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Workplace bullying remedies

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Parents whose child is being bullied in school have access to resources to solve the problem. But if they themselves are the victim of bullies in the workplace, the answers are not so clear.

Evelyn M. Field is a psychologist who specializes in bullying that occurs on the job. Her book, Strategies for Surviving Bullying at Work, offers some ideas she calls secrets of relating on how best to deal with this “regular abuse of power.”

Her first suggestion is to regulate feelings. Being bullied calls up the fight or flight reflex. It is important to find a way to release the anger and fear in whatever way works for the individual.

Understanding the reasons for the bullying may give some relief. These may involve the bully’s own personality issues, the vulnerability of the victim, or just poor leadership and management of the employer.

People who are being bullied must revalue and restore their identity. Does the job relate to and reinforce their own personal goals and values? Does it give them a sense of achievement?

Better communication skills, both verbal and nonverbal, will allow individuals to respect themselves more and in turn gain more respect from others.

Victims should not allow their anger and fear to show. They can empower and protect themselves by keeping calm and preparing effective strategies.

Finally, a good support system is absolutely necessary. Maybe others in the workplace have also been bullied. The company human resources department may or may not help. Regardless of the source, personal and professional assistance and guidance remove the feeling of being alone in dealing with the stress the bully is causing.

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