Workplace bullying can be defined as repeatedly and intentionally causing pain to another employee through abusive behavior that causes them emotional harm.
According to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute (WBTI), workplace bullying is, “a systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction that jeopardizes your health, your career, the job you once loved. Bullying is a non-physical, non-homicidal form of violence and because it is violent and abusive, emotional harm frequently results.” Bullying can be difficult for one to recognize due to it generally being a slow process that takes time to develop.
There are certain signs that one can look for in order to identify bullying in the workplace:
- Intimidation – When one is communicating by using threats or fear in order to control someone else.
- Exclusion/Isolation – When one intentionally excludes someone else from workplace events, projects, conversations and decision making, which causes the person to feel as though they are isolated.
- Gaslighting – When one manipulates one’s thoughts in order to make them doubt themselves in the workplace.
- Projection of Blame – When one makes another become their scapegoat and refuses to take responsibility for their own actions.
- Character Abuse – When one starts lying and gossiping about a coworker to damage their reputation on purpose; this can also involve speaking about one’s personal life within the office.
Noticing these signs right away can help give one the time to strategize and implement an effective plan to address the bullying that is happening, as well as to create proper preventative procedures in order to prevent future bullying from occurring.