What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bullied All My Life!

by Darren
(United Kingdom)

Hello everyone, bullying throughout my life has always been a (severe problem). From my early school days, 12-16 years and continued into the workplace, eventually forcing me to leave, due to severe mental health conditions. The problem has always been the same pattern of behavior, which people in general use.

Basically, I tend to be judged (incorrectly) from people's perception of myself. I tend to be (extremely) quiet man, low-self esteem, difficulty being myself in large social groups, due to having a condition called (Social Phobia) brought on by severe bullying. If none of you know what this is, please could you Google this. Also I'm always singled out by bullies and their followers, put-downs, harassment, name-calling you name it. The biggest insults are usually Homo-Phobic and Pedophilia remarks, which I find offensive. I'm neither of these and I'm fed up with taking crap! I consider myself to be average appearance, others consider me good looking and (weird looking). Depends again on the individual and where they see God! I don't tend to make friends very easy either and when I do manage to try to meet someone polite and well mannered, they then tend to put me down (all the time) or mask as a friend!

I think the problem with my own self-hatred stems from the way my mother has always treated me. She was always cold and spiteful towards me. But she was clever, she never did this emotional bad behavior in front of anyone else. To other members of the family the mother and son relationship was perfect.

I would be grateful for some feedback on this topic, I know it's rather short this summary and I could go on for ever! Telling even worse things that have happened to me. Below is what I think is bullying and main fits into quite a few of these areas:

What is bullying?

People who are bullied find that they are:

• Constantly criticized and subjected to destructive criticism (often euphemistically called constructive criticism, which is an oxymoron) - explanations and proof of achievement are ridiculed, overruled, dismissed or ignored

• Forever subject to nit-picking and trivial fault-finding (the triviality is the giveaway)

• Undermined, especially in front of others; false concerns are raised, or doubts are expressed over a person's performance or standard of work - however, the doubts lack substantive and quantifiable evidence, for they are only the bully's unreliable opinion and are for control, not performance enhancement

• Overruled, ignored, sidelined, marginalized, ostracised

• Isolated and excluded from what's happening (this makes people more vulnerable and easier to control and subjugate)

• Singled out and treated differently (for example everyone else can have long lunch breaks but if they are one minute late it's a disciplinary offense)

• Belittled, degraded, demeaned, ridiculed, patronized, subject to disparaging remarks

• Regularly the target of offensive language, personal remarks, or inappropriate bad language

• The target of unwanted sexual behavior

• Threatened, shouted at and humiliated, especially in front of others

• Taunted and teased where the intention is to embarrass and humiliate

• Set unrealistic goals and deadlines which are unachievable or which are changed without notice or reason or whenever they get near achieving them

• Denied information or knowledge necessary for undertaking work and achieving objectives

• Starved of resources, sometimes whilst others often receive more than they need

• Denied support by their manager and thus find themselves working in a management vacuum

• Either overloaded with work (this keeps people busy with no time to tackle bullying and makes it harder to achieve targets) or have all their work taken away (which is sometimes replaced with inappropriate menial jobs, eg photocopying, filing, making coffee)

• Have their responsibility increased but their authority removed

• Have their work plagiarized, stolen and copied - the bully then presents their target's work (eg to senior management) as their own

• Are given the silent treatment: the bully refuses to communicate and avoids eye contact (always an indicator of an abusive relationship); often instructions are received only via email, memos, or a succession of yellow stickies or post-it notes

• Subject to excessive monitoring, supervision, micro-management, recording, snooping etc

• The subject of written complaints by other members of staff (most of whom have been coerced into fabricating allegations - the complaints are trivial, often bizarre "He looked at me in a funny way" and often bear striking similarity to each other, suggesting a common origin)

• Forced to work long hours, often without remuneration and under threat of dismissal

• Find requests for leave have unacceptable and unnecessary conditions attached, sometimes overturning previous approval, especially if the person has taken action to address bullying in the meantime

• Denied annual leave, sickness leave, or - especially - compassionate leave

• When on leave, are harassed by calls at home or on holiday, often at unsocial hours

• Receive unpleasant or threatening calls or are harassed with intimidating memos, notes or emails with no verbal communication, immediately prior to weekends and holidays (eg 4pm Friday or Christmas Eve - often these are hand-delivered)

• Do not have a clear job description, or have one that is exceedingly long or vague; the bully often deliberately makes the person's role unclear

• Are invited to "informal" meetings which turn out to be disciplinary hearings

• Aare denied representation at meetings, often under threat of further disciplinary action; sometimes the bully abuses their position of power to exclude any representative who is competent to deal with bullying

• Encouraged to feel guilty, and to believe they're always the one at fault

• Subjected to unwarranted and unjustified verbal or written warnings

• Facing unjustified disciplinary action on trivial or specious or false charges

• Facing dismissal on fabricated charges or flimsy excuses, often using a trivial incident from months or years previously

• Coerced into reluctant resignation, enforced redundancy, early or ill-health retirement

• Denial of the right to earn your livelihood including preventing you getting another job, usually with a bad or misleading reference

How do bullies select their targets?

