Workplace bullying is a persistent problem in the United States. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, over 60 million working Americans are affected by bullying. Elizabeth Gray, an Amazon bestselling author of “Silent No More” digs her heels into why people are bullied, what victims can do, and how victims can detect if they're being bullied.
How to Detect if You’re Being Bullied
“A person being bullied can lose confidence and have lots of self-doubt. The quality of their work will deteriorate. They will have increased sick leave and suffer from anxiety and/or depression”, says Elizabeth Gray. According to Healthline.com, “if most people would see a specific behavior as unreasonable, it’s generally bullying.”
Why People Are Bullied
Oftentimes, the targets are good people. According to Verywellmind.com, people who are caring, social and collaborative could be subjected to being bullied at work. There are also other reasons that could make someone a target. “There are two aspects to people being bullied. One is that the perpetrator is wanting control over others, needs to feel superior, wants others to fit into their mold, and expects the victim to view themselves in the way the bully does, i.e., weak”, says Elizabeth Gray.
Gray continued on to say, “The other aspect is the type of people that are targeted because they are: forgiving, giving, people-pleasers, have little or no boundaries, has empathy, cares for others, responsible and reliable, trusting, loyal, likes to avoid conflict, and always does the right thing.”
Long-Term Effects of Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying can result in physical health effects such as high blood pressure, digestive issues, and headaches.
“The long-term effects include changes in a person’s mental and physical health. There can also be chemical and structural changes in the brain that leads to cognitive and emotional damage which can be severe as harm done by child abuse. In addition, the victims see themselves as less desirable and capable human beings, and in turn that could lead to depression, anxiety, anger, bitterness, and learned helplessness, says Elizabeth Gray. Those who are being bullied at work have a 67% probability of losing their job.
What You Should Do If You’re Being Bullied at Work
You can take a stand against bullying with the following steps:
Review work policies: The company should have an employee handbook that outlines the policies against bullying.
Document: It’s best to keep a record of all the actions of bullying. Keep a note of the date, time, and location of where the incident took place. Also document any witnesses.
Save any hard evidence: Keep all harassing or threatening emails, comments, or notes you receive.
Report bullying: Most workplaces have a designated person you can air your grievances to. If you’re uncomfortable talking with your supervisor, talk with someone higher up if possible. Human resources is also a great place to start.
Gray has dealt with the impacts of workplace bullying on her physical and mental well-being as well as her finances. She wrote “Silent No More” as part of her healing process after experiencing workplace bullying. “I had been bullied a number of times in the past at work, and I wanted to understand why and how I could stop it from occurring in the future. I also wrote the book as a guide for those being bullied to have an understanding about dealing with narcissistic personalities and gaslighting in the workplace, and to help them come out on the other side”, says Elizabeth Gray.