In the wake of recent events, an interesting extract from bullyonline.org
"The objectives of bullies are Power, Control, Domination, Subjugation. They get a kick out of seeing you react. It doesn't matter how you react, the fact they've successful provoked a reaction is, to the bully, a sign that their attempt at control have been successful. After that, it's a question of wearing you down. The more your try to explain, negotiate, conciliate, etc the more gratification they obtain from your increasingly desperate attempts to communicate with them. Understand that it is not possible to communicate in a mature adult manner with a disordered individual who's emotionally retarded.
The Number One rule for dealing with this type of behaviour is: don't respond, don't interact and don't engage. This is not as easy to do as it sounds. It's a natural response to want to defend yourself, and to put the person right. However, never argue with a serial bully; it's not a mature adult discussion, but like dealing with a child or immature teenager; whilst the serial bully may be an adult on the outside, on the inside they are like a child who's never grown up - and probably never will. Serial bullies and harassers often have disordered thinking patterns and do not share the same thoughts or values as you.
Recognise that you are not dealing with a person who has the same mindset as yourself. Bullying, and especially cyberbullying, has links with stalking - see related/stalking.htm for links to stalking sites.
[...]Become alert to provocation. It could be called "The Baiting Game". A provocative comment is made and those who respond spontaneously in irritation (eg non-assertively) are then encouraged to engage in conflict with those who respond without irritation (eg assertively). The provoker watches, waits and stirs the pot with the occasional additional provocation. What interests me is the sense of gratification that a provoker gains from watching others indulge in destructive interaction initiated by him- or herself. In this context, gratification is a perverse form of satisfaction akin to, but distinct from, pleasure.
Finally a reminder - never try to mediate, negotiate, conciliate or otherwise deal with a bully or stalker yourself. Always remember Rule #1: don't respond, don't interact and don't engage".