Last July I wrote a tribute - available here - to the strong women and men I've known who have shown immense courage in standing up to, and speaking out about bullies and sexual predators. In most cases it has taken a dreadful toll on their health. They've questioned their wisdom and had their sanity queried, but have stood firm in the knowledge that if they didn't take a stand the cruelty would continue if not for them then for others. In all cases the person I have supported has been one in a long line of 'victims' or targets.
None of these people has at the outset expected the road to have been so difficult or for 'justice' (of doubtful value) to take so long to be achieved. Some adults who have endured years of bullying as a child struggle to find the confidence to acknowledge their worth. One story is available here.
I've also supported people who for various reasons have been unable to expose the bullying. Their suffering has been heart-wrenching but they are no less courageous, and have lived through dreadful torment.
Climate: In some workplaces there can be a climate of fear or mistrust, possibly only in the specific department, but sometimes throughout the entire workplace. The perpetrator may criticise and fault find constantly; this is combined with a complete absence of praise. The bully will tend to undermine the target's credibility and often will have an unhealthy need for complete control, possibly micro managing, whilst simultaneously undermining the target by withholding vital information such as computer passwords, meeting schedules etc. A female bully may need to be 'the Queen Bee' and have her chosen minions hover around and be at her beck and call.
The bully may have charisma and cultivate friendships with certain colleagues, but leave others sidelined. The target or targets may have a sense that something is not quite right, but are unable initially to put their finger on the niggling feelings as superficially everything appears to be pleasant. Pay attention to the small voice. Stop and listen! Your sixth sense is there for a very good reason.
|A threatening storm.|
Tomorrow: Danger, Depression & Doctors
There are many outstanding resources on line. A couple I find useful are Bullying. No way! an Australian resource for teachers and students, and a UK site Bully On Line. This is in no way an exhaustive list, and each country will no doubt have equally good or more relevant websites. If you're being bullied please seek advice from a professional health care practitioner experienced in this area.
Over at jumpingaground I'm spending the month Drabbling using alliteration, mostly with a climate related theme.