When people talk about bullying, they often assume the term refers to children. They imagine a young child getting bullied by older children in the hallways at school or on the playground. They know that this is how children relate because they’re immature, but they assume it stops in adulthood.
The truth, though, is that bullying never ends. It happens in workplaces all around the United States every day. As one therapist put it, the goal is to dominate the other person and “show them who is the boss.” That makes it perfectly fit into the workplace setting, even if it is a coworker and not a boss who is doing it.
Why does workplace bullying happen?
If you’re experiencing workplace bullying as an adult, it may be hard to understand why it happens. Usually, it’s about power. The bully wants to gain power over the victim. They may do it through the use of humiliation, by bullying that person in a very public manner. They may do it behind closed doors. Either way, they want to show that they are the so-called “alpha” and they are in charge of the group or “pack.”
This is a natural response to the “corporate ladder” and the way that workers are encouraged to do whatever they can to get ahead and get promotions. If they feel like they can advance their own position by bullying someone else, they’ll do it.
Though physical altercations are not as common as in childhood, bullying is often verbal. It can also be sexual or motivated by something like racism. No matter what workplace bullying looks like, you need to know your options if it happens to you. If you believe you’re being bullied for a discriminatory reason, it may be time to speak to an attorney.