Workplace Issues

People who work hard are rewarded for their efforts. Sometimes, however, this doesn’t seem the case. Some people put in 90% of the effort for 10% of the reward. Some people seem to be perpetually over-utilised and/or under-regarded. Some people are exploited. Often these people take a passive interpersonal approach in the workplace. They have trouble saying no. Others may be fearful of failure, or losing their job, or even just being second best, so that putting in more than their fair share seems the only option. Such scenarios always lead to resentment and often lead to burnout and depression. Having a good workplace is like having a good relationship. You need to feel that you are getting out as much as you are putting in.

Bullying and harassment

Some people have a greater drive for dominance, and some people (often the same people) have fewer scruples. It is natural that these people would find their ways to the top of an organisation (employment-based or otherwise). Although sometimes you may be able to challenge these people’s place in the organisation (through lodging complaints or whistle-blowing for example), you will never change the reality that people with a greater drive for power will be likely to find their way to positions of power. Even if you were to leave your current job, you may encounter an equally troublesome individual in a position of authority in your new workplace.

Certain people carry the patterns of the past with them. Bullying and domineering people in the workplace may be repeating patterns that were established in their childhood. Likewise, vulnerable and victimised people may be doing the same. It is impossible for an individual to eradicate all bullies from the world. On the other hand, it is very possible for people who have found themselves perpetually victimised to change, with the right help. Assertiveness skills and body-language methods are one way. Forming alliances and bonds with fellow workers is another. The vast majority of people in the workplace do not fall neatly into the victim/bully categories. They are often bystanders, and their silence is often mistaken for approval of the bullying behaviour.

If you have been bullied in the past, then it is quite likely that you will be on the lookout for signs of being bullied again. This sensitivity to cues that we are bullied is often perceived by others in a social group as being prickly or defensive. It may make people feel uncomfortable around you. People are social animals and they talk with each other to make sense of peoples’ motives. They may start to talk about you, if they feel your behaviour is unusual or antagonistic. In this way, fears of being bullied can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If this pattern is playing out in your life, it will be worthwhile unpacking and addressing the memories of your early bullying experience with a trained professional. This process, though often daunting, can free you from hypersensitivity and social avoidance.

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Maroubra Junction, NSW 2035
(02) 8958 2585

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