Stand Up Against Bullying: A blog to help stop workplace bullying
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From Politics to the Office: How Violent Rhetoric is Spilling Over into the Workplace

paper with the word violence on it being ripped in two
Original Publication Date October 19, 2015; Edited and Republished April 3, 2023

Observing the political arena has been quite interesting as of late. There has been a significant increase in the use of violent rhetoric, as well as personal attacks that are vicious in nature. What's even more concerning is that Americans seem to be accepting this behavior complacently and without resistance. With this kind of behavior being publicized and tolerated, it's no surprise that workplace aggression is on the rise, and workplace bullies are becoming more common.

Historically, politicians have criticized each other, but there was once a certain level of civility that was maintained during confrontations. This is no longer the case. Communication etiquette has become a thing of the past, and bad behavior has been normalized. There are now no boundaries as to what someone can say to another person, even if it is hate-filled and leads to violence.

Today's society is one where people say whatever they want to one another without any consideration for the potential harm it may cause. Derogatory language and rhetoric aimed at humiliating and shaming others have become commonplace and may even be expected. The media and current political candidates are actively reinforcing the acceptability of belittling and disparaging others.

We have become fixated on expressing our own thoughts and feelings, without regard for how it may impact others. We no longer feel the need to worry about how our words may affect those around us. We operate under the assumption that our self-expression and free speech are the most important things, and that our words take priority over others' feelings. The problem with this way of thinking is that it encourages hostility and resentment, which leads to violence in our world, including the workplace. The act of mistreating people, including our colleagues and bosses, becomes acceptable and normalized.

What we say and think has a significant impact on the environment we live in. We are all interdependent in society and in the workplace, which means how we treat and communicate with each other matters. We must remember to think before we speak, and we don't always have to express every thought that comes to mind. We can communicate our thoughts and feelings in a respectful and considerate way, without resorting to offensive or hate-filled language. We still have the right to free speech, but we must exercise it in a responsible and considerate manner.

Today, let us all strive to be kinder and more thoughtful in the words we use and call out those who use offensive language. We must all work together to do what is right.

Call to Action

Make sure you think before you speak and be kind.

P.S. I penned this in 2015, and unfortunately, things have only deteriorated further since then.