Pressing at work – let’s get to the bottom of it

What to do if you are “harassed” at work

Mobbing (from English mob – the crowd) – a word newfangled, but the phenomenon that it designates, as old as the world. So is called a form of psychological pressure on the employee by company management or the entire team. The purpose of this action is not just to humiliate the victim, but to get him fired.

If no one has ever made friends against you, then you are very lucky. Although in Ukraine every second Ukrainian has faced “bullying” at work. What to do when the hostile attitude and dislike of colleagues turned into a daily emotional or physical terror? looked into the types and causes of bullying and found tools to protect against it.

Let’s distinguish the notions at once. Banal squabbles, which occur in virtually every team, is not a mobbing. If you were once told off by your boss for not sending an important letter, you are paying for your own irresponsibility. When a colleague has reprimanded you for disturbing work by talking too loudly on the telephone about personal matters, it is an attempt to curb your tactlessness.

But if every day at work begins with aggression, criticism, open insults, harassment, damage to your property or office property and other nastiness on the part of your manager or co-workers, then there is reason to worry – mobbing has been initiated against you. It can be horizontal (pressure comes from employees), vertical (from superiors) or mixed.


Anything can become an object of envy of a mobster and his henchmen: expensive clothes, youth, professional achievements, a new position, marital status of the victim, the loyal attitude of the management to her.

The instigators of bullying may harass a colleague out of idleness. This way they get rid of negative emotions, get pleasure from the process itself.

Competition at the workplace, high staff turnover, and the desire for revenge are also frequent occasions. This way mobbers fight their way to promotion, satisfy their unsatisfied ambitions, or achieve dismissal of an employee with whom they had a conflict once.

How to protect yourself

The easiest but most effective way to avoid bullying is to prevent it. Follow basic rules: be polite, reserved, friendly, and respectful of the organization’s values and traditions. Do not neglect your job responsibilities.

If the conflict has reached boiling point, and you do not want to lose a good job with a high salary and career prospects, try to defend yourself in the following ways

1. Analyze the situation

It is possible that the remarks of your colleagues and the chief are not unreasonable. You may be disregarding company customs and unspoken rules, behaving badly, boasting, flirting or being irresponsible in your job responsibilities. Realize what you are doing wrong and start doing it right.

Explain yourself.

Talk to the leader of the mobbers, find out what you did not please him, and try to smooth over the sharp corners of the conflict.

3. Ask for protection.

If talking doesn’t help, inform management or Human Resources about the situation. Those at the helm are the ones who play the most important role in preventing mobbing. Don’t delay, don’t wait for things to get better. It is better to stop it in its early stages. If the aggression comes from the boss, then feel free to quit. It won’t be worth the risk.

4) Abstract away.

It’s hard, but try to ignore the offender’s attacks. Be calm, friendly, punctual, and avoid tantrums and open confrontations. Concentrate on performing your professional duties. Don’t give yourself a hard time, but assess whether you have the strength to give a decent response to emotional terror.

5. Quit .

Do it as soon as you feel that the remarks and bullying towards you have become permanent. Quitting is not an escape, but a smart way to keep your health and nerves in order. Be smart, give in.

6. Call 102.

If the harassment threatens your health or life and you have proof of it, report it to the police.

Mobbing is insidious and dangerous. First, if you are humiliated and harassed, it is unpleasant in itself. Secondly, a prolonged conflict environment is equally destructive for the victim, the instigators and the company as a whole. wishes that your team always had a friendly atmosphere, contributing to productive work and a pleasant business communication. And fight with “toxic” employees you will never have to.

And remember that self-confident, cultured people with high self-esteem do not engage in mobbing.

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Igor Kukshin 18.10.2016, 16:24

What is there to think, the man hit not in his sandbox, or not in his trough, the sense of calling the gas service or an emergency, as they say, not in your bag – do not sit, every cricket knows his own crutch.

Irina Kochegarova 18.10.2016, 19:44
Alexander Vasilenko 18.10.2016, 22:11

And I would be behind and knocked on their ears so that they with their mobbing themselves quit quickly))))My advice is not to leave and do not give them a chance to satisfy their diminished self-esteem. And if I did, it would be with fireworks))))

Igor Kukshin 19.10.2016, 00:06
Nikolai Suprun 06.05.2020, 11:49
Andrey Risenko 27.01.2022, 18:02
Rimma Avramenko 12.06.2021, 19:13
Marina Maksimenko 25.08.2021, 06:32
Olga Shapoval 19.10.2016, 12:36

I have a great experience of vice mobilizers.summary – can not be trustworthy, truthful in the team 2.theme of personal life – taboo 3.theme of personal growth – taboo not cry, do not fight, do not ask

Evgeny Fedorashko 21.12.2016, 09:58
Katerina Makarova 29.03.2017, 09:49
Artur Garachinskas 09.04.2021, 14:56
Stanislav Vusenko 19.10.2016, 21:06

Sam once got into such a situation, but was not morally stable, surrendered, now I myself would have driven anyone in that company, well, of course, except for the owners.

