Lately, it seems that the issue of bullying in schools has taken a stronghold over the media. Despite the media attention it is receiving though, this epidemic seems to be spreading at an alarming rate. Most recently, a YouTube video went viral when a victim of bullying took matters into his own hands. After being beaten down incessantly by his abuser, the young man finally has enough and lets his attacker have it.
Sadly, bullying does not just take place in the schoolyard. It is becoming more and more prevalent in workplaces as well. It could be your coworker, a subordinate or even worse, a superior. In fact, 35% of employees report being bullied at work!
Besides the obvious detrimental effect that bullying has on a person's physical and emotional wellbeing, bullying affects office morale, productivity and ultimately, the business' bottom line. What's worse, bullying which takes place at work can begin to seep into your home and social life, too.
So, what do you do if you encounter a situation where you are being bullied?
Speak up! It can be hard, but you need to put an end to the abuse. Identify the fact that you are being abused and consult with your manager or Human Resources (HR) Department. You may not be alone. Generally, bullies have more than one target. If you can't speak up for yourself, speak up with the knowledge that you may be helping others who cannot help themselves.
Always make sure that your own physical wellbeing is a priority. Victims of bullying often carry the scars of the abuse around with them their whole lives, whether they realize it or not. If you do, you are letting the bully win. See a medical health professional or your doctor and take care of yourself.
Don't look away if you see bullying taking place. If you were being bullied at work, wouldn't you want someone to have your back? Report the situation either to your direct supervisor or a member of the HR Department. HR exists as a mechanism for employees to have a safe haven, without fear of reprisal. The information that you give to them is confidential, so you don't need to worry about them telling the bullied victim or the bully that you were the one who let the cat out of the bag.
Have you ever been bullied at work? How did you stop the cycle of abuse?