Often jealous of their high-performing targets, abusers gaslight them, aka treat them like they're crazy to gain more power over them. Targets feel traumatized when their expectations of fairness are met with complete unfairness and smearing of their character. Then others come to believe the target is the problem, compounding the harm, through these methods:
When targets aren’t believed
Studies show it’s honesty and integrity that often put a bullseye on a targets’ backs. Yet in this victim-shaming culture, especially when stories are outrageous, many aren't believed when they share their stories — not the manipulative abusers — adding insult to injury. Many people don't want to believe the same could happen to them. While many dismiss targets' versions as personality conflicts, their suffering, including signs of depression and feelings of shame, indicate their honesty.
What's more: employers simply don't want the liability, so they vilify and push out employees who report abuse. It's easier to pus the threat away than address it.
Take Your Dignity Back
If you feel like you’re stuck in a big rut that’s destroying your life, learn how to reverse the damage.
Right now, you wish you could just tell your bully at work to knock it off, report the problem to management, and show the bully how childish he or she’s behaving. At best, the bully’s sidetracking the goals of the organization. At worst, the bully’s threatening or maybe even destroying your life by abusing you: your health, your family, your career, your finances, and your happiness.
You know it’s not a personality conflict. You’re not too sensitive. You’re not thin-skinned. It’s downright abuse. You expected your work environment to support you to do the work you were hired to do. You expected to be treated with dignity and respect.
The organization doesn’t care. They think it’s in their best interest to ignore the problem — meaning you — and make you go away. When you speak up, you’re the problem. You’re treasonous. If you fight them, they’ll fight harder.
Meanwhile, you’re stressed out and angry, and it gets worse the longer the bullying goes on, making you an easier target for the bully. Your physical and mental health are depleted. You consider or take stress leave.
Find out what workplace bullying is, why it happens, what's worked — and what hasn't worked — for hundreds of other workplace bullying targets, and how to start the path to healing in this comprehensive online course drawing from the greatest minds in workplace bullying.
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