The bully selects their target using the following criteria:

• Bullies are predatory and opportunistic - you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; this is always the main reason - investigation will reveal a string of predecessors, and you will have a string of successors

• Being good at your job, often excelling

• Being popular with people (colleagues, customers, clients, pupils, parents, patients, etc)
more than anything else, the bully fears exposure of his/her inadequacy and incompetence; your presence, popularity and competence unknowingly and unwittingly fuel that fear

• Being the expert and the person to whom others come for advice, either personal or professional (ie you get more attention than the bully)

• Having a well-defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise

• Having a strong sense of integrity (bullies despise integrity, for they have none, and seem compelled to destroy anyone who has integrity)

• Having at least one vulnerability that can be exploited

• Being too old or too expensive (usually both)

• Refusing to join an established clique

• Showing independence of thought or deed

• Refusing to become a corporate clone and drone

• Jealousy (of relationships and perceived exclusion therefrom) and envy (of talents, abilities, circumstances or possessions) are strong motivators of bullying.

Comments for Bullied All My Life!

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The bully within
by: The protector

Your post is so long that we can surmize you have been tortured long and hard. Perhaps getting it out there is a good release. Good news is that people are reading it.

If you have not figured it out already, your mother and all of your other tormentors are no longer the biggest problem.

The problem is the bully within yourself that is tormenting you.

You have some beauty. I do not know what it is, but people in your life recognize it even if you do not. Still, that little voice inside your soul tells you that you are not good enough, not worthy, not acceptable.

Do the world a favor...

Volunteer your time to other people. Volunteer yourself to an organization - not just doing it yourself. Through this, you will find why you are beautiful and wonderful. Let the pain you have learned for so many years become the strength for others who are experiencing pain now - all kinds of pain. Pain is pain and you understand it. Reach out with your long arms of experience and wisdom.

Keep on keepin' on.

I feel your pain!
by: Amy Collins

I was only bullied from 7th grade to 10th grade, but I know exactly how you feel!
It got so bad my freshman year that I intentionally tried to get kicked out of school. I didn't get kicked out and was instead put into a program with essentially "bad kids", most of whom were in the program for behavioral problems. Needless to say, I wasn't accepted by them and I was tormented most of the year.
Until that is, I stood up in the middle of class and slapped the kid who was one of the worst at picking on me.
It's sad I had to resort to violence (and screaming my head off) to get people to leave me alone. But I finally stood up for myself.
But now... I'm not the person I used to be. I don't think people realize that bullying does indeed leave scars. I have trouble opening up to people, I am generally in a bad mood, and I have one of the worst tempers ever. And all because of bullying.

Good On You For Speaking Out
by: Con Xianas

Good on you for making this known. There is now so much out there, regarding bullying I think employers are finally going to have to come out of their offices and check things out for themselves. You come across intelligent and that too can be a reason to be bullied. People who stand out, are acknowledged by the general public can cause so much envy in a work place, you just wouldn't believe. You obviously have some good attributes otherwise there would have been no reason for anyone to pick on you. All the best...

United Kingdom
by: Darren

As a decent human being myself, I (feel) for everyone on this website & their bullying stories. So much emotional pain!

Personally, I think the current law needs to be (reformed) to protect individuals in the workplace & the school environment. Why should decent people suffer from bad anti-social behavior, we all have the right to respect & dignity. Without morals, where would society be? I have always been black & white in my viewpoints, if people are instinctively bad towards others, there should be a punishment for this behavior. Positive or negative in (Physics) terms. Otherwise how will people learn right from wrong.

I have left this link below for everybody who is suffering today. This is one of my all time favorite songs. If the link doesn't work, please (copy & paste) this into YouTube search engine:


A big thanks again to everybody who has replied, great replies.

