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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Bullying Patterns

by Tired of Bullying
(United Kingdom)

I was bullied and tormented for around five years in my last workplace and I believe I've been blackballed and given a bad reference from my last boss.

After five years I just wanted to move on and do well but again the same patterns and the same people appeared again but just in another form.

I believe that in certain small companies that are going through changes or pressures certain situations will occur.

1. A narcissist, sociopath or bully will get into a management role.
2. They will 'protect' their new position by forming a gang or clique around them.
3. Anyone threatening any of them will be a target for bullying or mobbing.

Chances are the new manager will be in a position they aren't trained for or comfortable with. Hence the reason to surround themselves with protectors and enablers. Many of whom will have got their jobs directly as a result of simply working with them before at another firm or with their old boss. Sure this type of nepotism happens innocently all the time but cynically they are recruited not for the good of the firm but to form a bubble around the narc.

After a few months or years you will now have a toxic, political workplace that is on a downward spiral that won't be solved until the narc is removed.

It's fairly obvious after a while to spot the clique.


1. You notice or hear phoney or exaggerated laughter around the narc that seems cringeworthy or not normal.
2. If you cross any of the main group the others will take it in turns to shun you. People who you got along fine with will suddenly stop talking to you. This in time will develop into mobbing.
3. Hypocrisy is very clear. The same rules do not apply to them. They do not practice what they preach.
4. Things you said in confidence about the clique members will be repeated out loud to try and humiliate you. One member who maybe genuinely liked and respected you has been turned by them through lies. They are telling others that you are dangerous, bad for the company, crazy, lazy, ugly, stupid, gay, worthless or whatever insult comes to them. Due to the nature of their control they can quite easily turn others against each other or onto one target. Again the patterns and behaviours are extremely predictable and obvious to the target and somehow enablers and sycophants or new recruits can't or don't want to see it.
If you're being presented with an open door for progression and more financial reward but have to sell out then most people will accept it gladly at first.
5. Promotion and rewards. Clique members probably do very little all day whilst non clique members do the job of two or three workers. Clique members will get special treatment such as long breaks, free holidays, promotions that aren't needed or justified, invited to nights out, bigger offices etc etc. For non clique members this annoys them further and eventually will realise what is going on and slow down or leave.

As you can see none of the above is good for the company. It's entirely all about the ego and career of the 'elephant in the room' narcissist. The flying monkeys around them falsely think that they actually deserve their place at the top of the tree. Before you know it you have a dangerous group of people who think they can do anything and get away with it.
I believe that this creates a situation to occur that enables corporate scandals or financial meltdowns. I would bet my mortgage on their being a narcissist pulling the strings responsible for the Enron situation or the banking crisis.

Cynically I wonder if the general public will ever be educated in how to spot this and stop it happening? It's extremely difficult to stop, especially when most of it is done behind the surreptitiously and for the good of the new clique members. In my experience HR are usually hoodwinked also and part of the problem.

This isn't a story as such but my thoughts and feelings on the matter. I have read a few stories on here and hundreds elsewhere. It amazes me how similar and almost identical they all are. Surely society could be more informed on the matter? Until it happened to me I had no idea about narcs and their disorders. Are medical professionals part of the issue? How deep is the problem?

Comments for Bullying Patterns

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Congrats for spotting 'pattern'
by: LIzzy NJ

Nice analysis of a recurring pattern in today's workplaces.

Your noting the same patten after five years after leaving last bad place is not the result of a blackballing by old boss. The old boss really doesn't care. Unless, the job you had within the industry of that 'bad boss' is specialized and …it might be possible that 'boss' speaks 'off the record' to his or her fraternal buddies within the industry. For instance, all medical doctors stick together like glue, so do lawyers, the printing industry as a whole all know one another, ETC.

So…if your convinced that your bad employ is because 'old boss' is casually talking his opinion to his 'brothers' in the industry, you need to GET OUT OF that industry and see what happens. He can't bad mouth a different type of business. (they have no interest in anything but what they do) SO…if your skillets can be transferrer from medical, to legal or insurance industry DO IT. If you can work as a general laborer in being a paintiing contractor, retail sales, or any average job in need GO THERE. (who cares …if you work for a large firm or a small little luncheonette where you are THE WORKER…do it)

If you can work for yourself (dog walking, dog sitting, pet sitting, baby sitting one on one, elder care, ANYTHING where you are in charge …WHO CARES how you make the dollars as long as you can earn and 're-invent' yourself.

As to all the points you make about how people are manipulative today…most likely ALL TRUE. But…here's the whole thing, remember the words of this song: LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN……….'WITH ME' / that means… we aren't going to be liked by all; it is the person's free will not to like and your free will to do what makes them happy; AND KEEP PEACE in yourself and them. LEAVE. just walk in with a gracious and praiseworthy resignation letter…praise them for the opportunity …the a simple; but a better opportunity has been presented and I must take it immediately.

Don't mention ANYTHING of what opportunity (if any) if you don't have one; DON'T WORRY…you didn't lie…as soon as you leave the narcissist…LIFE WILL GET BETTER and the opportunity will come. TRUST GO(O)D …and NOT IN MAN.

Take our free will and 'shake the dust' when your peace is not coming back AT YOU. PERIOD…end of sentence.

