What is it? It can often be confused with jokes, banter or simple differences in the workplace, however, bullying (or moral violence) is connected to the idea of humiliation. This behavior tends to occur repetitively and over long periods of time causing impairment of feeling, embarrassment and low self esteem in the victim causing the victim social, psychological and physical problems. As the Brazilian site “Labour Guide” states; ‘mental disorders related to working conditions are among the evils of modernity’, showing that these threats are real and are more prevalent than we think. The responses of those who suffer the humiliation are significant and range from low self-esteem to health problems. Some signs that a person is experiencing workplace bullying include:
•Depression, anxiety, stress, panic attacks, crying spells, physical and mental discomfort;
•Excessive fatigue, lack of interest in work, constant irritation;
•Insomnia, sleep disorders, nightmares;
•Decreased ability to concentrate and to remember;
•Isolation, sadness, reduced ability to relate to other people and make friends;
•Negative feelings for the future;
•Personality changes (that could reproducing the conduct of moral violence);
•Weight gain or excessive weight loss, increased blood pressure, digestive problems, tremors and palpitations;
•Feeling of guilt and suicidal thoughts;
•Use of alcohol and drugs;
Bullying causes a loss of interest in work and removes any pleasure that was found in the work. It can emotionally destabilize and can provoke, not only the worsening of existing diseases, but also the emergence of new diseases. Furthermore, losses are reflected within the work environment, often affecting other workers. This can be seen in the fall of productivity and the quality of work produced, the occurrence of occupational diseases and accidents at work, increasing the turnover of workers and lawsuits claiming labor rights and damages suffered due to the harassment. We need to recognise the importance of these situations and occurrences in the workplace. This is where it occurs most often and is usually between a superior or another co-worker. However, we want to make clear that these types of violence are present both in the workplace and outside, but often have the same characteristics. In the next publication, we learn a little about the reasons that lead to moral violence.
The National Exame magazine (after interviewing professionals about human behavior) said the harassers often target people who are apparently more fragile or pose a threat. For example, people who react to aggressive authoritarianism or who refuse to submit to it. However, for a professional to avoid certain types of behaviors and to protect themselves from possible attacks sometimes the bullying exceeds the tolerable limit. The next publication we will look at the different ways in which victims can defend themselves and the means.