Sunday, November 16, 2008

Narcissists, NPD and the serial bully

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Narcissists, NPD and the serial bully
The serial bully displays behaviour congruent with many of the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Characterised by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity and self-importance, need for admiration, and lack of empathy, people with narcissistic personality disorder overestimate their abilities and inflate their accomplishments, often appearing boastful and pretentious, whilst correspondingly underestimating and devaluing the achievements and accomplishments of others.

Often the narcissist will fraudulently claim to have qualifications or experience or affiliations or associations which they don't have or aren't entitled to. Belief in superiority, inflating their self-esteem to match that of senior or important people with whom they associate or identify, insisting on having the "top" professionals or being affiliated with the "best" institutions, but criticising the same people who disappoint them are also common features of narcissistic personality disorder.

Narcissists react angrily to criticism and when rejected, the narcissist will often denounce the profession which has rejected them (usually for lack of competence or misdeed) but simultaneously and paradoxically represent themselves as belonging to the profession they are vilifying.

Fragile self-esteem, a need for constant attention and admiration, fishing for compliments (often with great charm), an expectation of superior entitlement, expecting others to defer to them, and a lack of sensitivity especially when others do not react in the expected manner, are also hallmarks of the disorder. Greed, expecting to receive before and above the needs of others, overworking those around them, and forming romantic (sic) or sexual relationships for the purpose of advancing their purpose or career, abusing special privileges and squandering extra resources also feature.

People with narcissistic personality disorder also have difficulty recognizing the needs and feelings of others, and are dismissive, contemptuous and impatient when others share or discuss their concerns or problems. They are also oblivious to the hurtfulness of their behaviour or remarks, show an emotional coldness and a lack of reciprocal interest, exhibit envy (especially when others are accorded recognition), have an arrogant, disdainful and patronizing attitude, and are quick to blame and criticise others when their needs and expectations are not met.

To read the rest of this article go to

Saturday, November 15, 2008

This is what makes being a Supervisor worth it!

Wednesday November 12th was a very interesting day for me. I am a supervisor at a major university and I have a staff of around 15 people. We are required to give a monthly safety meeting which I decided rather than to give the usual 15 minute quick meeting at the start of the shift about the usual topics such as lifting safety, or eye safety. I decided that I would dedicate an hour to talk about Abuse and Bullying, particularly workplace bullying. I wasn’t sure how the subject was going to go over with the staff but I was pleasantly surprised. I went over three questionnaires with them which sparked them thinking. The first one was “am I a Bully”? The second are we mobbing”? And the third was about witnessing someone being bullied. By the end of the shift I had 3 people come to me and thank me, two of the three were the ones I had hoped to reach, so I was very happy when I left at the end of the day. The third person gave me kudos and positive feedback.

Thursday November 13th the following day different employees came to me and said “oh by the way I want you to know that (a certain other employee) came to her after the meeting and apologizes to her for going off on her a couple of months ago. He acknowledged that what he had done was bullying and he was wrong and sincerely sorry. I have to say that made my day for sure.

Friday November 14th two days after the meeting another staff member came to me and said that one of the two that I had hoped to reach came to her and another female co-worker, and apologized to them both. He apologized for the way he has treated them, and for calling them liars in a meeting this past summer. She told me that she and the other women also apologized to him as well. She was on cloud nine when she told me this and thanked thanked me for giving that safety meeting. She told me that it made her feel really good. Later on Friday the other one I had hoped to reach told me she was going to keep the list where she can keep looking at it. She didn’t realize some of those behaviors were abusive but she does now. It just keeps getting better1 The person who gave me kudos the day of the meeting came to me again on Friday and said he wanted to talk to me. He had in his hand a folder which he had put together. It had the handouts from the meeting and he had a suggestion for the next meeting, along with a short essay that he wrote on people respecting each other, and parents needing to hold hug their kids. He read it to me and I was very touched by it. I asked him if he would mind sharing it, and told him about this website, and asked if he would let me post it here. He told me he would but he wanted to revise it first. I will be posting it once I receive it from him. I thought it was good and should be shared.

Well I guess you just never know who you may touch or who you will reach, or if you will reach anyone at all, but this shows what a little information and education can do. To me this is what makes being a supervisor worth it.
~ abusenomore

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bullying caused woman's suicide, inquiry told

Natasha Wallace Health Reporter
July 9, 2008

CHRISTINE HODDER, 38, was a much-loved woman with a husband and a three-year-old daughter, and had almost completed her Bachelor of Nursing degree when she killed herself in her backyard.

Ms Hodder, after enduring years of bullying by male colleagues at Cowra ambulance station, where she was the first and only female officer, hanged herself on her child's swing in April, 2005, a parliamentary inquiry into the NSW Ambulance Service has heard.

