There has been a great deal of concern about bullying in schools. Some kids who are bullies never grow into what we would consider to be mature adults and bullying is just as pervasive a problem in the workplace. The problem of workplace bullying is very serious and can lead to ruined careers, financial devastation, poor mental health, and even suicide. The University of East Anglia reported on Feb. 17, 2015, workplace bullying creates a vicious circle.
Victims of bullying at work are beaten down emotionally which makes them an “easy target” for more abuse according to new research at the University of East Anglia. A spiral of abuse has been revealed in this study. This leads to victims becoming anxious and therefore less able to stand up for themselves leaving them more vulnerable to more harassment.
It has been suggested by this research that employers should crack down on workplace bullies. Employers should also reach out to help victims of bullying gain the skills which are needed to cope with difficult situations. Dr. Ana Sanz Vergel, who is associated with UEA’s Norwich Business School, says it has been revealed by this study the relationship which exists between workplace bullying and the psychological impact which this has on victims is significantly more complex than would be expected.
Some examples of bullying at work include harassing, offending, or socially excluding someone again and again over a period of about six months. Victims of workplace bullying often fall into states of poor health due to being exposed to such extremely stressful situations. This results in anxiety and a lack of energy at work.
The researchers have described what they have labelled as a “gloomy perception mechanism” which occurs with bullied workers. The anxiety in these employees causes them to evaluate their environment in more negative ways. Dr. Vergel says it was found that being exposed to workplace bullying leads to poor mental health and decreased well-being. Furthermore, the showing of anxious behavior places the victims in a weak position and makes them easy targets for more abuse therefore leading to a spiral of abuse.
This study has been published in the journal Anxiety, Stress, & Coping. Workplace bullying has been perceived of as a cause of extreme social stress in work contexts. This has been repeatedly associated with several negative consequences. However, there has not been a great deal of research which has examined reversed or reciprocal associations of bullying and outcomes. The findings in this study support the validity of the theoretical models of bullying which postulate there is a reciprocal bullying-outcome relationship instead of simply a simple one-way causal pathway.
We often hear about suicides among medical students and medical doctors. It appears possible bullying, which is often seen in medical education, plays a part in this. Medscape has reported it has been reliably estimated that the United States generally loses as many as 400 physicians to suicide every year. This is the equivalent of at least one entire medical school. It is also alarming to note that after accidents, suicide is the most common cause of death which is seen among medical students.