7 Signs of Workplace Bullying: Yes, It Happens and Here’s How to Stop It

Just when you thought the tormenting and psychological trauma was over, you experience a new kind of hell: workplace bullying.

Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who made it through elementary, middle, high school, and possibly even college, relatively unscathed from bullying. School is over and you’re settling into your career. You decorate your cubicle, greet your coworkers each morning, and abide by the company’s rules. But rather than feel at ease everyday, you’re beginning to have a sense of dread, nausea even, that feels like a knot in the pit of your stomach. You start to dislike going into the office, obsessing over what’s happening at work, and are taking more and more time off for mental health breaks. There may be a sense of shame or disbelief about the opposition you’re experiencing from a certain someone. And you may be wondering why you’re being singled out.

You may be a victim of workplace bullying.

A University of Phoenix research study conducted in 2008 by Dr. Judy Blando revealed that 47 percent of participants admitted to being bullied during their career and 75 percent reported witnessing mistreatment of others. The study indicates that in recent years the government has discouraged bullying and violence in schools, but has done little to address workplace bullying by passing legislation to prevent bosses and coworkers from harming others in the workplace.

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), workplace bullying is defined as repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, and involves work interference, like sabotage, which prevents work from getting done, or verbal abuse. The study also includes in its definition the inclusion of both intentional and unintentional behaviors that a coworker perceives as an intentional effort to be harmed, controlled, or driven from the workplace....more