Friday, December 6, 2013

Workplace Bullying - What's the Impact?

What's The Impact???

  We have all seen them or know someone who has been or is bullied in the workplace. While some instances of bullying may take a more subtle form, the impact resulting from the abuse can have lasting effects. You may know someone who has been bullied at their job, it may be a friend, a spouse of even you.  While the bullying may be targeted at one specific individual, it's important to note that the fallout may reach others who are not directly involved. Let's look at an example of how bullying can impact others besides the victim.

   We can assume there is a single mother named Julie who is working as a waitress, trying to make ends meet on a limited salary.  This woman also depends on her tips to survive. Another waitress named Barbara is constantly jockeying for the best tables in the restaurant.  The manager assigns Julie some of the better tables for one shift.  Barbara gets annoyed and begins to give Julie dirty looks. The abuse escalates as Barbara feels Julie is getting preferential treatment and begins to talk down to her and complains to other workers about her coworker.  Julie hears through the grapevine that Barbara is trying to destroy her reputation and confronts Barbara.  Barbara, walks off saying “You're crazy lady!” and a few other choice words.  Julie feels that if she complains to the boss, she may get fired and says nothing. The abuse continues as the days and weeks move on.

    This is just one instance of abuse within the workplace.  So, how could the above scenario impact others?  Let's take the above example and move forward.  Julie begins to go home and is increasingly nervous about going back to the restaurant. She begins to dwell on the situation and stops helping her daughter do homework.  Her daughter begins to show signs of trouble in class and Julie is called from the school.  The school wonders why her daughter’s grades are suffering and if there is something they could do to help.  Julie, frustrated over the continued abuse at the restaurant quits her job and is now in a worse situation.  Her daughter's grades continue to plummet due to her mother's worry over financial issues.

    It's possible Barbara (the bully) may have been a bully to others and easily could have been a bully as a child.  As she progressed through life, she was never stopped or confronted and the behavior continued.  The end result is she is either not aware and or does not care how her actions affect others.  You may ask, so what's the cure to all of this?  The answer is relatively simple and consists of an intervention by others to confront the bully and find a way to get them to stop the abuse.  If you or someone you know is being bullied in the workplace, seek help to stop the abuse!  

If you need professional help, call me at (214) 546 4514 to schedule an appointment.

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