April 12th, 2012

Workplace Bullying Institute Study: Why Workplace Bullying Happens


The results are in for the first online 2012 WBI Instant Poll, a single-question survey relying upon a self-selected sample of 658 individuals with experience being bullied at work. The question asked was: Why does bullying in the workplace happen? Respondents were free to choose up to 4 of the 12 listed causes or reasons. A total of 2,384 votes were recorded and analyzed. Here are the results.

The rank order and percentages for each response option were:

1    .21    Bullies are not punished & thrive

2    .15    Laws to stop it are either absent or too weak to be useful

3    .13    No one in the company/agency has the will to stop it

4    .13    Coworkers stand idly by & fail to stop it

5    .10    The workplace culture rewards cutthroat behaviors

6    .10    A few hyper-aggressive individuals have psychological & social problems

7    .06    Executives/owners/senior managers are the bullies

8    .05    Bullying is part of the larger society & culture

9    .03    Bullies follow orders from the top

10    .03    No one in the company/agency has the power to stop it

11    .01    We humans are aggressive by nature; it is inevitable

12    .007    Targeted workers somehow invite their fate [only 7/10 ths of 1%]

The top three reasons from the target’s perspective are employer-focused. The absence of negative consequences (punishment) for bullies and lacking the will to stop it both reflect employer mishandling of bullying. Employers establish and maintain the work environment.

The absence, or weakness, of laws also contributes to employers’ ability to ignore bullying. No policies are necessary in the absence of laws. That’s why so few are created voluntarily.

Coworker failure to help is ranked fourth. At WBI we assert that no policies or laws would be required if witnesses did not shirk from their social responsibility to help their colleagues. The multiple reasons for bystander not intervening are built on decades of social psychological research. Simply put, coworkers fear for their own survival. Bullied targets understand this on some level even when they suffer consequences from the inaction.

Reason 5 is again work environment related. Reward theory explains most bullying. It brings positive outcomes for bullies. Observers of the work environment, which includes most employees who bother to pay attention, learn quickly that aggression pays in a bullying-prone workplace culture. Bullies act accordingly and personally benefit from the misconduct. Look no further for a rationale.

The bully’s flawed personality is reason 6 (actually tied) with bullying’s reward. Targets are more realistic than the naïve public. It is too easy to blame bullying on the aggressor’s anti-social personality (bordering on psychopathic). In fact, bullying is a complex behavioral pattern that requires both a willingness to exploit and harm another person (that does not require psychopathology any more than an affinity for reality TV shows that use humiliation for entertainment) and a place where exploitation can happen (which is the work environment).

The lowest rank reason is that targets somehow invite the misery inflicted on them. It seems obvious that no one would welcome nearly daily intimidation and humiliation. Yet, the public view is that victims of any misfortune must have wanted to experience their fate. This is the core of rape myths (her skirts were too short), domestic violence myths (he’s a great guy, she must do something to set him off), and bullying (you just have to learn to work with him and grow a thicker skin). This survey shows that bullied targets know they did nothing wrong. Their view is the accurate one.

Causes — Work Environment: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 7, 9 & 10; Societal: 2 & 8; People: 4, 6, 11 & 12

Here is a graphical summary.

Download a copy of these results.

<-- Read the complete WBI Blog


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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 12:06 pm and is filed under Bullying-Related Research, Events & Appearances, Tutorials About Bullying. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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  • Mary Brown

    I have been bullied – once very badly, by a pathological female who took pride in being a bully, and subsequently forced out of my next job because of “semi-bullying” – when I defended others, and good standards (in academia) I was known as a “dangerous trouble maker” and sidelined. The problem of saying bullying is about ‘work environment’ is that it lets people – bullies and bystanders – off the hook, as they can say ‘we have a bullying/aggressive environment here’, so that’s why I need to bully – or ignore bullying by others – to survive’. Personally (don’t know if this is sad or not) I’ve come to believe that 20% of people are good, kind and caring, while 80% are selfish, greedy and prepared to do anything to advance their own interests. The latter group produces bullies and those who will follow them. What to do about it? I wish I knew! It’s cost me more than one job, but I don’t regret challenging bad behaviour. I am a religious believer of sorts so I hope the Divine Being will enlighten me at some point about the meaning of life and explain why bullies get away with it in this dimension! Maybe they have to be reincarnated and get it right next time around!!

