What Is Workplace Bullying – A Complete Guide

Written By Aleena

What is workplace bullying? It is a form of harassment that can occur in any workplace.

Workplace bullying can harm victims, witnesses, and the overall work environment.

What Is Workplace Bullying – 3 Main Types

We certainly hope you never get to see it. However, you should always lookout for signs of workplace bullying.

Workplace bullying can take three primary forms, such as:

1. Verbal Abuse:

Verbal abuse is when someone is constantly belittlinginsulting. Or otherwise putting someone down.

Calling someone names, making derogatory comments, and yelling are all forms of verbal abuse.

Moreover, it includes making threats or saying things to scare someone.

 What Is Workplace Bullying

There are specific ways to identify workplace bullying.

For example, if you feel like your co-workers are always talking about you behind your back.

Or they are making snide comments when you make a mistake, which could be workplace bullying.

Verbal abuse is one of the most common forms of workplace bullying.

How To Record It:

To record verbal abuse, make sure to record:

– When it happens

– Who said what, and

– Any witnesses that may have heard the conversation

– Video/audio recordings, etc.

2. Physical Abuse:

Physical abuse is when someone physically harms you in the workplace.

This can happen in several ways, such as:

– Pushing

– Hitting

– Kicking

– Grabbing

– Spitting

– Scratching, etc.,

In addition, it also includes throwing things at someone or blocking their path.

Moreover, it also consists of any sexual harassment or assault.

Physical abuse is a severe form of workplace bullying.

Physically abusive behavior is dangerous, but it can also be a form of workplace violence.

Do not hesitate to report this type of behavior to your supervisor or Human Resources.

How To Record It:

To record physical abuse, it is essential to document:

– When it happens

– Where it happened

– Who did it, and

– Any witnesses that may have seen it happen

– CCTV footages

– Video, audio recordings (if someone recorded the incident)

3. Emotional Abuse:

Emotional abuse is when someone tries to scarehumiliate, or degrade someone.

This can happen in several ways, such as:

– Spreading rumors

– Isolating someone from their co-workers

– Excluding someone from work activities

– Making threats

– Playing mind games

– Making someone feel worthless, etc.

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Emotional abuse is also a severe form of workplace bullying.

It can have a lasting impact on the victim, both mentally and emotionally.

Victims of emotional abuse may suffer from many mental health issues. (We will discuss them later on.)

How To Record It:

To record emotional abuse, you have to make a document of:

– When it happens

– Who does it, and

– Any witnesses that may have seen or heard it happen

– Call recordings

– Chats/messages, etc.

These are the three main types of workplace bullying. All sub-forms of bullying come under these three types.

Sub-Types Of Workplace Bullying

Now let’s discuss sub-types of workplace bullying.

1. Sexual Harassment:

It is a form of workplace bullying towards someone because of their sex or gender.

It can happen in several ways, such as:

– Unwanted sexual advances

– Making sexually suggestive comments or jokes

– Physical assault

– Making demeaning comments about someone’s sex or gender

– Displaying sexually suggestive images

It is also a form of discrimination and is illegal in many countries. Sexual harassment is the root cause of many workplace bullying cases.

Women

Usually, females are victims of sexual harassment. But males can also be harassed sexually.

It is best to report the behavior immediately to HR in this case. And if the conduct is severe, do not hesitate to file a court case.

2. Racial Discrimination:

Racial discrimination is mistreating someone because of their race or ethnicity. Many people still think that some races are inferior to others.

This can happen in several ways, such as:

– Making racially insensitive comments or jokes

– Refusing to work with someone because of their race

– Displaying racist images

– Making demeaning comments about someone’s race or ethnicity

Racial discrimination is usually with co-workers. But it can also happen with customers or clients.

Common victims of racial discrimination are people of color. Or those from a minority group:

– Asians

– Africans

– Hispanics

– Native Americans, etc.

This hatred towards these races is due to the ignorance of people. They do not know anything about these cultures, so they are scared of them.

There has been an increase in racial discrimination cases in the workplace in the past few years.

This is because of the political situation in many countries. Many people are using their power to discriminate against others.

3. Age Discrimination:

Age discrimination is when someone is maltreated because of their age.

The typical victims of age discrimination are older people, especially those nearing retirement.

This is because many employers want to get rid of older employees to save money.

They do not want to pay them high salaries and benefits. Moreover, they think that older employees are not as productive as younger ones.

Those loyal to a company for 20-30 years deserve respect, not discrimination.

4. Gender Discrimination:

Gender discrimination is bullying someone because of their gender.

The common victims of gender discrimination are females. This is because many workplaces are still male-dominated.

There has been an increase in gender discrimination cases in recent years.

This is because of the changing roles of genders in society. Nowadays, more and more women are working while more men stay at home to take care of the children.

This is changing the traditional roles of genders. However, many people are not accepting this change.

5. Sexual Orientation Discrimination:

This type of bullying is for people who have a different sexual orientation than others..

The common victims of sexual orientation discrimination are gayslesbians, and bisexuals.

Many workplaces are still not accepting of people with different sexual orientations.

LGBTQIA+ people often suffer from discrimination, harassment, and even violence.

This is because of the lack of understanding. And lack of acceptance of their sexual orientation.

Some people think that this is a choice and not something people are born with.

