Let’s briefly recap on last week’s post I discussed in detail “adult bulling”, concluding that it does not end in the playground as the kid bullies who never changed their ways became adult bullies, hunting for their prey in work places, marriages, families, business, the internet..
Bullying can be summarised as:
Repeated hurtful or hostile actions;
Intended to mistreat or control another or a group who are less powerful;
That may be verbal or non-verbal; and that decrease a person’s self-worth
If you missed out on last week’s post you can click on the link Part 1
Today I will discuss how bullying affects our lives
(1)Higher risk of depression and anxiety:
For many, the workplace has become a haven for bullies. They berate people, steal credit, exclude others, make snide remarks, threaten others and dole out unfair criticism, sabotage performance, unrealistic deadlines, responsibilities from some areas are removed and trivial tasks are introduced… As a result you are burning out, constantly worrying, stressing, resenting, frustrating, frequently threading on egg shells not knowing where or when the next curve ball will come… A breeding ground for depression and anxiety.
(2) Lack of confidence and self-esteem issues:
Verbal bullying can affect your self-image and create emotional and psychological damage, including low self-esteem and lack of confidence… Words can have a significant power and the realities of verbal bullying can have very strong physical and emotional consequences, even if the aggressor never touches the victim… Imagine a nagging wife who constantly puts you down her aim is to hurt you with her words to make you feel less of yourself likewise a partner suffering from complex issues who constantly makes snide remarks eroding your self-esteem.
(3) Mental and physical health:
When one person bullies another, the targeted person’s emotional strength becomes strained. As a result of this strain, serious health conditions may arise. . Physical health conditions may also result and include post-traumatic stress disorder, reduced immunity to infection, stress headaches, high blood pressure, and digestive problems, frequent malaria.
(4) Increased thoughts of suicide:
The helplessness of the situation, feeling powerless, traumatized, paralyzed, disoriented and confused. This constant feeling of helplessness might make you feel that your only escape is death, and hence be plagued with suicidal thoughts, romanticizing death and in extreme cases acting on those thoughts by killing yourself.
(5)Effect on companies’ profits:
Bullying at work affects companies as a whole in terms of productivity. Bullied employees who show more job stress are less committed to the company and as a result reduce productivity level… it disrupts the work environment, impacts workers morale, creates a hostile work environment and promote absenteeism. What’s more, the impact of bullying is not limited to the bully and the target. It also affects co-workers, clients, customers, business associates, family and friends. For instance employees who witness bullying are more likely to leave their jobs than those who are being victimized, hence the additional costs to recruit and train new employees… dipping into their profits.
(6) Increased feelings of sadness and loneliness:
As a result of being bullied at home, work place or anywhere, you might think you are the only one going through it, it creates a deep sadness, if you are bullied at work you keep to yourself cause everyone is ganging up against you, spreading silly rumours and not refuting it… you feel shy to confide in anyone about what is really going on at home, your work place or anywhere in general because you are afraid of being judged, seen as weak or you just don’t trust them to keep it a secret… It could be a lonely journey and can create a deep sense of loneliness and sadness that can be overwhelming.
(7)Changes in sleep patterns:
Being bullied at work can affect your sleep pattern because of the stress that comes with it… The beginning of the week or day you might start feeling a knot at the pit of your stomach because of anxiety. You begin to count down the days until weekend or next vacation or count hours till workday ends… public holidays are a big blessing, big relief from your own hell. You always feel great on Fridays shouting from the rooftops quoting the usual mantra “THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY!” Then comes Sunday night! Tossing and turning, resenting and not looking forward to the work week ahead… sleep definitely becomes a thing of the past, cause Sunday nights are not only the nights you lay awake anxiously thinking about those hurtful and painful words that were said by a customer, colleagues, boss, partner… It could be every night….
(8)Changes in eating patterns and loss of interest in activities:
You lose your appetite and interest in activities… The verbal abuse, psychological pain can be enough for someone to loose interest in eating or having a social life. In extreme cases people turn to substance, alcohol abuse and much more… picture this, all weekend you think about the unrealistic deadline your boss gave you and will take credit for all the hard work, you are helpless about it … it is enough to give you an ulcer… not a good thought.
Food for thought:
Stand up! to these “adult bullies” who disguise themselves as bosses, managers, colleagues, trolls, husbands, wives, siblings, customers… but who are they without the mask is it me, you or another? Might have you been a victim, a perpetrator conscious or unconsciously? A big question
Join me next week on ways to tackle adult bullying in our society