Currently, mobbing or workplace harassment is considered to be the action of persistent, repeated, systematic and continuous mistreatment of a worker, within the workplace , both psychological and physical.

– In the case that it is psychological, the abuser subjects the victim to continuous mockery, threats, contempt, insults, false rumors, embarrasses him in front of the rest of his companions, etc.

– In the event that the harassment is physical, the abuser resorts to physical violence, thereby intimidating the victim, putting him in fear, hurting him through injuries, blows, etc.

The mobbing can be carried out by a partner or by several , even by a person in more important positions, abusing their power (in this case the abuse is considered bossing, that is, caused by the boss).

How is mobbing or workplace harassment carried out and for what reasons?

As a general rule, mobbing has several phases throughout its execution, which may vary depending on the case of harassment. These phases are: conflict phase, harassment phase and mobbing resolution phase.

– Conflict phase: in which the problem that causes the mobbing is generated. This phase can go unnoticed and not be visible to other colleagues.

– Harassment phase: in which the abuser harasses his victim repeatedly, in multiple ways, on a psychological and even physical level.

– Harassment resolution phase: in this phase the harassment is ended either by the intervention of the police, or by abandonment of the job by the victim.

The reasons why workplace harassment is carried out are multiple, however according to several statistics and several studies it is determined that the most common are:

– Harassment in order to provoke the voluntary dismissal of the victim.

– Due to personal conflicts.

– For reasons of racial, social, gender, ideological differences, etc.

– For the mere pleasure of mistreating.

– For sexual reasons.

In what ways can a person be harassed at work?

Workplace harassment is the simple act of mistreating, making a person feel bad, making them fearful, not feeling comfortable, not trusting in their abilities, making them feel inferior in the workplace, etc. Therefore there are a multitude of ways to carry it out. It is important to know them and know how to detect them in order to act in time and find a solution. For this reason, here are the most used methods in these cases:

– Insult or yell at the victim, both in an intimate situation and in front of other colleagues.

– Ask to perform tasks with an inordinate difficulty for their position, with a very limited time for their execution, etc.

– Change the circumstances or conditions of your job without notifying you or in an abusive and discriminatory way.

– Coercing or threatening the victim on a recurring basis.

– Do not take into account their work or effort, even underestimate their abilities and their successes.

– Making fun of their opinions, their ideas, their comments, etc.

– Treat the victim differently and in worse conditions, compared to the rest of their colleagues, for whatever reason.

– Exclude him, ignore him, pretending that he is not present or that he does not exist.

– Resort to physical violence.

– Interfere with the correct performance of your job or make it difficult to complete it.

– Spreading false rumors about the victim that cause their reputation and dignity to be negatively affected.

– Treat in an obscene or harassing way, for reasons of gender, nationality, age, social and sexual situation, etc.

Is mobbing the same as burnout?

Despite what many think, burnout or burnout syndrome is a totally different thing from workplace bullying. The difference between the two is that in the case of burnout, the victim is tired, exhausted, psychologically “burned” by specific events, even external to work; while in the case of mobbing the abuse is continuous and persistent over time.

What consequences can mobbing have on a person?

Mobbing, like any type of harassment, causes both physical and psychological consequences in the victim, whatever the way it is carried out. However, it must be borne in mind that not all people present the same, since each person experiences it at a different time in their life, in different circumstances, their way of approaching problems is different, etc.

Based on what we have said previously and according to these are the most common consequences in a victim of mobbing: If we refer to physical consequences we can highlight:

– The somatization of harassment, that is, the emotional ailment generated by the situation becomes a physical ailment, be it headaches, stomachaches, etc., as illnesses.

– Possible physical damage caused by the abuser, such as blows, scratches, wounds, etc.

– Problems and irregularities in sleeping habits, either insomnia or hypersomnia.

– Loss or noticeable increase in appetite.

If we refer to psychological consequences we can highlight:

– Low self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as deterioration of self-concept.

– Feeling of guilt, seeing yourself as the only culprit in the situation.

– Outbreak in depression , eating disorder, anxiety , panic, etc.

– Feelings of insecurity, of being unable to perform work tasks correctly, etc.

– Increased aggressiveness both with the work environment and with their family, friends, etc.

– Social isolation or difficulty trusting people.

What should I do if I am experiencing mobbing?

The workplace harassment is punishable by law as dictated in Article 173.1 of the Penal Code. Therefore, if you suspect that someone is suffering workplace harassment or you are in that situation yourself, first of all what you should do is ask for help or notify the authorities and report.

Second, it is important that you collect all possible evidence and present it to the police. They will inform you about the procedures and what you will have to do at all times. It is important that throughout this process you have emotional support, be it a family member, a friend, your partner or psychology help. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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