Why Is This Happening to You?
Workplace Bullying Information
How to Identify a Workplace Bully
Bullying is an obsessive compulsive disorder, the serial bully and his/her henchmen must have someone to bully and appear to be unable to survive without a current victim. Despite the facade such people put up, a bully has low self-confidence and poor self-esteem. Because these people feel inadequate and unable to fulfil the duties and obligations of their job, they fear being revealed. This fear of exposure borders on paranoia, and serial bullies are in reality sociopaths.
In the workplace, serial bullies aspire and are often promoted to the managerial level. Bullies become bosses not the other way around. In a workplace where upper management is removed or currupt, where employees are degraded, there is little job security, disparent treatment abounds, and job expectations are unclear, bullies thrive and workers suffer. Little real work ever gets accomplished.
In the US, there are laws to prevent certain types of harassment as it is directed toward groups. Many people who are actully victims of a bully are able to claim protected group status under the law and win redress. Harassment of protected groups is covered under the law, but still very hard to prove. If you are being truly bullied however, there are no laws to protect you. Compare harassment and bullying and see where your situation fits.
* Harassment has a strong physical component, eg contact and touch in all its forms, intrusion into personal space and possessions, damage to possessions including a person's work. * Bullying is primarily psychological (eg criticism), may become physical later, especially with male bullies, but almost never with female bullies. Then it becomes assault pure and simple. If this happens to you or in front of you, go the authorities and file a complaint, even if it's just your word against the bully's. No job is worth that.
* Harassment tends to focus on the individual because of what they are (eg female, black, disabled, etc) * With bullying, anyone will do, especially if they are competent, popular and vulnerable.
* Harassment is usually linked to sex, race, prejudice, discrimination, etc. * To the bully, sex, race, gender play little or no part; it's usually discrimination on the basis of competence.
* Harassment may consist of a single incident or a few incidents or many incidents. * Bullying is rarely a single incident and tends to be an accumulation of many small incidents.
* The person who is being harassed knows almost straight away they are being harassed * The person being bullied may not realise they are being bullied for weeks or months - until there's a moment of enlightenment.
* Everyone can recognise harassment, especially if there's an assault, indecent assault or sexual assault. * Few people recognise bullying. This is why it is much more difficult to gain support from your family, co-workers, potential attorneys, even union reps.
* Harassment often reveals itself through use of recognised offensive vocabulary. ("bitch", "coon", etc). * Workplace bullying tends to fixate on trivial criticisms and false allegations of underperformance, or trouble-making; offensive words rarely appear, although swear words may be used in private.
* There's often an element of possession, eg as in stalking. * Phase 1 of bullying is control and subjugation; when this fails, phase 2 is elimination of the victim.
* The harassment almost always has a strong clear focus (eg sex or race). * With bullying, the focus is on competence (envy) and popularity (jealousy).
* Often the harassment is for peer approval, bravado, macho image etc. * Bullying tends to be secret behind closed doors with no witnesses.
* Harassment takes place both in and out of work. * Bullying takes place largely at work.
* The harasser often perceives their victim as easy, albeit sometimes a challenge. * To the bully, the victim is seen as a threat who must first be controlled and subjugated, and if that doesn't work, eliminated!
* Harassment is often domination for superiority. * Bullying is for control of threat (of exposure of inadequacy).
* The harasser often lacks self-discipline. * The bully is driven by envy (of abilities) and jealousy (of relationships).
* The harasser often has specific inadequacies (eg sexual). * The bully is inadequate in the area of interpersonal skills/Anti-social personality disorder.
JEALOUSY (of relationships or perceived exclusion therefrom) and ENVY (of abilities) are strong motivators of bullying.!!!
WHAT THE SERIAL BULLY LACKS IN DECENCY OR INTELLEGENCE IS OFTEN MADE UP FOR IN CUNNING AND CRUELTY. MOST HAVE HONED THEIR BULLYING SKILLS THROUGHOUT THEIR MISERABLE LIVES. SO BEWARE!
***A favorite tactic of bullies is to falsely accuse his/her victim of something so outrageous that the victim is stunned with humiliation. The decent or religious worker is accused of viewing pornography at work, the dignified moral worker is accused of sexual misdoings, the liberatian is charged with being a racist, the most honest worker is branded a thief. It doesn't really matter that the bully often can't make the charges stick, the harm is already done. There's that element of guilt by association placed in the minds of others. Bullies do this to assure the victim's Subjugation, Elimination, or even better to the bully, Ruination! Bullies are masters of projection so they never run out of terrible things, from their own lives, to accuse others of. Real Sick Isn't It?
To learn more specific information, and to check out the statistics and latest research about the characteristics of bullies and their victims, check out the links listed on your left.
I just got back from the very first international conference on workplace bullying, organized by the Work Doctors (Gary and Ruth Namie). It was held on January 27th and 28th, 2000, in Oakland, California. A big thanks to Gary and Ruth for organizing a class act conference, job well done! Imagine a conference of about 90 people from the US, Canada, Briton, Australia, Sweeden and Norway. A conference where sessions lasted well into the night and no one left the room.
It started off with about 8 of us telling our bullying horror stories, (wish you had all been there to share,)then the therapists had a crack at getting recognition for the pain and suffering bullying causes. They vowed to get recognition for our post traumatic stress disorder or prolonged traumatic stress disorder. That would give us a medical/legal basis to get treatment and to litigate.
The second day was devoted to the law. The people from Sweden told us why their victimization at work statute is NOT working, and the same from the Queensboro, Australia folks. While they talked, US attorneys present took notes and worked on a US law that would avoid these pitfalls. That proposed law will be coming out in the Georgetown Law Journal in March, by Attorney David Yamada. Workplace bullying is a worlwide silent epidemic,and the research to prove it was presented. The campaigne against workplace bullying is the real thing, a global grassroots, political movement born and nurtured on the internet. We're on our way!