More On Bullies...stop Treating Them Like Normal People...
exerpt from site:
Myths and misperceptions about workplace bullying
Overcoming stereotypes and false perceptions of adult bullying and workplace bullying
See also myths, misperceptions and stereotypes of child bullying and school bullying.

A myriad of myths, misperceptions, falsehoods and legends surround the subject of bullying. Studies, surveys and some academic research over the last few years have tended to perpetuate false stereotypes, however, these are often the result of notoriously unreliable self-reporting tick-sheet surveys and are rarely based on experience of case work or involvement with cases.

What some people call "bullying" is really tough dynamic management
The purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy. Good managers manage, bad managers bully. Bullies bully to hide their weakness and inadequacy, and to divert attention away from their incompetence. Many employers don't want to calculate the cost of low morale, poor productivity, poor customer service, high sickness absence, high staff turnover and frequent grievance and legal action that are a consequence of "tough dynamic management".

Bullies don't bully, they're just being assertive
People who bully are unable to distinguish between assertiveness and aggression and when challenged will speciously claim to be "assertive". Assertiveness, which is backed by integrity, recognises and respects peoples' boundaries and values, any request is polite and unconditional and there are no negative consequences if the person being asked says no. Bullies, who have no integrity, are aggressive, demanding, and regularly violate others' boundaries; aggression does not respect peoples' rights, and requests come with a negative consequence if the course of action demanded by the bully is declined.

I prefer the word "target". The word "victim" allows disingenuous people to tap into and stimulate other people's misconceptions and prejudices of victimhood which include the inference that the person was somehow complicit in the abuse. "Target" identifies the choice of the bully to be a bully rather than the misfortune of the target to unwittingly become the latest casualty of the violence of a disordered, dysfunctional, aggressive bully. To understand how and why bullies select their targets, click here.

Victims contribute to the bullying
When held accountable, abusers, molesters, harassers, bullies and violent people abdicate and deny responsibility for their actions by blaming their victim. The "blame-the-victim" misperception is part of the same mindset that says that women who are raped were asking for it or giving off the wrong signals, that wives who experience domestic violence are deserving of it and colluding with it, and children who are sexually abused are partly responsible for the abuse perpetrated against them. Abusers, harassers, bullies and violent people seem possessed of an army of supporters, apologists, appeasers, acolytes, protectors and deniers, and appreciate all forms of support which mitigate their crime.

But surely victims must do something to invite the bullying?
Children who are abused by pedophiles do not invite the abuse, women who are raped do not invite the rape, black people do not invite harassment and discrimination because of their skin colour, gay people do not invite harassment and discrimination because of their sexual orientation, and targets of bullying do not invite abuse at work simply because they are available. The six most common reasons bullies select their targets are because of availability (wrong place, wrong time), competence (envy), popularity (jealousy), vulnerability (income and the need to pay the mortgage), emotional maturity and values, and integrity. Targets represent everything that bullies are not, and never will be.

It takes two to tango
Abusers choose to abuse, molesters choose to molest, rapists choose to rape, harassers choose to harass, bullies choose to bully. Bullying is behaviour, and behaviour is a choice, therefore bullying is a choice - a bad choice, but a choice. Abdication of responsibility for personal choice is a hallmark of bullies. Either a person knows what they are doing and is responsible for their behaviour and its consequences for others, or the person is unaware of what they are doing and therefore have diminished responsibility and are in need of psychiatric help. Bullying is in the same league as abuse, molestation, rape, paedophilia and harassment; sadly there are still some people who think that targets of these vile activities are partly responsible for the abuse perpetrated against them.

Victims are weak and inadequate
It is always the bully who is weak and inadequate. Bullies resort to labelling others as "weak" and "unstable" in order to appear "normal" in comparison. Normal people don't need to bully; only weak people need to bully to hide their weakness and inadequacy. Therefore anyone who is exhibiting bullying behaviours is revealing and admitting to being weak and inadequate.

Victims are weak
Targets of bullying have no interest in power or exercising power. They go to work to work and they are not interested in office politics or conflict. Targets of bullying have high moral values, a well-developed integrity, a vulnerability (eg need to pay the mortgage), a strong sense of fair play and reasonableness, a low propensity to violence, a reluctance to pursue grievance, disciplinary or legal action, a strong forgiving streak and a mature understanding of the need to resolve conflict with dialogue. Weak people disingenuously confuse these hallmarks of character with weakness. Targets of bullying will withstand daily abuse for months, often years, but the first time a bully gets a taste of their own medicine they immediately run whingeing to authority demanding protection. That's weakness.

Victims are loners
Targets of bullying are independent, self-reliant, self-motivated, have no need to form gangs or join cliques, have no need to impress, and have no interest in office politics.

Victims are not team players
Targets of bullying are not corporate clones and drones. They are independent, self-reliant, self-motivated, imaginative, innovative, and full of ideas. Bullies operate a divide and rule regime and work hard to isolate, exclude and disempower their target who they then falsely accuse of "not being a team player".

