The bully at work is the person that steals your self-confidence, self-worth, and personal identity.
The employee that is your friend, then uses your personal information against you. The coworker who stares you down, makes loud noises that make you jump, that act superior, raise their voice at you, take credit for your work and laugh loudly at any suggestion you make in a team meeting.
Ridicule, gossip, lying, making put-down comments and undermining your work are all forms of workplace bullying.
From their book, The Bully at Work, Namie and Namie wrote,
Bullying happens when harassment is same-gender or same-race or when the bully enjoys potential legal protection because he or she is a member of a status-protected group.
Psychological effects of bullying take a serious toll in the health of the target. Anxiety, panic attacks, clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are a few psycho-emotional injuries caused by workplace bullying.
Physical problems include cardiovascular problems, immunological impairment, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, skin disorders, and many stress related issues such as chills or profuse sweating, to name a few.
When a person is bullied at work, their health and livelihoods are threatened. Some targets have committed suicide.
The tragic consequences of work place bullying are that the targets of bullying did nothing to deserve their being bullied; quite the opposite. Targets share the same characteristics of being good employees who just want to do their jobs, who are skilled and popular with other workers. This is enough to trigger bullies to target them with devastating consequences.
The Namie's research has shown that work place bullying has become an "epidemic" with about one-third of U.S. workers being effected by workplace bullying in some way.
Isn't it time to take this seriously and not blame the targets of workplace bullying?