Why Do People Bully Me? - page 4

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

35,166 Views | 70 Comments

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 are healthcare and education... Read More


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    "• The self-starter who is feisty and independent
    • A person who is technically more skilled than the bully
    • The target is more emotionally intelligent and socially adept than the bully; the target is well-liked
    • The target is ethical and honest to a fault
    • The target is not a confrontational person. He or she does not respond. Frankly, the target is stunned and bewildered."
    This is me to a tee! I get bullied everywhere I work. I just got written up at work, I was stunned. They showed me a list of lies that the two bullies had run into management with and management had simply written down every lie that the they had run into them with without ever questioning the information. As a consequence I have been asked to leave my job. After proving that the information was incorrect, management refused to recind the write up, but is supporting my internal transfer.
    They are both CNA's and sit texting on the floor all day, when asked to help with pts, they dont even look up and state "I'm Busy!". Because they have been there a long time, management supports them and not the new RN's. Thats where bullying gets its support. We even had a "BEE" initiative but if its not supported by management.... its worthless.
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    I was also bullied as a new nurse working my first job in the ICU. I was actually still in my preceptor-ship. The charge nurse, with 100+ years of experience (lol), was the perp. I'm not sure why she tested me. I find it hard to believe it was just because I was a new nurse in the ICU. She asked me routinely after report about my patients and I would give her the low-down. I didn't know this but she had already gotten the low-down from my preceptor. One day, she asked and I told her that one of my pts had HIT. She said that she had DIC. She went on to say how incompetent I was for not knowing my pts conditions and how did I intend to take care of them when I didn't even know what was going on with them. I told her again that the pt has HIT not DIC. She demanded that I bring her the chart. I told her I couldn't because the doctor had it. This was all in front of 1/2 the ICU nurses and a couple of drs. My preceptor came back over and the charge nurse asked her what the pt had going on. She said DIC. I corrected her and she told the charge that she made a mistake, it was HIT. I said "Oh, I guess I'm not incompetent after all. I do know what is going on with the pt. Huh." She never did that to me again.

    I had another episode just a few years back. She was a "friend". We had worked in peace for over a year when things changed. I was working as charge on night shift. She was an LPN on day shift who'd been there for much longer. She began questioning my work every morning. She would ask me about work that had nothing to do with her job in any way. I let it slide a few times. Then I'd had enough. She asked me again. I said firmly but calmly, "I don't know why you find it necessary to question me. You are not now, nor have you ever been in charge of me. It is not your place to question me." She never spoke to me again. Perfect! Problem solved. I've had numerous other attempts by LPNs but direct, calm confrontation has thwarted them each time.

    I will say that I've had many more CNAs/LPNs attempt to bully me than RNs. In fact, I've only had one RN do it. I think it's sad. I'm very encouraging and share as much knowledge and tips as the other nurse will accept. I've let new nurses start IVs on me! I just don't understand. If you want what I have, work for it like I did. If I can do it, so can you! I've said that last line a million times.

    I strive for a peaceful, encouraging relationship with my coworkers because the job itself is stressful enough. I found it very difficult to foster on day shift so I went to nights several years ago. I love night shift. My teammate is amazing. She is an amazing LPN that I would carry across a lake of fire. My other coworkers on night shift have been awesome as well.

    I believe direct, calm confrontation is the only way to address a bully. I don't agree with screaming back or returning foul language. No need to lose control of oneself or sink to the bully level. I also don't agree with the victim being at fault for any reason whatsoever. I don't care what you look like, act like, speak like... NO ONE brings bullying behavior upon themselves. I liken that to the appalling notion that the rape victim brought it on herself because of the skirt she chose to wear or the dancing she likes to dance! NONSENSE!
    LoveToHike and forthebirds like this.
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    Even if you are calm, with certain people, if you confront directly, and you haven't fully assessed their MO, they can turn it into you being "confrontational and argumentative," and feed that or stroke that up with the manager. Seen it over and over again. Its funny how this kind of thing happens a lot during orientation or in the first year at a place. There is a reason for that. The newbie doesn't not have the support and influence yet.


    Again, we need to be careful here. You can and should stand up to abuse, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach. You really have to study the culture/environment. You might get away with standing up off the cuff in some situations; but there are plenty of places and people that will just be use your approach as fuel against you. I've seen this play out many times over.

    You don't fight louder or harder; you have to fight smarter, and that often means getting some key intel. Even then, depending on those with the most influence and the current leadership, the confronting or getting in someone's face and putting them in their place may not work--given the current landscape. In fact, it may make matters worse.

    Bullying that is unresolvable in a particular culture is an indicator that you may probably need to look elsewhere, or at least do something to avoid interacting more frequently with the bullies. If standing up and doing it well worked, plenty of us experienced nurses, who are in no way afraid to speak up for ourselves, would have resolved a lot of stuff with much ease over the years. Truth is, there is a right and wrong time for everything.

    It may be that, in general, bullies like to hit on the most vulnerable or take the path of least resistance; but it depends. There are all different kinds of bullies. Some people get off on going after those that are more of a challenge. It makes them feel even more powerful when they can take down the bigger game.

