Adult Bullying: What to do if you are bullied at work?

Bullying is a problem that affects all ages. Contrary to widespread belief, they can bully not only at school, but also at the institute, family, at work, and so on. “Adult” bullying is called mobbing and most often it manifests itself in the work collective. In this article, we will figure out what this bullying is and what to do with it.

First of all, it is worth noting that an employee can be mobbed for anything – from “not that” appearance to manners. And the main goal of the bullying is to “smoke out” the employee from the team, to force him to quit. Mobbing can be divided into two types: vertical – that is, from the manager to the employee or the entire team, and vice versa, when the boss acts as the victim, and the workers are the aggressor. The second type is horizontal mobbing, which is expressed in bullying by the employee’s collective. The reasons for this behavior are varied – here and the dissolution of gossip, and ignorance and constant ridicule and humiliation, and deprivation of bonus money, and so on, the excuse can be any.

Researchers identify five stages in the development of mobbing. Let’s consider each of them:

1. Prerequisites. A tense atmosphere reigns in the team, associated with some unresolved conflict, contradiction, unfavorable emotional background of the entire team.
2. The initial stage is the stage of searching for a victim. The team or the leader finds the “culprit of trouble”, in relation to which manifestations of aggression begin – excessive criticism, attacks, nagging, and so on. The victim begins to experience negative emotions that can lead to nervous breakdowns.
3. The active phase is the violent phase. Aggressive behavior towards the employee becomes systematic and is directed not at the result of his activity, but at the personality as a whole. The victim, on the other hand, shows deterioration in health. 4. Social isolation. At this stage, the one who is being bullied ceases to participate in the life of the collective. That is, the victim is no longer called for a joint pastime, when he appears, they fall silent and leave, or ignore completely, do not appreciate his work, and so on. The one who is bullied loses self-confidence.
5. Dismissal. The victim of mobbing cannot withstand psychological abuse and either quits herself, or she is fired by her superiors. ‘Commercial bullying’ with racketeering elements is also worth our attention. However, that is a separate topic for the law enforcement bodies.
In my next article we will speak about the main thing – what to do if faced with bullying at work?

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