If you are a victim of bullying in the workplace, you already know that no matter how much you’d love to quit your job, it simply isn’t an option. While it may be more than tempting to throw in the towel, in today’s economy, jobs aren’t exactly easy to come by.
Even if you don’t have a family to feed, walking away could land you up on the street. Suffice to say, quitting impulsively isn’t always the smartest move. Of course, if you can afford to make the leap, you totally should, but if you can’t – you can take steps that will help.
It is very important to be aware of the fact that workplace bullying can take a major toll on mental health, causing long-term damage to the psyche and body! To prevent this, it is recommended to seek out regular therapy, which can help you cope with the ordeal.
Read on to learn the effects of workplace mobbing and find out more about how counseling can help. We will also provide other ideas of steps you can take to deal with workplace bullying on your own.
What Is Workplace Bullying?
What workplace bullying looks like varies from victim to victim, but the common thread is that it is targeted harmful behavior that takes place in the work environment. It tends to form a pattern and is directed at a specific person or people.
Some examples of workplace bullying include:
- Continuously rejecting requests for leave without reasonable or appropriate explanation
- Practical “jokes” directed at an individual designed to humiliate or embarrass
- Realizing that you’ve been purposefully misled about work tasks such as deadlines or instructions
- Excessively harsh unwarranted criticism
- Unreasonably strict monitored performance
- Verbal and emotional abuse, including gaslighting
- Indirect manipulation tactics such as gossiping, social exclusion, or rejection
- Assigning too much work, including purposeless tasks and impossible deadlines
- Interrupting work productivity with disruptions or harassment
- Changing workplace rules without warning
There are as many types of workplace bullying as there are bullies, and on rarer occasions, some bullies will even get physical. This could take the form of intimidation and threats, or it could even lead to physical assaults.
If you don’t have evidence in the form of photos or videos, all this can be incredibly difficult to prove. Please note that if you have been physically threatened or injured, it is well within your rights to go to the police.
The Effects of Workplace Bullying on Health
Bullying is not only unpleasant but dangerous as well. In fact, even if you manage to secure a job elsewhere and leave the toxic environment, the effects of workplace bullying can linger long after you’re gone.
Bullying can cause mental health issues as well as physical health conditions that can last for years or even a lifetime. To minimize the damage, it is advisable to go for counseling, either in-person or in the form of online therapy.
While the following lists are by no means comprehensive, they offer an indication of what can arise from prolonged exposure to workplace bullying:
Psychological health problems
Physical health problems
- Sleep disorders
- Gastrointestinal issues
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Musculoskeletal issues
- Muscle tension
- Increased neck/back pain
- Loss of appetite
These are only a few examples of conditions that have been linked to bullying, but workplace bullying doesn’t only negatively impact the victim. In fact, bullying can also affect co-workers and family members of the victim.
This rings especially true for victims who suffer from emotional fatigue, which in turn has an impact on close relationships. Having to suppress one’s authentic feelings at work (and put on an act) results in a psychological strain that can cause conflicts at home.
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How to Deal With Bullying at Work
If you are being bullied by your superior, it can be tough to know where to turn for help. Authority figures are meant to provide support and order, but all too often, they get caught up in unhealthy patterns of control and power.
Like emotional abuse and even domestic violence, workplace harassment is notoriously difficult to prove. Workplace bullying laws differ from country to country, so you will need to do more research if this is a route you want to pursue.
It might actually be possible to open up a workplace bullying lawsuit, particularly if you have gathered enough evidence. You don’t need to feel powerless forever; even if standing up to your bully is not an option, there are steps you can take.
Use these tips to combat workplace bullying:
- Keep detailed records of the bullying. Document workplace bullying by noting down everything that happens in writing. Be sure to record dates and times, the location, and any witnesses who may have been present.
- Gather physical proof. Save absolutely all written communications such as notes, emails, comments, or letters – no matter whether they’ve been signed or not. Even rejected PTO requests can be saved in a safe place to use as evidence later.
- Report the workplace bully. If your bully is your supervisor or superior, consider reaching out to the human resources department. You could also mention what is going on to someone in a higher position than the bully.
- Research work policies. Review the policies of your workplace to see if there are any procedures to be followed against workplace bullying. Also, research the laws in your region to see what might be needed as you move forward.
- Talk to a lawyer. Consider seeking legal guidance, as you might be able to win a lawsuit. Although legal action isn’t always possible, lawyers can guide you in the right direction and offer you the support you need.
- Reach out. Consider reaching out to your co-workers or loved ones for support. Even better, enlist the help of an online therapist who can provide you with daily support (at a fraction of the in-person price.)
Therapy for Workplace Bullying: What Does It Look Like?
Being subjected to workplace harassment when you’re simply trying to do your job is not only distressing but damaging to your health and career. If you are experiencing workplace bullying, therapy can help increase your sense of peace, as well as your self-confidence.
By addressing these two key factors, you will be able to tackle your issues more effectively. This might look like reaching out, or it may take the form of helping you cope with workplace bullying while preparing for a lawsuit.
Therapy methods such as somatic experiencing can instill a baseline level of calm in the body and mind. Likewise, certain psychotherapy techniques can activate parts of you that might have subconsciously gotten in the way of self-empowerment.
It is possible to treat workplace bullying either with online therapy or face-to-face sessions. All types of therapy are better than no therapy; however, there are a few things to consider if you want to get your money’s worth.
The only flipside to in-person counseling is that it is so expensive most people can only afford to go once a week or once every two weeks. Although this is still helpful, if you’re being subjected to bullying regularly, the waiting period will likely be agony.
Fortunately, with the help of online therapy, you can chat with a therapist every single day. This communication takes the form of instant messaging and can provide a great sense of relief and comfort. Another major perk to online counseling is that it can also be anonymous.
Where to Find a Therapist for Workplace Bullying
With the internet at your fingertips, finding a therapist has never been easier! Of course, results will differ from region to region, but generally, you’ll be able to find a selection of great therapists online. It’s a good idea to take a look at client reviews wherever possible; these indicate patient satisfaction.
In modern times there are therapist directories online for nearly every town in the world. A therapist directory is a list of qualified registered counselors to ensure that you don’t get scammed. You can also look at online therapy services, which are incredibly convenient for many reasons.
Not only does online therapy afford patients the luxury of daily counseling chats, but you’ll be able to book sessions for same-day service. This comes in handy for crisis situations where you may feel like you need more frequent support.
Online therapy also offers the opportunity to remain entirely anonymous, and you could even participate in sessions from within the work environment. If you’re looking for online counseling for bullying, click here for instant help.
Workplace bullying is bad news for your quality of life as well as your physical and mental health. Left untreated, this type of workplace mobbing can lead to serious illnesses like anxiety and depression. These, in turn, lead to health complications and can impact your relationships, not to mention result in suicide. If you are struggling with harassment at work, reach out and get therapy for workplace bullying today.