    There is no easy answer to the problem. What you have to do is a lot like we do with our patients. So we use the nursing process. In a simliar way we have to assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate, and then re-assess. . . What works in one situation will not necessarily work in another; b/c not all bullies are the same or have the same MO, and also, for bullying to really work well, bullying requires some kind of silent or not-so-silent accomplices, and often that includes leadership that goes along with these bullying people for one reason or another. Often the bullies have the power of influence. They have made their in-roads, and they want you to know that you are at their mercy.
    Last edit by samadams8 on Feb 27, '13
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    Quote from Kidrn911
    I have been bullied in the past due to my religious convictions, one is I wear a skirt instead of scrub pants. I get the third degree from people on how I should be cold and uncomfortable. It is almost to the point of harassment. If I was a Muslim and wearing Burka nothing is said, but a Christian woman wearing a modest scrub skirt, gets put down. It is ridiculous.

    How silly. They are ignorant of a mainstream Christian religion. Must be very sad people.

    I get bullied too sometimes. I think it's because I'm young and very hot.
    Last edit by redhead_NURSE98! on Feb 27, '13
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    I see the point of the article..................best to provide potential victims with some defense against bullying...........but why do employers tolerate bullying in the first place?

    Unfortunately in one job I was bullied by a unit manager and someone who worked on the day shift. I was working the weekend shift They would go to the director of nursing and tell her that something had happened and then allude to the fact that it was on my shift.

    I cut my losses and left that job as I reported to the unit manager - you aren't going to win when the bully is the person you directly report to, even though I never had any face time with that manager. The DON was new, and I was never sure if she just didn't want to deal with these two individuals and just went with what they said to keep the peace. It was easy to bully someone that management didn't really know. Of course the day shift bully went on to take the weekend shift job that I left vacant. Of course all my co workers told me they thought the behavior was despicable but nobody really went out of their way to tell the DON, because at the end of the day, bullying and horizontal violence all looks like childish bickering.

    And I'm much better off now I don't have that job.
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    If anyone wants a non confrontational tip for dealing with bullies walking away when they address you or literally turning your back on them and continuing what you were doing seem to work well (if they insist on fussing at your back try your best to cut one : ). A person looks very delusional standing in a hallway berating an empty space or someone's back.
    1feistymama, ausrnurse, Dalzac, and 3 others like this.
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    Very good post! It has been a shock to me as a nurse when I've seen this kind of behavior, especially when I was a new nurse. Why do people who are supposedly "caring" treat others this way? I agree it's due to insecurity. Some of these bullies can be helped to feel less insecure by asking their opinion or finding something good they do, and complimenting it. Some see that as weakness, too. Every situation is different, and we need to care for ourselves and each other just as much as our patients! I've used the "make a joke out of it" response as well and found it to be effective. Example: I used to snowboard professionally and my snarky co-worker states "You are such an expert snowboarder, so why didn't you get a season pass this year" I just laughed and said, "Why _____, does it Bother you I didn't get a season pass? I didn't Realize that would be a problem for you!" and laugh and laugh like it's a good joke. (As if it's Any of her business, anyway!) This has worked well for me but you must be prepared for the behavior ahead of time, it used to shock me so much that I didn't know what to say. Life has improved with strategies. I still wonder why the bullying behavior is so rampant in the nursing field, any opinions?!
    • The self-starter who is feisty and independent
    • A person who is technically more skilled than the bully
    • The target is more emotionally intelligent and socially adept than the bully; the target is well-liked
    • The target is ethical and honest to a fault
    • The target is not a confrontational person. He or she does not respond. Frankly, the target is stunned and bewildered. The target is convinced he or she can overcome this. It’s all shame-based; the target feels shame. The target comes to believe he or she is incompetent. It’s a disassembly of the target’s personality. - See more at: http://allnurses.com/nurse-colleague....i23NBWEk.dpuf
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    What I will never understand is how bullies remain in their positions. There should be zero tolerance in the workplace. Maybe if more employers find themselves on the losing end of a hostile working condition suit, they might think twice about letting such jerks remain in their positions. Know that the law is on the side of victim. It is illegal to create a hostile working environment and certainly illegal to harass fellow workers based on a protected class (such as gender). It is the legal responsibility of every employer to provide a safe working environment, and they can be sued if they fail to do so!

    Nursing is hard enough work, we don't need bullies making it even harder to do what is already a difficult job.
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    arrensee, So True! Some of the bullying is so sneaky and subversive, I've had a supervisor ask me to clean protective eye-wear used in laser surgery, so I did. While cleaning my aforementioned snarky co-worker walks by and questions why am I doing that, I say supervisor ____ asked me to?! "Well I already did it! Didn't you notice?!" I was just shocked and she walked off. Later told supervisor about incident, and she also got on my case about didn't I check if they were clean first! Well does she want me to question everything she asks me to do? As nurses, we all know that germs are invisible.....Just stupid, silly treatment of a professional nurse doing her job.
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    Quote from redhead_NURSE98!
    I get bullied too sometimes. I think it's because I'm young and very hot.

    Bahahaha. I like it.

    Ugo's be hating.


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