It is not worth upsetting the loved one's you do have in your life, and I'm sure you do. Don't lose THE GOOD that surrounds because of 'the world' that is losing all sense of VIRTUE… vIRTUE BEING GODLINESS.

LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE…but leave them with a PLEASANTNESS they 'know not' …and then PRAY FOR THEM…that somewhere when they least suspect; GOD…WHO IS IN CHARGE…will grow them up. (mature them)

Let there be peace on earth…and let it begin WITH ME. (who knows the better way to be)

My congratulations
by: PaulofQ

A brilliantly insightful essay.

spot on
by: Anonymous

This is pretty spot on - almost exactly describes what happened in my last workplace - difficult to manage - as it is quite subtle and , in my case, the narc seemed very benign and harmless, but he was a past master at getting others to do his dirty work for him - I drew his fire because I challenged him - most people just went with it or left - He has now virtually run the company (supposedly a charity) into the ground and lost a lot of contracts, but the trustees still think he walks on water - don't know how he does it, but he is good at picking managers around him who were not too bright or assertive and also had too much say at picking trustees - best in such a situation to just get out - but not always that easy to just leave a job

feeling frustruated
by: Anonymous

I work in the medical field with 4 other girls. one girl is new and three others have been there for a long time which i will refer to older coworkers. two of the older coworkers are very difficult to work with. one tells me what to do all the time, she acts like she's my boss, she'll make me stop doing something to start something new. She also interrupts my conversations with patients. then I have this other one who is very rude if you ask her for help or tell her to do something that's needed she then has an attitude and will give you a look. She's very easily irritable and it's difficult to work with these girls. This Clinic is very fast paced to the point where we can't even have a break which is another thing that irritates me. there's two sides to this clinic there's a family practice side and then there's a specialty side. older coworkers act as if we're still divided and my supervisor has told me numerous times that we are all one Clinic so we are all supposed to help each other but my coworkers still don't listen. the supervisor is very close with these older coworkers to the point where she talks about her personal problems with her boyfriends and exes to my coworkers, so it's very uncomfortable to talk to my supervisor because I feel I can't trust her. I made the mistake of telling my supervisor about issues I've been having with my co workers becuse now she barely talks to me,its been a week now. I feel like the outsider and she doesn't even acknowledge me anymore, making me feel more uncomfortable at work. I've called in twice already and its due to the stress. I have also been upset because when I was interviewed I was told I'd be receptionist to a new clinic which is a lot nicer and slower paced (perfect for me) and closer to my home. I was told I'd ve training in two other clinics in the meantime until the newly revamped clinic starts. A few weeks ago on Friday, I go to my manager and asked her if id be going to the new clinic. The day prior it was announced that the new clinic would open.She told me right now they won't have a receptionist in the clinic until its really busy. That following monday I get told by my coworker that she was offered the receptionist position at our new clinic. I was pretty upset but i didnt say anything. A week later I go back to my manager to ask her about the position again and she tells me the same thing about their being no receptionist in the clinic yet. I didn't mention what my coworker said, I just leave with my manager knowing I am hoping ill work their. Since then my coworker has said numerous times to me we'll actually bragged that she's going to be the receptionist at the new clinic. I now avoid her as much as possible because of that. I had missed work due to having anxiety over all of this and that is when I went to my other supervisor to pretty much vent and she told me not to believe my coworker that they have not decided on who will be the receptionist and I told her I was told I'd be the receptionist during my interview. I just don't know if I should hold on to this job for as long as I can until I get another one which is proving to be difficult or if I should quit now to save my sanity.

med clinic worker
by: LIzzy NJ

Stay or go to preserve sanity:

First, aside from those irritating co workers; DO YOU LIKE your job? The actual work you are doing? If you enjoy what you do and you have any type of tenure there yourself; and you can simply ignore…with the LOVE a parent has when there small child does things to annoy, irritate…IGNORE. (put on earplugs so you hear very little; if possible)

Doesn't matter what job you have, unless you can work where you work completely alone, in any job you are going to find an irritating person. It's a given of human nature.

So…better the irritant you know than one you don't know, right?

But…if you REALLY find that life there is MAKING ALL YOUR LIFE miserable and home life also…REALLY REALLY miserable; then LEAVE. (find a new job FIRST, but if you can't wait for even that…JUST LEAVE)

pray over it; and listen for the direction HE is leading you. Stay OR leave. If you apply to other jobs and get hired, then more than likely HE TOO wanted you to leave. Nothing happens but what He allows.

great insights
by: Anonymous

Points 1~4. I'm able to identify with all of them. It's amazing that many do know what's going on yet let them continue. For the most part, spending time with any one of them individually, they won't act like asses and are actually pretty decent people. Together, that's another story. No wonder they call it mobbing. I've actually contemplated on combining my documentations to a book, script or something. But I'm also troubled that many might follow the same tactics to bully others. Double-edged sword.

Very accurate description of office bullying
by: Anonymous

This is exactly what goes on. Without coming off as trivial or reducing this problem to trivialities, I usually know I am working for a narc when my own or others' lunches go missing inexplicably, regularly and over a period of time. It is just one small indicator of a disrespectful workplace.

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