She could not even leave her car at work because the tyres were let down, her toilet at work was urinated "all over" and she was constantly ridiculed by fellow officers in front of patients, her mother-in-law, Carolynn Hodder, has told the inquiry in a written submission. She believed her death was the culmination of

sustained victimisation by colleagues since she started at Cowra in 1999. She said the bullying went up the line to management and was ignored.

Christine Hodder had lodged two formal complaints, one in 2001 and another a few months before she died, about bullying and harassment by several officers and had twice been on stress leave.

In a five-page complaint dated February 20, 2005, which has been made public, Christine Hodder said she felt she had never been accepted there because she was a woman.

"In the past six years I have been badly treated as other staff members collectively bullied, belittled and intimidated me," she said.

"The staff in this station has constantly alienated and attacked my character and physical appearance since my arrival."

She felt "totally ridiculed" and officers had said she had a "hairy lip" and that her "hair looked like one of the Aboriginal ladies at the mission", she said.

Yesterday her husband Jason, who is struggling to cope with his wife's death while caring for their daughter, Brittany, now 6, said several managers told him that bullying was a problem but were not prepared to speak publicly or put it in writing for fear of litigation.

"Every high-ranking ambulance person I spoke to was quite happy off the record to say this is really, really bad … and told me that they don't see that much is going to happen [change]," Mr Hodder told the Herald. "This is why it nearly took me as well … I've only just survived."

Mrs Hodder said that on the day before her daughter-in-law died she had told her she felt the situation was hopeless and she had lost faith in management over dealing with her complaints.

"She felt that nobody cared and there was nowhere she could go. Nobody listened," Mrs Hodder told the Herald.

In her submission, Mrs Hodder described Christine, who immigrated from France when she was 15, as "a clever, shy, beautiful girl in both appearance and manner".

"Christine initially laughed off the harassment from her fellow officers, but it was relentless, and when it continued over the years, it became very hard to bear. She often said, 'What is wrong with me? Why do they hate me so much?' There were so many incidents perpetrated against Christine," she wrote.

"She took her own life by hanging herself from her daughter's swing in the family backyard. We didn't see it coming, and I cannot even begin to describe the utter horror, disbelief, grief, and unbelievable sadness we feel because she isn't in our lives any more.

"We miss her, and what utterly saddens me is she will never see her beloved daughter grow up. For the people who have caused this devastation, the whole chapter is finished. Unfortunately for us, the life of a much-loved wonderful girl is also finished. We will never see Christine again."

She urged the inquiry to ask "serious questions" of the NSW Ambulance Service.

"Why they have allowed these types of behaviours to continue to the point where people from that one station are transferring away, going on stress leave and in Christine's case becoming so demoralised and depressed that she committed suicide."

In July, 2005, the chief executive of the NSW Ambulance Service, Greg Rochford, wrote to Mr Hodder and said an investigation had been completed.

The letter, also made public, reveals the service began the investigation three days before Christine Hodder died and found a culture of male dominance, "acceptance of poor standards of cleanliness" and "white-anting".

It recommended staff receive training in workplaces free of harassment and bullying, that the service should explore how to change the behaviour of staff, and that no female officer be appointed to Cowra for six months.

No officer was disciplined.

Last week Christine Hodder's former colleague Phil Roxburgh gave evidence that she had been victimised, that management ignored her complaints and that he himself was bullied when he tried to support her.

For help call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

This story was found at:

The Cost of Co-Worker Bullying

Co-worker BullyingPosted by Molly DiBianca On August 18, 2008 In: Jerks & Bullies at Work
Workplace bullying has been a hot topic since the release of the 2007 Zogby survey, which showed that 49% of American workers report that they’ve been the target of a bully’s bad behavior. Employers have begun instituting tolerance training and implementing respectful-workplace policies. Awareness is key in preventing this prevalent workplace disease. One way to make top management place value on eliminating jerks at work is to talk dollars.

Bullying costs companies big money. Here are some of the ways that your bottom line is directly affected if you fail to eradicate bullying at work:

1. Targeted employees have higher absenteeism rates. Wouldn’t you? When the workplace becomes increasingly intolerable and unpleasant, people stop coming to work.

2. Decreased productivity. Those who do manage to get themselves into work are less productive. They’re nursing emotional wounds, meaning they’re more likely to hide in their office than dare engage with others at the risk of being put on the firing range. Stress-related illness is not conducive to high productivity, either. If you don’t feel well, you’re not putting your best efforts into your work.

3. High turnover. Replacing an employee can cost a business up to 3 times that employee’s yearly salary. And dedicated, enthusiastic employees are not easy to find. Yet, employees who are bullied at work will almost certainly leave. Some leave because of their health. Others leave because the bully has succeeded in sabotaging their reputation.

4. Unhealthy Employees Are Expensive. Employers have campaigned to rid the workplace of smokers, who are more costly to insure. Obese employees may be next on the list. But what about bullied employees? Targets are affected with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, which is especially common with male targets, and other stress-related illnesses. Physiological illnesses, such as headaches and backaches.