    • Maren Sullivan

      Mary Brown – Since you asked for spiritual guidance – I would recommend Joyce Meyers new book called DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND FORGIVE. Once you have taken action to assert yourself in the situation and have moved on, her principles on forgiving and allowing God to be your vindicator are very helpful and having faith that you will be compensated for your troubles. I should mention that Mrs. Meyer was a victim of abuse (not bullying) herself and knows the subject very well – she speaks from a place of spiritual assertiveness, not passivity which she details in another book called BEAUTY FOR ASHES. Good luck.

  • Lisa

    My observations and experience speak volumes for a larger bully network at play here . The work place is only one venue where bullies communicate about their targets. and you are correct. why would someone wake up every morning and ask to be bullied for 53 years? Similar patterns of abuses over long periods of time suggest a very big bully cultural picture .

    • http://www.mgmt-in-a-nutshell.com Jay Jacobus

      I agree. Bullying is a social issue that many people condemn, but few do anything about. When bullying becomes personal, people cannot find defenders.

      The survey is a surprise in that individual bullies are not the top choice.

      • http://www.mgmt-in-a-nutshell.com Jay Jacobus

        The nest survey should include:

        1. Bullies do not want to finish last.

        2. Bullies want obedience.

        3. Bullies want to be top dog.

        4. Bullies are afraid of a little competition.

        5. Bullies feel superior when targets are afraid to speak up.

        6. Bullies want to own their function.

  • kachina

    It would be interesting to ask the same question of executives/owners/senior managers or the general public…their perspectives might differ significantly from that of targets. Or ask researchers in the field, who might be able to provide less biased information.

    The general response targets have been subjected to is that their perspective is not credible on the subject…let’s hear from other sources. Clearly there must be an alternative point of view to be explored.

    • Amy Lyons

      When bullying was occurring in my university department, the chairman was asked to weigh in in the matter. She sought corporate counseling for an answer. She was advised that this was an issue of “people not getting along”, and that none of this mattered “if the work was getting done”. Interesting that those words were used… ” if the work was getting done”. Truth was, productivity actually slowed down a good 50% because the bully had set up a new, tiered process in which every single work process was bottle-necked through her. She removed all autonomy from the individual and subjected everyone to a constant cycle of reporting back. She sent everyone’s work back to them and claimed there were errors and mistakes when 99% of the time, there were none. Everything became an opportunity for micro-management. That was the caveat in this whole thing, truly brilliant on the bully’s part, because she could validate her worth by having found all kinds of errors, and took endless pride in it. It looked like “work was getting done” and made the rest of us look terrible. For a while. It took six years and a valued staffmember leaving for Human Resources to build a case to remove this terrible individual from the department. This is a rather long-winded answer as to why certain higher-ups allow bullying to happen. I need to stress once more that the chairman in question really believed that this was an issue of people “not getting along”. Any complaint on a staffmember’s part was viewed as an emotional response and was to be ignored.

  • Dr. O’C

    In my opinion, I believe the organization has the duty to communicate it’s mission and vision to all employees which includes a policy on providing an anti-bullying policy along side the sexual harassment policy. Parameters are then set for ALL to follow without exception and employees are made aware of the company’s unwavering expectations. In education it’s said that children rise to expectations, that is applicable to adults. I believe, even more importantly, leadership needs to be taught from senior management and encompassing all employees. Leadership and management are two totally different things. In my experience I’ve witnessed “position power” which is NOT leadership. Position power is fertile ground for bullying to take place since it’s an abuse of power which again shows no leadership training. True leaders know how to bring out the best in people and ultimately see the best results. So I see responsibility for not tolerating bullying squarely on the shoulders of organizations. However, I’m not naive enough to think companies will eliminate bullying on their own-especially with the ” good ‘ol boy” mentality alive and well. Addressing this issue will take a law as it has for sexual harassment in order for people to take notice. In the meantime we need to develop leaders who know how to lead!

