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Old 02-29-2012, 10:06 AM   #81
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I find it a little juvenile to refer to it as adult 'bullying'. Bullying is what goes on with kids on the playground. I realize just calling it by a different name doesn't change what's happening, but there are other words to describe it that won't make you sound like a subordinate ('you' in the general sense, not anyone in particular). When you say you're getting bullied, you're almost relegating yourself to victim-hood.
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Yea I don't get it, the whole adult "bullying" thing.
oh believe me it does happen - my father was a total bully - he bullied his work colleagues, and his whole family and still does to this day apparently although i have nothing to do with the bastard any more, thank fuck!

he acted juvenile, like a total child, throwing his weight around, being obnoxious, getting his own way all the time, basically using school-yard bully-boy tactics and bad moods and childish temper tantrums, but which was quite impressive/daunting/scary coming from a full-grown man who has the "power" in the household, especially when you're small and dependent on them - i swear he was worse than a toddler with his temper tantrums LOL - it wasn't until i became a mother and realised my toddlers were more reasonable and better behaved and more polite than he was that i finally had the guts to stand up to him - and standing up to him actually wrecked our relationship as he just couldn't handle it...

but yeah, it's shocking to see, it's ugly, but it does happen... maybe rarely, though, hopefully!

i've come across some quite manipulative people in my time who you could describe as a bully in a way, but they've been more devious, nothing quite as dramatic as him... and i often find certain types of people will try to take advantage of me, just really pushy people mostly who will just push it too far and make crazy demands on me - i think people who meet me but don't actually know me well think i'm a bit of a pushover so will try it on sometimes, and then get offended/surprised when i eventually stand up for myself and say "whoa! enough!" - i think having grown up with a bully in the house, i never let myself be bullied for long in other aspects of life - there is NO way i would ever describe myself as a victim, i would say it taught me how to be more of a fighter and i won't let anyone mess with me or my loved ones - i had to learn how to think on my feet, and how to outsmart a bully - i have a bully radar and am more likely to pre-empt a bully and kick him in the teeth rather than act the victim (metaphorically of course) LOL
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:12 AM   #82
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Adult bullying certainly exists - it is just more fine-tuned than the children's version. So they're not stealing your lunch money and stuffing you in a locker, but they are doing other things that makes your existence at work completely miserable. It can come from supervisors or people who are senior enough that they have a say in your advancement. It doesn't have to consist of open threats since implied ones are just as effective. Generally workplace bullies are known entities, which is to say that everyone in the office knows who they are and that they are a problem but for various reasons the problem is never addressed or is not addressed adequately by the leadership so it festers like a cancer.

It is serious enough that there is legislation in a number of places now which addresses it. In Ontario it is officially called workplace harassment, but it's essentially bullying or what you'd consider to be classic bullying.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:28 AM   #83
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I wish I had someone teach me self-confidence while I was growing up. No teacher ever bothered to help me, and my family weren't much help either.

Anyway, it is true confidence drives away bullies. But the thing is, there will always be that one kid without confidence and the other kid looking to torment someone like that. That is why I think bullying will never go away.
as a mother, that is what i've tried to do with my kids, really encourage them to be confident and make sure that they (especially my daughter) don't take grief from anyone... i've really tried to help them understand what is and what isn't acceptable behaviour from others...

they've both turned out pretty confident secure kids - they're both extremely opinionated teenagers with their own minds... although sometimes it's not even enough to be confident as that can have it's own downsides as the happy popular confident kids can often be targets for bullying too - as we've recently experienced actually...
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #84
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they've both turned out pretty confident secure kids - they're both extremely opinionated teenagers with their own minds... although sometimes it's not even enough to be confident as that can have it's own downsides as the happy popular confident kids can often be targets for bullying too - as we've recently experienced actually...
True. Sometimes bullies target the happy, confident types due to immense envy.
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:32 PM   #85
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^ Huh, wonder if that's mostly a British English term? I've never heard it before.
Oh. Mobbing is the word that's used in Germany for both kids and adults. I looked it up to see if it were used in English-speaking countries at all. Maybe it's only true for researchers who use it in their field.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:25 PM   #86
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Adult bullying certainly exists - it is just more fine-tuned than the children's version. So they're not stealing your lunch money and stuffing you in a locker, but they are doing other things that makes your existence at work completely miserable. It can come from supervisors or people who are senior enough that they have a say in your advancement. It doesn't have to consist of open threats since implied ones are just as effective. Generally workplace bullies are known entities, which is to say that everyone in the office knows who they are and that they are a problem but for various reasons the problem is never addressed or is not addressed adequately by the leadership so it festers like a cancer.

