Recent statistics show one in six adults experience bullying in the workplace – quite often for things such as sexual orientation and skin colour.
By definition, bullying involves the use of abuse, intimidation or manipulation to gain a position of power over someone else. A bully’s intention is usually to inflict hurt – both physically and emotionally, for personal gain. The methods used can be direct or indirect, and bullying is not always obvious.
Why do people bully? Linda believes it is more often than not down to envy and resentment. It can also be used as a tool for concealing a feeling of inadequacy, shame and low self-esteem; by putting others down, bullies feel empowered.
Research in the past has shown a strong link between bullying and an increased level of stress and even suicide. Bully victims often suffer long-term emotional problems as a result of their experiences, including depression, loneliness, anxiety and low self-esteem.
Linda believes it is important that people speak out about bullying. Too many people become bystanders because they are worried saying something will jeopardise their own job or ranking within the organisation. However, if people continue to ignore bullies then other people will continue to suffer.
Linda says: “In my case, the presence of a supportive ‘friendship’ group prevented the bully from gaining control.”
If you think you, or someone you know is being bullied, then stand up and do something about it. Getting rid of the bully is often easier than getting rid of the damage that bully caused.
To find out how counselling can help people deal with bullying and its painful after effects, please visit our page about Bullying.
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