Bullying at workplace

We humans though imperfect are essentially kind, sensible, good natured creature. But deep down we are wired to be bad, blinked, idle, vain, vengeful, and selfish. There are characters that reveal the darker and less impressive aspects of human nature. One such character is bullying. Though bully may take up his character as impressive but the person who is bullied may be affected mentally, physically and psychologically. 
Bullying is common in our present day society. We see bullying or some likewise activities everywhere. There is no denying the fact that a person undermine another person to show his supremacy, be it in school or an organization. it is often subtle and hidden, profoundly affecting a substantial number of children and people of different age groups. Bully uses bullying to control behavior, personal agenda, or to fulfill his self serving motives. Bully may manifest itself into many forms. It can be physical, verbal, relational, etc. If you are the victim, the shadows of it reflect on your very face the moment you step out of your house for the office or your school. You usually start your day with pinch of anxiety in your head. Then you count down the days until the weekend or next vacation. 


A few examples of bullying include:

•targeted practical joke

•being purposely misled about work duties, like incorrect deadlines or unclear directions

•continued denial of requests for time off without an appropriate or valid reason

•threats, humiliation, and other verbal abuse

•excessive performance monitoring overly harsh or unjust criticism. 

Criticising or monitoring someone’s work is not always bullying. For example- objective and constructive criticism or disciplinary action related to workplace behavior or job performance is not considered bullying. But criticism meant to intimidate, humiliate, or single someone out without reason would be considered bullying.Bullying can be subtle. One helpful way to identify bullying is to consider how others might view what’s happening. This can depend, at least partially, on the circumstances. But if most people would see a specific behavior as unreasonable, it’s generally bullying.


Types of bullyingBullying behaviors might be:


•Verbal-This could include mockery, humiliation, jokes, gossip, or other spoken abuse.

•Intimidating-This might include threats, social exclusion in the workplace, spying, or other invasions of privacy.Related to work performance. Examples include wrongful blame, work sabotage or interference, or stealing or taking credit for ideas.

•Retaliatory-In some cases, talking about the bullying can lead to accusations of lying, further exclusion, refused promotions, or other retaliation.

•Institutional-Institutional bullying happens when a workplace accepts, allows, and even encourages bullying to take place. This bullying might include unrealistic production goals, forced overtime, or singling out those who can’t keep up.According to 2014 research from the Workplace Bullying Institute, people believed that targets of bullying were more likely to be kind, compassionate, cooperative, and agreeable.


Bullying may occur more frequently in work environments that:


•are stressful or change frequently•have heavy workloads

•have unclear policies about employee behavior

•have poor employee communication and relationships

•have more employees who are bored or worried about job security. 


Bullying can have significant, serious effects on physical and mental health.


Physical health effects of bullying

If you’re being bullied, you may:

•feel sick or anxious before work or when thinking about work. 
•have physical symptoms, such as digestive issues or high blood pressure

•have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes

•have trouble waking up or getting quality sleep. •have somatic symptoms, such as headaches and decreased appetite


Psychological effects of bullying may include:

• thinking and worrying about work constantly, even during time off.

 •dreading work and wanting to stay home.

 •needing time off to recover from stresslosing interest in things you usually like to do.

 •increased risk for depression and anxiety.

 •suicidal thoughts. 

•low self-esteem. 

•self-doubt, or wondering if you’ve imagined the bullying. 

How does bullying affect the workplace?

Workplaces with high rates of bullying can also experience negative consequences, such as:


•financial loss resulting from legal costs or bullying investigations.

 •decreased productivity and morale•increased employee absences. 

•high turnover rates.

 •poor team dynamics.

 •reduced trust, effort, and loyalty from employees. People who bully may eventually face consequences, such as formal reprimands, transfer, or job loss. But many types of bullying aren’t illegal.
When bullying isn’t addressed, it becomes easier for people to continue bullying, especially when the bullying is subtle. Bullies who take credit for work or intentionally make others look bad may end up receiving praise or being promoted.
What to do if you’re being bullied at work When experiencing bullying, it’s common to feel powerless and unable to do anything to stop it. If you try to stand up to the bully, you may be threatened or told no one will believe you. If it’s your manager bullying you, you may wonder who to tell.
First, take a moment to remind yourself that bullying is never your fault, regardless of what triggered it. Even if someone bullies you by making it seem like you can’t do your job, bullying is more about power and control, not your work ability.


Begin to take action against bullying with these steps:


•Document the bullying-Keep track of all bullying actions in writing. Note the date, the time, where the bullying took place, and other people who were in the room.•Save physical evidence-Keep any threatening notes, comments, or emails you receive, even if they’re unsigned. If there are documents that can help prove bullying, such as denied PTO requests, overly harsh commentary on assigned work, and so on, keep these in a safe place.

•Report the bullying-Your workplace may have a designated person you can talk to if you don’t feel safe talking to your direct supervisor. Human resources is a good place to start. It’s also possible to talk about the bullying with someone higher up if your supervisor is unhelpful or is the person doing the bullying.

•Confront the bully- If you know who’s bullying you, bring along a trusted witness, such as a co-worker or supervisor, and ask them to stop — if you feel comfortable doing so. Be calm, direct, and polite.

•Review work policies- Your employee handbook may outline steps of action or policies against bullying. Also consider reviewing state or even federal policies about the type of bullying you’re experiencing.

•Seek legal- Consider talking to a lawyer, depending on the circumstances of the bullying. Legal action may not always be possible, but a lawyer can offer specific advice.

•Reach out to others- Co-workers may be able to offer support. Talking to your loved ones about the bullying can also help. You can also talk to a therapist. They can provide professional support and help you explore ways to cope with the effects of bullying while you take other action.


How to help when you witness bullyingIf you witness bullying, speak up! People often say nothing out of fear they’ll become targets, but ignoring bullying contributes to a toxic work environment.
Workplace policies against bullying can help people feel safer about speaking up when they see bullying happen.


If you witness bullying, you can help by:


•Offering support-Support could involve acting as a witness if the person targeted wants to ask the bully to stop. You can also help by going to HR with your co-worker.

•Listening- If your co-worker doesn’t feel safe going to HR, they may feel better having someone to talk to about the situation.

•Reporting the incident-Your account of what happened could help your management team realize there’s a problem.

•Staying close to your co-worker, when possible- Having a supportive co-worker nearby could help reduce instances of bullying.

Bullying is a serious issue in many workplaces. While many companies have a zero-tolerance policy, bullying can sometimes be hard to recognize or prove, making it difficult for managers to take action. Other companies may not have any policies about bullying.
Taking steps to prevent workplace bullying can benefit organizations and the health of their employees. If you’ve been bullied, know you can safely take steps to combat the bullying without confronting the perpetrator. Remember to take care of your health first.