5. Infected-Workplace Syndrome. As devastating as these effects can be, they can, and likely will, get worse. Bullies are infectious and contagious. Other employees who witness bullying behavior feel sympathy for their coworkers and guilt for doing nothing about it. They shrivel up, just like the target, in the fear that the bully will turn his or her anger towards them next.
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on August 21, 2008 at 5:50 pm

ABC NEWS~ Is Your Boss Making You Sick? A Mean Boss May Hurt Your Health

Oct. 26, 2005

They supply seemingly endless fodder for movies like "Office Space," "9 to 5" and "Swimming with Sharks," but for many Americans, nasty bosses are a reality.

Considering that most people spend at least eight hours a day at work, a mean boss can have a hugely detrimental impact on someone's quality of life. According to one poll, 40 percent of people say their job is either "very" or "extremely" stressful.

Researchers in Finland found that workers who felt they were being treated fairly had a much lower incidence of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in all Western societies. They tracked the 10-year incidence of heart disease in more than 6,400 male civil servants in London. Researchers found that men who felt they were treated fairly at work had a 30 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease.

"The evidence is becoming increasingly clear that stress, wherever it's coming from, is becoming hazardous to our health," said Dr. Bruce Spring, assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.

Health care costs are 50 percent higher for those who are stressed out at work. In addition, poor employee-supervisor relationships can take a toll on workplace productivity.

"You're not going to have good productivity if you have employees taking sick leave every once in awhile because they can't handle the stress," said labor attorney Rania Sedhom.

Mean bosses also drive many people out of their jobs for good. The No. 1 reason people quit is because of a bad boss -- and according to a Gallup poll, half would fire their boss if they could.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Workplace bullying From Wikipedia

'''Workplace bullying''', like childhood bullying, is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation. This type of aggression is particularly difficult because unlike the typical forms of schoolyard bullying, workplace bullies often operate within the established rules and policies of their organization and their society. Bullying in the workplace therefore takes a wide variety of forms, from being rude or belligerent, to talking in a dismissive tone ("talking down") to subordinates and/or peers, screaming or cursing, having an arrogant attitude in general, e.g., "I'm right and everyone else is always wrong", being quick to criticize and slow to praise, destruction of property or work product, character assassination, spreading malicious rumors or gossip about others, not providing appropriate resources and amenities in a fair and equitable manner, social ostracism, and even physical assault.

= Leading pioneers in the understanding of workplace bullying =

The following pioneers made particularly important contributions to the understanding of workplace bullying.

* Heinz Leymann Dr Heinz Leymann Sweden
* Andrea Adams UK
* Tim Field Dr Tim Field UK
* Robert Hare (psychologist)Dr Robert Hare USA
* Paul Babiak Dr Paul Babiak USA
* Gary Namie Dr Gary Namie USA
* Dr. Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik USA
* Dr. Sarah J. Tracy USA

== Defining workplace bullying ==

While there is no single, formally- agreed-upon definition of workplace bullying, several researchers have endeavoured to define it. Some categorize all harmful boss-behavior and actions of :wikt:malintent malintent directed at employees as bullying. Bullying behaviours may be couched in humiliation and hazing rites and iterative programs or protocols framed as being in the best interests of employee development and coaching. Others separate behaviors into different patterns, labeling a subset of those behaviors as bullying, explaining that there are different ways to deal effectively with specific patterns of behavior depending. Some workplace bullying is defined as involving an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss in conjunction with other employees as complicit, while other workplace bullying is defined as involving only an employee’s immediate supervisor, manager or boss.

For example, according to Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts Tracy, Lutgen-Sandvik, and Alberts[ Nightmares, Demons and Slaves, Exploring the Painful Metaphors of Workplace Bullying], 2006, researchers associated with the Project for Wellness and Work-Life workplace bullying is most often "a combination of tactics in which numerous types of hostile communication and behavior are used" (p. 152).

Gary and Ruth Namie define workplace bullying as "''repeated, health-harming mistreatment, verbal abuse, or conduct which is threatening, humiliating, intimidating, or sabotage that interferes with work or some combination of the three''.".Namie, Gary and Ruth Workplace Bullying Institute Brochure. Pamela Lutgen-SandvikLutgen-Sandvik, Pamela [ Take This Job and . . . : Quitting and Other Forms of Resistance to Workplace Bullying] expands this definition, stating that workplace bullying is "persistent verbal and nonverbal aggression at work, that includes personal attacks, social ostracism, and a multitude of other painful messages and hostile interactions." Noa Davenport, Ruth Distler-Schwartz and Gail Pursell-Elliot identify “mobbing” as a particular type of bullying that is not as apparent as most, defining it as "''…an emotional assault. It begins when an individual becomes the target of disrespectful and harmful behavior. Through innuendo, rumors, and public discrediting, a hostile environment is created in which one individual gathers others to willingly, or unwillingly, participate in continuous malevolent actions to force a person out of the workplace''." Marilyn Haight identifies thirteen patterns of bad-boss-behavior, with workplace bullying being only one of those patterns: "''Bully Bosses try to intimidate the people who report to them. They insult, taunt, harass and threaten employees. They snap, shout, ridicule, and/or curse at them. While abusing people, both verbally and psychologically, bullying bosses have that cat-that-swallowed-the-canary, satirical expression on their faces. They appear to be out of control while attacking, but they are very much in control and keenly aware of the emotional reactions of the people around them''."

