A recent article in the British newspaper “The Guardian” casts doubts on a long-held belief regarding workplace bullies. The article contends that, contrary to popular belief, workplace bullies do not suffer from low self-esteem, and therefore, sympathizing with them will not help solve the problem.
According to the article: “People wrongly assume bullies have low self-esteem, but their behaviour (sic) is actually a response to internalised (sic) shame. Although some people who live with shame have low self-esteem, those who behave like bullies tend to have high self-esteem and hubristic pride. They attack others to take away their shame – which allows them to remain unaware of their feelings.”
The article goes on to determine that: “Adults at work are as vulnerable as children in the playground if they sympathise (sic) with bullies and believe they suffer from feelings of low self-esteem. Any approach to dealing with bullies will not work if it is based on the belief that a bully is consciously aware of his or her shame, or capable of remorse.”
So what is the solution? According to the article, ‘swarming’ is the best policy: “The way to deal with bullies is to unite with your co-workers. Grouping against a bully will provide victims with support for their feelings, since victims of bullies are at risk of becoming isolated. Through joining together and discussing the bully’s behaviour (sic), co-workers can contain the bully, who, with their behaviour (sic) exposed, loses the power to terrorise (sic) – and faces the threat of isolation.”
Want to know more about workplace bullying? Join us for a 30-minute free TAL Global webinar titled: Understanding and Dealing with Workplace Bullying, on February 7, 2018. Register at: www.talglobal.com.
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