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One of the saddest sounds you will  hear is crying….  Genuine heart-wrenching sobs of helplessness, pain, fear, sadness.

I heard someone sobbing in the restroom at work, but I did not want to disturb her privacy.  A few minutes later, I saw her and asked how she was.  I did let her know that I heard her crying and was very empathetic to her situation.  It was heart-breaking to hear about the repeated bullying and terrible things that were said to her, but she deserved to be heard.  Words and actions can cause scars that are invisible from the outside.  She is a very strong person in her character and her faith, but everyone has a breaking point.  Sadly, all I could do was listen.

As emotionally and mentally mature and empathetic human beings, our instinct is to help, to heal, or to stand up for others who are unable to stand up for themselves.  We would never stand idly by while a child was bullied, yet millions of us do everyday while adults suffer these experiences on the job.

When I saw that the daily prompt was “Fact” I began writing this post.  I hesitated for the same reason that others do – no one wants retaliation, further abuse in the job, or having their employment threatened, and I did not know if I should mention it.  I experienced the same fear and anxiety about the topic, but another said that I should write the post and share the information. It certainly saddens me to see someone suffer so.   I felt that I had to see the facts for myself.

The employee walks on eggshells and is fearful of what is to come.  This is not healthy and certainly not conducive to a positive work environment. The choice for the target who cannot speak up is to leave; that does not resolve the lingering effects, or doubt, and creates a hole in a business to be filled by looking for someone new and training that individual.  That learning curve costs a company financially as well.

“Workplace bullying is on the rise.  While statistics vary, some studies reveal that nearly half of all American workers have been affected by workplace bullying, either as a target or as a witness to abusive behavior against a coworker.”  http://www.workplacebullying.org/individuals/problem/definition/

From the Workplace Bullying Institute:

Key Findings

• 19% of Americans are bullied, another 19% witness it
• 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace
• 60.4 million Americans are affected by it
• 70% of perpetrators are men; 60% of targets are women
• Hispanics are the most frequently bullied race
• 61% of bullies are bosses, the majority (63%) operate alone
• 40% of bullied targets are believed to suffer adverse health effects
• 29% of targets remain silent about their experiences
• 71% of employer reactions are harmful to targets
• 60% of coworker reactions are harmful to targets
• To stop it, 65% of targets lose their original jobs
• 77% of Americans support enacting a new law
• 46% report worsening of work relationships, post-Trump election

The statistic is terrifying: Over 60 million people in the U.S. alone are impacted as targets or witnesses! I was shocked to see the statistics and the number of workers affected.  Yet, most times, it continues although others agree, witness silently, then walk away thankful that it is not them and out of fear for their own jobs.  So the cycle of abuse continues.  Most acts of verbal abuse, mobbing, isolation, and false rumors and lies are never reported.  Witnesses agree and observe the behaviors, but fear of getting involved or gratitude that it is not them affected, keeps anyone from taking action.

This information comes from the UK:

Mental Healthy takes a look at the facts, figures and real life stories which show that bullying in the workplace is a very real and serious problem for many adults today.

Did you know that…

  • 1 in 10 workers had been bullied in the past six months
  • 1 in 4 workers had been bullied in the last five years
  • 47% of workers had witnessed bullying at work.
  • There is almost an equal number of men and women who have reported bullying

(According to a large UK study on bullying at work published in 2000 by the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and supported by the TUC)

 

workplace bullying infographic

It is not my nature to sit idly by while someone is affected; if there is something that can be done, I always want to take positive action to improve the situation.  Silenced targets have the same emotional, mental and physical symptoms of those who are victims of domestic abuse.  Understandably, people are angry and stressed with increased pressure in the business and financial world, however  bullying, demeaning, falsely accusing, spreading rumors and gossip, and threatening one’s employment is never appropriate behavior.

To read more about workplace bullying, you can review the following sites:

hhttps://au.reachout.com/everyday-issues/workplace-bullying

http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/other/mental-health/bullying-in-the-workplace.html

http://www.workplacebullying.org/

https://www.yourerc.com/blog/post/20-Subtle-Signs-of-Workplace-Bullying.aspx

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140723143757-143588541-examples-of-bullying-in-the-workplace

http://www.kickbully.com/lists.html

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fact/

 

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. Great post on such relevant and important topic! There is so much attention (which is vitally needed) on bullying in schools, but less so on bullying in the workplace. I so appreciate all the links to more information and your graphics really stand out in the post. Thanks for posting this!

