This is an article from MSNBC -- I thought I'd share it here.
I've had a workplace bully before -- I didn't know 41% suffered from workplace bullies
By Stephanie Pappas
updated 1/12/2012 1:15:33 PM ET
If you spend your workday avoiding an abusive boss, tiptoeing around co-workers who talk behind your back, or eating lunch alone because you've been ostracized from your cubicle mates, you may be the victim of workplace bullying. New research suggests that you're not alone, especially if you're struggling to cope.
Employees with abusive bosses often deal with the situation in ways that inadvertently make them feel worse, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Stress Management. That's bad news, as research suggests that workplace abuse is linked to stress — and stress is linked to a laundry list of mental and physical ailments, including higher body weight and heart disease.
In at least one extreme case, workplace bullying has even been linked to suicide, much as schoolyard bullying has been linked to a rash of suicides among young people.
Bullying is "a form of abuse which carries tremendous health harm," said Gary Namie, a social psychologist who directs the Workplace Bullying Institute. "That's how you distinguish it from tough management or any of the other cutesy ways people use to diminish it."
About 13 to 14 percent of Americans work under an abusive supervisor, Yagil said. Her study on Israeli workers found that abused employees tend to cope by avoiding their bosses, seeking support from co-workers and trying to reassure themselves. As useful as those strategies might sound, however, they actually made employees feel worse. [7 Thoughts That Are Bad For You]
"It is understandable that employees wish to reduce the amount of their contact with an abusive boss to the minimum, but the strategies they use actually further increase their stress instead of reducing it," Yagil said. "This may happen because these strategies are associated with a sense of weakness and perpetuate the employee's fear of the supervisor."
the best estimate puts the number at about 41 percent of American workers having been psychologically harassed at work at some point.
read the rest of the article here
I imagine that those of us with Autism/Aspergers are also very likely often targets of bullying/abusive bosses. I know that's been the case in my life.
I probably only managed to avoid bullying in High School because I was part of a sizable peer group (NJROTC) that looked out for each other on a daily basis. Band did the same thing, though Band also had worse hazing rites-of-passage to endure before one was "accepted" into the fold, as it were. NJROTC took you "as is" and as long as you did your bit to wear the uniform correctly and put on a good front as a good representative of the organization, you could count on people having your back, as it were.
That's good that you had a support group looking out for each other.
I remember a boss I had that was just a huge huge bully. He wanted us to sell promotional candy at the theatre at double the amount home office wanted us to. We were supposed to push, push, push this candy. Some of my girls who are really good cashiers and work hard weren't so great at pushing candy which people weren't interested in. He finally forced me to pick one of the cashiers to be fired, which I was not happy with at all. He told me, either one of them goes, or I go. And I was so close to just walking out. I wish I had... I would have been re-hired later, I'm sure. It broke my heart to let any of those hard-working kids go. Come to find out, after, he'd been using other tactics to make the theatre look more legit and perfect to home office than it was...
The LiveScience link on how to deal with workplace bullying is worth reading. When I was in the middle of it, I did not have the time or clear thought process to follow instructions such as these, but fortunately I followed some of them, and it helped.
Thank you Sentient .. I will check that out.