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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The night before Thanksgiving, Tommy Turkey is ready to be cooked, the traditional green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce is prepared.

To be thankful for the blessings of my spouse, my children, family and "true" friends.  The past year has been a roller coaster, the roller coaster started off at a low and is ending on a high.  It is true what they say, life only gives you what you can handle and everything happens for a reason.  I concur on both!

Throughout my life I have always strived to develop self-awareness.  To understand and develop clear healthy boundaries with others in my life.  This is not to say that this is always perfect when dealing with life and sometimes I have become comfortable...allowing people to cross over my healthy boundaries into unhealthy boundaries for myself.  The past year has reminded me to continue to listen to that voice of intellect and reason, to be self-aware of the healthy boundaries.

I continue to be trusting of others but when I see warning signs along the way, I do not dismiss them.  Instead, when a situation does not feel right, to pay attention, reflect and re-evaluate.

Getting rid of drama in my life, not just talking about it but actually making a conscious effort to reflect and re-evaluate...then make a decision based on my healthy boundaries.

"Healthy boundaries create healthy relationships. Unhealthy boundaries create dysfunctional ones. By establishing clear boundaries, we define ourselves in relation to others. To do this, however, we must be able to identify and respect our needs, feelings, opinions, and rights. Otherwise our efforts would be like putting a fence around a yard without knowing the property lines"

"Those with healthy boundaries are firm but flexible. They give support and accept it. They respect their feelings, needs, opinions, and rights, and those of others, but are clear about their separateness. They are responsible for their own happiness and allow others to be responsible for their happiness. They are assertive and respectful of the rights of others to be assertive. They are able to negotiate and compromise, have empathy for others, are able to make mistakes without damaging their self-esteem, and have an internal sense of personal identity. They respect diversity. Those with healthy boundaries are comfortable with themselves, and make others comfortable around them.  They live in houses with fences and gates that  allow access only to those who respect their boundaries" (

In reflecting, my healthy boundaries can no longer tolerate disrespectfulness.  At the same time, there are no hard feelings or argument, instead acceptance.  The gate around the house is not a swinging door. Can the gate ever be open?  I think in certain circumstances but in regard to someone like the bullying boss, those gates will forever be closed.  Why you may ask?

The bullying boss set out with his/her plot and lies with the intention to destroy me at all cost.

Forgiveness, I have pondered what this truly means in regards to the bullying boss.  I can say forgiveness is not forgetting the pain caused but moving forward, letting go of the anger and not allowing them to hurt us.  Forgiveness is not about being friendly to the person that has done us wrong or allowing them back into our lives.  It is in talking about and healing from the experience.

I am thankful for people placed in my life.  My true friends that have lasted an entire life time, some I talk to a few times a week and others a few times a month but always being able to leave off where we were and trusting completely and unconditionally.  Parents that I can count on without any question and love me unconditionally.  A spouse that loves me unconditionally, laughs at my dumb jokes and never complains about his/her suffering with his/her illness, instead appreciates all that he/she has and my children that smile each day and know happiness and have good health (and who make me proud each and everyday).

I wanted to thank everyone that has visited my blog, listened to my struggles, hopeful it has been educational   and helpful.

I wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving with all the blessings!  Survivor

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Leadership Not

I just attended a seminar about re-energizing and re-focusing.  The speaker was wonderful and gave some insightful perspective on dealing with life.  It made me step back and realized a few things about my nightmare with the bullying boss and how unhealthy the climate was under the bullying boss.

If you are being bullied at work, on the playground or in your family keep in mind someone who is a good leader, good friend or good family member will display characteristics reflective of that.

"The disposition of the leaders becomes the disposition of the organization"~unknown




Honest and trustworthy: Can they keep a secret? A good friend doesn't gossip about you.
Good Listener: Do they listen to you or do they only talk about themselves?
Available: Are they available when you need them?
Supportive: A true friend will never make you do something that goes against your moral or religious beliefs. They will not ask you to lie, steal or cheat, or to do drugs or alcohol.

The employer I was working for was functioning with a black cloud over its head.  The characteristics above were not reflective in the organization under the bullying boss and his/her leadership skills were absent.

Here are some examples--The employees were always anticipating the mood the bullying boss would be in and who was next on his/her target list.   I recall the whispers when the bullying boss was on one of his/her rants or in a motivational frenzy or anxiety mode or re-organizational mode or the family mode or the fun loving get the picture, the atmosphere was always changing and the employees were never sure who was walking in the door..thus your Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona. The office was different when he/she was not there and the employees liked the bullying boss being absent.

