Bullying is so common that it’s not yet deemed illegal. Because of this status, bullies persist in making life on the job miserable for victims. Studies have shown that millions of workers suffered through bullying behavior. Unless the perpetrator bullies a protected class, such as race, the perp gets away with it. Recognizing signs of bullying is the first step in overcoming it. Here are five signs that you’re being bullied:
- Do you get physically ill before the start of a workday or workweek? Do your legs buckle as you leave your house? Perhaps you become violently ill with vomiting and trembling. Dread of the workplace may masquerade as a massive headache. Blood pressure may skyrocket. Pains may seize your chest. Don’t ignore these symptoms. These symptoms represent a warning to seek medical attention. Consider whether or not your physical illness relates to whether or not you’re being bullied.
- Are you messing up at work? Meaning, does your supervisor or coworkers interfere with your job productivity? If you find yourself slacking off at work, take a long look at the reasons. Being disinvited to meetings or gatherings could represent bullying.
- Do you find yourself flinching or wincing whenever a supervisor or coworker berates you? Accosting you with inflammatory words provides power to the bully. In fact, he or she thrives on making you miserable. Scathing comments may leave you emotionally spent if not seething with rage. The bullying has transformed your work area into a hostile work environment. And it’s very difficult to work in such an environment.
- Does your supervisor or coworker invade your physical space? Towering over you while you are sitting reeks of intimidation. Perhaps that supervisor or coworker is impeding your work progress by just staring at you. Recognize the discomfort you feel and legitimize it by speaking to the discomfort. Meaning, admit to yourself that you feel uncomfortable in the presence of bullies.
- Are your coworkers ganging up on you? Your coworkers may gang up on you through subtle signals. For instance, whenever you enter a room, your coworkers scatter. Worse, they barely talk with you. Your coworkers are following the bully’s actions. Isolating you represents just another weapon in a bully’s arsenal.
Studies show that bullying is common in most workplaces. Bullying can start out so subtle that the victim fails to recognize it. By the time the victim realizes he or she is being bullied, it’s too late! The perpetrators operate with impunity. Management seem to protect bullies even though bullies may cost a company thousands of dollars in sick time or turnover. Have you been bullied?