These days, bullying in schools and cyberspace is an important issue and a hot topic in neighborhoods, schools, on TV, and on-line. However, bullying is not just the purview of children; adult bullying is more widespread than you might think. It takes place in the home, the community, on-line, and in the workplace. Bullying at work and at home causes more problems for business than just people not getting along. According to statistics published at www.nobullying.com, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com in 2012 reported that over a third of respondents reported workplace bullying. A significant portion of the surveyed population indicated that bullying led to health problems and feeling forced to quit a job. Bullying isn’t always physical – often it is verbal and psychological. The lack of physical scars doesn’t minimize the long-lasting effects of bullying such as stress, depression, shame, and low self-esteem. Harmful health effects can include anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and digestive problems. Working adults who are at the effect of bullying can experience lower productivity and more frequent absenteeism.
Take this quiz to determine if you—or someone you know—might be the victim of bullying:
1. My spouse, partner, or someone else close to me repeatedly insults me in front of our friends and then passes it off as a joke or tells me, laughing, that I’m too “thin-skinned.”
2. My partner is jealous and hostile when I spend time with my friends.
3. My spouse controls all our finances; I have to ask every time I need money for even our most basic expenses.
4. My significant other constantly denies what he said just days or even hours ago and then acts like I’m losing my mind.
5. My partner threatens to leave and implies he will harm himself (or me) if I don’t go along with what he wants.
6. My mother criticizes how I look and what I wear whenever I see her.
7. My sibling is always trying to stir up trouble by lying about me and setting me up against other family members.
8. My father is charming and kind when people from outside the family are around, but when alone with me he is manipulative and mean.
9. My neighbor shouts and makes threatening comments when I do the slightest thing that he deems wrong.
10. My co-worker finds ways to sabotage my position in the company including spreading nasty rumors about me.
11. My boss takes credit for my ideas and then threatens to demote or fire me if I speak up.
12. My boss assigns tasks beyond my skills level or with impossible deadlines and berates me in front of my co-workers.
13. A woman on my volunteer committee puts down any ideas I offer, cuts me off when I’m talking, and makes sarcastic remarks at my expense.
14. People at work exclude me from group activities and make me a target of pranks or negative comments.
If you answered true to some of these statements, you may be the victim of a bully. There are ways to take control of the situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like support in dealing with this issue.