From Disagreements to Emotional Abuse: Handling Workplace Conflicts

Bullying in the WorkplaceAcross the United States, millions of men and women of all racial backgrounds and ethnicity dread going to work that they often get depressed or sick. Some even choose to leave the jobs that they used to love, while others stay while they try to find a way out. This is because most employees experience bullying or mobbing in the workplace that often leads to employment mediation.

Subordinates, superiors or co-workers can attack the competence, integrity and dignity of a person repeatedly that could last for days, months or years.

The Effects of Mobbing and Bullying

Mobbing happens when a group bullies an individual. This instance is a form of emotional abuse and violence. Bullying and mobbing belong in the same list as robbery, homicide or rape in “Violence at Work” published by the International Labor Office in 1998. While bullying and mobbing seem harmless compared to other violent acts, the impact on the victim lasts for years that could even lead to suicidal tendencies.

Bullying and mobbing affect the physical health and emotional well-being of a person. It will depend on the duration, frequency and severity of the instances, as well as, the resilience of the person being bullied. People could end up suffering from a wide array of physical and psychological symptoms ranging from panic or heart attacks, difficulties in concentrating and irritability. They will also experience depression, nervous breakdowns and occasional sleep difficulties.

How It Begins and Why It Happens

Mobbing and bullying usually begin with a conflict, no matter how small it is. They may try their best to resolve the problem, but it never gets resolved. Ignorance doesn’t even work for the problem never goes away that it even escalates. They will try to outsmart each other trying to prove that they are right and the other is wrong. This leads to demeaning attacks and accusations steered by their jealousies, fears, personal animosities, the need for personal power over the other and a scapegoat mentality.

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There may be laws and structures that protect the employees, but most victims are too tired or scared to initiate any legal action. To prevent this, the management should enforce high ethical standards, civility and decency to create a nourishing environment.