September 5th, 2012

Christina Cha from Survivor One World named as WBI Celebrity Advocate

The Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) proudly announces its partnership with Christina Cha, Final Four contestant on CBS-TV Survivor: One World, as its national celebrity advocate. WBI advocates for American workplace changes to prevent destructive abusive conduct.

“Christina experienced bullying firsthand on network television but never wavered from showing class and personal dignity,” remarked Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director. “We look forward to her encouraging others who suffer in silence far from the glare of a national spotlight.”

As fans of Survivor know, Cha was targeted for bullying during her time as a contestant on the show. On national television, Cha endured an onslaught of brutal verbal attacks that even made audiences uncomfortable. These acts were beyond the scope of fair competition, they were acts of bullying: deliberate and cruel and without provocation. Drawing on great inner strength, Cha never retaliated, but kept playing the game honestly and fairly, ultimately outplaying the bullies to make it to the Final Four.

Cha also experienced workplace bullying when she was a top sales executive. “Bullying is something that happens to adults as well as children” Cha said, “It happened to me. It’s real and it can be debilitating. I’m proud to support WBI that offers tangible solutions to bullied individuals and employers.”

Christina’s Experience on Survivor in Her Own Words

From day one on Survivor One World, I had a target on my back as the first person to go home. Alicia Rosa, my tribe mate, decided to pick on me because I was different from the rest of the girls. I wore a two piece Ann Taylor cardigan and a pencil skirt. The way I dressed screamed corporate city girl. But that didn’t bother me. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew this was just a game and it was up to us players to figure out how to survive.

The worst thing to do in situation when you know you are outnumbered is to stand out as one of the strongest players in the game. As viewers know, fire is critical to living in the wild. We women needed a fire. So, I went over to the men’s tribe (Manano) and negotiated with them to build a fire for my women’s tribe (Salani).

Never in Survivor history has anyone negotiated fire or any favor from the other tribe. It put a clear bullseye target on my back. Foolish, I know. What I didn’t know was before I went over to the Manano tribe, Alicia had tried to steal their fire for us women. She failed. When Alicia learned that I succeeded at getting fire by negotiating, she was instantly irate. It seems that from that point forward she made the decision not to like me, and began telling the rest of the girls that I could not be trusted. From that point, I lived on the island in total isolation, ostracized from my own tribe. 

Alicia made a secret alliance with the Manano tribe and started antagonizing me by putting me down with childish name calling. I ignored her, and mentally tuned her out. I knew she was jealous and felt threatened by me. So, I made every effort to be nice to her and to make her feel comfortable. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, for me,  it only irritated Alicia even more when I was nice to her. So, my tactic of using kindness continued to provoke her cruelty.

When the original Manano and Salani tribes switched, I thought I was finally saved. But Alicia stayed in my tribe and I was forced to build a superficial alliance with her. Alicia still had animosity towards me. She coerced Colton to turn against me. Thus the “Mean Girls” club was created.

Colton, in the beginning felt very insecure about his position in the game. Being the youngest and a gay Republican definitely made him different from the other men and made him extremely self-conscious. Alicia knew that she could work with Colton because he already had shown his weakness by saying. “I am the next one to go!”

Alicia also knew Colton possessed the Immunity Idol, the key to staying in the Survivor game longer. The relationship between Colton and Alicia grew stronger as each felt evolving power because they had each other. When Monica was voted out in our new Manano tribe, I knew I was completely alone and that the “Mean Girls” club was in control.

Granted, no act of physical violence happened on Survivor.  My tribe saw that I was subjected to psychological cruelty during the game. But just like most witnesses of bullying, they rationalized not coming to my rescue by saying to convincing themselves “Well, it’s not me, then it’s not my problem.” Most people cowardly would rather not get involved because they are afraid if they do  it will put a target on their back.  Of course, I was completely shunned by my tribe.

The only person I could rely on was myself. I had to tell myself not to listen to tribe members and to remind myself why I was playing the game of Survivor.The cruelty sometimes made me forget it was a game at all.

I meditated on the beach and constantly reminded myself about the actual goal. I mentally tuned out all of the negative slander from both Colton and Alicia. I kept thinking about what could be possible and how I could change the course the game had taken. I pretended that I wasn’t the victim and acted like everything was fine, though I was crushed by the social isolation.

I think that can explain how I could look cheery and happy. I really was happy to be on that island. I reminded myself how lucky I was to have to this opportunity. I concentrated on what really mattered to me: staying focused, staying calm, staying peaceful, and being present in the moment. I kept envisioning myself as one the Final 5 contestants. And that did become the reality. I knew I had to be realistic on where I stood in the game. Ultimately, I should have envisioned myself as the Sole Survivor, the lone $1 million dollar winner.


Watch Christina get ostracized by her tribe

Christina Cha’s website | Survivor TV Show Website


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 at 2:15 pm and is filed under Guest Articles, WBI Education. 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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