A leader sets the tone of others around them.  If a leader is functioning with insecurity, anxiety and bullying behavior one moment and then happy go lucky, life is perfect functioning the next.  This sends extremely mixed signals to others.  Installing video cameras to sit at home and spy on your employees is an example of setting the tone.  The employees believed their bullying boss did not respect them or trust them.  What would be your response or feelings?  I would have to say that most people learn to conform and may even do what they need to do to get by.  Play the game!

The employees are well aware of the antics of the bullying boss and whispers behind his/her back.  The Narcissist is about the mirror they see reflected in their false self.  They see people as excited to see them and believe the responses are genuine.  It is not the case. Instead, it is a response to surviving in a workplace that was very dysfunctional, filled with fear and uncertainty.  The bullying boss gains a lot of Narcissistic Supply from others around him/her.

"Abuse is defined as the systematic pattern of behaviors in a relationship that are used to gain and/or maintain power and control over another" (

The bullying boss fits the description of being a serial bully, having characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and attention seeking behavior-Proven.

The bullying boss is not a good leader because he/she does not possess the characteristics of a good leader or true friend.  Everything is false and a distortion.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Bully at work, bully at home

A serial bully has no boundaries when it comes to targets, their bullying stops at no one.  The bullying boss had an opinion on everything, remember no one was spared.  "The serial bully at work is a serial bully at home and in the community", If you are one of those lucky "friends" of the bullying boss, the serial bully...Do you wonder what has been said about you, what distortion and lies are spread about you?  If after reading these blogs, researched what others have written on the subject and you still see the bullying boss through rose colored glasses then you have fallen right into the trap.  The bullying boss needs Narcissistic Supply to maintain themselves which you are supplying.

I can honestly tell you there were very few people, if any, the bullying boss did not gossip about, have a negative take on their life or compared another's situation to how much of a better person the bullying boss was compared too so and so...I always try to be general about the bullying bosses gossipy ways and sensitive now knowing how twisted this person is.  Some brief examples of the perception of others from the bullying boss: 

It ranged from a co-worker having an affair while the sick spouse lived in the same house, a cousin who's parents should of invested in his/her teeth, a cousin who dressed for work to much like a slut and was a slut due to the many people he/she was with prior to marriage, a sister/brother who was not as attentive of a parent as the bullying boss and worked all the time while a babysitter took care of the children, a wife/husband who was useless, immature and abusive, an aunt who was financially "stupid" that spent all the money that was inherited, a co-workers sibling that was "haughty" but the bullying boss felt was also "stupid", a sister/brother-in-law that was lazy, did not care about the children, did not feel they were a good parent and was always going to the bar, a cousin's husband who he/she did not like, never did and never will, felt they were "useless", had a gambling problem and was "controlling", a co-worker who bankrupt spouses business because of "stupidity", a cousins children who ate to much and as a result was fat, a co-worker who needs to shower, a business associate who treated employee's terribly,  but had a couple of houses and was selfish.   

"Bullies are adept at distorting peoples' perceptions with intent to engender a negative view of their target in the minds of family members, neighbors, friends and people in positions of officialdom and authority; this is achieved through undermining, the creation of doubts and suspicions, and the sharing of false concerns, etc.
The bully may try to establish an exclusive relationship (based on apparent trust and confidence) with one family member such that they (the bully) are seen as the sole reliable source of information; this may be achieved by portraying the target (and certain other family members) as irresponsible, unstable, undependable, uncaring, unreliable and untrustworthy, perhaps by the constant highlighting - using distortion and fabrication - of alleged failures, breaches of trust, lack of reliability, etc. The process is reinforced by inclusion of the occasional piece of juicy gossip about the target's alleged misdemeanours or untrustworthiness in respect of relationships and communication with people. Mostly this is projection. The objective is to manipulate the family member's perceptions and create a dependency so that the family member comes to rely exclusively on the bully and see the bully as the sole source of reliable information whilst distrusting everyone else"

Like I said, I listened to all these lies about the bullying bosses family members, friends and associates and would walk away thinking these people are really messed up.  I have come to believe these were lies meant to distort my perception, along with others, to project a specific image of  the bullying boss of being the only  "normal", together person in the family or with any one else.  The bullying boss was the rescuer, the person everyone needed and went to for help, the intelligent one of their family, amongst friends and associates and the one who was the "super" everything.  

