Why Do People Bully Me? - pg.2 | allnurses

Why Do People Bully Me? - page 2

Unfortunately, bullying is an unpleasant fact of working life for far too many employees in our society. And surveys have discovered that the two workplaces that suffer the most from bullying bosses... Read More

  1. Visit  GraceNotes profile page
    3
    Strange ... words like harass, hostile, abuse are words found in personnel manuals to describe cause for employee reprimand or dismissal. Yet, that rarely happens. And, stranger still, if the bully isn't confronted immediately the target remains one until the target leaves. The personnel policy is written to protect the organization.

    This is a good article, but makes it sound hopeless for those who have been dealing with the bully for a while. Can we hear from someone who managed to turn the situation around (not giving up or giving in) after the bully/target roles were established?
    Last edit by TheCommuter on May 26, '13 : Reason: removed [/COLOR] tags
  2. Visit  adnrnstudent profile page
    2
    The list of reasons may be the case on some units but it leaves out the likely reasons. I will tell you so people don't get the false idea that they are smarter or of better character than everyone else.

    Let me set this up, I'm not picking on anyone, just myself.

    I was teased a lot growing up and people avoid me today. Do you know why? Because growing up, I was flat out the weird goth kid at school (histrionic). Today, because I was so fricking weird growing up, I never learned how to socialize so I am a introverted schizoid and people still think I'm peculiar.

    I don't support bullying, but sometimes we need to look in the mirror and work on ourselves a little. I have to do it all the time.

    Bullying is not right, but these articles never tell a person that maybe they need to work on some things too and it always lays the guilt and wrongdoing on the bully.
    1feistymama and Hygiene Queen like this.
  3. Visit  forthebirds profile page
    7
    I think that there are various types of bullying, an over simplified statement that a nurse allows themselves to be bullied cannot be applied across all situations. Certainly there are people who are demanding and aggressive in nature that make others uncomfortable when they have to deal with them--alone, those people can (and often need to) be put in their place and boundaries established. But there is also the bully that has endeared themselves to upper levels of staff, and has entrenched themselves so deep in a unit that others either leave or join in. I experienced this with a senior nurse and a nurse educator. Combine that duo with an interim nurse manager and it was the "inmates running the asylum". Standing up for myself did nothing, in fact it only fueled their fire. Yep, sometimes you have to bop a bully in the nose but what about the places where they have been allowed to rule supreme?
  4. Visit  mariebailey profile page
    3
    Great topic. I dealt with a bully who was covertly aggressive; she was a manipulative, undermining button-pusher. I read this book called In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding & Dealing with Manipulative People that I eventually passed on to another nurse who was dealing with the same issue. It's a great book! Lessons learned: Manipulators prey on other people's weaknesses.You need to directly confront the situation without allowing emotions to drive your reaction. Also, most bullies will be totally resistant to change initially, so you have to remain firm/consistent when you do confront a bully. Thanks Commuter.
  5. Visit  ex1140 profile page
    0
    Any one could be the target of a bully...but you should focus on what makes you so appealing to a manipulative personality. Have you been told your are too nice? Are you extremely compliant?
  6. Visit  wellnessnow profile page
    1
    Yes, a really great article. Makes me also think of "right livelihood." Hope nurses so attacked find work where they can express themselves and still use their skills. Even if that's part time and away from the institution.
    forthebirds likes this.
  7. Visit  jadelpn profile page
    7
    Interesting article Commuter, however, as an adult who works with other adults, the expectation should be that we all act in a professional manner. And have managers that nurture that concept. Bullying, non professionalism, insubordination--all behaviors that should not be tolerated on any level. And once someone applies a zero tolerance process, behaviors could change. We are all there to take care of patients--not to divide and conquer. And because one may be skilled, well liked, and outgoing--means that perhaps that same person has confidence. And able to focus on the job at hand as opposed to immature foolishness. However, it does take a strong and involved manager to be certain that people's energies are spent on patients.
  8. Visit  amygarside profile page
    1
    Thanks for this great pieces of advice against bullying. We wish we can live in a perfect world wherein everyone can get along and treat each other well.
    Mgooddir likes this.
  9. Visit  not.done.yet profile page
    6
    I think part of avoiding being a victim of bullying also involves recognizing when a situation cannot be changed. If it is ingrained in the culture...if it has been going on for years...time to move on.

