Definition of Workplace Bullying

Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:
*Verbal abuse

*Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating

*Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done
"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.”
~Harvey S. Firestone

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The pattern of the bully...

In thinking about this blog and what to write about next, all I keep thinking about is the pattern of abuse.  Keep in mind, I  have a box of emails totaling approximately 3 years from the bullying boss.  I have emails in which he/she shares private emails with me from his/her family members, other employees and then one's which are about his/her family members and other employees.  Establishing a pattern in exposing a bully may help others to see the red flags sooner when boundaries are crossed or they have that gut feeling something just does not seem right.  Trust me, looking back I knew then the boundaries were unhealthy but I needed my job and he/she never targetted me.  

Self-reflection helps us all to grow and hopefully learn how to better deal with situations.  I have come to realize through this past year, my approach to dealing with bullies is something I need to change.  The difference now is that I acknowledge quickier and the flags go up immediately.  In all of the research I have been doing has made things clearer, the question is figuring out how to self-reflect and change.  This is in no way putting blame on the targets but it seems that targets usually have a certain personality type and bullies can smell "us" out. 

The personality types I am referring to are one's of independence, strong work ethics, the people others in the office turn to, honest, have deep empathy for others; targets are the helpers, the happy go lucky individuals.  I think you get the picture.  When a bully encounters this type of individual their mission is to destroy at all cost, hoping to wear the target out, find that weak "carrot" and eventually become the spider who catches their pray in their web.  Sadly, if the target does NOT conform to the bullying boss the bullying continues until your health cannot take any more or you get fired.

The bullying boss always had a target or as he/she would phrase things, "on my radar".  It seemed every few months the target would be switched but it always seemed to come back to the same two individuals.  Looking back, I believe there is something to be said about that and the abuse each endured.  I do have empathy looking back and reading over emails forwarded to me about each of them.   I did try to speak up to the bullying boss and emphasis these individuals strengths.  The bullying boss always threatened to fire these two people but in the end they remain "best friends" with the bullying boss and the web of dysfunction continues.  Unfortunately, these two individuals were like gang members and would do as the bully asked.

"Bullies tend to surround themselves with supporters, spies and 'court jesters' while cultivating allies in senior management. The bully will create rivalries in the workforce, as people anxiously fight to stay in their favour, creating a divisive culture which brings out the worst in people. To be 'in' with a bully can seem the best way to survive, and cover any feelings of inadequacy by displacing these on to others, through siding with the bully's aggression. But as long as a bully feels that they can get away with it they will continue." (

Next blog to follow, specific emails from the bullying boss about these two individuals to highlight just how unhealthy of an environment I was working in.


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