    • Donna

      I agree whole-heartedly with your comment.

    • Carol

      Our office bully decided to resign because it it was her, and management could no longer deny it. However, management took over bullying where the bully left off…solution – a walkout. Now they have to spend lots and lots of money to try and get trained professionals to help with the backlog they created. KARMA!

  • Bruce

    I am a senior manager and have been bullied and seen others targeted by other senior managers. I’m sure that you will hear a different story from a bully manager. I know the damage that can and does occur when someone is targeted by a senior manager and the fact is, there is little or nothing that person can do about it. In my case, I eventually had to pack my bags and find a job that was not abusive.
    I continue to be the type of manager that has empathy and understanding and treat those who work under me with dignity and respect. I am very successful using this approach and why anyone would want to do business any other way, I can’t even imagine.
    When I hear so many targeted individuals describe the horror they have gone through, it always sounds very similar to what I have experienced.
    This is what I think and this is what I know from my experience and it is very real. I would also like to hear what the bullies have to say. I say, shame on them!

    • TwilightZone

      Workplace bullies will always justify their behavior by claiming the target doesn’t perform up to standards. They’ve got weed out the weakest link for the benefit of the organization. We all know it’s something deeper than that but bullies will never reveal the real reason why they torment others. It could be they themselves don’t consciously know why they’re driven to do this.

      • Salesgirl

        Bullies often get a taste of power through voluntary roles in committees or by becoming a Justice of the Peace for instance. They learn to work systems very effectively and actively sabotage the lives of less cunning victims just because they know how. They are often jealous of their victims in some way. Once the target is disposed of they immediately find another one to pick on.

    • Ptompkins3

      Bruce, For some reason when you have a great boss it always seems to be followed by a bully.  At least that has been my experience.  I want to commend you on the way that you lead – you are a great example to society and humanity.  Thank you.  I am currently unemployed because I fought back with the boss and her bullying friends.  Of course, Human Resource was not a resource for me.  They did not follow their procedure that was written in the Employee Handbook.  Unfortunately I do not have the income to sue.

  • Bruce

    I agree with the top three being rated highly. This survey is pretty accurate if you ask me.

    • http://www.mgmt-in-a-nutshell.com Jay Jacobus

      The poll is very difficult to analyze.

      The number 1 reason was 21% of the total which represents about 500 votes out 658 respondents.

      21% is misleading because 76% of the participants (500 out of 658) picked work environment as one of the top 4 reasons.

      Moreover, if the survey allowed participants to pick as many reasons as they wanted, the 76% would go up.

      If they added a 13th reason, say public apathy, all the numbers would change.

      • http://www.mgmt-in-a-nutshell.com Jay Jacobus

        The survey questions are not mutually exclusive because participants can vote for more than one reason. Neither is the survey collectively exhaustive because there are other choices not listed, such as public apathy.

        Moreover, the 3 summations do not have equal weight because work environment has 8 questions while societal has only 2 making work environment 4 times more likely to be selected.

        It should also be understood that using “and” in a question gives 2 conditions. If a participant would choose 1 condition but not the other, the statement might be partially true. But partially true is not an option.

        The order of the questions could be a factor in that the first question might get the most votes just because it is the first question.

  • Mary

    I am so glad I found this site. My situation involves a practiced bully workplace led by the IT department which handles the tech side and the college police department which handles the intimidation side. The police department also runs interference with other police agencies to prevent filing of criminal charges Payments to stalkers and other participants are in the form of “personal leave” which is not auditable on the time system especially if the earned leave is taken before the end if month backup.

    I have come to the conclusion That there is some sort of website that streams my texts/emails/conversations etc. When I have asked about it, people say they won’t tell me. Proof that something exists. Personal favorite: “maybe you are not supposed to know”

    Their defense is that I am crazy. If I talk about it, I will be fired.

    Anyway. I don’t like letting bullies win. The website prevents move to another job. Public humiliation is definitely a factor.

