| Thu, Oct 02, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Workplace Bullying is Destructive

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

bullying in the workplaceWhen we hear people discuss the topic of bullying, many of us assume it’s an issue that happens to children only. That’s not true. An adult can be bullied, too.

Bullying is a serious problem for children and adults. Just because the victim is an adult doesn’t make bullying any less painful. According to Zogby International, 37 percent of Americans report being bullied on the job. Man, woman, executive or laborer — workplace bullying can happen to almost anyone.

What is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying might include being ignored, put down, left out, talked about, or humiliated. When the victim speaks in a meeting, a coworker may roll their eyes or snicker in the presence of others. Bullying is usually not a one-time thing and the bully typically targets the same person over and over again.

There a several types of bullying:

  • Verbal – calling the victim names or threatening or “teasing” the victim
  • Social – spreading rumors to hurt the victim’s reputation, giving the “cold shoulder”, or breaking up friendships or other relationships to isolate the victim
  • Physical – hitting or shoving the victim or using the mere threat of harm
  • Cyberbullying – using the Internet, text messages and email to harm the victim
  • Group – this happens when several people join together to bully the victim. When bullying as part of a group, bullies tend to feel less responsibility for their individual actions. They may do it to feel accepted and that they “belong” to a group.

The Effects of Bullying

Victims of bullying may become physically ill from the stress. Bullying may also lead to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Victims of workplace bullying also tend to call in sick more often. Being the victim of a bully can be a devastating experience. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life long after the bully has moved on to another victim.

Anti-Bullying Laws

State and local lawmakers have taken action to help prevent bullying and protect children at school. Find out how your state refers to bullying in its laws and what they require on part of schools and districts. A few states have even considered “anti-bullying bills” for the workplace. Unfortunately, most have had very little success.

Bullying can disrupt productivity and ruin morale in the workplace. Victims of workplace bullying may want to talk to their supervisor or a Human Resources representative for help.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


National Bullying Prevention Month: Pacer.org

When the Bully Sits in the Next Cubicle: NYTimes.com

Workplace Bullying: PBS.org

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