Bullyingis continued oppression of a less powerful person, either physicallyor psychologically, by a more powerful individual. In the workplace,bullying is viewed as the repeated health harming mistreatment of anemployee by one or more employees through acts that may includeverbal and no-verbal abuse, intimidation, work sabotage, exploitationof a vulnerability, and humiliation.
Bullyingin the workplace can easily be distinguished from tough managementespecially if managers use ‘tough management’ to humiliate aperson, or render a person subservient. In the U.S, bullying isclearly a serious issue, and is considered the most predominant formof aggression found in American schools and workplaces, which has thelargest form of impacts compared to any other forms of violence.
Extent of bullying
Bullyingis not only a school problem, but it is everywhere in the playground, in colleges, in the military, in prison, in schools andrelationships among others. Currently, bullying is viewed asnationwide problem that has been on the rise especially in theworkplace. Managers and employees should be aware that bullying isinappropriate, unethical, and unprofessional because it instills fearand prevents work from getting done.
Althoughboth men and women bullying is common in workplaces, research showsthat women in various organizations are more likely to be bulliedthan men. In most cases, men are only bullied by superiors, butfemale workers are bullied by the superiors, subordinates andco-workers.
Femalebullying may take the form of sexual harassment and aggression,manipulations, blocking promotion of a female worker, accusingfalsely, assigning them meaningless tasks, hostility towards femaleworkers, and aggression among others.
Intoday’s society, bullying has become a social problem that can beemotionally, financially, and legally expensive to the individuals,as well as, the organization. To an individual, studies haveestablished that bullying results to physical, social, andpsychological harm.
Bullyingaffects health and most researchers correlate bullying with healthimpairment. A considerable number of people in the workplace who havebeen bullied suffer from anxiety, depression, aggression, insomnia,apathy, suicidal thoughts, nervousness and Post traumatic stressdisorder.
Furthermore,bullying affects an individual’s cognitive skills, due toinsecurity, irritability, and lack of initiative, resulting topsychosomatic symptoms such as nausea and muscular aches amongothers. Long term psychological effects may result to lack ofappetite, eating disorder, and blood pressure among others.
Social and emotional effects
Emotionallyvictimized individually tend to develop anti-social behavior,withdrawal from social relationship, and tends to result toisolation. Most of the victims may feel rejected and ignored,therefore, affecting their social skills and interactions. In fact,female victims are known to suffer greatly from social and emotionalimpacts of bullying resulting to depression, low-self esteem, lack ofconfidence, and self-pity.
Emotionalconsequences as observed are diverse, as they also result topsychological effects among men and women. Victims who suffer fromlow self esteem and self-pity may become suicidal, can harm othersdue to distress and can continuously live in intense fear andtension. A combination of these consequences is likely to make thevictim passive leading to a disrupted cognitive processes.
Bullyingis a threat to the human physical body. However, in most cases,psychological health results to physical impacts, frequentlyresulting to extended periods of absence from work. Victims ofphysical bullying may suffer from broken bones, head, neck or spineinjuries, bruises all over the body, and lacerations. Physicalailments such as nausea, backaches, stomach upsets, increased painsensitivity and headaches may result from psychological stress.
Parents and educator’s responsibility
Changeshould begin in the family, then school and eventually at theworkplace. It is possible that when kids are not exposed to violenceat home, they may not exercise it in school. In addition, if schoolsensure that bullying is not tolerated, the students are not likely topractice bullying even in the workplace.
Counselingbullies and bully victims is an effective ways to discourageworkplace bullying. Most institutions use counselors to addressbullying effects experienced by employees who are victims of bullyingthrough illustrative cases studies. Therefore, it is throughcounseling that bullies and victims of bullying can achievereconciliation and solve interpersonal conflicts within theorganization.
Thegovernment and organizations should implement anti-bulling policiesand ensure that they are effective. Past studies have consistentlyshown that anti-harassment, discrimination and gun-control policieshave served to increase awareness of these social issues. Therefore,it is possible that anti-bullying policies will increase awarenessabout victimization and, thus, lay a foundation, to lasting change.
Bullyingin the workplace is persistent, repeated and encourages intimidatingbehavior that humiliates, degrades and displays a lack of respect anddignity for other people. However, it is possible that this problemis not going away anytime soon. This is a fact, but change isimplemented at the lowest levels where kids are taught thataggression and violence is completely unacceptable, a real societalchange might result.
Paludi,M. A. (2012). Managingdiversity in today`s workplace: strategies for employees andemployers.Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.