Stand Up Against Bullying: A blog to help stop workplace bullying
Workplace Bullying Targets Leadership

Workplace Bullying? Is that even real? Are workers lying about this?

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Original Publication March 3, 2015; Edited and Republished January 31, 2022

Over the last few years, we have heard a lot about bullying on the playground and in schools. We know that bullying in schools is still rampant. Children and young people are being hurt, committing suicide, and suffering because of harassment in the school settings.

But bullying does not stop at the edge of the playground. Bullying is happening in our work environments on a regular and frequent basis. The effect that workplace aggression has on targets is just as serious as bullying in schools. Yet it is frequently brushed under the carpet and not acknowledged at all.  Targets are often accused of being liars.

Part of this is because it is hard for us to understand how and why workplace bullying is happening. We do not anticipate going to work and being abused. We expect people in the work environments to adhere to a certain standard of behavior and act professionally. This is a myth. 

We must acknowledge that workplace bullying is a problem happening in many professions and organizations across the globe. Understanding that your workplace could be infected with workplace bullying in the future, or maybe it already is. This is the first step in a proactive approach to stopping and preventing workplace bullying. 

It is not just organizations that fail to understand workplace bullying. But the family and friends of targets are also often not aware that workplace bullying exists.  It is painful for targets to not be believed at work, but it is agonizing for their family and friends to not acknowledge their experiences or believe them. It is not necessary for family and friends to understand what is happening or why they are being harmed at work, but it is vital for the target to be believed. Family and friends need to listen and try to understand. 

Workplace bullying is real and harmful. It causes significant trauma for the targets and this issue needs to be taken seriously so we can stop and prevent bully culture.