    • Thank you so much!!! You have no idea what a comfort your comment is. I was worried about putting up such a serious topic. I truly appreciate what you have said to me.

  2. Great post. I was bullied at work, and I was that person sobbing in the washroom at work. There’s so much shame that goes along with workplace bullying, which makes it even more important to talk about it.

  3. Thank you for writing this 💕

  4. Don’t care about men in general. However I have had the pleasure of working with not for a few nice men. I’m not gay, I’m a bit of a tomboy and have always worked none traditional jobs. I can honestly say I have experienced some sort of bullying at every job I’ve ever had. Ironically the worst was Christian establishments. For me most of the time it took the form of sexual harassment. Beings married woman I never considered any of it tempting mostly just shocking. I even had a supervisor grab his testicles in front of me in an attempt to ridicule me about telling him I thought there were gang members working for us. 🤪 I don’t know. I know my personality is genuine and I have the tendency to be magnetic but I’ve been forced to adopt a different persona when working. I just cannot be myself. I’m not a sexual person and do not dress in a provocative manner in fact I don’t even wear makeup. Finally I went back to school and achieved a professional degree. My work is now done one on one and I am my own boss. I treat everyone the way I would like to be treated with kindness and concern. Yet these posts brought back some pretty disturbing memories of my former Experiances In the workplace. I’ve had some extensive therapy to get past some of the things that were done to me, one being particularly difficult, I was locked in a closet for over an hour and was let out after screaming until hoarse through a keyhole. It is a dream of mine to create a workplace for others that respect, encourage one another and care about the work they preform as a reflection of their good character. Like I said, it’s a dream.

    • I agree wish for your dream of a healthy, encouraging, respectful and positive work environment. Most people do and are sorely disappointed…. so sad.

  5. Thank you for your post! I recently went through workplace bullying with a passive aggressive coworker. I stood up for other coworkers she was talking poorly about so she decided to start bullying me and spread rumors and gossip about me through the office. Luckily I had full support from management who continued to progressively discipline her to the point that she quit. She even started bullying the manager before she left. I know I’m lucky in the fact that I received support from my employer, which sadly isn’t typical. I didn’t realize how much of a toll it took on me until she was finally gone. You’re doing important work in helping people realize they aren’t alone. I hope others find your article and realize there is hope and help.

    • Your comment is extremely kind and supportive. You are so fortunate to have had management’s support. Most don’t and it certainly takes a human toll. Many thanks for your gracious comment.

    • Thank you for your post. I agree, most employers don’t give a thought about support. I was bullied by my line managers with the help of HR and am “fighting back” now by going public. I raised a court claim, but withdrew as I have no money for legal aid and my mental health is very poor. But I am determined to live and keep telling my story.

  6. I wish I have had you as my colleague. I was extensively, openly as well as subtly bullied during the worst time of my life while going through traumatic grief. I became mentally ill making many poor decisions in writing thousands of emails out of multiple traumas. I got fired while my father was in intensive care just out of a coma. I am blogging about this now waiting for a letter from the lawyers of the company. Bullying at work is not just real, it is rampant and the worst of it is when it is subtle (exclusion, backbiting, holding low in positions etc.) as it is very hard to prove when no witnesses or written evidence is present. I survived and live to tell my story, raise awareness, and if I recuperate I will help other people.

    • I hope that you will be successful in your recovery and with the efforts to get management, and their lawyers, to take responsibility for the bullying that has taken place. There are too many toxic situations that have been dismissed for far too long. Good luck!

      • Was meant to reply here:
        Thank you. I just hope my raising the issue will turn to a “softer” tone in time. I am just still in too much pain and the trauma I feel is still too grave. Holding on to life is the biggest task I have. I used to write really positive and sweet, but have turned into this writing “monster”. But I just need to share what happened to me.
        Please continue to support the bereaved at work and everywhere with just being natural and normal with them, no big words or deeds, just being there for them.
        Kind regards.

  7. Thank you. I just hope my raising the issue will turn to a “softer” tone in time. I am just still in too much pain and the trauma I feel is still too grave. Holding on to life is the biggest task I have. I used to write really positive and sweet, but have turned into this writing “monster”. But I just need to share what happened to me.
    Please continue to support the bereaved at work and everywhere with just being natural and normal with them, no big words or deeds, just being there for them.
    Kind regards.


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