Because it can occur in a variety of contexts and forms, it of also useful to define workplace bullying by the key features that these behaviors possess. For example, Lutgen-Sandvik (2006) explains that bullying is characterized by repetition (occurs regularly), duration (is enduring), escalation (increasingly aggressive), intensity (behavior is hostile), and power disparity (the target lacks the power to successfully defend their self). This distinguishes bullying from isolated behaviors and other forms of job stress and allows the term workplace bullying to be applied in various contexts and to behaviors that meet these characteristics.

According to Pamela Lutgin-SandvikLutgin-Sandvik, Pamela, The Communicative Cycle of Employee Emotional Abuse], 2003, the lack of unifying language to name the phenomenon of workplace bullying is a problem because without a unifying term or phrase, individuals have difficulty naming their experiences of abuse, and therefore have trouble pursuing justice against the bully. Unlike the term "sexual harassment," which named a specific problem and is now recognized in U.S. law (and many international laws), workplace bullying is still being established as a relevant social problem and is in need of a specific vernacular. Marilyn Haight has taken a step toward isolating and naming thirteen specific behavioral patterns which are typically lumped together under the generic term of bullying.

Transsexual people are extremely vulnerable to workplace bullying. Even after transition they may be taunted and harassed despite company policy and legal safeguards. This is particularly prevalent amongst the skilled artisans and people who work with their hands. Most of this grouping just leave the employment pool altogether. Those that do not often have to suffer very hostile treatment from their management and coworkers{{cite web
| last = Rhodes
| first = Stephenne
| title = Workplace Harassment of Gender Variant People in the United States
| publisher = Gender Identity Research and Education Society
| date = July 2008
| url =
| format
| accessdate = 2008-10-4}}

== Statistics ==

StatisticsBully Busters Workplace Bullying Defined] from the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention show that one in three employees personally experiences bullying at some point in their working lives. At any given time, 1 out of every 10 employees is a target of workplace bullying. Nearly half of all American workers (49%) have been affected by workplace bullying, either being a target themselves or having witnessed abusive behavior against a co-worker.

Although socio-economic factors may play a role in the abuse, researchers from the Project for Wellness and Work-Life suggest that "workplace bullying, by definition, is not explicitly connected to demographic markers such as sex and ethnicity" (p. 151). Because one out of ten employees experiences workplace bullying, the prevalence of this issue is cause for great concern, even as initial data about this issue are reviewed.

In terms of gender, the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007) states that women appear to be at greater risk of becoming a bullying target, as 57% of those who reported being targeted for abuse were women. Men are more likely to participate in aggressive bullying behavior (60%), however if the bully is a woman, her target is more likely to be a woman as well (71%).

Race also may play a role in the experience of workplace bullying. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (2007), "the comparison of combined bullying (current + ever bullied) prevalence percentages reveals the pattern from most to least: Hispanics (52.1%), African-Americans (46%), Whites (33.5%) and Asian-Americans (30.6%). The reported rates of witnessing bullying were African-Americans (21.1%), Hispanics (14%), Whites (10.8%), and Asian-Americans (8.5%). The percentages of those claiming to have neither experienced nor witnessed mistreatment were among Asian-Americans (57.3%), Whites (49.7%), Hispanics (32.2%) and African-Americans (23.4%)."

== Health effects of bullying ==

According to Gary and Ruth Namie, as well as Tracy, et al.Namie, Gary and Ruth The WBI 2003 Report on Abusive Workplaces], workplace bullying can harm the health of the targets of bullying. Organizations are beginning to take note of workplace bullying because of the costs the organization in terms of the health of their employees.

According to scholars at the The Project for Wellness and Work-Life] at [[Arizona State University]], "workplace bullying is linked to a host of physical, psychological, organizational, and social costs." Stress is the most predominant health effect associated with bullying in the workplace. Research indicates that workplace stress has significant negative effects that are correlated to poor mental health and poor physical health, resulting in an increase in the use of "sick days" or time off from work (Farrell & Geist-Martin, 2005).