    Looking for suggestions. Since my life has been shredded, going public is the only option left since law enforcement is compromised.

    Again, any suggestions would be appreciated. Yes, my cell is compromised. They are seeing this.

    • http://www.karmahappens.com Joe Not A Bully

      Dear Mary:

      There is software that can show exactly what an employee is doing. It is similar to PC Anywhere…

      Be careful when you start talking about the police… there are illnesses that have paranoid symptoms so you don’t want to mention law enforcement unless you are absolutely positive and have proof.

      Take a mini camera to work and put it someplace.
      They are so small people cannot readily detect them…If you really think something is going on.

      I had a situation where pranks were being played where the phone, computer cords and other thing being pulled, lost, stuck…

      Sometimes it is better to leave a place than to endure it…especially when the employer allows/encourages it.

    • Carol

      You are not crazy. My phone and computer (or I should say the PDs) is monitored, I was told. As I stated in another post, my other coworkers walked out. It has created a huge problem because now they have to spend big dollars to fix their lack of employees. Needless to say, professionals in my field with the knowledge I have know what was done to my coworkers and myself, so I say good luck getting experienced workers here…well ones that they won’t have to contract in at a huge fee. My exit has been blocked on numerous occasions, but I am no longer looking in this field for another job. Stay Positive.

  • Nyla Nox

    This seems very accurate to me. Having both experienced and observed work place bullying in many different work places in different countries I agree that bullying happens and continues largely because of workplace culture, and is often supported, if not perpetrated by management. blaming the victim is part of bullying – and a second tier trauma for that victim. I’m actually astonished at the accuracy of the results but also agree it would be interesting to research a wider and more diverse group.

  • J.

    I agree that laws against bullying would help, but I don’t think legislation will stop bullying. Anti-bullying laws would give targets a tool to deal with the problem legally. However, many employers will pay no more attention to anti-bulling laws than they do to anti-discrimination laws. My bullies violated state criminal law and the employer did not care. I was not successful in dealing with the criminal acts because they fell under the jurisdiction of the university police. However, the events opened the door for civil suits. My employer ignored, and violated, a few state laws. Because the bullies and the employer did not care about following existing laws and flagrantly and openly violated them, I was able to sue.

    One of the strangest aspects of the entire experience was the bullies’ arrogance. My boss, her boss, and university administration knew that I am a former attorney. They knew, because I told them, that I was keeping a record of all events and that I kept all written evidence and emails. I did as much as I could in writing and, until the very end, they responded in writing. They gave me a paper trail that even I almost found hard to believe. There was very little they were not willing to commit to writing. I made it clear, though numerous appeals, grievances, complaints, mediation, etc. filed to comply with university policies, that if they did not change their behavior to comply with my contract and follow state and federal law we were headed for court. I could not have given them more chances to correct the problems. They continued in blatant disregard for law and contract. Existing laws meant nothing to them.

    I believe anti-bullying laws will do very little to stop bullying from occurring. The benefit would be in giving targets a legal weapon to defend themselves. Suing is hard, though.

    • http://www.mgmt-in-a-nutshell.com Jay Jacobus

      You could be right about the law.

      If innovations had to go through a lengthy legal process, the people who did not get to use the innovations could probably tie up the innovations for years.

      Who knows where we would be.

    • kachina

      I suspect that laws will be more beneficial for businesses than for targets. My experience suggests that bullies are either unwilling or unable to stop their destructive behaviour. Those who can’t, can’t. Those who can will be motivated to do so could be motivated by law abiding employers who demand that they do so. Ethical employers already do so, unless the threat of the bullies taking legal action against them outweighs their ethical considerations.

      The existence of law could in this way increase the motivation of employers to address workplace bullying that occurs for the top three reasons targets believe that it happens, and if employers were to demonstrate that bullying is not tolerated for ANY reason, the fear that underlies the fourth reason would be substantially reduced.

