Workplace Bullying On the Rise
Lead: Workplace bullying is on the rise today. Some people in positions of power use their status to act out misplaced aggression on their subordinates making their lives a living hell. “Surveys have indicated that more than a third of all workers–37% have been the victims of workplace bullies, with only another 12% reporting that they have witnessed bullying.” (R.E. Riggio, Ph. D.) Psychology Today
Stress levels are at an all time high with the state of the economy being uncertain, the cost of gas pushing forever skywards and the decline in moral values escalating. Many of us are also experiencing an added dilemma of being degraded or ridiculed by the very managers we support. People are being bullied into quitting their jobs while the job market remains tight. It is being done without a trace of humility or concern by the perpetrators. Are managers aware of how they should treat other human beings? Is this a society where hopes, dreams and aspirations are being eaten alive in the hustle and bustle of this rat race called life?
An associate overheard a manager saying boastfully, “I like to see them shake in their shoes when I walk into a room, because I have arrived”. His immediate thoughts were, “What kind of monstrous hell mongering demon is this?” A man wants others to fear him in a way that only God deserves to be feared. Grant it no sane minded individual wants to live penniless, sleeping under an overhead bridge rambling though the thrash for meals. But if we were ever striped of the regular deposits that go into our checking accounts, we would eventually be faced with a serious problem of homelessness.
Workplace bullying is on the rise today. Some people in positions of power use their clout to act out misplaced aggression on their so-called subordinates making life a living hell. What to do? Workplace bullying is not illegal in most states in the U.S. According to information from the Healthy Workplace Bill Campaign (HWB) workplace bullying Laws are being explored by at least 20 states.
Bullying is defined as psychological and verbal abuse which can start with mild criticism and escalate to regular incidents of badgering and insulting an individual randomly. Psychology Today suggests that bullying results from the feeling of inadequacy of the person doing the bullying. They often target people who threaten their own self image and the target can be a very competent and accomplished individual. In bullying situations it is important to fight back, find support and the resources that can stop bullying dead in its tracks.
If you are experiencing the following situations you may be a target of workplace bullying:
Are you being yelled, screamed or cursed at?
- Are you being belittled and rated low despite your accomplishments?
- Are you experiencing the silent treatment over long periods of time then being bombarded with work assignments all at once?
- Does your manager lie or create errors that he/she attributes to you?
- Are you threatened with lost of pay or is your boss suggesting that you will be fired without any solid or logical reason?
- Does your manager insult you openly or criticize your work abilities in front of other people?
- Have you been called out and insulted in the middle of a conversation with other people in a rude and demeaning way?
- Are you noticing a double standard when it comes to dealing with issues concerning you?
There are other forms of abuse such as: work interference, intimidation, threatening behavior, humiliation, and more. These are just a few of the signs that you may indeed be the target of bullying tactics. You should beware! Bullies thrive most when others in the workplace standby and watch without saying a word. Some people don’t want to get involved because they are afraid of retaliation or they simple just don’t care. There aren’t any solid policies in place to deal with bullying in the work place. For some as long as they aren’t under fire, they have no concern for others.
Good News! There is currently an ongoing legislative campaign to address the issue of workplace bullying called the Healthy Work Place Bill. For more information on the subject go to http://healthyworkplacebill.org United we stand but divided any one of you can become the target of bullying in the workplace.
Written by Sameerah Rashid