Tips For Handling Workplace Bullying, Because The Fun Doesn't End In Middle School

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if we'd all left bullying behind in middle school? Unfortunately it's not the case, though; a study published in 2014 found that workplace bullying is on the rise in America, and that most workers aren't sure how to deal with it or if their companies have any procedures in place to stop it. And to be clear, we're not talking about annoying Doris occasionally stealing your paperclips; workplace bullying is frequent, humiliating, miserable and shocking, and can have severe consequences for the health of the person being bullied.

Trying to sit tight and wait for it all to go away (or for everybody to "act like adults") isn't a viable survival strategy, either. A study in 2016 found that psychological distress in the victims of workplace bullying seems to have a variety of effects, including a loss of emotional management, but it's also bad news in terms of the economic big picture. New research from Aarhus University showed that, while we sometimes think of workplace bullying as inherently gendered, it actually happens to men and women virtually equally, and while women often cope by taking sick leave or going onto antidepressants, men are more likely to simply "leave the labor market for a short time;" in other words, men are more likely to cut and run, with potential cuts to their salary and future prospects.

For both genders, the impact is devastating. So what can you do about workplace bullying if you find yourself in a situation where somebody is being truly awful at work?