A serial bully projects many different images about their life, their false self to the world.  They project they have close relationships with many, love deeply and is in a position to be respected.  In reality, a Narcissist does not have any of these things, it is all a perception of their false self and they are good at distortion, manipulation and lies.  For example, the bullying boss would project one minute the close, overly loving, perfect marriage they had, while painting a picture to the world what a wonderful spouse they had, greatest parent to the children, perfect friend, perfect everything and that they could not live without.  Then with a switch of a light, the bullying boss is projecting a marriage/spouse that is one sided, abusive, uncaring, selfish, not a good parent, gets no help or respect and cannot stand to be near the spouse.  Is this a normal relationship?  The answer is simple, NO.  

"Healthy relationships are characterized by respect, sharing and trust. They are based on the belief that both partners are equal, that the power and control in the relationship are equally shared"

A good relationship has ups and downs but extremes like the bullying boss has is not considered a healthy relationship.  If you know a bullying boss or a bully who has explosive relationships, moving from one extreme to the next, stop and make note.  Take another step back and look with an open mind.  Is the bullying bosses other relationships swing from one extreme of total admiration to the other extreme of total disdain?  Keep in mind, a serial bully is looking for power and control, they are not interested in respect, sharing or trust and believe me, they do not believe you are an equal. 

Lets explore, a serial bully gossips and spreads lies to help with their false self,  to make others believe they have been victimized and they are always dealing with nonsense, stupid people.  You have a choice in all this, confront the bully and inform them you are no longer going to be a part of unhealthy boundaries with them.  Be warned! Taking this step will signal the bully you are a threat and an enemy and therefore will become a target of their evilness.  

The bully has a cycle, they only can contain an image for so long and then they will strike, seek out a target and their destruction repeats.  Do not be fooled when they are projecting the perfect, happy life...just a show to manipulate and distort!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Why tell the story?

It is important to express why I continue to tell the story about the bullying boss.  The many of you that are following along maybe wondering if I have moved on, if I am happy or if writing after so long is worth it.  

To write, gives justice because I can tell my story.   I have received emails from others who have had a similar experience and my blog helped to bring it together for them.  The healing began a long time ago, the blog followed.  If you recall, I said I kept a journal, I always was one to write and journal.  I formed this blog after I had written a lot when this incident was happening and shortly afterwards.  This blog was my journey and after having someone very close to me read what I had written, did I decide to create the blog.

I discovered a blog a while ago, I read many good explanations about Narcissists.  A serial bully, as explained prior comes in a number of different forms; Narcissistic Personality Disorder or NPD and also Attention Seeking Behavior.  In healing, I needed to understand the why's, what's and how's.  More importantly, I needed to educate myself with knowledge to be better self-aware when encountering this type of personality again.  Serial bullies are diabolical and extremely manipulative.  When someone is bullied, especially by a serial bully, something is usually stolen from the target.  In my situation, something was stolen and the above blog reference states it the best, "the narcissist has stolen something of value from you, like your job or reputation - something you have every right to get back from the damned thief. You stop being a victim when you win justice and get it back, period".  

Just like I stated, I am experiencing my justice today and everyday I move forward.  I have received feedback from others who know the bullying boss personally.  My justice that they are no longer fooled by the wolf in sheep's clothing and do not look through rose colored glasses any longer, justice. 

