July 28th, 2014

Workplace Bullying: About U.S. Bullied Targets


Finally, we asked the American public what type of person is targeted for abusive mistreatment in the workplace. Though this was a short, not exhaustive, list of personality traits, the results are clear. Those who claimed to have been aware that workplace bullying happens, believe that the overwhelming majority of individuals targeted possess positive attributes.

That is, the same respondents who believed that targets are mostly incapable of defending themselves against bullying assaults believe targets are kind, cooperative and agreeable. Perhaps these same traits render the guileless person vulnerable to unpredictable attacks. This Survey does not provide a way to draw the causal link between the traits and targets’ ability to defend themselves.

It is noteworthy that only 6% of targets are considered abusers themselves.

Question: Which personal style best describes the targeted person?

Download the About Bullied Targets mini-Report


Gary Namie, PhD, Research Director
Research Assistants: Daniel Christensen & David Phillips

© 2014, Workplace Bullying Institute, All Rights Reserved

Download the complete Report | Access individual sections of the Report


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This entry was posted on Monday, July 28th, 2014 at 3:00 am and is filed under WBI Surveys & Studies. 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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  1. […] the guileless person vulnerable to unpredictable attacks. These findings can be read in, “Workplace Bullying: About U.S. Bullied Targets” While those who bully in the American workplace generally get away with the economic and […]

  2. Sandra says:

    This is a horrendous experience. I personally have experienced this type of behavior on two occasions as well as other female bosses in other jobs make rude and negative comments toward me. Bottom line I have either left the job of my own accord or have been let go, fired or terminated as a result of my boss’s inappropriate behavior. Meanwhile I am left jobless, now will the bullies pay my financial expenses. I think not, not only do they get away with their behavior toward us (the employee), we suffer emotionally, as well as financially. This is so UNFAIR. A law needs to be imposed and NOW is the time!

  3. […] Victim – the bully’s target. [See WBI’s terrific work on bully […]

  4. Jack Frost says:

    In my current workplace situation, I work at a manufacturing company as a CNC machinist. The person who is abusive toward me is a veteran machinist with more experience than I and a fellow co-worker of mine. He falls under the “Constant Critic” category. He criticizes almost everyone indiscriminately, including our supervisor (who happens to also be a bully) behind their backs. He tends to focus his aggression on one or two targets at a time . I’ve been at this job for almost five years.and have often been the recipient of his humiliating and critical behavior. Often, his complaints are over frivolous things like metal chips accidentally left on the washroom hand soap, greasy tools being put back into the tool room after use, or any other minute act I may or may not have committed that he turns into a personal sleight. Admittedly, I’m a flawed human being and not always the most responsible or competent employee on staff. I occasionally slack off and unintentionally forget menial tasks to which he readily will point out to me often with an aggressive and humiliating tone. I suffer from bouts of depression and have gained a significant amount of weight since joining the labor force nearly 17 years ago. The weight and the related health issues have negatively impacted my memory and the ability to perform my job satisfactorily – as well as my overall quality of life. It’s a chicken-egg scenario in regard to the weight gain/health issues and the bullying I’ve experienced repeatedly over the years. Almost every manufacturing job I’ve been at I’ve encountered one or two people that behave aggressively toward me because they feel I’m not on their level or meeting their expectations. I seem to be a magnet for such bullies.I have an unassuming and kind demeanor toward others. I’m quiet and normally shy. My current job, however, seems to have several antagonists and is a family owned operation. They are rude and snarky toward their employees.. The workplace culture is toxic where I’m at .Management takes a hands-off, Wild Wild West approach to employee disputes and these behaviors are allowed to perpetuate themselves.

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