In addition, co-workers who witness workplace bullying can also have negative effects, such as fear, stress, and emotional exhaustion. Those who witness repetitive workplace abuse often choose to leave the place of employment where the abuse took place. Workplace bullying can also hinder the organizational dynamics such as group cohesion, peer communication, and overall performance.
Bullying is not a good thing, it can scar people for life.

== Financial cost of bullying to a company ==

In a report by the International Labour Organization of Geneva, they highlight three interesting facts about the financial cost of bullying in the work place:

* According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH) mental illness among the workforce leads to a loss in employment amounting to $19 billion and a drop in productivity of $3 billion (Sauter, et al., 1990).

* Heinz_Leymann|Leymann (1990) estimated the cost of bullying for the organisation to account for approximately $30,000-100,000 per year for each individual subjected to bullying.

* A recent Finnish study of more than 5,000 hospital staff found that those who had been bullied had 26% more certified sickness absence than those who were not bullied, when figures were adjusted for base-line measures one year prior to the survey (Kivimaki et al, 2000). According to the researchers these figures are probably an underestimation as many of the targets are likely to have been bullied already at the time the base-line measures were obtained.

Research by Dr Dan Dana has shown organizations suffer a large financial cost by not accurately conflict management|managing conflict and bullying type behaviors. He has developed a tool to assist with calculating the cost of conflict. Dan Dana In addition, researcher Tamara Parris discusses how employers need to be more attentive in managing various discordant behaviors in the workplace, such as, bullying, as it not only creates a financial cost to the organization, but also erodes the companies human resources assets. [ Hugh Downs School of Human Communication]

== Types of workplace bullying==

Tim Field suggested that workplace bullying takes these formsField, Tim, Bullying: what is it?:
* Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying
* Organizational bullying
* Corporate bullying
* Institutional bullying
* Client bullying
* Restroom bullying
* Serial bullying
* Secondary bullying
* Pair bullying
* Characterization bullying (e.g. Pokémon Characterization)
* Gang/group bullying, also called mobbing
* Vicarious bullying
* Regulation bullying
* Residual bullying
* Cyber bullying

== Workplace bullying tactics==

Research by the Workplace Bullying Institute, see , Workplace Bullying Institute Harper Collins, 2006] suggests that the following are the most common 25 tactics used by workplace bullies.

  1. Falsely accused someone of "errors" not actually made (71 percent).

  2. Stared, glared, was nonverbally intimidating and was clearly showing hostility (68 percent).

  3. Discounted the person's thoughts or feelings ("oh, that's silly") in meetings (64 percent).

  4. Used the "silent treatment" to "ice out" and separate from others (64 percent).

  5. Exhibited presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group (61 percent).

  6. Made up own rules on the fly that even she/he did not follow (61 percent).

  7. Disregarded satisfactory or exemplary quality of completed work despite evidence (58 percent).

  8. Harshly and constantly criticized having a different standard for the target (57 percent).

  9. Started, or failed to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person (56 percent).

  10. Encouraged people to turn against the person being tormented (55 percent).

  11. Singled out and isolated one person from coworkers, either socially or physically (54 percent).

  12. Publicly displayed gross, undignified, but not illegal, behavior (53 percent).

  13. Yelled, screamed, threw tantrums in front of others to humiliate a person (53 percent).

  14. Stole credit for work done by others (47 percent).

  15. Abused the evaluation process by lying about the person's performance (46 percent).

  16. Declared target "insubordinate" for failing to follow arbitrary commands (46 percent).

  17. Used confidential information about a person to humiliate privately or publicly (45 percent).

  18. Retaliated against the person after a complaint was filed (45 percent).

  19. Made verbal put-downs/insults based on gender, race, accent or language, disability (44 percent).
  20. Age is another factor.
  21. Assigned undesirable work as punishment (44 percent).

  22. Created unrealistic demands (workload, deadlines, duties) for person singled out (44 percent).

  23. Launched a baseless campaign to oust the person; effort not stopped by the employer (43 percent).

  24. Encouraged the person to quit or transfer rather than to face more mistreatment (43 percent).

  25. Sabotaged the person's contribution to a team goal and reward (41 percent).

  26. Ensured failure of person's project by not performing required tasks, such as sign-offs, taking calls, working with collaborators (40 percent)

== Bullying and personality disorders ==

In 2005, psychologists Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon at the University of Surrey, UK, interviewed and gave personality tests to high-level British executives and compared their profiles with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor Hospital in the UK. They found that three out of eleven personality disorders were actually more common in managers than in the disturbed criminals, they were:

* Histrionic personality disorder: including superficial charm, insincerity, egocentricity and manipulation
* Narcissistic personality disorder: including grandiosity, self-focused lack of empathy for others, exploitativeness and independence.
* Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: including perfectionism, excessive devotion to work, rigidity, stubbornness and dictatorial tendencies.