Antonina Mushinskaya 21.10.2016, 16:14

Passed this pernicious phenomenon with all the signs and consequences for 20 years. Those wishing to write a dissertation on this topic will provide facts and medical reports confirming the deterioration of health on this very ground. I learned about mobbing about five years ago. I studied. Learned how to resist. It worked. It is a pity that our society, and leaders in particular, do not take this fact seriously.

Igor Kukshin 21.10.2016, 17:50

Let’s say the clerk took this fact seriously, and then what? fire the saboteurs-mobsters under Article 38…9392 of the Labor Code?

Antonina Mushinskaya 10/21/2016, 9:43 pm

There is no appropriate article in our code, but to curb all kinds of gossip, etc. in the power of the head. In my case there was vertical mobbying.

Igor Kukshin 21.10.2016, 17:51

Mobilists are military instructors at schools and universities, who teach not only civil defense, but also mobilization, i.e. wartime actions, there was such a wave recently, but it seems that they have already let up a little.

Igor Dedyuk 21.10.2016, 19:43
Ganna Matusevich 03.09.2021, 17:05

How I understand you! After the mobbing on the part of the chief and the producer of the channel even stopped talking and writing. There was a disorder of food behavior, memory problems and panic attacks. This is not taking into account the sin.

Irina Chikisheva 22.01.2022, 07:03
Nina Fedorets 19.01.2018, 16:50
Nikolai Suprun 06.05.2020, 11:51
Irina Gaiko 06.02.2018, 22:05
Elena Krasnozhon 11.02.2018, 11:02

Yes. Thank you very much for the article and the feedback. This is exactly the situation at work.My opinion: wish everyone health and leave.

Janina Kushnir 21.05.2019, 09:36

There was such a case.Company Tyuso, Kiev.Collective – embittered women.The chief at first treated me well, then took their side.My fault was that I tried to get into a new business for themselves, did not go to smoke every hour for 20 minutes.And also was closed because of the death of his mother, and did not show “fighting spirit”.

Petro Semeniv, Yurik O.Є., FOP 30.10.2019, 11:46

Told, that the vertical mobbing for a long time “kvitne” in CMU. Be careful when you are going to work there!

Pavel Rozhkov 03.11.2019, 22:19

What to do? 1. Focus on work. 2. Comply with the requests of colleagues when working together. 3. Protecting oneself. 4. Address a superior boss. 5. Either meet the demands of the group or leave it. How to do it? It’s up to you.

Nikolai Suprun 06.05.2020, 11:53
Marina Onishchenko 23.04.2021, 11:29
Rozhkov Pavlo, Law Kremenchuk 20.06.2021, 19:06
Sergey P Aganesyan 21.04.2022, 13:18

Get in the confidence of specific members of the group 7. find out their weak points, and the flag in your hands, setup, false alarms, there are plenty of topics 8. imagination is not limited, revenge is a dish which, – you know 9. be careful, you should not be calculated, .

Marina Udartseva 09.01.2020, 09:43
Olga Soshnikova 24.01.2020, 15:36

I agree, the fish rots from the head. And the boss is a weak man if he cannot stand up to such people with a crown.

Sergey P Aganesyan 21.04.2022, 13:25
Olga Soshnikova 24.01.2020, 15:33

Almost every big and not big team has a person who thinks he is the best. I have one at work, too, with a crown on her head. Always late to work for 30-45min head.dept. says only employee for her lateness, but not her. She likes to shift her work to others. She can be rude to people, set people against someone, and gossip. And the head of the department supports her. I just do not respect and despise such people, and I think that God calls the shots.

Igor Utkin 30.01.2020, 08:39
Zhanna Sotsenko 10.03.2020, 10:08

Useful article, helps to think. I faced this situation at my previous job. “Press” began one of the employees, after 1.5 years of working together and, quite friendly relations, and then it was like an “imp” came into her, “poured out” all his negativity on me, snapped at me. I regret that I did not clarify my relationship with her honestly and openly, although I can guess the reasons for this change of attitude. I resigned from my job and a bad feeling was left behind. Management was on her side (a more valuable employee). For me it is a good lesson. I make conclusions and continue to believe in “light, good, eternal”.