Yes.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #87
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Adult bullying certainly exists - it is just more fine-tuned than the children's version. So they're not stealing your lunch money and stuffing you in a locker, but they are doing other things that makes your existence at work completely miserable. It can come from supervisors or people who are senior enough that they have a say in your advancement. It doesn't have to consist of open threats since implied ones are just as effective. Generally workplace bullies are known entities, which is to say that everyone in the office knows who they are and that they are a problem but for various reasons the problem is never addressed or is not addressed adequately by the leadership so it festers like a cancer.

It is serious enough that there is legislation in a number of places now which addresses it. In Ontario it is officially called workplace harassment, but it's essentially bullying or what you'd consider to be classic bullying.
that doesn't really give examples...

are we merely talking about abuse of power? i don't quite put that in the same category as childhood bullying. nor do i consider bad parenting as "bullying," either.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:33 AM   #88
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that doesn't really give examples...

are we merely talking about abuse of power? i don't quite put that in the same category as childhood bullying. nor do i consider bad parenting as "bullying," either.
it's not just bad parenting - in my father's case, it was his personality - he had the personality of a bully, and he bullied people in all aspects of his life... he actually could never hold down a job long because of it either... and shot himself in the foot in all his social circles LOL
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:35 AM   #89
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that doesn't really give examples...

are we merely talking about abuse of power? i don't quite put that in the same category as childhood bullying. nor do i consider bad parenting as "bullying," either.
Lots of examples - some I have witnessed:
- name-calling
- humiliation in front of others, things like being hung up on a conference call intentionally, person rolling their eyes at another person in a meeting, making derogatory remarks about you in front of a client (ie undercutting your authority)
- intimidating behavior - for example implying that you taking a sick day in the middle of a busy week will have repercussions
- sabotaging your performance by not giving you all the information you need or promising a work product to a client and not informing you on purpose

Not an abuse of power because none of these examples necessarily originate from a supervisor - could easily be someone on your level or even below.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:57 AM   #90
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See, I wouldn't call any of that bullying, because I don't believe it's age appropriate. What's wrong with calling it harassment? Or in Mama Cass' example, what's wrong with just saying he was an asshole (sorry )? If an adult came up to me and told me they were being bullied, my first reaction would probably be to laugh; not at the treatment, but at the language being used
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:02 PM   #91
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Well I think we're splitting hairs - whether you call it harassment or bullying I think really makes very little difference in how it should be addressed (and often isn't).

Ontario legislation calls it harassment. Other jurisdictions may call it bullying. If you look at the literature you'll see the use of both terms.

Not sure what really rests on which word you use.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:19 PM   #92
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Well I think we're splitting hairs - whether you call it harassment or bullying I think really makes very little difference in how it should be addressed (and often isn't).

Ontario legislation calls it harassment. Other jurisdictions may call it bullying. If you look at the literature you'll see the use of both terms.

Not sure what really rests on which word you use.
Splitting hairs? Maybe. I'm just saying it's hard to take anyone serious when they use the word bullying (and I assume there are others here who would agree). Just like you don't call break time recess or say you have a sore tummy. I feel like when someone uses it, it puts across an image of weakness, and of being small and in need of protection.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:22 PM   #93
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To be honest with you the two times that it was used to describe somebody to me was done both times by corner office senior partners describing behaviour by somebody else, and these individuals are making 7 figures a year and are the very definition of alpha male executives in their late 50s or early 60s - the sort that juniors cower around. Maybe that's why I didn't have the reaction you suggest at all.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:23 PM   #94
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Or in Mama Cass' example, what's wrong with just saying he was an asshole (sorry )
oh no worries, i am the FIRST person to call him that
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:25 PM   #95
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I feel like when someone uses it, it puts across an image of weakness, and of being small and in need of protection.
I think this is part of the problem.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:41 PM   #96
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Lots of examples - some I have witnessed:
- name-calling
- humiliation in front of others, things like being hung up on a conference call intentionally, person rolling their eyes at another person in a meeting, making derogatory remarks about you in front of a client (ie undercutting your authority)
- intimidating behavior - for example implying that you taking a sick day in the middle of a busy week will have repercussions
- sabotaging your performance by not giving you all the information you need or promising a work product to a client and not informing you on purpose

