what Seth describes.
I think it's important that each of us takes a stand on this. How can we expect our kids to stand up to bullies if we don't model that behavior in our own lives?