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

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gossip about everybody, no one is spared

Each of us are guilty of gossip but a bully gossips with different intentions and about everyone.    As we explore a bully we need to consider their behavior in all realms of their lives  There are schoolyard bullies, workplace bullies and then bullies in one's personal life with family, friends and others.  I have highlighted a pattern with the bullying boss, it is important to distinguish bullies in your own personal life by the repeated patterns.  Even for a mental health diagnosis to be established, it is a pattern repeated over and over, over time.  

Taking a look at what we know about targets and who is targeted.  I think what is easy to forget is a bully targets people in their professional life but they also target people in their personal lives.  If you are friends with a person, listening to them gossip about co-workers, the neighbor, the teacher, one's family members and so forth, stop for a moment and ask yourself some questions---Do they have something to say about everybody?  Do they demean others often?  Do they have a problem with others behavior often?  And Do they seem to act as if they are always some how above all of this?  I guess you could wonder if this person is a bullying in life, not just in the workplace?  Recall a bully is:
  • is highly manipulative, especially of people's perceptions and emotions (eg guilt)
  • poisons peoples' minds by manipulating their perceptions
  • uses gossip, back-stabbing or spreads rumors to undermine, discredit and isolate
Why Does a Bully Use Gossip?
"Gossip fits well into the bully’s plan. The bully can stretch or bend the truth or make up a lie about a target and not confront the target directly.Remember, gossip is indirect, passive behavior that the target is not usually included in directly. The bully uses gossip, the most powerful form of control in an organization, in order to discredit an individual. If the target is discredited, the bully gets a ‘rush’ to feel their addiction of needing power over" (
What motivates a person to gossip?  "But the true, deep rooted reason, and psychological studies have proven it, is the feeling of superiority that results from such vicious spreading of information. The person feels superior not only because he/she feels that they have information to offer that the other person does not have, and we all know that knowledge is power, but also by gossiping about someone else, the gossiper feel as if he/she was a much better person than the subject of the gossip,It seems like some people, more than others, suffer from such a bad case of inferiority that they will do whatever it takes, including passing gossip around, to make themselves look better in front of others, and therefore, feel better about themselves, no matter at what cost" (

I was cleaning out some paperwork and forgot how often I documented, keeping a journal about the things I was experiencing.  I knew early on I was being bullied and the pattern was pretty clear to me.  In my last blog, I discussed the bullying boss bullying a little kid, nobody is spared from a bully.  In my journal, I wrote about a story the bullying boss shared with me and probably many other people.    Here is what I documented:
The bullying boss: The Boy Scout/Girl Scout Leader is 500lbs, he/she insulted his/her child all weekend long.  I went up to the Boy Scout/Girl Scout Leader and said, if you insult your child one more time I'm gonna have to hurt you.  My son/daughter was nervous around the leader all weekend but I told him/her not to worry, daddy/mommy will go around and around with leader.
Me:  Did your son/daughter have a good time?
The bullying boss:  He/She loved it!(interjecting right away with)  Another child threw up every time he/she went to the outhouse.  I said to the Boy Scout/Girl Scout Leader I'm sure there are places with plumbing, I have been camping everywhere.  It was just ridiculous!  I already called the mainline for the Boy Scout/Girl Scout to complain.  The person there told me I could start my own group.  I don't want to hurt any one's feelings, I wouldn't take all the boys/girls, maybe 6.  The boys/girls are also suppose to earn badges, one of the badges is cooking and this Leader did none of that.  I was starving and all the Leader brought was donuts.  
And do you think the bullying boss was done, not at all, the bullying boss moved onto gossip about two additional people.  I do not want to give to much details with the next two people gossiped about, so in short.  
The bullying boss:  I need to get away from so and so, he/she is driving me crazy.  I ended up telling so and so I need to get away from you because we will be better friends. My husband/wife could not believe I told so and so this.     
Moving onto the next subject of gossip.
The bullying boss:  So and so son/daughter was around this weekend and was talking to my son/daughter.  He/She was told to stay away from my child.  There is something wrong with them, a crack addict or meth addict. If you ever met them, you would not forget them (then demonstrates how this person talks).  They talk real fast and keeps moving their legs and stuff.  
I documented that the conversation was less then 5 minutes with the bullying boss.  The conversation was pretty much me listening and the bullying boss talking about others.  So, if you are in the midst of a gossip remember they are probably a bully and gossips about everyone, including you.  


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