All the best!

i am youner then you but basicly same thing
by: Anonymous

i have been picked on for as i say all my life or since first grade it gets harder every year and i have to keep dealing with it but my way it just not to give a reason to be picked on act like you are perfect normal person but never say you did your best never be satisfied you can be depressed on facebook internet at home ext on your own time i now only get picked on in the worst way the sexual coments harrasment ext and dont try to go to anybody it works for a week then thay start back up oh and by the way... im 15 going on 16

I know and feel and what you are going through
by: David

I read your article and I connect with it well. I am basically in the same situation. The way you have been treated is deplorable, but it is the symptoms of what is going on. The heart of it is why it is happening in the first place. Not to discount what you are getting (I have received the full deal of what you describe. Whatever I do is seen in a very poor light).

The real question is why you (or me)?

Last laugh
by: Anonymous

I was bullied all my life by peers. I would come home and be belitted by parents and sexually harassed by father. Many years of therapy have done nothing to diminish the self hate and life ruination.

I just was approved for SSD, which will allow me to stay out of work. Bullies, I hope you're "killing" yourselves at work, so I can spend your tax dollars!

I know what its like.
by: Anonymous

I was always the target for bullies... I never knew why. Im currentlly in grade 11 (year 11) and ive been bullied in every way, shape, or form... You name it. I have the same social problems that you habe writen about, although ive never done anything about it. I can remember back in elementary school i would always be alone and have no one to talk to. Thats problly the worse part about living life whilst being bullied. Such in my case, i had no one... I held it all in, my feelings, fears, concerns... Everything. Although ive managed it so far, as hard as it was to do... I went through years of crying myself to sleep every night. Its tough... Although it has made me a better person with better morals in life. I give you my deepest feelings for you situation, and i hope the future holds wonderfull things for you despite your past.

by: Emma

I feel your pain, I have been bullied all my life from year 7-11 and i am still getting hate!!!
I have even started to cut

You're not alone
by: Hannah

I just want you to know you're not alone. I've been bullied my whole life basically, starting in kindergarten. I'm 22 years old now and I continue to get bullied by my little sister and parents. I've considered suicide, and even ran away numerous times, but why let them win? Sometimes people can't accept themselves so they put others down (usually the weak, naive, and vulnerable). I'm a very nice and caring person, but people mistake my kindness for weakness. I've had people tell me they loved me after days of knowing me, won beauty pageants, poetry and art contests, and have always done great in school. The point is, people are ALWAYS going to find something wrong with you, no matter how far you've come or what you accomplished. BE PROUD OF YOURSELF and pat yourself on the back. You don't need anyone's approval. You're capable of great things, so let those low life bullies waste away in their misery. God has a plan for you!

20 years of bullying and getting tired of it
by: Anonymous

I don't know where to start and what to say, I guess I have reached the limits of being bullied.

I was always bullied at school and had trouble making friends, the friends I did make bullied me for 4 whole years of my life. I though that this was just a passing phase and let it slide.

I went to university where not even a soul knew me and it was all fine, the moment I got back home after completing my degree the torment started.

I don't associate with any of the people I went to school with, well since they still would bully me. I made new friends & over time they became comfortable with me and they bully me constantly.

I don't think I am a mean person, I treat my wife well and I don't bully her (at least I think I don't).

My father has been bullying me and so do my siblings and my mother. I have to deal with their constant barrage of insults, crude and below the belt comments, degrading and yelling at in front of the extended family.

I don't know what to do. At times I feel like smashing my car into a concrete wall and just end it all, at times I feel like bleeding the cooking gas tank and setting the house on fire while every one is asleep.

Even though I've share a relationship with these people for so many years, no I don't feel anything for them other than hate and this penchant for wanting to hurt them and watch their agony - like how I've seen and felt my self suffer.

I know I am not going insane but I am afraid of carrying through with these thoughts that go through my head.

I blame all these people for what I am and what I am not. They built me into what I have become today.

I feel like I cant be me without someone throwing a brick at me.

don`t let the bastards get you down
by: hebden bridge man (tails from the happy vally)

