Stages of Workplace Bullying

A coworker, supervisor, or employer intentionally mistreats an employee on several occasions. This is known as workplace bullying. 

  • Verbal abuse, such as yelling, name-calling, or insulting remarks.
  • Physical aggression, such as pushing, shoving, or other forms of physical violence.
  • Isolation or exclusion, such as withholding important information, ignoring the employee’s contributions, or leaving them out of meetings or social events.
  • Undermining or sabotaging the employee’s work, such as spreading rumors or false information, taking credit for their work, or intentionally delaying or obstructing their work.
  • Threats or intimidation, such as making threats related to job security or physical harm.

It may also result in a toxic workplace and have a detrimental effect on the morale of the team and productivity. 

Stage 1: Isolation or Exclusion: The bully may begin by isolating or excluding the target from work-related activities or social interactions. This may include withholding important information, ignoring the target’s ideas or contributions, or intentionally leaving them out of meetings or group activities.

Stage 2: Verbal Abuse: As the bullying progresses, the bully may begin to use verbal abuse, such as shouting, belittling, or ridiculing the target in front of others. This can be particularly damaging to the target’s self-esteem and can create a hostile work environment.

Stage 3: Threats and Intimidation: In some cases, the bully may escalate their behavior to include threats or intimidation. This can include physical intimidation, such as invading the target’s personal space, or making threats related to job security or physical harm.

Keep track of the abuse: Maintain a detailed record of each occurrence of bullying, including with the date, time, and circumstances surrounding it.

  1.  This can be useful if you need to file a complaint or take legal action.
  2. Be clear and assertive in your communication, but avoid becoming confrontational or aggressive.
  3. Seek professional support: If you are experiencing significant emotional distress or other negative effects from the bullying, consider seeking professional support, such as counseling or therapy.
  4. Know your rights: It’s important to understand your rights as an employee and the legal protections that are available to you. Consult with an employment attorney or other legal professional to learn more about your options.

By taking action and seeking support, you can protect yourself and create a healthier workplace for everyone.

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