Although most people associate the word bullying with the playground, recent statistics suggest that a surprising amount of bullying behavior occurs in the corporate world also. If you think that you might be experiencing bullying at work, it might make you feel better to know that you certainly aren’t the only one.
A recent report by the Washington State Department discovered that over forty seven million Americans have experienced office bullying directly in the last year. When you consider the fact that this figure makes up around thirty five percent of the entire workforce, it becomes apparent just how widespread the problem is.
There are two factors that make combating office bullying particularly difficult. The first is that those experiencing it rarely report the matter to their employers. The second is that many people experiencing office bullying fail to associate what is happening to them with actual bullying. If you are currently unsure as to whether or not you are actually being bullied, here are a few signs that would imply that you certainly are.
An important trait to possess when it comes to career advancement is the ability to handle criticism. Constant criticism however is not something that anybody should have to handle. If you are receiving criticism on a seemingly daily basis despite having demonstrated in the past that you are more than capable of doing your job, chances are, the criticism that you are receiving is both unwarranted and a type of bullying.
Yelling, Insults and Humiliation
Although your boss has every right to tell you what to do, he does not have the right to scream at you on a daily basis. A common type of bullying that comes from those in positions of power involves frequent shouting and insults. If you believe that your boss is frequently attempting to humiliate you, his/her behavior is completely unacceptable.
Constant Reminders of Past Mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes and it is normal for your co workers or boss to remember them. It is not normal however for them to be bringing your mistakes up in conversation on a regular basis. Constantly reminding the victim of their past mistakes is a very common tactic employed by bullies and one that can be particularly hurtful. In the workplace, mistakes are supposed to be learned from, they are not something that anybody needs to be reminded of over and over again.
Malicious and Deliberately Hurtful Rumors
While a little bit of gossip floating around is a normal aspect of just about any office environment, when somebody is spreading rumors about you in a deliberate attempt to hurt you, that person is behaving like a bully. Although spreading malicious rumors is a serious matter regardless of whether or not they are truthful, the spreading of lies about a co worker is an even more serious one.
Constant Theft of Credit
Most people will experience somebody else attempting to take credit for their work at one time or another, but if it is occurring on a regular basis by a single individual, it is considered to be bullying. And what’s more, it is a type of bullying that can easily harm your career progress if you allow it to continue. It’s also one of those types of bullying that tends to get worse with time.
Deliberately Inconvenient Scheduling
Deliberately making inconvenient schedule changes is another way that a boss can act like a bully. Although he/she has every right to make schedule changes that benefit the company, he/she has no right to make them just to make you miserable. A good example would be setting up a last minute project at a time when he/she knows that you have other personal commitments.
Many people are surprised to learn that being excluded by a group of people can hurt an adult just as much as it can hurt a child. This is a fact that you are likely to be all too aware of if you are frequently excluded from group gatherings at your workplace. This type of bullying can take the form of excluding somebody from a lunch, a meeting, or from an after work social gathering.
A particularly damaging type of bullying when it comes to your career progress is deliberate sabotage of your work. In many projects, it’s very easy for somebody else to make sure that you fail.
- If they are above you in the organization, they might change the rules and redefine what success actually means in a project.
- If they are at the same level as you, they may simply refuse to do their part on a project that you are in charge of.
- They might play a “prank” that involves hiding something that you need to complete an important project.
If you are experiencing sabotage, it’s important to remember that it’s not just your self esteem that can suffer but also your career.
This post was written by a guest contributor. About the Author:
Sebastian is a career adviser offering voluntary jobs through his website that specializes in helping people find a job that is suitable, feasable, and convenient. The site has helped numerous job seekers worldwide.