Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

9 Ways ANYONE Can Prevent Emotional Abuse In The Workplace

Self, Family

Would you know what to do if you experienced abuse in the workplace? Now you know how to fight it.

Millions of men and women are the workforce and life source of all businesses, whether they are a small business, large corporation, hospital, or others. We can all become victims of emotional abuse in these environments, and no one is immune.

Emotional abuse is on the rise. We must be able to recognize it and defend ourselves from becoming future victims.

Emotional abuse can be called many things:

  1. Verbal abuse
  2. Bullying—Where there is one person causing you problems
  3. Mobbing—Where there is a group of people such as co-workers
  4. Harassment

Abuse comes in many forms, but emotional abuse can create an environment that reeks with fear. This can prevent employees from performing at their best levels, which can affect business productivity.

Some people may think that instilling fear by using verbal abuse is okay and just shows one person's power over another, but your employees will usually react by having unsatisfactory performances, which will not help with the productivity of the business and can actually decrease it. It may also impact how your employees treat your customers.

Verbal abuse may usually start off small, with an employee being corrected once in a while; however, it can escalate to where a person makes loud remarks or degrades your work in front of others. Depending on what is being said, emotional abuse can also attack a person's dignity, integrity, and may lower their self-esteem.

Who are these abusers?

  • Administrators, managers, or supervisors
  • Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals
  • Co-workers and even subordinates

What are some of the signs of an emotional abuser?

  • Criticism and rumors
  • Ridiculing
  • Withholding of information and isolation
  • Yelling

What can a person who is the victim of emotional abuse and a hostile environment do?

  1. This is not ideal, but you can try to ignore that it is happening because you need the job.
  2. Try to address it by talking to the person or persons who are causing this abuse. Or, address it with their supervisors or someone in your human resources department.
  3. Tell management so they do not suffer losses to their productivity and customers. Help them to retain good employees and enhance good morale in the company or organization.
  4. Be vigilant and proactive. Help prevent any early signs of emotional abuse, mobbing, or bullying.
  5. Resign from your job versus being terminated.
  6. Look for another place of employment where they will accept and respect you.
  7. Realize that no matter how hard you try, this conflict cannot be resolved and may never go away.
  8. Recognize that you have not done anything wrong and identify yourself as a victim.
  9. Identify if you are experiencing any mental or physical signs and seek the help you need.

If you choose to do nothing, here are some of the effects of emotional abuse you may experience:

  1. It can cause you to have many doubts about your abilities, and lowers your self-esteem and your own productivity.
  2. It can bleed into your personal life and your relationships with your significant others, which causes them to abuse you, or for you to become the abuser of your own family and friends.
  3. It can ruin your health physically and mentally:
  • Physical Illness—weight loss, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, heart problems, fatigue, and other ailments.
  • Mental Illness—anxiety, depression, nervous breakdown, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), low self-esteem, suicide and others.

As you can see, anyone who has a job and works at any position can be affected. We must all be proactive and vigilant to any signs of emotional abuse. The work environment should be a place where we, as workers, can feel safe, mentally and physically.

Constructive criticism is needed for self-improvement, as long as it does not border on emotional abuse. It can be used as a learning tool to support others with becoming more knowledgeable about their weaknesses and identify specifically what each individual can do to enhance their productivity and customer service for the business they work for.

It's a fine line between criticism and abuse. Walk this wisely and treat others with respect and courtesy while letting them know where they can improve. Make sure others treat you with this same respect and courtesy when offering you criticism and information about areas you can improve upon.

Remember that you are the most important commodity to any business or corporation. There is no need for any of us to feel victimized. Empower yourself. Know your own worth and never allow someone else to humiliate or degrade you. Protect yourself and those co-workers who are unable to protect themselves.

Please help me spread the word to help stop emotional abuse in the workplace.

This article was originally published at http://drchristina.com/. Reprinted with permission from the author.

Author
Contributor

Expert advice

If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
Several key behaviors stand out in order to help couples create a healthy relationship.
It seems like you can't do anything right.

Explore YourTango