Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V. Vulnerable. Workplace bullying

This post is for the letter V in the A-Z blogging challenge 2011. 

Vulnerable: Exposed to the possibility of being harmed physically or emotionally, susceptible to attack.  The bully will home in on those who they perceive as being vulnerable in some way.

There are many and varied reasons why targets are vulnerable; they may include one or more of the following:
  • being alone in the world
  • being seen as 'brainy'
  • being a caring person
  • having caring responsibilities at home, being primary carer
  • having a disability or perceived disability
  • dressing differently or being unable to afford modern clothing
  • choosing not to join in with drinks after work
  • strong sense of fair play
  • feel guilt quickly
  • being scrupulously honest
  • suffering an illness, or taking time off to be with an ill family member
  • having integrity which you are unwilling to compromise 
  • suffering an injury
  • having a learning difficulty 
  • being unable to change jobs, limited job opportunities, being a specialist
  • belonging to a minority group, with a different religion and culture
  • having no other means of support
  • the need to pay the mortgage
  • very reasonable
  • being a single parent
  • being a student
  • being unsure of yourself
Graffiti art on the side of a building in Berlin. 2009.
If you are being targeted by a bully, it's valuable to have a support network who validate your experience and don't brush your concerns aside. Professional people who have expertise in the area, as well as family, friends or colleagues can support you if you choose to stay and fight the bully, or  decide to look for another job. (See Y: You can do something)

Here tomorrow: Why me?

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. The Facebook group eBossWatch here regularly posts articles and links to current issues on bullying. 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, many with an environmental theme.


Arlee Bird said...

Being vulnerable makes one an easier mark for bullies for sure.

Hope you join us in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post on Monday May 2nd.

Anonymous said...

You have a terrific theme. Recently our good friends kid came home all beat up. Really bad. But he kept the code of silence. He was told if not for hom, turn these bullies in so other kids won't get beat up. So far he is sticking to the code of silence.

Better is Possible said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'm glad to visit yours. I'm actually teaching a lesson to a group of 12 years old about bullying tomorrow. I'm looking forward to checking out more of your blog for ideas. I have some great material already, but it's always useful to scope out new info. Thanks again.

sue said...

Arlee, I'll be there!
Stephen, I understand, but am so sad about your friends child not wanting to speak out. Schools really must take a strong stand and get everyone on site involved. The bystanders are crucial to any effective management of the problem.
BiP (great profile pic!) The best I've found is the info from Twemlow, Fonagy and Sacco, the link to their papers is in the CASSA link in Q Qualities. I'd love to hear how the presentation goes.