Victims are isolated
This is a correct observation; bullies isolate their targets in order to disempower them. It's a tactic of control used by all abusers.

Victims are sensitive / oversensitive
Sensitivity comprises a constellation of values to be cherished and nurtured, including empathy, respect, tolerance, dignity, honour, consideration and gentility. Anyone who is not sensitive is insensitive. Targets have an instinctive ability to detect malicious intent which is often labelled by those who lack this ability as "being oversensitive". Bullies are callously insensitive and indifferent to the needs of others and when called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of others respond with impatience, irritability and aggression.

Victims are too weak to stand up for themselves
Targets of bullying are high-performing employees who go to work to work. They do not go to work with the intention of indulging in conflict. Bullies select individuals who prefer to use dialogue to resolve conflict, who have a low propensity to violence, and who will go to great lengths to avoid conflict - in other words, someone who will constantly try to use negotiation rather than resorting to grievance and legal action. When a bully is held accountable, these qualities are disingenuously described by weak people as weakness.

Why can't victims deal with bullying? They're grown-ups, aren't they?
From working on and liaising with over 10,000 cases of workplace bullying I am constantly amazed at the resourcefulness, innovativeness, flexibility, determination and stamina shown by targets of abuse. The turning point in each case comes when the target finally realises they're not dealing with a normal human being like themselves, but with a dysfunctional, disordered individual who exploits a system which favours perpetrators who excel in deceiving HR and management.

Victims are unstable and unhealthy
It is bullies who are unstable and unhealthy. People who observe targets as unstable are recognising the destabilising effect of psychiatric injury although the observers have not understood psychiatric injury or the circumstances which result in psychiatric injury. Some researchers have observed destabilisation, hypervigilance etc and made the incorrect assumption that these are personality traits which existed prior to the bullying. False assumptions like this are bad science, disrespectful, insensitive and offensive. It's like seeing someone with a broken leg and making the assumption they must have been born with weak bones.

Victims can't defend themselves
Prolonged negative stress results in trauma which inhibits articulation. People who blame targets of bullying for not being able to express themselves in an articulate manner are revealing their lack of empathy and their lack of knowledge of trauma and its effects. Many bullies are serial bullies with disordered personalities (including sub-clinical psychopaths) who excel at manipulation, deception, compulsive lying and a host of antisocial behaviours. It is almost impossible to defend yourself against a determined psychopath - who comprise at least 1% of the population.

Targets aren't really bullied / harassed - they're only in it for the money
Seeking legal recourse is very expensive both financially and emotionally. Sensational "awards" that are published in the media are rare and when personal injury is involved, are based on (less than) what the person would have earned had they stayed in their job till retirement. A bullying case which ends up in a personal injury case typically consumes ten years of a person's life. Targets have a much harder time finding employment afterward (especially if they're over 40) - and even if they do find employment they end up working at a lower position with lower salary. In rare cases where the employer sacks a serial bully, the bully feigns victimhood and sues the employer for as much as they can get.

Targets are only interested in compensation
If a person appears motivated by compensation then it's likely to be not a target of bullying but a serial bully who is feigning victimhood having been called to account. Serial bullies are notoriously vindictive and when held accountable by an employer will instinctively launch a legal action to aggressively claim their rights - whilst denying everyone else their rights.

Victims of bullying are always suing employers
The target is placed in the position by the bully of having no option but to take their employer to tribunal or court. In the majority of cases, this is the first time the target has ever been involved in legal action, and their unfamiliarity with the legal system is a vulnerability that bullies and abusive employers exploit.

You shouldn't sue for bullying because it prolongs victimhood
Bullying is in the same league as domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape and paedophilia. Bullies at work are likely to be committing at least one of these offences outside work. Prosecuting the perpetrators and holding accountable those who have failed in their duty of care is very different to "prolonging victimhood". Whilst there will always be a few people who abuse the law of tort for personal gain, it is disingenuous to confuse this small minority (who may themselves be bullies feigning victimhood) with the majority of genuine cases. "Victimhood" should not be used as a smokescreen for evasion of accountability.

Targets are just whiners who can't get along with people
Targets are targeted because they are competent and popular. Bullies are jealous of the easy and stable relationships that targets have with others. Jealousy and envy seem to be the conduits for the release of the seething inner anger, hatred and resentment that bullies harbour.

Why do targets go after their employers too?
In the workplace, the employer bears the vicarious liability caused by the bully's behaviour. Employers owe each employee a duty of care. Employment law is framed around the employee holding the employer responsible. No-one (unless they're a war correspondent or work for the MoD) signs a contract agreeing to work in a war zone. [Bullied workers suffer battle stress]


FullBloom FullBloom
22-25, M
1 Response Jan 22, 2012

well done, bullies are bullies and tosh parading as pseudosociological nonsense is just another form of bullying - what is the problem with being a decent human being, has greed and materialism finally morphed folk into believing that it's okay to inflict the scummy underbelly we all have on others ?

well said.