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In an environment where disrespect is tolerated, workers may become numb or thick-skinned about the way they are treated by management, or how some employees treat their fellow workers.
This is why adults who easily recognize bullying behavior among children may not be as perceptive about bullying at their place of employment – it is often business as usual.
Bullying is obvious when a person at work is overtly threatened, abused or assaulted. However, bullying among adults is frequently more moderate, even subtle. It may include any of the following disrespectful behaviors:
In the U.S, there are no laws specifically designed to provide legal protection against workplace bullying.
A cautious response to bullying involves absolving yourself from blame but being wary about sharing the experience and exposing the bully. It is understandable why many advise this route, and why people choose to take it, but it might not be the best choice for you.
The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) recommends a more proactive response. They point out that nothing is more important than your health and being the brunt of workplace bullying causes a tremendous amount of stress. If you are bullied and do not actively stand up for yourself, the stress will increase and can fester. This will have a detrimental effect on your present and longterm well-being.
The WBI outlines a three-step response to bullying:
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. One way to prevent bullying is to point out the offenders and try to have them removed.
If targets of bullying do nothing, they lose their job in 77.7 percent of cases, either involuntarily or by eventually choosing to leave for health reasons. It is no riskier to expose a bully and attempt to oust them, but you will need a planned escape route. Many bullies are not purged; they are promoted.
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