Margarita Ruggiero 9/16/2020, 09:25 PM

I believe that other than getting fired, there is really nothing else that will help. You can be polite, malleable, translate everything into a joke, abstract, etc. – This only prolongs time, but in the end you will have to leave, otherwise life will soon turn into a complete nightmare, and the family, children and the unhappy person will suffer. And no amount of money is worth that kind of suffering. I once had to quit an interesting job on TV because all my coworkers united against me, and they systematically organized persecution, the coworkers together with the management, although I, as written in the article, behaved tactfully, politely, tried to be nice, etc. In the end I was kicked out like a lousy dog on New Year’s Eve, without warning. At my other job I was sexually harassed by my boss, even though I liked my job – I taught English. In the end I was fired the same way, with the explanation of the reason that allegedly the boss had no money to pay. It was very offensive – to find myself in such a situation, while receiving good money, to lose this earnings, only because I did not reciprocate “rich daddy”. In spite of that domagatel after the satisfaction even went to get a second degree as a teacher of English, trying to prove to him that I’m not [profanity is deleted by the moderator], and myself, that I still will find another place of work in this direction. But suddenly in my life came transfers, and interest in teaching in a moment disappeared somewhere and did not return. Now, what to do with this diploma – it is not clear, but the point is not this. And the fact that bullying can be stopped – sometimes yes, but to do this you have to be a true psychologist and accurately monitor what happens to you and to others, and what direction the situation takes.

Elena, Version-Lux, Ltd. 25.09.2020, 16:10

I had it too.It got to the point where they stole a bag with a purse, cards, keys and just threw it away. There was the police, there were drug addicts who found the bag and cards in a banokamat poke.BUT! I did not give up. And the most interesting thing is that I even know who stole, at what time, and how they did it all, but I have no proof, only an analysis of the events of the day.

Galiya Chukanova 15.10.2020, 22:18

I have the opposite situation – a female employee accuses me of bullying! I, as a supervisor, make comments on her work, she is a designer. And she does her work with her hands down. Because she does her personal business – writing books!) Imagine. A rare “gift”, writing books – erotic prose in the workplace! And do not say a word to her! I’m shocked! Senior management tells me – write a report, on the basis of the documents it will be possible to dismiss her. But this is an open conflict for a month, no less, I went through it, fired a similar creative person, who was rude and openly disobeyed. It was a war, I was really sick, I was on my nerves, that was three years ago. I’m not a monster. I do not want scandals, I understand that provocation should be avoided. But how to make a person work!

Andrey Risenko 27.01.2022, 18:05
Ruslana, Coloris 19.11.2020, 14:55
Antonina Mushinskaya 24.11.2020, 17:26
Marina Onishchenko 23.04.2021, 11:31

In a company and the team is not without [image moderated by]. If you’re cute and smart, then whether you want it or not, there will always be jealousy.

Galya Stepanenko 21.05.2021, 14:58

I also have been subjected to mobbing from the boss, but I could not stand it, I went away, I think the megalomania from the dirt to the nobility, she is a rural woman and was very angry at the higher organization, although initially she was different, and I myself was to blame, I offered to choose her boss and she thanked me after my illness, began to write reprimands to dismiss me for violating I wanted to go to court, but I had to work … I loved my job, I loved my job and was good at it, but it’s too expensive to work with a fool like that, I can’t bear humiliation, especially not earned humiliation, health is more important.

Avredik Geineh, 15.07.2021, 18:01.

I have only had one case of harassment. As – that is usually lucky on good teams. And here. I started to bully the head of the department. Then she organized the entire financial department to bully me, then even the support staff. Then she organized the whole financial department, and then even the support team. To my sincere surprise why they were treating me like this, everybody kept silent. When I identified the source, I asked what was wrong, maybe I should change something to continue to work quietly. To what I honestly told them that they were against the fact that the bosses hired me because they wanted a peer (the boss of 60), and she does not need a minor (I’m 33). At the complaints of the boss to the higher management with a demand to fire me, she was told that I am a good specialist, but in my area in our city is difficult to find a specialist, especially the age of 50 +. After that she told me: either leave now by yourself on good terms, or I will make you leave by yourself, but already in tears. I did not take the threat to heart. And there began a set-up at work, lies, set-ups with foreign counterparties. And when I hung a false debt (accounting there was collusion and someone – someone’s puncture transferred to me, we have practiced fines for everything), and then began to poison the team for the fact that I had a corona (I worked at home with the crown), I decided that the nerves are more expensive and quit. and when I already complained to the bosses. The bosses told me: you have a superior – it’s her, deal with it yourself. We’re not going to talk to you, you’re just an employee. We only communicate with her on this issue. And I realized that it’s stupid and those, really good money, not worth it.

