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How harmful is workplace bullying?

If you have become the victim of bullying by one or more of your Florida coworkers, you know how miserable such treatment makes you feel. Unfortunately, workplace bullying has become a widespread form of workplace harassment across the country.

WorkplaceBullying.org describes bullying in the workplace as “health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators.” It includes the following characteristics:

  • Behavior that intimidates, humiliates or threatens you
  • Behavior that sabotages your work or prevents you from performing or completing it
  • Behavior that includes the use of verbally abusive language toward you
  • Behavior that repeats and continues over time

What the bully does

The bully’s main purpose is to attempt to control you. Some bullies do this by constantly criticizing your work, your appearance, your actions, and whatever else they can think of. You cannot please them no matter what you do or do not do. Other bullies prefer to take the opposite approach. They present themselves as your friend, but take every opportunity to stab you in the back. Still other bullies, especially if they serve as your supervisor, etc., try to control you by withholding critical information you require in order to successfully do your job.

Identifying bullying for what it is

Unfortunately, we live in an age of political correctness. Consequently, many people prefer to believe that workplace bullying is merely a “harmless” form of workplace discord that they term “disrespect,” “incivility,” etc. Experts, however, see workplace bullying for what it is and attach names to it such as the following:

  • Psychological harassment at work
  • Emotional abuse at work
  • Psychological violence at work

In addition, many experts equate workplace bullying with domestic violence since the perpetrator’s tactics are quite similar in nature. (S)he makes sure you know that further attacks will come, while keeping you in a constant state of mental and emotional instability, not knowing when to prepare for another attack.

If you have become a workplace bully’s victim, be sure to report this to whichever person in your company handles harassment complaints. In addition, maintain a written record of all such bullying episodes, including their dates, perpetrator(s), the tactics used, how you felt as a result of the bullying, and how it affected your work.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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