They described the business people as successful psychopaths and the criminals as unsuccessful psychopaths. Board, B.J. & Fritzon, Katarina, F. (2005). Disordered personalities at work. Psychology, Crime and Law, 11, 17-32

Robert Hare and Paul Babiak discuss psychopathy and workplace bullying thusHare, Robert and Babiak, Paul, Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work'' Harper Collins, 2006:

:“Bullies react aggressively in response to provocation or perceived insults or slights. It is unclear whether their acts of bullying give them pleasure or are just the most effective way they have learned to get what they want from others. Similar to manipulators, however, psychopathic bullies do not feel remorse, guilt or empathy. They lack insight into their own behaviour, and seem unwilling or unable to moderate it, even when it is to their own advantage. Not being able to understand the harm they do to themselves (let alone their victims), psychopathic bullies are particularly dangerous.”

:“Of course, not all bullies are psychopathic, though this may be of little concern to their victims. Bullies come in many psychological and physical sizes and shapes. In many cases, “garden variety” bullies have deep seated psychological problems, including feelings of inferiority or inadequacy and difficulty in relating to others. Some may simply have learned at an early stage that their size, strength, or verbal talent was the only effective tool they had for social behaviour. Some of these individuals may be context-specific bullies, behaving badly at work but more or less normally in other contexts. But the psychopathic bully is what he is: a callous, vindictive, controlling individual with little or no empathy or concern for the rights and feelings of the victim, no matter what the context.”

In 2007, researchers Catherine Mattice and Brian Spitzberg at [[San Diego State University, USA, also found a strong relationship between Narcissism (psychology)|narcissism and the motivation to bully, and further discovered narcissism to be unrelated to aggressive forms of bullying (e.g., threatening violence, making false accusations), but related to more indirect, or passive, forms of bullying (e.g., ignoring, micromanagement|micromanaging) (Mattice & Spitzberg, 2007).

== Workplace bullying and the law==
=== Australia ===
Each state has its own legislation.

In Queensland there is no law against workplace bullying although anti-discrimination and stalking laws could be used to prosecute if appropriate.

In Victoria (Australia)|Victoria, legislation comes from Worksafe Victoria. If bullying endangers a worker's health causing stress or any other physical harm, a corporation can be found liable for not providing a safe place for their employees to work. Worksafe, Victorian Workcover Authority

=== Canada ===
The Canadian Province of Quebec introduced legislation addressing workplace bullying on 1 June 2004. In its Act representing Labour Standards "psychological harassment" is prohibited. The [ Commission des normes du travail] is the organization responsible for the application of this act. Commission des normes du travail

Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979, "all employers must take every precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. This includes protecting them against the risk of workplace violence " Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979 Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada. The Act requires establishment of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees for larger employers.

Under the act, workplace violence is defined as ''"...the attempted or actual exercise of any intentional physical force that causes or may cause physical injury to a worker. It also includes any threats which give a worker reasonable grounds to believe he or she is at risk of physical injury"''[ Workplace Violence] Ministry of Labor, Ontario, Canada. Currently, as the Act is written, the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act does not specifically cover the issue of psychological harassment .

On Dec 13, 2007 MPP Andrea Horwath introduced for first reading a new Bill, Bill-29, to make an amendment to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. This Bill-29 is proposing "to protect workers from harassment and violence in the workplace" and will include protection from psychological abuse and bullying behaviors in the workplace in Ontario. [ Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada]

The Canadian Province of Saskatchewan made workplace bullying illegal in 2007 by passing The Occupational Health and Safety (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007. The act broadened the definition of harassment, as defined in the The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1993, to include psychological harassment.[ The Occupational Health and Safet (Harassment Prevention) Amendment Act, 2007 in Saskatchewan

=== Ireland ===
In Republic of Ireland|Ireland, there is a Code of Practice for employers and employees on the prevention and resolution of bullying at work. Republic of Ireland - 2007 Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work
The Code notes the provision in the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 requiring employers to manage work activities to prevent improper conduct or behaviour at work. The Code of Practice provides both employer and employee with the means and the machinery to identify and to stamp out bullying in the workplace in a way which benefits all sides.

=== Sweden ===
Workplace bullying in Sweden is covered by the ''Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work'', which defines victimisation as ''"...recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace community."''Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work AFS 1993:17 [ Official English translation

The act places the onus on employers to plan and organise work so as to prevent victimisation and to make it clear to employees that victimisation is not acceptable. The employer is also responsible for the early detection of signs of victimisation, prompt counter measures to deal with victimisation and making support available to employees who have been targeted.

=== United Kingdom ===
In the United Kingdom, although bullying is not specifically mentioned in workplace legislation, there are means to obtain legal redress for bullying. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997[ Protection from Harassment Act 1997] is a recent addition to the more traditional approaches using employment-only legislation. Notable cases include Majrowski v Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Trust wherein it was held that an employer is vicariously liable for one employee's harassment of another, and Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd, where a bullied worker was awarded over £800,000 in damages. In the latter case, at paragraph 99, the judge Mr Justice Owen said:

:''"...I am satisfied that the behaviour amounted to a deliberate and concerted campaign of bullying within the ordinary meaning of that term."''