      That’s why I believe that the most effective avenue for anti-bullying advocates to pursue is to lobby for legislative change.
      There will always be laws being broken, but there are more people who have the conventional level of moral development required to respect the law than there are people who have achieved post-conventional morality.

      http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/kohlberg.htm

      • http://www.mgmt-in-a-nutshell.com Jay Jacobus

        There are conflicts in social interactions in the workplace.

        For example, the supervisor is free to disagree with any subordinate but subordinates must get permission to disagree with their supervisors and likely won’t get it.

        The law will not be able to resolve the perogatives of the supervisor versus the rights of the subordinate in any set of rules. Instead the actions of the bully must be judged subjectively based on the intent of the bully and the damage to the victim.

        The damage to the victim (in my opinion) should be the trigger for corrective action. But will the law determine that corrective action is the responsibility of the bully, his organization, society or the victim’s family?

        Should the law settle a dispute without regards to rank or should perogatives of the higher rank be an important factor?

        In my opinion the law cannot weigh the issues in isolation of the social structure of the organization.

  • Freida

    Why bullying happens:
    1. Humans are aggressive

    2. When we are forced to work alongside others for an 8 hour day, people get on our nerves. But everybody has the right to work in peace.

    3. People have insecurities and jealousies and sometimes (stupidly) feel bullying another person is a way to overcome feelings of personal inadequacy.

    4. People feel they can get away with crap. They study the situation for how they can strategize to destroy another person in the organization.

    • http://www.workplacebullying.org Dr. Gary Namie

      Especially love your point #2

  • http://www.mgmt-in-a-nutshell.com Jay Jacobus

    Psychological evaluations that blame employees.

  • kachina

    The more I think about it, the more I dislike the idea that bullying “happens”. The use of that verb implies that humans have no control over it. Weather “happens”. Breathing and otheeer involuntary processes “happen”. Bullying is an active process that frequently involves multiple actors…it only “happens” to the target.

  • Kathy

    I reported sexual harrassement that been occurring for over 20 years later finding out that it happened to my immediate boss over 20 years ago as well and a few others before I was even thinking of entering a professional job. The bullying and retaliation started right after. The supervisor held my entire pay check on pay day. The supervisor stated you will not get paid today. I had already worked over 40 hours. My work was attacked, someone tried to break into my home. The supervisor sent 4 men to my home banging on the door; they went to my neighbors and portrayed me as a criminal and asked each of them “how well did they know me” and asking personal questions about me. Later I found out the head supervisor sent the men to my home to intimidate. Everyone in the office was told not to speak to me and the supervisor told others to lie about what happen to them. I asked the supervisor “what should I do if a supervisor ask for a blow job” the supervisor stated to me “You ignore it” I could not believe what I was hearing. I asked again and the same answer came “You ignore it”. I was so shocked at this point I just felt like I was in a night mare”. I could not believe what I was hearing. You want to know the strangest part about this— we all work with people who are abused neglected or exploited.

  • Jeannie

    At the retail store where I have been bullied what happened is that when I went to the store manager(who was a bully himself but a more polished one) and reported the bullying that was happening to me by a male associate, the store manager turned it around and made it seem that 1) It was a 2 way street, I must have been doing something to cause it. This response was very disheartening, I felt like answering, “yeah, my part of this is living, breathing and trying to do a good job”. 2) the store manager turned it around and made it seem that when I came into him to report the bullying that I was causing a problem and that I was a problem employee,. So in the end to report any issue to the store manager made me look bad, possibly hurt the hours that I got at the store and the bully just got to a laugh. It was bad!!!

  • Rick Gonzales PhD

    The bullying personality is being fueled by the new and very high level of competition for jobs. With the economy issues,not just an issue of the United States, competition for and the need to keep jobs has influenced the corporate environment into a more hostile and relentless race to succeed in order to maintain those positions.

    Many of the HR departments have been co-conspiratorial in nature as most of the objectionable behavior is carried out my management.

