A while back I discovered this website, http://www.bullies2buddies.com and realized the principles suggested there are the things I had experienced. The idea is that bullying is like a game and if the bully gets someone upset he or she wins. There had been many times in my life, especially when I was a kid, when bullies got me upset and won the game, but the few times I'd reacted as this website suggests, the bullies left me alone. I guess those times I'd won.
I strongly suggest anyone dealing with bullies, and that includes verbal ones, check out the information at www.bullies2buddies.com.