Bullying behaviour breaches other UK laws. An implied term of every employment contract in the UK is that parties to the contract have a (legal) duty of trust and confidence to each other. Bullying, or an employer tolerating bullying, typically breaches that contractual term. Such a breach creates circumstances entitling an employee to terminate his or her contract of employment without notice, which can lead to a finding by an Employment Tribunal of unfair dismissal, colloquially called constructive dismissal. An employee bullied in response to asserting a statutory right can be compensated for the detriment under Part V of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and if dismissed, Part X of the same Act provides that the dismissal is automatically unfair. Where a person is bullied on grounds of sex, race or disability ''et al'', it is outlawed under anti-discrimination laws.

It was argued, following the obiter comments of Lord Hoffman in Johnson v. Unisys in March 2001, Judgments - Johnson (A.P.) v. Unisys Limited], Uk Parliament - Publications Johnson v Unisys Ltd [2001] IRLR 279 House of Lords], Case Summaries, Equal Opportunities Commission, UK that claims could be made before an Employment Tribunal for injury to feelings arising from unfair dismissal. It was re-established that this was not what the law provided, in Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council, July 2004 Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council 2004] wherein the Lords confirmed that the position established in Norton Tool v Tewson in 1972, that compensation for unfair dismissal was limited to financial loss alone. Unfair dismissal compensation is subject to a statutory cap set at £60600 from Feb 2006. Discriminatory dismissal continues to attract compensation for injury to feelings and financial loss, and there is no statutory cap.

=== United States ===
In the United States, comprehensive workplace bullying legislation has yet to be passed by the federal government or by any U.S. state government, but since 2003, many state legislatures have considered bills.{{cite web
| last = Said
| first = Caroline
| title = Bullying bosses could be busted: Movement against worst workplace abusers gains momentum with proposed laws
| publisher = San Francisco Chronicle
| url =
| accessdate = 2007-10-19 }}
As of October 2007, 13 U.S. states have proposed legislation; these are: Workplace Bullying Institute
* New Jersey (2007)
* Washington (2007, 2005)
* New York (2006)
* Vermont (2007)
* Oregon (2007, 2005)
* Montana (2007)
* Connecticut (2007)
* Hawaii (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004)
* Oklahoma (2007, 2004)
* Kansas (2006)
* Missouri (2006)
* Massachusetts (2005)
* California (2003) '''Sign the Anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill Petition'''

These workplace bullying bills have typically allowed employees to sue their employers for creating an "abusive work environment," and most have been supported by the notion that laws against workplace bullying are necessary to protect public health.

Although most U.S. states operate under the 19th Century doctrine of at-will employment (which, in theory, allows an employer to fire an employee for any reason or no reason), American workers have gained significant legal leverage through discrimination and harassment laws, workplace safety laws, union-protection laws. etc., such that it would be illegal under federal and the laws of most states to fire employees for a whole host of reasons. These employment laws typically forbid retaliation for good faith complaints or exercising legal rights, such as organizing a union. Discrimination and harassment laws enable employees to sue for creating a "hostile work environment," which can include bullying, but the bullying/hostility must be tied in some way to a characteristic protected under the discrimination/harassment law, such as race, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

==Tips for Dealing with Workplace Bullying ==

Researchers at the Project for Wellness and Work-Life have compiled their research to offer a set of tips for workers that are witnesses or targets of workplace bullying. They suggest the following tips for establishing the credibility of a bullying claim/grievance:

  1. Be rational: prepare a rational explanation of the problem including key points.

  2. Express emotions appropriately: offer vivid descriptions of how this bully or abusive behavior makes you feel in order to convey the emotionality of the experience.

  3. Provide consistent details: document the abusive behavior as it occurs so you can provide a detailed history of the problem.

  4. Offer a plausible story: keep your description simple/relatable rather than highlighting the extreme. Reference existing research and how your own experiences are similar to these findings.

  5. Be relevant: focus on the bully's actions and why they are inappropriate and harmful to the work environment. Try to gain support from other coworkers that share your experiences.

  6. Emphasize your own competence: highlight your professional credibility and history of career success to convey that this abusive behavior is hindering your ability to work at your potential.

  7. Show consideration for other perspectives: avoid whining by exploring the potential that the bully may not realize the effects their actions are having on the entire organization.

  8. Be Specific: Use clear language, provides concrete details (dates, times, behaviors, etc) and avoid vague descriptions

This paper offers more specific tips regarding each of these 8 suggestions and can be accessed at How to Bust the Office Bully: Eight Tactics for Explaining Workplace Abuse to Decision-Makers.