The following blog highlights some things to think about when dealing with a serial bully, a bullying boss and one with NPD.  The following blog, "More on Whether Narcissists are Happy" ( explains why it is important for others to understand and be aware of these bullies.  We, as a society, cannot remain fooled by these people, the red flags, the patterns are there.  Alexander Hamilton stated, "those who stand for nothing fall for anything".
        More on Whether Narcissists Are Happy
Continuing with this discussion about whether narcissists are happy and when their happiness leaves them. 
For example, I know a narcissist who turned viciously on her sister and parents within weeks of moving away to college. She tried to get herself adopted by the wealthy people who owned a college bar and restaurant she worked at. She told the cadre of students who belonged to that place outrageous lies about her sister and parents. Lies to make them all feel sorry for her as abused by her family – when of course, she was the abuser.
She was undone by a twist of fate. Her sister transferred to the same university, and her father became ill and landed in the hospital there so that her mother came to live with her sister during that time. These sympathetic friends of the narcissist got to know the mother and sister, because they too often came to the restaurant to eat. Of course, they didn't fit the narcissist's description of Phem. 
In an addition, an older cousin, who had come to visit their father and had always smelled a rat in this girl, noticed the odd manner in which these students were relating to the mother and sister, putting two and two together to realize that they had been told some of the narcissist's patented vicious lies about her family. So, he boldly clued them in about the narcissist. 
That shock, plus the attempt to get herself declared legally independent of her parents so that she could get herself adopted by rich people, plus the fact that they saw her cruelly using and abusing a suffering Vietnam veteran who loved her, outraged the parasite's new hosts. They compared notes and drove her from their midst.  
How outraged were they? So outraged that apparently one of them (upon having too much to drink at a party), in front of everyone, threatened her with violence if she ever showed her face in their midst again. 
Normal people don't make normal people THAT mad.
What's more, by my count, this was that narcissist's third such upheaval in life already, at the ripe old age of 19! That is, three times the people around her rose up in mysterious collective hatred of her and drove her from her midst. One such group was her 8th grade class and the other was the other employees she worked summers with in her home town's Recreation Department. 
She was so hated by her class that she could not pass between classes in the hall with her classmates, because they would all shoulder her, knocking her into the lockers. Now this sort of thing had never been heard of in that school, and fighting of any sort was very rare there. So, you get an idea of how revolting her classmates found her. Similarly, she scored off the bottom of the Richter Scale in a peer evaluation of the Recreation Department, much lower than any other employee had ever scored.
 So, narcissists don't always succeed. Sometimes they are exposed for what they are.
But notice the situations in which exposure occurred. Her fellow employees had an opportunity to tell the truth about her in a peer evaluation form. Getting 100% zeros from them all shocked the director and the manager, who had no idea that everyone hated her. In the case of the 8th grade class, these were kids, unburdened by any fear of being morally condemned for comparing notes and complaining to each other about what she had done to them. In other words, in this environment, the victim didn't feel compelled to cover up the narcissist's crime for her by remaining silent about it. The same was true in the college crowd. Nobody was making sinners out of the victims for telling others what she was doing to people behind their backs.
Perhaps we should take the lesson these young people teach: Don't just pretend it didn't happen; that is rolling over and dying: get justice instead. (Don't treat God or karma as your servant, expecting the Lord of the Universe to avenge you. Lift a finger for yourself.) Expose the narcissist for what he or she is. It's your only defense, because it destroys the narcissist's credibility, thus restoring your good name by discrediting the narcissist's lies about you.
It also spares others pain by warning them about the narcissist.
Back to the story. 
Here she was in college, having rejected her family and having been rejected by all her college friends. Absolutely alone. She got a puppy to wag its tail at her, but that apparantly doesn't satisfy a narcissist's need for flattering mirrors. 
Years later, she told me that during this "desert" period of her life she had contemplated suicide. 
I knew but bits and pieces of the story then, nothing that would justify such a drastic reaction to living alone, so I asked why. All she would say was that she wanted to kill herself "Because all I did was use people." 
Over the years I gradually discovered and pieced together the whole story. My understanding is that when she was abandoned and alone, with no mirrors reflecting her flattering false image of herself, her delusions could not be maintained by these mirages. In fact, the last thing she saw in those mirrors was abhorrence of her - a reflection of her true self. 
Not what a narcissist wants to see in her mirrors. 
Alone with her true self, the fictional character broke down. Hence she lost the mirage in the mirror that covered the likeness of her true self = a despicable person cut off from the human race who just uses others. 
What did she do? She suckered her family into taking her back! (They didn't know what she had done to them behind their backs, and she told them that her depraved college friends had hooked her on drugs and tried to drag her away from her family into the cesspool of their immorality.) 
Presto-chango, embraced by her hoodwinked family, she got happy again. In fact, she says that thus "coming home" is the only thing that kept her from killing herself.
I hope you will visit the blog where this story came from, the writer shares a great deal of information that I have found helpful.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bullying affects your health

I suffered the bullying bosses abuse for nearly 4 months before I was fired.  It is important to note, I had NOT been written up, had any reprimands or any issues with my work performance, issues with other employees or customers/clients.  Actually, in one email the bullying boss admits we had never had a disagreement for the entire time I worked there.  He/She did say in one email that he/she wished I would just come into the office and the two of us have it out.  This was not an option for me, it was not professional to be in a verbal altercation with your boss.  I also knew the bullying boss wanted me to react and I was not going to fall into the trap.  I tried to be diplomatic at all costs and bit my tongue often.  Generally, I try to be optimistic in situations and believe as time moves forward things will work themselves out.

