They derive their false sense of strength by hurting others.
The sense of power and control is an important aspect of people's personalities. But there are some who derive their sense of control by putting others down and hurting them. According to Psychology Today, "The wish to control others is driven by high levels of internal anxiety. Rather than address those deep-seated fears at their source, controlling people project them onto their relationships, generating emotional pandemonium and instability by making others responsible for their discomfort."
What it means is that people who are emotionally weak and insecure are the ones who try to create a sense of power in themselves by hurting others and there are some known indicators of the ways in which they do it.
The weak people try to bring others down to their level by constantly criticizing them, belittling them, and telling them about their flaws while hiding their own. They do not accept others as they are because they have never accepted themselves for who they themselves are.
It is one of the ways in which they emotionally dominate the other people in their lives and try to project themselves as superior. It is an immature behavior but they do not realize how hurtful they can get in order to make themselves feel better.
The fact that they do not accept themselves and never acknowledge the shortcoming in their own personalities makes them defensive. They react at the slightest hint of an attack and even small criticisms can lead to tantrums.
To prevent feeling hurt themselves, weak people shut themselves down emotionally and do not allow people to see them for who they really are. This is a kind of defense mechanism that helps them create a sense of false superiority.
Not only do weak people constantly belittle others, but they can also get to the point of becoming unbearable. They keep pushing people's buttons and they create a sense of tense atmosphere for everyone around them. Their constant barrage of negativity and criticism drives people around them to the edge making life extremely difficult.
This gives them a sense of power over others as they directly create turbulence in other people's lives. Furthermore, they act in a way that other people start questioning themselves rather than questioning the negativity being spread by these weak people.
It takes a mature and self-confident person to be a part of other people's success and not feel envy. Only the strong ones enjoy the success of others like they enjoy their own. The weak people are filled with malice when they see others succeed.
Their idea of power and control gets challenged when someone else succeeds and they can't bear it. They will try to belittle other people's success, throw snarky comments, speak ill behind their backs, and do everything in their power to ruin your success. It's just the way they are and they don't mind inflicting hurt even in happy times.
Hurting others to feel superior is so ingrained in their personalities that they do not even realize the harm they are doing. They would never even acknowledge their behavior let alone apologize for it. Their fragile egos do not allow them to say sorry.
In the long run, they become resentful without even realizing that they were the ones who made the mistakes. It makes the lives of those around them miserable. Such people would rather hurt you than admit they are wrong.