  • Laurence Topliffe

    To WBI: the reason someone is a bully is not because of what someone else does. It is always based on the quality of consciousness of the individual. Some experience(s) that person had recently or some time ago or his or her upbringing, or even his or her genes, produced a brain that functions in a disorderly way. The result is a lack of sufficient development of mind and heart, both indications of maturity. The way to address this has been found to be the practice of one or other form of meditation. The one that has been thoroughly studied is Transcendental Meditation, It is taught in schools, prisons, businesses, the military and medical institutions all over the world and it works 100% of the time. Visit the schools and businesses but look at the research. Don’t dismiss this because you are closed-minded.

  • Got the T shirt

    Bullies are acting out of fear — the target is a perceived threat. (The target may be the go-to guy, the one getting attention, or may look like their mother, for goodness sake.)

    Perceived threat in us animals leads to the fight-or-flight response, it’s automatic — butterflies in the stomach, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, etc.

    Fighting bullies do the straight-on aggressive stuff, may yell or hit. Fleeing bullies do the isolation, removal of duties, passive-aggressive stuff.

    It is the bully’s (twisted) perception that causes this. Fear-filled little creeps.

    • http://www.workplacebullying.org Dr. Gary Namie

      Well said. You got it completely right.

      • Got the T shirt

        Thanks, Dr Namie.

        Thank you very much for your reply, I appreciate the personal response.

        It’s hard to know what others will find scary.

        I am starting to think my bully-supervisor of eight years ago was so upset because I reminded him of his mom — and HIS unresolved parental conflicts.

        Sorry for having pale skin, small feet and a broad nose! My bad. That I did so well at “his” workplace just made it worse.

      • http://www.workplacebullying.org Dr. Gary Namie

        You know Freud wasn’t wrong about everything!

  • Donna

    The culture within certain companies almost encourages the bullying behavior. After 30 years with a company that was once a great company to work for, it seemingly morphed into a synical subculture that once would not have been tolerated. This company was a merger three times over and struggling to grow into a world class company. They had programs in place to report issues but when this issue was raised, they chose to ignore it as their view of harassment only related to racial, sexual, or physical issues. The manager that dished out this pshychological abuse seemed to parcel off the lone person they wanted to ostercize and rode them hard about almost anything. This manager talked about them to their colleagues but would not confront the person and deal with any issue they seemingly thought was an issue. If the manager felt you were a threat to their job, you became the target. A 30 year veteran was ran off by a 5-year manager threatened by competent people.

  • Lloyd

    Please, in some future survey, ask people to guess (or if known, state) the bully’s approximate age.

    • http://www.workplacebullying.org Dr. Gary Namie

      Will do.

    • Carol

      The bully of my office (actually all of the bullies because others took over when she resigned under questionable reasons) were all well over the ages of 40 and 50. Management helped the bully because they feared a discrimination suit, and having the organization’s image tarnished. They became the bullies when we victims of the office bully banned together to fight back. I have found that documenting each incident and standing your ground can be stressful, but as a group we held strong. Our office is without a full staff now because of the walk out. Management is scrambling to repair the damage they created. I honestly believe that their behavior is known throughout the discipline and I am pretty sure that they are embarrassed because of the exposure. Their issue right now is focusing on actual business of the day. I guess there wasn’t enough drama in their lives before. They picked the wrong fight and they (the bullies) are trying to recover.

      • Workingforotherwomensucks

        As the new person, I can tell others see the bullying behavior but appear to be powerless against it. If companies actually had HR departments that were more than just going through the motions in an “at will” state, then maybe some of us could do what your group did and band together. with jobs so hard to come by, who wants to risk loosing their job for rocking the boat?

  • Shanaynay

    i really do not know why the hell good people have to be bullied, in my true feeling where ever bullying happens such as workplaces, schools such as elementary, middle, junior high, high school, college/universities it is like bullies really want to put good people through some really bad shit. their are people who don’t defend themselves when they are being bullied, they could be scared or too nervous and they really want to try to defend themselves, some people also take their own life that is why bullying is a really bad problem. may all bullies burn in hell !

