Do you dread attending work, or encountering certain people because of their behaviour towards you?
Bullying does not have to be “in your face”, loud or violent to be damaging. Being deliberately treated in any way that leaves you feeling uncomfortable or disturbed can be bullying.
Often a bully will dismiss your views and leave you questioning if you should raise the issue at all.
Bullying saps your self-belief. The target of a bully is told so often that it is his/her fault that he/she begins to believe it.
“What is Bullying?”
The following is based on a list from the website Bully Online. The founder of this site is no longer with us, so the site and list are not updated. It is, however, one of the most comprehensive online sources of information about bullying
- Constant nit-picking, fault-finding or criticism over pointless things. Regularity and frequency betray bullying; often there is a grain of truth (but only a grain) in the criticism to fool you into believing the criticism has validity
- Constant refusal to acknowledge you and your contributions and achievements, or to recognise your existence and value
- Constant attempts to undermine you and your position, status, worth, value and potential
- Where you are in a group (eg at work), being singled out and treated differently
- Being isolated and separated from colleagues, marginalised, overruled, ignored, sidelined
- Being belittled, demeaned and patronised, especially in front of others
- Being humiliated, shouted at or threatened
- Being overloaded with work, or having all your work taken away and replaced; with either work beneath your capabilities, or with no work at all
- Finding that your work – and the credit for it – is stolen and plagiarised
- Having your responsibility increased but your authority taken away
- Having annual leave, sickness leave, and – especially – compassionate leave refused
- Being denied training necessary for you to fulfill your duties
- Having unrealistic goals set, which change as you approach them or deadlines changed
- Finding that everything you say and do is twisted, distorted and misrepresented
- Being subjected to disciplinary procedures with verbal or written warnings imposed for trivial or fabricated reasons and without proper investigation
- Being coerced into leaving through no fault of your own; constructive dismissal, early or ill-health retirement, etc.
Just because it is not featured on this list, doesn’t mean something is not bullying behaviour. If you are still unsure, speak to your union and they will advise you.
The key is that, taken in isolation, bullying incidents can seem trivial but bullying is cumulative and relentless. Bully tactics are designed to wear you down and doubt yourself.
“What can I do about Bullying?”
To begin with, check our >> Bullying and Harassment << guide.