Workplace Bullying costs companies
millions of dollars.
It costs individuals their health, their financial stability and leads to years of trauma and debilitating emotional challenges.
Andrew Faas, author of The Bully’s Trap, shares his journey
What is Workplace Bullying?
Definition: Repeated, health-harming mistreatment by one or more people by: verbal abuse, name calling, racial slurs or threats, intimidation, or humiliation, work interference, sabotage or a combination of the above – it can happen inside and outside of work.
Intentional—Always intentional, not accidental and is meant to cause harm. When someone is targeted they are caught in a trap of emotional abuse and, even though most targets are high performing, the resulting impact permits the bully to validate their assertions that the target is a low performer.
Hurtful—A negative behavior that may be physical, verbal or emotional. The types are varied, but they all intended to cause harm to the victim.
Repetitive—Bullying happens repeatedly. Both the bully and the target know it will happen again so that, over time, it becomes terrorizing and traumatizing.
Imbalance of power. Power is perception. Bullies target others they perceive as having less power. It could be a boss or subordinate. But don’t confuse power and authority. Authority is power entrusted, but not necessarily power perceived. Power is a commodity used daily and exists in every relationship. For some people it is an addiction and the pursuit of power is relentless. When someone puts you down, or engages in abusive tactics to subordinate you that is bullying. It is NOT a personality conflict.
An Invalidation of the Spirit
When a person is the victim of a crime the victim or target is recognized as a victim. There are laws, processes and systems created to offer help and support and more importantly to VALIDATE that their experience is real.
Victim blaming still occurs where there is ignorance of the behavior as criminal or where there is cognitive dissonance* that the perpetrator could be at fault. (*confusion when something contradicts a previously held belief such as “he is a nice guy I can’t believe he could do what you said”)
When a person is bullied at work no legal systems exist yet to protect you. We are at the very early stages of recognizing what bullying is and that it is a very toxic and destructive scourge on our society.
Bullying is abuse – plain and simple – and without the validation of our experience it can’t be integrated into our life experience as real. Without integrating it we can’t move forward and heal.
If you are experiencing workplace bullying now or are having difficulty recovering from an experience in the past, call me, I can help.
Abuse in the workplace should be illegal and there is a bill currently being presented in states across America that could help protect both employees and employers.