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Moral Harassment - How Do We React To It?

by Conner Bowen 6 months ago in advice
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Actionable advice.

Moral Harassment - How Do We React To It?
Photo by Salman Hossain Saif on Unsplash

More and more people are morally harassed at work, the aggressor may be a superior, a colleague, or a subordinate. Do you feel that you are part of the group? We offer some tips from our specialists to react properly when the opponent proves aggressive.

Moral harassment is a recent notion. Ten years ago, it did not occur to us to react when the boss showed an attitude of gratuitous violence or perversity and we suffered in silence and full obedience.

Today, mentalities have changed, languages ​​are loosening and those in question dare to face their superior. Moral harassment, violence, so-called "mobbing" (in English "to the mob" means harassment), "bullying" ("tyrant", in English) are terms that define the inadmissible: humiliation, sarcasm that pushes some to resignation, depression, and even suicide.

Usually, the persecutor uses perverse techniques (in the psychological sense) to achieve his goal: to humiliate his victim, to demoralize him, to ridicule him until his professional life becomes hell. In such a situation you have to fight to keep your dignity and to punish your aggressor. How to do it?

Psychiatrist's advice

1. Think carefully before you act

The key question is: Does the situation you are living in really hurt you? You must answer this question before moving on. Are you hypersensitive to someone else's reproaches when it comes to professional or personal life? You may be exaggerating the reactions of an authoritarian person precisely because of your susceptibility.

Maybe working conditions are stressful? So do not rush to proclaim the state of moral harassment. Carefully analyze your reactions to the colleague you suspect would harass you. Are your comments about your professional qualities not justified? This preliminary assessment will force you to analyze the situation objectively, to make sure you are not mistaken.

You know the saying, "No one is perfect." To get a clearer picture, ask your trusted colleagues if they have noticed anything abnormal in your relationship with the person you consider aggressive. Do they think you are discriminated against? What kind of relationship do they have with this person? Do they feel harassed? If some people disassociate themselves from you, surely others will tell you whether or not you are on the wrong track.

It is a difficult stage in which you have to keep control. Even if you have doubts, you should quickly confront the person who is bothering you. Does your new boss allow himself insulting remarks about how you answer the phone or organize your work time? You need to set it up without hesitation. Go into his office and ask him what is bothering him about you.

Then he will either explain to you very clearly where you went wrong and you will leave the office in peace, or you will find that his reproaches have no cover, so they go out of the sphere of professional life. You will notice that he will try to question your qualities and intimidate you. The failure of this meeting will confirm that you are dealing with a certain type of pervert. If dialogue seems impossible, stay calm and,d especially, don't talk about how you feel, or the fact that his style of offending hurts and humiliates you.

Do not let the true states you are going through the show. If he catches the weakness, he will take advantage and will not give in to "swallow" you. In those moments, when you feel like slamming the door, don't forget that they like to cause suffering and are unable to put themselves in the other person's shoes. So don't give them water at the mill.

2. Keep your blood cool

You need to keep your cool because you know who you are dealing with right now. Try to become indifferent to the humiliated attempts of the aggressor. Its purpose is to devalue you, to make you lose confidence in yourself. Those who love you know your worth. Strive to "armor" yourself to protect yourself.

Your attitude will certainly be echoed in the behavior of the "enemy." This means that the more you react as a victim, the more he will enjoy playing the role of a torturer. It is difficult to hide your true emotions, but you will be harder to attack by its evils. You mustn't dramatize, but make fun of the trouble. Even if work is hell, you have a wonderful family life, friends who love you, hobbies, a home where you feel comfortable.

Keep the sense of proportion, work is just an activity that should not impede private life. You don't have to consider yourself a loser just for that. But you can come up with a plan to catch the aggressor. It happens that this type of persecutor is sanctioned, as I said earlier, mentalities have changed and now there are ears to hear.

You can ask a colleague to reveal the humiliations you have endured at work. Write down each event (date and time), keep business notes, registered letters, and unpleasant messages they send you.

3. Seek support

Office colleagues might support you. Find allies among those who appreciate your work and recognize your qualities. You can go so far as to report your abuser directly to his boss.

You have to be brave, don't be afraid that the boss in question might find out about your actions. You need to talk to your husband and family about your problems, because where can you find more sincere support than your family ?!

4. If necessary, consult a psychologist

You probably think that "the other person is sick", that is, the boss, and that he should go to a psychologist, not you. This judgment has a grain of truth but, living in daily stress at work, you can endanger your mental balance, even if you have a winning structure.

If you have restless sleep, you are nervous, you feel sad and abandoned or on the contrary, you become passive, you feel almost nothing, well, it means that you are on the verge of nervous depression. A specialist could help you get through this difficult time without the need for long-term psychotherapy.

The practical advice of the psychologist could save you from many inconveniences in the relationship with the boss-aggressor.

5. Learn to lose…

If you don't want to quit your job, all you have to do is run. You have to slalom through the traps of the aggressor and get rid of his attempts at manipulation. Do not try to prove that you are wrong and that you are effective.

Any excess of zeal fails miserably and you will not be able to convince him. Do not get into open conflicts (the boss likes to contradict you) and be careful to limit your meetings with him as much as possible. You have to learn to withdraw, you better cross this conflict, even if you feel that you have lost the battle.

But if you click mentally, it is preferable to look for another job. It's not worth getting sick for a job. Think about it if you don't.


About the author

Conner Bowen

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