    I am a big proponent of direct confrontation. 9/10 times it has worked for me. I am not, however, proponent of meeting yelling with yelling. Firmness and sternness does just as much.
  10. Visit  Hygiene Queen profile page
    3
    Quote from adnrnstudent
    The list of reasons may be the case on some units but it leaves out the likely reasons. I will tell you so people don't get the false idea that they are smarter or of better character than everyone else.

    Let me set this up, I'm not picking on anyone, just myself.

    I was teased a lot growing up and people avoid me today. Do you know why? Because growing up, I was flat out the weird goth kid at school (histrionic). Today, because I was so fricking weird growing up, I never learned how to socialize so I am a introverted schizoid and people still think I'm peculiar.

    I don't support bullying, but sometimes we need to look in the mirror and work on ourselves a little. I have to do it all the time.

    Bullying is not right, but these articles never tell a person that maybe they need to work on some things too and it always lays the guilt and wrongdoing on the bully.
    I could have written this post and you are right.
    There are things that targets need to do to stop being the target.

    You weren't born that weird little goth kid.
    You chose that because it was easier to be obviously "different" than it was to fit in.
    It was easier to keep people away than to deal with rejection.

    But people need to pull themselves up by their boot straps, work on building some self-esteem and take responsibility for how their life is going to go.
    People need to realize that they are valuable so that they can exude some degree of confidence... so that they are not an easy target.
    What that person has to do to develop that sense of self-value, I can't say. It would depend on the person. I only know what works for me.

    BTW, I embrace my "strangeness" and utilize it to make people laugh... but I don't let it hold me back and I refuse to be treated rudely for it.
  11. Visit  Nurse19842013 profile page
    0
    I work on a Medical floor and have been a nurse for 4 years. There is a "seasoned" (in his 50-60's) male nurse who bullies me regularly. It all began when I started following him at shift change. He left me many messes and I am a worry wort, so I would always questions things. He seems to be very lazy and I am the polar opposite. He leaves meds to be given after his shift, or will just not give medications he feels are unimportant etc. He also has a very foul mouth, calling previous coworkers at other hospitals (which he frequently jumps jobs) b*tches.....or his b*tches. The other night he told a nursing supervisor he didn't know why he couldn't float to OB because "its not like I want to look at "c**tchie all night"!!!!! I am just so appalled, I don't know what to do.

    He bullies me by talking about me to other nurses. He says I am a worry wort and run around like crazy. He also spread a rumor that I would rather clean up patients than be a real nurse because once during shift change a woman was screaming because she was full of stool and I went to clean her up (he wasn't even ready for report yet) when all the CNAs were busy. I felt bad for the woman and if that were me or my family, I would want the same courtesy. But I get along with everyone I work with except for him! He gives new nurses bad teams on purpose (which I have heard him proudly say). Nobody says anything to him because he has a big and foul mouth. He brags all the time about telling people off.

    I liked this article because I realize I really have to stick up for myself. And I need to be more confident, or show it at least. He has also commented on my hair color when I changed it and called my friend coworker a fat b*tch.

    I am generally well liked I feel (I think I guess since people tell me when he says these things, lol), co-workers always say if they were a patient they would want me as a nurse. I have to be more confident and tell him exactly when he is offending me or when I feel he omitted something important (instead of cleaning up his mess). I am definitely non confrontational and do feel shame, and especially feel worse when nurses like him talk badly about me! I am not the only one btw. There is another nurse he talks about, and she is amazing, so I am not sure why he picks on her. And its not like anyone listens to him, they all know how he is.....but it still bothers me deeply.