  • Ptompkins3

    I am the poster child for bullying.  Everything I read is exactly what I experienced at my job in an upstate NY private college.  These women would sabotage my work to make me look bad.  The new chairperson would scream at me and call me into her office every other day to reprimand me.  I am an older worker and I have never been called into any bosses office (only to be commended for a great job). In this case the chairperson would make accusations with no documentation and in front of the HR director who would allow this type of bullying.  I had one professor address me as a “bitch” or “witch”.  Her friend blatantly lied about me and the second in command at the school never asked her for documentation of her statement.  They were never asked to present and documentation of any of the statements that they lodged against me.  Although the Academic Dean stopped this professor from calling me these names the bullying from these bullies continued.  They would steal my work and put me into tears.  When I began to fight back they “FIRED” me.  From what I understand from some of my research colleges are a bed for bullying.  You wonder why this is prevalent in our society we are taught this from our educators.  To stop this we do need legislation so that people would be in fear of bullying.  The most  interesting thing is the department that I worked in was the Nursing Division.  This really made me sad because I have so much respect for this profession, however I do realize that their are bad apples in every bunch (profession).

  • Isa

    When I started my job we changed owners, moved locations, and changed leadership. People who were long term were not supported through these adjustments and did not handle this well. The new manager became very authoritarian, secretive and had one favourite, the rest were ignored, dismissed and devalued. The toxic soup began to boil. My supervisor showed signs of burn out and possibly mental health concerns. She was being bullied by him, so she bullied me. Once she was demoted, numerous sick leaves, she quit. I replaced her position and was bullied by him.  For four years I suffered as with each change that took place  - so did the mobbing group against me. The bullying was constant, daily, in every room, in everything I did. I complained to HR and was bullied by HR. I complained to the union and he was …..weak, long delays….nothing. In time I filed a harassment complaint to HR and HR breeched my confidentiality, case was compromised and closed. Now I am on sick leave and one employee is stalking me. I have a lawyer on it. I am proud that I fought for myself, stood up against them, never let them psychologically murder me…though they tried. But I am physically sick, tired, grieving, and doing all I can to recover. I am getting better. I have taken what I have learned, and now I teach about workplace bullying. I believe my case was chronic and that my profession may be the reason for that. But I am strong and I will not give up. We need to stand up, speak up, stand beside other targets and fight for the future of our children in the workplace. There are numerous reasons for workplace bullying and trust mine was a office of “the perfect storm”. 

  • Sereenamooncraft

    I tried repeatedly to help a co-worker.. I went to HR and was repeatedly told not to report this again.  They could and would only help me with things that affected me personally.  When I reported my own problems with the boss, I was told that I  needed to patch up my relationship with my supervisor.  –

  • Ellen B

    Bullies in the workplace were bullies on the playground, saw bullying at home and brought it with them as a tool. These bullies are guiltless, have no empathy and enjoy the power they feel when bullying.  Others follow the bully because its safe in their corner.  They brown nose, they shower the bully with interest in the bullies life and family.  These followers know they aren’t being true to themselves.
    The reason I was I was bullied was because I refused to be fake and show interest in a persons life that couldn’t care less about my life or family.  Basically, if I wanted a good day at work, I would have to show untrue interest in the bully.  It made me sick and I couldn’t do it again, I chose being true to myself and
    opened the door for the bullying to begin and not end until I almost took my life. It has to be stopped, or it’s fatal.

  • Workingforotherwomensucks

    What is happening to American companies? The men are actually empowering the women by their silence. The women are empowering the other women to gang up on the other women. If it was only one workplace I have been, then could put the topic to rest, but OMG, it is everywhere. Their bad moods, mood swings, petty behaviour is out of control and getting worse. The men dont know what to do, so they either laugh about it or avoid the witch in charge when she is in one of her moods. These bullying women are out of control, bullying other women, its worse than high school because we need the money to pay our bills. They are the only ones allowed to talk. They get off on talking about others behind their back and undermining any friendships. what is heck is wrong these people? I used to think mean girls outgrew their meanness, but they think its some type of power to go around acting like this. I see it as complete breakdown of any order in the workplace and think the people running the company into the ground by allowing them to treat others so poorly should have their head examined. I am so tired of being worn out at the end of day because they seek out opportunities to make me or others feel less than them. 

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