Workplace bullying and compassion

From the latest issue of Bullybusters Bytes, newsletter of the Workplace Bullying Institute, this interesting commentary on workplace bullying and compassion:
Targets of bullying experience rejection by cowardly co-workers, indifference from HR and senior management, and limited tolerance by friends and family. Why aren’t people more compassionate? Why don’t they see the pain and help more? Brand new research suggests that we humans are wired to quickly and empathically react to the physical pain of others. For example, watching someone break an ankle and step on it triggers pain centers in our own brains nearly immediately. However, social pain or the mental anguish of others takes longer to trigger a response and that reaction requires much more brain work.

Link to pdf: http://bullyinginstitute.org/newsletters/041509newsletter.pdf

 

One response

  1. But how can you help when others are bullied? I worked very happily as a female in a near total male environment for 20 years and attempts at bullying me failed, so the men gave up. I am very thick-skinned, ready to fight back doing whatever it takes, but perhaps most importantly the reputation of my husband protected me – none of the men wanted to tangle with him. My boss was a good boss. When I first started he expressed some concerns that the men might give me difficulties, even suggesting they could be a danger. So he was aware and watching the situation. There were very few female intakes, most were bullied and most left. It appears to be a male group thing – they go after anyone perceived to be weak. Some men were bullied too but stuck it out. Thinking back I do not see how you can help someone being bullied. You can extend support to someone who is fighting back, but people who are placid or internalise – as many women do – don’t give you any footage.

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