== References ==

# ''Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace''; Noa Davenport, Ph.D.; Ruth Distler Schwartz; and Gail Pursell Elliot; Civil Society Publishing; 1999, 2002; ISBN 0-9671803-0-9
#''Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Boss? How to Survive 13 Types of Dysfunctional, Disrespectful, Dishonest Little Dictators''; Marilyn Haight; Worded Write Publishing; 2005, 2008; ISBN 978-0-9800390-1-6

Einarsen, S., Hoel, H., Zapf, D., & Cooper, C. L. (2003). The concept of bullying at work. In Bullying and emotional abuse in the workplace: International perspectives in research and practice. (pp. 3-30). London: Taylor & Francis.

Lutgen-Sandvik, P. (2006) Take this job and…: Quitting and other forms of resistance to workplace bullying. Communication Monographs, 73, 406-433.

Lutgen-Sandvik, P. & McDermott, V. (2008). The constitution of employee-abusive organizations: A communication flows theory. Communication Theory, 18, 304-333.

Tracy, S. J., Lutgen-Sandvik, P., & Alberts, J. K. (2006). Nightmares, demons and slaves: Exploring the painful metaphors of workplace bullying. Management Communication Quarterly, 20, 148-185.

== External links ==
* Beyond Bullying - workplace bullying information, based in Australia
* Project for Wellness and Work-Life, Arizona State University
* Workplace Mobbing in Academe
* Stress and psychosocial risks European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA)
* TV-Interview, Workplace Bullying
* Workplace Bullying News & Resources
* The Serial Bully
* Mobbing-U.S.A.
* Tips for Dealing with Bullying Bosses and Other Types
* Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) resources on bullying and harassment
Category:Social psychology
Category:Business ethics
Category:Organizational studies and human resource management


Pass the anti-bullying HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL

Pass the anti-bullying HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL

Pass the anti-bullying HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL
Number of Signatures
Published by mary_kirk on Oct 22, 2008
Category: Employment
Region: United States of America
Target: Lawmakers
Please only sign this petition if you are a citizen of the United States.

Workplace bullying -- interpersonal mistreatment, harassment, psychological violence -- directly affects approximately 37% of American workers. That is approximately 54 million Americans! It poses an occupational health hazard. Too few targeted individuals complain.

Existing laws require harassment to be discriminatory. Either race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation is required to be illegal. Approximately two-thirds of all harassment is 'status-blind' and legal. In 1998, the Washington Post editorialized "what bothers people about abusive workplace conduct, after all, is not the fact that it may be discriminatory but that it is abusive in the first place."

The Healthy Workplace Bill substitutes health-impairment for discrimination, and extends protection to all employees, working for either public or private employers, regardless of protected group status, who seek redress for being subjected to an abusive work environment. It becomes unlawful to be subjected to another employee whose malicious conduct sabotages or undermines the targeted person's work performance. Furthermore, the bill holds the bullying employee directly liable for the unlawful employment practice and punishes retaliation of the complainant.

Serious psychological violence, in sub-lethal and non-physical forms, creates an abusive workplace and affects the targeted person's health. Demonstrable physical or mental health harm can include shame, humiliation, stress, loss of sleep, severe anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reduced immunity to infection, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, and pathophysiologic changes that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The bill requires documentation of such impairment by a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or by competent expert evidence at trial.

Individual plaintiffs must rely solely on private attorneys. The State has no enforcement role. No government bureaucracy will be created or funded. Individuals may accept workers' compensation benefits in lieu of bringing action under this bill.

The bill seeks to compel employer prevention through internal policies and enforcement. No new employer regulations are created.

Unfortunately, the actual text of the anti-bullying HEALTHY WORKPLACE BILL to give to lawmakers is available only to authorized users -- State Coordinators and Registered Citizen Lobbyists whose lawmaker requested a copy.
We, the undersigned believe it is crucial to our health and economy to pass the Anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill.

A Bill that:

Addresses only the most abusive, health-endangering circumstances including verbal abuse and offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating or intimidating, and work interference -- sabotage -- which prevents work from getting done.

Holds the bullying employee directly liable for the unlawful employment practice. He or she is the first one to sue. The employer may be vicariously liable. However, the bill provides ample opportunities for employers to not be held liable: (1) when it exercises reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct the abusive conduct, and (2) when negative employment decisions are consistent with legitimate business interests, or the employee's poor performance, illegal or unethical activity.

Good employers with policies that honestly enforce them have nothing to fear.

Does not mandate "feeling good" principles, health must be damaged!

No new government bureaucracy; costs the state nothing.

The small penalties will discourage attorneys from taking weak cases -- low chance of frivolous cases.

I want to thank Mary for setting up this important petition, it is a good start. It saddens me that in a country where equal rights, diversity, and human rights is so important we still have a culture where bullying is not only ignored in the workplace but often encouraged and rewarded.
Please take a couple of minutes and read the petition and sign it for all of America because bullying effects everyone at every level.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.