However, we should know that everyone has the right to love whoever they want.

6. Religious Discrimination:

When someone has a different religion than others, they can fall victim to bullying.

The typical victims of religious discrimination are Muslims.

safe conditions

Muslims are often discriminated against because of their religion.

This is because of the fear and misunderstanding of Islam. Some people think that all Muslims are terrorists.

There are other religions too such as Judaism, and Buddhism, etc.

People think that these religions are not as good as their own.

7. Disability Discrimination:

It is such a lower level of humanity to discriminate against someone because of their disability.

However, this form of bullying is widespread in the workplace.

The common victims of this discrimination are those who have physical or mental disabilities, such as:

– Deaf

– Blind

– Mute

– Mentally challenged, etc.

This is because many employers think that these people cannot do their jobs.

However, we should know that every person can do something. It is just a matter of finding the right job for them.

8. Pregnancy Discrimination:

Discriminating against a woman who is pregnant is ill.

Many employers think that pregnant women are not capable of doing their work. They also believe that pregnant women will take a lot of time off from work.

However, we should know that pregnant women are like any other employee. They have the same right to work, and they deserve right treatment.

Some employers refuse to give any maternity leave to their pregnant employees. This is because they want to save money.

However, we should know that maternity leave is a human right, and every woman has the right to it.

Effects Of Workplace Bullying On Victims

Workplace bullying can have a very negative effect on the victim. Some of the common effects are:

1. Low Self-esteem: 

When someone is constantly bullied at work, their self-esteem will decrease.

This is because they will start to think that they are not good enough and deserve such treatment.

They will also start to doubt their abilities and think that they are not capable of doing their job.

2. Anxiety: 

Anxiety is a common effect of workplace bullying.

This is because the victim will always worry about what will happen next.

They will also be afraid to go to work and see the person bullying them.

Anxiety gives way to many other problems, such as:

– Insomnia

– Panic attacks

– Loss of appetite, etc.

3. Depression: 

Depression is another common effect of workplace bullying.

A standard definition of depression is:

“An intense feeling of sadness, which can last for weeks or even months.”

This is because the victim will start to lose interest in their work and begin to feel hopeless.

They will feel like there is no way out and will be stuck in this situation forever.

4. Isolation: 

Victims of workplace bullying often start to isolate themselves.

This is because they will start to feel like they are the only ones going through this.

abuse

They will also feel like no one else understands what they are going through.

This isolation can lead to many other problems such as:

– Loneliness

– Depression

– Anxiety, etc.

5. Panic Attacks: 

Panic attacks are also common in victims of workplace bullying. A panic attack is a state in which someone experiences an intense feeling of fear or anxiety.

This is because victims will constantly be under stress. They will also be afraid of facing the person who is bullying them.

Panic attacks can lead to many other problems such as:

– Heart problems

– High blood pressure

– Difficulty breathing, etc.

6. Suicidal Thoughts: 

Workplace bullying can also lead to suicidal thoughts in victims. This is because they will feel like there is no way out, and their situation will never improve. 

They will also feel like they are alone and that no one else understands what they are going through.

7. Physical Health Problems: 

Workplace bullying causes many physical health problems in victims. This is because they will constantly be under stress.

Some of the common physical health problems are:

– Headaches

– Stomach aches

– High blood pressure

– Muscle tension, etc.

8. Problems At Home: 

When someone is under stress at work, it can also affect their personal life. This is because they will bring their work stress home with them.

It can hugely negatively affect the victim’s personal life. For example,

– They may start to neglect their family.

– Their performance at work will suffer.

– They may even lose their job.

Workplace bullying is a severe problem, and it can have many adverse effects on the victim.

Take Action Against Workplace Bullying

If you are being bullied at work, it is essential to take action. Here is how you can deal with workplace bullies:

1. Speak To Your Manager: 

The first thing you should do is speak to your manager. They should be able to help you resolve the situation.

Managers have to deal with bullying in the workplace. They can take action against the person bullying you since they have more authority.

2. Keep A Record: 

It is essential to keep a record of the bullying. Start by keeping a diary or taking screenshots.

 What Is Workplace Bullying

This will be useful if you need to take further action. Or when you have to present evidence in court or with HR.

3. Talk To HR: 

If your manager is not helpful, you should speak to HR. They will be able to help you resolve the issue.

HR has specific policies in place to deal with bullying in the workplace, such as:

– Investigating the incident

– Taking action against the person who is bullying you

– Providing support to you, etc.

You can make a formal complaint. You can do this through your company’s grievance procedure.

4. Get Legal Advice: 

If you have face bullying at work, you may be able to get legal advice. This is because it is harassment.

You can file a lawsuit against your employer if they have not done anything to stop the bullying.

If you are being bullied, it is essential to take action to stop the bullying and get justice.

Conclusion:

What is workplace bullying? It is a form of harassment that can have many adverse effects on the victim. It includes things such as:

– Making threats

– Spreading rumors

– Isolating the victim

– Physical violence, etc.

Workplace bullying can lead to many problems such as:

– Depression

– Anxiety

– Panic attacks

– Suicidal thoughts

– Physical health problems, etc.

If you are being bullied at work, it is essential to take action against it. File a complaint immediately.

Last Updated on 2 months by Aleena

Aleena

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