Not an abuse of power because none of these examples necessarily originate from a supervisor - could easily be someone on your level or even below.
i still don't fully get it... if i take a sick day during a busy, important week, i better be pretty damned sick, or there will be repercussions. i don't consider somebody telling me that bullying. i consider it reality.

can you roll your eyes if what the person says is stupid? i just... i dunno. we all know people at work who are just dicks. but i've never felt that they were bullies. i just thought they were dicks.

a person purposely sabotaging your work inside the same company is just plain stupid. i wouldn't consider a boss who allowed this to go on a bully. i'd consider him an idiot.

i don't work for a large corporation, so perhaps i'm just not getting it... i do get that there is a very big darwinism thing going on in the corporate world, where the strong survive and move up... but again, i think that's just reality.'

obviously there's a difference between competing to move up the corporate ladder and straight out harassment of a coworker. using any sort of racial or sexual language or physical intimidation is obviously grounds not only for termination but arrest. i don't really see that in your examples though...
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:19 PM   #97
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i still don't fully get it... if i take a sick day during a busy, important week, i better be pretty damned sick, or there will be repercussions. i don't consider somebody telling me that bullying. i consider it reality.
This person had a necessary surgical procedure scheduled. Now keep in mind that there were about a dozen lawyers working on this deal and the individual in question was a junior who could have been easily replaced for a couple of days by any number of other juniors (you could have had a choice of 3 dozen) or the work could have simply been spread out. It was appalling behaviour - we are corporate lawyers, nobody will die if somebody needs to be away.

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can you roll your eyes if what the person says is stupid?
If you want to be unprofessional, sure. The point of rolling the eyes for this particular person isn't to display that he thinks the others are stupid, it's that he thinks they are wasting his time for even speaking (self-aggrandizement).

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a person purposely sabotaging your work inside the same company is just plain stupid. i wouldn't consider a boss who allowed this to go on a bully. i'd consider him an idiot.
It's not the boss who is the bully - and the problem is often that the person at the top of the food chain is not aware of the issue until it escalates a lot further because in the corporate world it is seen as a weakness to go and complain. I actually agree with BVS that JT's response is problematic in this respect. I have seen many great people leave a place that became intolerable. Could things have played out differently? Maybe. But when you're a cog in the machine, you don't want to be perceived as going to cry to the boss.

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i don't work for a large corporation, so perhaps i'm just not getting it...
I really think that this is the issue. It is such a different world. I have worked in academia, in the public sector, in the non-corporate private sector and then in the toughest dog-eat-dog corporate setting and there is nothing that you can compare to it. If you'd like, I can walk you through the various examples of suicides and suicide attempts (at the office, mind you), stunning rates of alcoholism and drug use as coping mechanisms, people being burnt out, etc. The big part of that is the environment in general. BUT when you work in that sort of environment, sometimes all it takes is one bully (or harasser if you'd prefer) to push people over the top. As a senior partner said to me "this place is hard enough to work at without having to put up with that on top of it."
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:35 PM   #98
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If you'd like, I can walk you through the various examples of suicides and suicide attempts (at the office, mind you), stunning rates of alcoholism and drug use as coping mechanisms, people being burnt out, etc. The big part of that is the environment in general. BUT when you work in that sort of environment, sometimes all it takes is one bully (or harasser if you'd prefer) to push people over the top. As a senior partner said to me "this place is hard enough to work at without having to put up with that on top of it."
wow... makes me glad to be a freelancer!

yeah actually i turned down a really great job offer once because the person i would have been working for was known to be awful... someone i respected greatly on a professional level (who quit their job because it had become intolerable since this person joined the company) actually said to me "if you value your mental health, don't do it, but otherwise it's an amazing opportunity!" - i know it would have been a great career move in one way, but this person would've made my life hell lol!! our paths still cross indirectly professionally, and, every time, it reminds me i made the right decision!

life's too short!
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:17 PM   #99
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I think this is part of the problem.
How do you mean?
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:22 PM   #100
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To be honest with you the two times that it was used to describe somebody to me was done both times by corner office senior partners describing behaviour by somebody else, and these individuals are making 7 figures a year and are the very definition of alpha male executives in their late 50s or early 60s - the sort that juniors cower around. Maybe that's why I didn't have the reaction you suggest at all.
I admit it's a silly thing to argue about, I just think it's important to consider how one comes across, especially in serious matters. Certainly in this case, I would think that 'harassment' would be taken far more seriously than 'bullying'. But anyway, you're absolutely right in that it doesn't change a thing about the actual behaviour being described
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