Workplace Harassment

What is mobbing?

Mobbing is the pressure exerted on a worker at work to lead to his or her self-elimination through a subtle strategy of denigration, harassment and exclusion. Normally the harasser uses subtle tactics of denigration and discrediting at work, in order not to jeopardize his job by being discovered.

In some cases, mobbing occurs between co-workers and in other cases the perpetrators are superiors or bosses, in all cases with the aim of imposing themselves on the other worker or to pressure a worker to leave the job.

Symptoms of harassment at work

Some of the symptoms that the worker victim of mobbing will suffer are:

  • Low self-esteem.
  • Stress.
  • Lack of confidence, security and decision at work.
  • Insomnia and sleeping problems.
  • Anxiety, anguish, irritability, fatigue, depression and hypervigilance.
  • Self-devaluation and feelings of guilt.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • Refusal of social relationships.

Causes of workplace bullying

Workplace bullying is caused by the bully’s attitude of denigrating the colleague. In many cases the authors of mobbing are bosses or superiors, with the help of employees or inferior grades. It also tends to occur between colleagues of the same rank, while upward mobbing of an employee towards a superior is only 4% of cases.

The mobbing harassers are, in many cases, people with some psychopathology and toxic, narcissistic and paranoid personalities, who seek to take advantage of any situation that allows them to undermine others and thus compensate for their own complexes. In most cases, the victims of mobbing are workers who may arouse envy among their colleagues because they stand out in a positive way or have a friendly character.

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In other cases, mobbing is motivated by the company’s desire to make the employee in question leave his or her job.

Prevention of mobbing

It is very difficult to prevent the occurrence of attitudes such as mobbing by colleagues. Even so, it is recommended to prevent these situations by fostering an atmosphere of companionship and respect at work. Hierarchies and unequal situations among employees, as well as pressures, do not help to prevent this type of situations.

Treatment for mobbing

The victim of mobbing will require psychological therapy to overcome the consequences of depression, lack of confidence and low self-esteem, among others.

To help the patient overcome mobbing, it is necessary for the worker to be able to identify the problem and externalize it, as well as to learn to channel anger and resentment and to give assertive responses to coworkers. These guidelines are necessary both for the patient’s situation at the time of the mobbing and to regain confidence in future jobs.