Children do not become safe from bullying after they graduate from high school. They can be bullied their entire lives. This is called adult bullying and it is becoming increasingly more common in today’s society. Bullying has become extremely prevalent throughout the entirety of the US. However, any form of bullying that doesn’t conform to the standards of sexual harassment or illegal discrimination is still legal to practice.
What are the Effects of Adult Bullying?
Bullying is protected by law even though there has been a good amount of research conducted to find that bullying has dramatic consequences for its victims. Bullying targets often suffer serious health conditions due to their being bullied. Bullying also contributes to severely reduced workplace efficiency due to the intense strain placed upon the targets of this malicious behavior. The adult bullying can have an even more profound impact when it occurs in school settings. The students will quickly pick up the behavior and feel like it has been legitimized. Parents and school employees need to know how to confront and stop this behavior before it gets out of hand.
What is Bullying?
To understand adult bullying, people must first understand the general form. Bullying includes:
- Repeated hurtful and hostile actions
- Actions which are intended to mistreat or control people
- Hurtful verbal and non-verbal communication
- Actions which decrease someone’s intrinsic self worth.
People need to understand that bullying is not:
- A legitimate style of management
- Appropriate as a way to treat co-workers
Bullying can also:
- Undermine the educational interests of a school
- Decrease the productivity of a school
There are many examples of bullying. A few of these are:
- The repetition of insults
- Verbal conduct which any reasonable person might see as humiliating or threatening
- Sabotage work tasks
- Assigning tasks that have impossible deadlines
- Removing responsibility in favor of trivial tasks
- Taking undue credit
- Spreading rumors
- Undervaluing effort on a consistent basis
- Non-productive criticism that never ends
Psychological health conditions that stem from bullying include:
- Mood swings
- Loss of sleep and fatigue
- Feelings of shame
- Low self-esteem
Physical health conditions can also result. These include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Reduced immunity to infection
- Stress headaches
- High blood pressure
- Digestive problems
The US has not outlawed most types of bullying. However, there are a number of countries in the world that have enacted very broad bullying laws that affect people in the workplace. The people in the US need to be targeted for bullying because of sexual advances or differences in color, sex or orientation in order to bring legal charges against the aggressors. However, the targets of this abhorrent behavior need to go forward undaunted and take action against these people. These victimized people can participate in training and seminars. They can contact their union representatives. They can educate themselves with research and literature on bullying. They can do whatever they need in order to address this problem in the workplace.
People need to be familiar with what this form of bullying involves and what it can cause. Knowing as much as they can about this behavior will make these people more prepared to identify it when it happens. A person who can identify bullying early has a better chance of dealing with it properly. There is meaningful action that can be taken to stand up against bullying. The victim needs to stand up to the bully and tell him to cut it out. If that does not work, the victim needs to take the next step. The next step to take when a person discovers that the bully is not going to stop is to contact the union representative. Any union member has the right to contact his union representative about troubles. The union can assist him in understanding what his legal rights are and what he can do to protect them. For instance, he may be able to add some language into the collective bargaining agreement. This could make it possible for the employee to file a formal grievance about the severe bullying.
Bullying can continue throughout the entire life of a person. He does not have to be a child. Even in his adult years, bullies can continue to pester him and make him feel bad. At some point, he is going to need to take action and stand up to people who do not treat him right. Leaving is always an option. There are other places to work. Nobody needs to feel like they cannot find another place of employment. They need to have the confidence to stand up to the people who are mistreating them and tell the boss that they are going to leave if things do not change.
Bullying doesn’t need to be accepted. Adults should take action against it.