How targets of workplace abuse offset the pain

Abuse causes pain, and targets look to both positive and negative vices to offset it:

Negative vices

  • Social isolation. Along with job control, social support is crucial for a healthy work environment. While mobbing creates social isolation, and abuse creates shame and depression that lead to isolation, human connection and validation can help targets of workplace abuse realize they aren't alone and they aren't the problem.
  • Self-destruction. Drinking, overeating, and undereating are all destructive coping mechanisms for abuse.
  • Abuse. Some targets use abuse to cope with abuse, taking their pain out on family and friends.

Positive vices
Human connection, exercise in moderation, spirituality, and focusing on activities that bring us joy and take us out of laser-focusing on the abuse can all help offset the pain and lead to recovery. Once the initial shock and stress wear off, targets tend to look more to positive vices to aid in healing.

 

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How targets of workplace abuse can reverse emotional abuse

Researcher Loraleigh Keashly coined the term “emotional abuse at work, which leads to stress and at times trauma, which in turn lead to a host of health issues. 

Targets can reverse emotional abuse through social support, especially validation, and remove themselves from the damaging effects of isolation. If a target hasn't experienced abuse before, it may take longer to recognize the signs of confusion, fear, and stress, prolonging the time it takes to begin to heal.

Targets can find support through spouses, other family, friends, websites, social media, professionals, and sometimes coworkers — even though this issue can often show targets who their true supporters are, dominate their thoughts, and misunderstood by therapists.

The best medicine: face-to-face human connection.

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