my bullying started at around the age of 4 it started with some older men who asked me if i would do something horrible to someone for them, they said it was a great honor to be asked to do this for them and there were a lot of benefits that i could gain by being one of there gang, i knew the man that they wanted to bully and was not willing to assist them, they then got angry with me and said if they could not use me in that way then they would use me another way and what an insult it was for the to be refused , it was shortly after that the bullying started , some other children dropped some human fesses on my head from a second floor of a building ad told me they hated me and to fuck off and play some were else , there have also been two attempts at drowning me i have had property stolen ,been crashed into on purpose,lemon juice squirted in my eyes,rumors spread about my sexuality ,threat i am dishonest , i am a danger to children and sexually active with animals , you name it there a rumor about it , i have had friends bullied for talking to me over the years and they say the usual , we like you but its not worth the hassle,but i would have stood by them come hill or high water,i`ts been a hard life being the pawn in an hate game, but they have got police council officials and company bosses on there side and i have just me and my word , i do now keep a diary with these offences written down in it but i am now 54 and its unlikely that i will ever be able to do anything about this, these people have murdered bullied and stolen so many peoples lives from them and are quite blatant about it and often tell people whats going to happen well before it dose knowing full well they will never be held accountable for there crimes , after all who watches the jailer, if you think these people are protecting you why question it , and if someone like me tells the story then i must be a lunatic telling a mad mans story, and perhaps that's how you will see me, but i will go to my grave knowing that they never broke me inside and i am a far far better man than any of them fore i have compassion love and a feeling of self worth and if i was given a choice i would rather be me with a life time of scars than one of them for a second,so stay strong and be the better person as the life we live for today is the life we are remembered by, HB man signing out

Keep your head up!
by: Anonymous

I have just turned 23 and I got very badly bullied at my school. One aspect was I have a twin sister and always got abuse from everyone about her, like I was always living in her shadow. The frustrating thing was I would have these very same guys ogling after her. I went to a good school but often got accused of being stupid by a lot of others. I have since found out that I suffer from dyslexia, dysphraxia and dyscalculia.

All of this made me turn to comfort eat which in turn made me fat and got me more bullied. I then thought to myself I am going to prove everyone wrong, I got good A-Levels and accepted into a good university. Since then I have run two half marathons and two marathons and am running another one next year. I got a 2.1 in my geography degree and am now studying chartered accountancy.

I still strive to do better and be the best I can be, I completely ignore things people say unless I respect them so sly insults have no way of getting to me.

My friend last week summed me up when she said I have become very good looking but very reserved (due to being bullied... It has given me strong core values that I live by. The funny thing is now girls (who previously wouldn't give me the time of day when I was fat)keep going after me but I have no interest in them whatsoever.

Do not let anyone stand in your way to what you want from life. You have to learn to respect yourself!!


by: Bobby

Bullying has been a big problem in my life and I think its allowed to go through to my adulthood.

I never had an issue with bullying until college - more or less from day one, I was singled out for no real good reason and I hung around with a select group of individuals, even though they too weren't what I would consider friends though the people in question made college somewhat more bearable and they too were people who participated in the bullying.

I can say the bullying continued well into the workplace as well. Not so much, if at all, my first job but certainly the second one. I never felt I was ever given a chance to flourish in my second job and as the years went on, the bullying got progressively worse due to obscene office politics which nobody had any intention of changing and the so called system was absolutely non existent.

In the end, I resigned from my job because I was accused of doing something on the internet on a social media site which I did not do and what made the whole thing worse was the fact that the instigator of the complaint, despite making the complaint, didn't appear to show any ill effect of the supposed thing I had done to them on the social media site in question and I actually had suicidal thoughts during this time, something I can't forgive the complainer for. At the final disciplinary, it was decided that the so-called comments I made were not of a serious nature, so I ask why was I made to go through hell for it to come to such an unsatisfactory conclusion? All that mental stress, it was unforgivable. Nevertheless, my supervisor, who was the complainer, was also a bully and no angel themselves and I was subjected to potential harassment in my office as well.

Furthermore, I enjoy playing a game on the internet which shall remain nameless and when I first started, it was fun but now it feels empty and I would like to attend events to play the game but the problem is and I am sorry if this sounds stand-offish but a lot of the people on the site are idiots and also bullies. Not my cup of tea. It actually affects my ability to play and also my overall enjoyment for the site in question and this is a game I have grown up with and is also broadcast on the t.v.

It doesn't matter what I seem to do, I just can't avoid bullying or being myself - if I had a choice, I'd rather be by myself but it is affecting my adult life and I know I am better than those who inflict misery, but it doesn't make it any easier and I feel resentful for the way things have turned out and its hard to hide the pain but I do my best to do so.

What's more, an interesting comment here was that people don't realise the pain they inflict upon others and this leaves scars. Something some people just don't recover from. Those people can move on with their wonderful lives and those who endured that undeserved pain have to suffer with that pain and it doesn't go away, it becomes a part of you and although to a degree it makes you stronger and encourages wisdom, it doesn't make life that much easier.

I wish I had a normal life with a good selection of friends (I have two good friends) but the truth is, my life is simple but if it was a choice between that and people who just want to be idiots, I'd rather live a solitary life.

Also, I was mocked for being a virgin on the net on the same gaming website and that hurt because it makes you think you're abnormal and that's rubbish - life isn't that simple where the opposite sex is concerned.

