Bullying is commonly conceived in terms of its ability to affect the lives of children, but it isn’t always young people who are involved in such behavior. In fact, bullying can extend to adult life in a number of ways, though people may commonly refer to such incidents as harassment or simple rudeness. Though there’s no doubt that a lack of manners sometimes occurs in adult life, serious problems can arise when adults find themselves in situations in which they are truly being subjected to bullying. Along with physical violence, bullying may also encompass verbal or emotional abuse, or may be entirely confined to these areas. When a person experiences bullying as an adult, they may feel that there’s no serious cause for concern, and may attempt to simply “get through” the problem. Such issues can have far-reaching physical and psychological consequences, however, and should be taken as seriously as any other threat to one’s health. Fighting bullying among adult may not always be easy, but it is important for people to take such instances seriously and to respond with diligence.
One of the most common venues for bullying among adults is at the workplace. Whether experienced from a coworker or a supervisor, bullying at work can be highly traumatic and may lead people to begin to dislike going to their jobs, even when they were particularly satisfied with them before the bullying began. Bullying may result in a poorer performance from employees, which can quickly create compounded problems when superiors express their disapproval and bullying victims lose further self-esteem and confidence. An important first step in working against bullying at work is confronting the person or group exhibiting the bullying behavior. In some instances, people may not be aware that their actions are inappropriate, and may successfully identify problems in their own lives and seek help accordingly when confronted directly by a victim. Many times, however, people are well aware that their behavior towards victims is destructive, yet the act of being confronted is enough to convince them that they may need to rethink their actions or seek help from a professional. Of course, confrontation will not always lead to a solution. If victims of adult bullying go through this step but do not experience any positive progress, reporting the behavior and involving superiors may be necessary.
Reporting bullying at work is sometimes avoided by those being bullied because of feelings of shame surrounding the behavior or a desire to appear strong or unproblematic to management. When such behavior is allowed to continue, however, it can undermine both the employee’s career and the spirit and productivity of the company, and filing a complaint is a responsible and often rewarding act. Hopefully, management will be able to step in and take any necessary action to diffuse he situation, however in some environments, bullying may not be treated with the sense of seriousness it deserves. When employees find that they cannot secure help from their superiors, they may wish to escalate the problem to higher ranks in management. Ultimately, people may end up choosing to leave their companies because of an internal bullying problem. While this is an unfortunate outcome, it may be advisable in some situations when other paths towards a solution have been exhausted.
Sometimes, bullying may be perpetrated away from the workplace but in other social venues, such as in a social club, sports team, or other gathering of adults. Dealing with instances of bullying in these situations can be especially difficult because of the less formal structure and source of authority in non-work environments. Still, people can attempt to confront the person committing the bullying, an act which may be aided in some cases with the support of friends or colleagues. When a person has noticeable support from others and explains to a person exhibiting bullying behavior that their actions are inappropriate and should be ceased, those who have been bullied may experience success in getting the behavior to stop. Still, a confrontation will not necessarily be the right answer for every situation, and people may find themselves in need of outside support or assistance in order to effectively deal with the situation. In some cases, therapy can be beneficial for victims of bullying. By helping to preserve and encourage self-esteem and confidence and potentially developing effective ways to combat the behavior, therapy may prove to be a worthwhile option for some people facing otherwise unresolved instances of bullying.
Facing the problem of bullying as an adult can be difficult, and may be even more so when people imagine that only children are ever affected by this problem. Through acknowledging the issue and working towards its resolution, however, people can regain their safety and peace of mind.