On a personal note, I had been under a lot of stress but was handling my personal situation at home very positively.  My husband/wife was ill and had gone on long term disability.  I was in the position to be the one person in the household employed and knew the importance of it remaining this way.  We were also putting two children through college.  I had my plate full, worrying about my spouses health and our financial situation.  Many of my friends and family members worried about me and questioned how I was able to continue to be positive, smile and kept moving forward.  I had my moments but usually this was behind closed doors, driving alone or other moments I had to myself.  I had the constant worry of  "is tomorrow the day I am going to lose my spouse".  I just never let on to others my own personal turmoil and as me goes, appeared strong and optimistic to the world.  In previous blogs, I noted how a bully finds that weak spot to exploit and unfortunately, my weak spot was that I needed my job due to my spouses illness.  The bullying boss understood this and threatened me for nearly 4 months that I was an at will employee and he/she could terminate me without cause.

I received the threats by emails primarily but also in the form of texts, Facebook and at the office.  The emails were usually extremely lengthy, sometimes totaling 4 or 5 pages in length.  At first, I would respond with explanations, tried being diplomatic and appeasing.  The usual response back from the bullying boss was very negative, followed with more threats and the attacks on my character.  Eventually, I responded with less explanations and more agreeable short comments.

One of the first emails I received threatening my job threw my spouse into a panic, threatened his health and caused additional stress for me regarding my spouses well being.  I did not want my spouse to suffer a another stroke or worse yet have a heart attack.  So, I gathered myself together for my spouse, told him/her it was going to be fine and stuffed all my stress inside of myself.  I responded to the bullying boss with basically whatever I need to do, I need my job.  I thought this would end it.  I was so wrong, it only escalated the emails, the threats and now no matter what move I made, I was the problem.

I continued to receive these lengthy emails, knew the bullying boss was sitting at home watching the video feeds in the office, recording phone calls and having other employees report to him/her.  The stress was intense and coming to work was one of the hardest things I did each day.  Prior to all this bullying, I enjoyed coming to work and "loved" my job, I was helping others and enjoyed the challenges each day presented.  The bullying destroyed it all and I understood the bullying boss was NOT going to stop until he/she beat me down.  I continued to do my job, although job responsibilities were taken away from me and eventually I was trying to figure out what to do from day to day to keep busy.  The bullying boss did all the classic moves done to their targets.  I went from being an employee valued to one that was treated like the worse ever employed.

My health was suffering.  Prior to the bullying, I had been to the doctor for my annual physical and everything was in check.  I did not have any high blood pressure, no diabetes, cholesterol in good range and all other blood tests were normal.  My physician gave me a clean bill of health.  The bullying changed all of that.

My bullying boss after one of his/her emails put me right into a panic, my blood pressure was out of control and I was admitted to the hospital.  The bullying boss questioned it all by the way but I showed the proof, a report from the hospital does not lie.  After I was released from hospital, I had to follow up with my physician.  My physician ran all types of tests, checked everything and was concerned by the findings. In the end, I was prescribed medication for high blood pressure, my cholesterol was elevated and a few additional issues.  I was sent to a specialist who ran some tests and I was waiting on the results.  I will never forget the day the results came in, it was in the late afternoon while at work and I was in shock from the diagnosis.  Without having to say specifically what I was diagnosed with, one of my parents had been diagnosed with the same illness and it had caused many complications.  The stress that overwhelmed me was over the top and I still had to finish my day.  I had taken the call from the doctor outside of the office and I had been crying.  I never was one to cry in front of people, so I decided to keep my sunglasses on and try to function the rest of my day.

The good old bullying boss was watching from his/her home on the video cameras he/she had installed to spy on his/her employees.  He/She emailed me and questioned why I had my sunglasses on and why I was using my cell phone (this was a new rule for me since I was allowed to use my cell in the office).  In the meantime, as this email came through, another employee was lurking (the one that had been targeted a few months prior by the bullying boss) in my office to try to gather information and report back to the bullying boss.  Can you image what I was going through, the stress, all the worry?

I finally walked into the other employees office and said this has got to stop, it has gone on long enough and my health has been affected.  I also sent back an email to the bullying boss explaining I had my sunglasses on because I had been crying because I  received some bad news about my health.  The end of the day was close and at this point I decided to leave.

When I walked out to my car, I was crying, crying because of the news I was given, crying because of all the stress I was experiencing, crying because of everything.  As I was driving home, my bullying boss did not stop, an email was sent and it basically said I was not to report to work the next day or until further notice.  I just put my hands in the air, tears streaming down my face, stress beyond words and asking myself why.  Keep in mind, I still had to face my ill spouse, explain everything and also that the bullying boss threatened my job again.

Within a few days I was fired!

P.S.  This is not behavior from a passionate, caring or understandable boss/person.  It is classic bullying behavior from a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Attention Seeking behavior.  My hope continues to be to explain the pattern of these bullies and to parallel my story to the researched literature.