Thought I'd share my penny's worth but nevertheless, you will always be better than those who inflict pain intentionally and you need to rise above it and try and lead as best a life as you can.

Me too
by: Shutterbug

I cried reading your post. I too, have been bullied my entire life. I can recount so many details from the time I was in kindergarten to now. I am 44 years old and it hurts no less now than it did when I was a child. So many times I have pondered what I can do differently. What I can do to change the way people perceive me. What I can do to make people except me and like me. I feel like I go out of my way to be a really good person, kind and considerate, respectful and giving. I think I'm an extremely loving person but I'm also not a pushover at least I try not to be. I feel like other than my family no one likes me, no one except me, no one thinks I'm good enough. Work is especially hard for me because there are so many bullies in the workplace. What this his caused for me is to essentially hide from the world and try not to be seen or heard. I live with constant sadness so I understand your pain. I wish it were different. But I hope that unlike me you will find your way out.

Evil twin
by: Anonymous female

My twin sister has always had a problem with me, I never really understood how bad of a problem she actually had with me until I was older. I realised that she was behind a lot of things that had gone wrong for me throughout my life. Including lots of things I already knew about.

I am very shy, quite, a nice girl, very caring.

She would constantly set me up for punishments when we were children. Constantly sabotaging me every opportunity she got.

1.She used an object to scratch my name into new paintwork which I got punished for. One of many times she set me up.

2. She would constantly destroy my things, tip my beauty products down the sink, rip up my photos, rip my clothes up, destroy my homework (we had to share a room)

3. If I liked someone, she would make a point of bad mouthing me to them. If it was a boy she would make a point of getting him herself.

4. She told girls in my class that I had made up bad names for them at home and got me beat up.

5. If I liked something she made sure she would get it first.

6. As we grew older she slept with my husband. Laughed in my face when I found out.

7. She tried to have my son taken into care.

8. She told our mum she didn't want to invite me to her wedding

9. She tried to cut me out of all our mums funeral plans

10.When our Mum died she stopped me from seeing my niece her daughter who was a baby at the time.

11. Our Dad come to stay with me for a bit when our mum died and she would say she didn't want him there, arranging to pick him up at the bottom of the road.

Many other things too but too long to write it all down.

Our mum (deceased) favoured her, to this day I don't know why, I can't work it out, she was abusive to our mum and Dad she would throw drinks at them, constantly start arguments. Yet they would defend her. If I tried to speak to them about her they would say they're not interested.

I was never abusive to our mum and dad never brought them any trouble. My sister was on drugs, stealing from the house yet she was allowed a door key and I never was. If anyone ever works it out please let me know because it torments me.

They say there's always an evil twin, it's true.

In the same company!
by: V

Hi Darren
I subscribe to same, I feel I have always been a target, first stemming from my mother. In every life situation I have been picked on in some capacity. I thought it was me - do I rub people up the wrong way and bring out all their negative behaviours. This is how I see and sum up the world or it's people today "My god you will do things my way or I will get upset in some form or another and it will be your fault and you will bear the cost". Modern day and people are still so primitive underneath the thin veneer. Thanks for your words!! xx

Hang in there!
by: Anonymous

Geese sounds like you've described my life to a t. Picked on in high school, get discriminated at work, find abusing (verbal) boyfriends. My mother is the root, as yes she can say really hurtful things. I too have social anxiety and it gets bad and has only gotten worse. Had my fiancé die in November and now as result have PTSD and more anxiety!! I hear buddy it's a struggle. Just know your not a lone a lot of people deal with same thing, being the victim to this treatment. Just know there's nothing wrong with you, your awesome! Its like people project there selves onto you so when you find people that treat you this way it's because they don't like themselves and yet make you the bad guy. Just need to focus on the positive it's been helping me by rising above it and being nice to rose who are still mean to me. Killing them with kindness!

Bullied throught life and now the consequences.
by: Anonymous

I am sixty four years old and have been bullied throughout my life. My mother is still alive and she has also been bullied all her life. She now has a mental condition called simple paranoia. If I told you her story it would break your heart. The thing about bullies is that they can spot a soft natured person and use you as a means to pump themselves up. Now I have depression have just started a course to try to deal with my low self esteem, low mood, and guilt for the things I've done as a result of the bullying. The fact is that a bully can spot a person with a soft nature and you become their whipping post. They belittle you in front of others to make themselves look big. The way to deal with a bully is to cut them down right at the start. If they try to make you look small in front of other just reply "Have you got a problem". I did this once and the bully went very quite. Wish I'd learnt that one many years before.

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