Support a Healthy Environment for All
75% of employees experience or witness bullying at work. Bullying happens everywhere… on phones, in homes, at work, and at schools.
Bullying is health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons by one or more perpetrators. Understand more why bullying is bad, where bullying occurs, and most importantly how you can stop bullying.
A Toxic Environment
Bullying creates a toxic environment where healthy behavior is discouraged. Those who get bullied often feel anxious, dreading to go to work, school, or even home because of the potential threat of random attacks from someone they know, whether it is hurtful words, loud yelling, inappropriate pranks, or physical aggression.
We all can become bullies if we don’t watch ourselves. Ask yourself, “Is my treatment toward this person helping them or harming them?” A bully enjoys tormenting others. Do you? If so, recognize that this is not okay. Stop.
Everyone should be treated with respect.
There are reasons that children, and adults, don’t report bullying. Reasons for this include:
- Feelings of weakness
- Being called a “snitch”
- Stiff retribution from the bully
- People disregarding signs of abuse
- Supporting the bully’s negative behavior
- The bully is in a position of authority
Be careful about what you post online, and teach others to do the same. The internet is a place where people often feel safe to say things they would never say in person. Many sites allow people to message each other anonymously, and this has increased internet trolling.
92% of teenagers go online every day which increases the chances for internet bullying. Generally, teenagers do not have the emotional capacity to deal with severe bullying, so their social media activity should be openly discussed with parents.
If you have ever watched “the Office” television show, you probably have seen Jim prank Dwight, and sometimes Dwight sabotages Jim. In the very first episode, Dwight opens his drawer to find his stapler encased in jiggly green jello. While it seems funny, in real life, Jim’s behavior would be considered bullying because he is causing work interference.
Bullying is four times more common than any other type of workplace harassment. It is abusive if
- sabotaging work
- verbal abuse (yelling, hurtful comments, and ignoring).
Establishing a Safe Haven
Children and adults should never dread living in their own home because of a bully in the family. Your home should be a place of safety, not fear, but even if your home is bully-free, parents should still openly communicate with their children. Encourage them to talk and ask them questions about how they are doing.
Parents can make a big difference to their children. “Research tells us that children really do look to parents and caregivers for advice and help on making tough decisions. Sometimes 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem” (stopbullying.gov).
Stop bullying by addressing bully behavior head on with a simple, direct “stop. This is not okay.” Record documentation of abuse and what you have been doing to address the problem. If bullying continues, speak with a superior or with Human Resources.
As a community, we should all remember that bullying is not acceptable behavior. Discourage this behavior by teaching our family and peers to love and support one another through our example and open dialogue.
To schedule a presentation against workplace bullying for your business, call Madison Cares, or for more helpful resources visit their website at mymadisoncares.com.