    What is the funniest, almost ironic thing.....is that he brags about being such a "hard person" and telling people off, but instead he just acts like a juvenile girl and spreads rumors and bullies younger nurses like myself. I have had a hard time dealing with this, but am definitely glad I read this article.
    Last edit by Nurse19842013 on Feb 27, '13
  12. Visit  samadams8 profile page
    10
    I think there are some good points put forth OP. I must, however, state that in general, it's based on oversimplification of a problem many times. Many people that are bullied are quite often not victim-like personalities, and in fact, can and do stand up for themselves and others.

    All it takes to be bullied is to be somehow different, or in particular, to be considered some sort of threat. This has been so since the beginning of time.

    Being considered "confrontational" will often put you in a position of further abuse or misrepresentation of truth that leads to more abuse.

    Sure, you can choose to not see yourself as a victim. Great! I wholeheartedly agree.
    You can't, however, control others, you can only control yourself. If another person feels threatened or is in some way plagued by insecurity or a need to control or dominate, you can't can't change them anymore than people who get raped while jogging can change being a target. Should people that jog, stop jogging--well, maybe they should change where they jog once they are aware that the environment is unsafe.

    It's just too easy to say there is some magic fix wherein you show you that you refuse to be a victim. Don't get me wrong. I hear what you are saying loud and clear and much of it has merit. It is not, however, a panacea for the problems that lie within people.



    Many people view bullying as a problem that is limited to bullies and victims. It has been noted that there is strong research that indicates that bullying involves more than the bully-victim dyad (Salmivalli, C., 2001). Bullying events occur in public, such that these incidents have witnesses. There have been studies from playground observations that found that most of the time, more than a few peopler were "witnesses, bystanders, assistants to bullies, reinforcers, or defenders of victims" ( O'Connell,Peppler, and Craig, 1999). What was demonstrated was that more than half the time, peers some how supported the bullies even as "passive bystanders," and only in about a quarter of the incidents didn't witnesses help the victims by directly intervening to support the victim, discouraging the bully, or somehow getting the bully to curtain the bullying behavior.(O'Connell, Peppler, & Craig, 1999).

    Different approaches may be needed depending upon the context and situation. Victims do not need to blame themselves for being harassed. This is counterproductive. Bullies may have issues beyond low self-esteem, regardless of their bravado--they may have anger issues or have learned to displace their anxieties. But often they can only get help with that after they are faced with their behavior and have to accept a set of consequences that go along with it. It's only have looking at their behavior and accepting consequences that they can hopefully be in a position to move forward in developing better coping strategies or deal with their own core issues.

    What people in all environments MUST understand is that bullying affects everyone. Coworkers, peers, as well as see bullying as a problem, and that everyone is responsible. There idea of there being an "innocent bystander" must be scrapped. There is no such thing as an innocent bystander.


    Salmivalli, C. (2001). Group view on victimization: Empirical findings and their implications. In J. Juvonen & S. Graham (Eds.), Peer Harassment in School: The Plight of the Vulnerable and Victimized. 398-419. New York: Guilford Press.

    O'Connell, P., Pepler, D. and Craig, W. (1999). Peer involvement in bullying: insights and challenges for intervention. Journal of Adolescence, 22, 437 - 452.
  13. Visit  cm8816 profile page
    10
    This article is very oversimplified. In my previous job, I was targeted because 1) I had a BSN where most of the RNs did not 2) I am a second-career nurse 3) I am over age 50 4) I have a fairly ugly burn that covers one hand leftover from childhood. Because of the scar, I'm familiar with schoolyard bullying. But I worked successfully and bully-free for 25 years as a computer analyst. It was only in nursing that the same bullies from my childhood reappeared. When my direct and polite confrontation of the bully did nothing, I took it to my nurse manager. She was able to turn the situation around on me. I was relatively "new" (one year in the job) and the bully had worked there for many years. I ended up finding another job within 2 weeks of that ordeal. By the way, the same group had just bullied another over-50 RN out of that job.

    I won't wax poetic about justice or injustice. But I can tell you, when nurses wonder about their declining status and their ever-worsening work conditions, they should look at themselves and consider where this lack of respect originates...it's coming from the way they treat each other. Until that improves, the nursing profession will not improve.
    lunar79, Not_A_Hat_Person, jadelpn, and 7 others like this.


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