Written by Dr David McLaughlan for International Stand Up to Bullying Day
WHAT BULLYING IS…
Bullying is a form of abuse where an individual or a group regularly creates an intimidating or humiliating environment for another. Examples include:
· Spreading malicious rumours
· Undermining someone
· Denying fair training or promotion opportunities
· Causing deliberate embarrassment
· Excluding someone from relevant professional or social activities
· Physically threatening or intimidating behaviour
· Coercing others to engage in bullying behaviour Source: Bullying at work - Family Lives
WHAT BULLYING IS NOT…
· A "clash of personalities" – If you are being systematically belittled, excluded, or intimidated, this is bullying.
· Character building – bullying does not build character; it can be debilitating and have a lasting impact on your wellbeing.
· A leadership style – Overly aggressive or dominant managers may try and pass bullying off as their "style" of management, but if you feel threatened, this is bullying.
· Provoked by the victim – Bullying is not the victim's fault. Often motivated by the perpetrator's own insecurities or desire to progress up the career ladder.
Source: Bullying at work - Family Lives
IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH Bullying can result in changes to the way you think, feel and behave:
· Loss of confidence and self esteem
· Feeling hopeless, helpless and ashamed
· Difficulty concentrating
· Feeling low in mood
· Feeling anxious or on edge
· Avoiding triggering people, place or situations.
· Increased use of alcohol, cigarettes or other substances. Some physical symptoms might include:
· Difficulty sleeping, tiredness, muscle tightness, loss of appetite Source: @offdutydoctor
Bullying itself is not against the law, but harassment is. You are protected under the 2003 Equality Act is when the unwanted behaviour is related to one of the following:
· gender reassignment
· marriage and civil partnership
· pregnancy and maternity
· religion or belief
· sexual orientation Source: Workplace bullying and harassment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)