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‘Adult Bullies’ Can Hurt Co-Workers’ Emotional and Financial Health, Says Dr. Gregory Jantz of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources

Edmonds, WA (Jul 10, 2012) – Bullying of children and teens by their peers has been in the spotlight, and a much-watched YouTube video showing schoolchildren harassing an elderly bus monitor has recently brought attention to the phenomenon of bullying of adults by children. But bullying of adults by other adults, especially in the workplace, hasn’t gotten as much media coverage, despite being an everyday occurrence that affects many people’s professional and personal lives, according to psychologist and author Dr. Gregory Jantz.

“Bullying that comes from adults usually is more subtle than what kids experience on the playground,” says Dr. Jantz, who operates The Center • A Place of HOPE, in Edmonds, WA, “but adult bullying can still have very serious consequences for the victims.”

Like their younger counterparts, adult bullies seek to get their way and compensate for their own poor self-esteem through systematic intimidation, harassment and humiliation. Recent surveys reported by PBS indicate that as many as 25 percent of American workers will experience bullying at some time during their careers.

Forms of bullying that a person might suffer from in a work environment include:

  • Being treated rudely and with disrespect
  • Being the object of rumors and malicious gossip
  • Being yelled or shouted at
  • Getting the “silent treatment”
  • Having a co-worker interfere with or sabotage one’s work
  • Being the victim of mean-spirited pranks that interfere with work
  • Being denied appropriate support or cooperation in completing work duties
  • Being given bigger workloads and/or shorter deadlines than co-workers
  • Being put down or purposely humiliated in front of others

Although companies today are generally sensitive to forms of harassment that may constitute grounds for a lawsuit, much bullying activity falls into a legal gray area. While it may be perceived as less serious or even harmless behavior, workplace bullying can hurt overall office productivity and devastate its victims. The stress of dealing with a bully can cause serious emotional and physical problems, and bullying can hinder its victims’ earning potential.

Dr. Jantz is an internationally known psychologist who has written many books on emotional health and well-being. His latest book is Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology and Social Networking.