Special Mom 9/17/2021, 4:34 pm

Hello. I am currently in a very difficult situation at work. I have been working for 11 years as a children’s masseur. In a state hospital. Very often we have to repair some building offices at our own expense. The last boiling point was when we were asked for money for paint to paint the walls in the hallway. I said no more, saying that I will not give as it was a state-owned paint it had already painted the facades of the hospital. Against me went half of the team. At first it seemed that it would seem nothing, I will survive. Then the worst thing began. They began to prohibit me to use the locker room close the canteen every day to listen to my complaints. I did not even know that the price of the issue is just money for paint, but I did not want to surrender on principle I have an opinion about it. I think every opinion should be respected. Every day I work under stress I don’t know what to do

Daria Bulatova 04.08.2022, 21:05

If you poison the boss (threatens to dismiss him, because he disrespects. Spilkuvannya Ukrainian. Where to turn?

Papa Special 14.08.2022, 18:18

Remain always [Image deleted by the moderator of the site]. And I have to leave. Why? You can not beat bureaucracy, and no one needs a serious job. So, a rat race.

Bullying at work: quit or improve your relationship?

How not to become a victim of mobbing, bullying and bossing?

Mobbing, bullying, bossing. These cryptic words are just a variety of ways for one or more people to harass an unwanted employee at work. Do you think you are safe from this? You’re wrong. Any of us can become a potential victim, and the number of victims of office terror goes to millions around the world.

Conspiracy against the victim

Alla knows firsthand what it is like when the team rejects and does not allow its friendly ranks. Once she worked at a company where the main contingent of workers were ladies much older than her. But instead of maternal care, she encountered neglect and open dislike of colleagues. Although she liked her job and her bosses had no complaints against her, Alla had to quit her job a few months after the plot began against her.

This is a typical example of mobbing, or harassment of one person by a group of people. As a rule, the goal of mobbing and other types of psychological harassment is to make the victim lose his nerve and run away from the “battlefield” in shame.

The main difference between targeted harassment and ordinary conflicts and strained relationships is its consistency and duration, from several weeks to several years. There are other signs that suggest that a war has been waged against you. For example, regular criticism, often too petty or without any specifics; mockery and insults; threats and outright slander. Important information is withheld from you or not provided on time; you are burdened with matters that are not too related to your competence; you are not invited to joint team activities. But if you have reasonable complaints about the really poor quality of your work, you can’t write them off as harassment.

A person who has been subjected to psychological terror may also develop health problems: sleep disorders, physical exhaustion, constant migraines, depression and various illnesses. Self-esteem falls and insecurity in one’s abilities appears. On health problems, stalkers also do not fail to spread another trump card: “Why keep an employee who is sick all the time?”

Five Causes of Mobbing

The most common causes of mobbing and their variants are several.

  1. Banal envy and fear that you will cross someone’s path – so successful professionals are quite often ostracized.
  2. Sometimes the trigger is a quarrel between people, which, reaching its peak, leads to harassment in the workplace.
  3. Another option is that the boss and his subordinate were once linked by a relationship that went beyond the bounds of the office: for example, friendship or love. But then they were terminated. However, both parties have to work together, and in some cases the boss will seek to get rid of the person with whom he had something common.
  4. More often than not, office wars are provoked by an unhealthy atmosphere in the company – constant staff turnover, a rigid system of penalties and control, distrust of each other. In such a team there is a hidden for the time being tension, which sooner or later will require a discharge. And then the “scapegoat” may become anyone.
  5. A great role in whether there is a tendency in the organization of the “witch hunt”, plays the personality of the head. There are supervisors who love to manipulate people and push them against each other. Collective harassment of an employee occurs with their tacit approval, or even at their instigation, when they want to get rid of an undesirable person with the hands of others. Sometimes managers underestimate the seriousness of the situation, tolerate the antics of subordinates and take no action against the instigators of bullying, leaving those with a sense of impunity. But the chief as nobody else is responsible for a positive psychological climate in the team and settlement of industrial conflicts.

Daria Stasevich, psychologist

Some companies accept “hazing” of newcomers, it’s a kind of tradition of entering the team. When you pass this stage, everything is likely to work out. You can also look at the reasons for the pressure on yourself from another angle. Perhaps such situations have already encountered in your life. Then you need to figure out what your behavior can provoke others in such an attitude. For example, you’re used to playing the role of the victim and do not know how to stand up for yourself. Or too much different from the colleagues – behavior, appearance – and they do not understand and do not accept you. Other reasons might be that you ignore the “rules of the game” and do not share the values of the group, you joined the company through “cronyism”, they want to put “their” person in your place.

Bullying: one on one

When Maya’s boss, who worked as an assistant judge, was hospitalized for a year due to a serious illness, his staff was temporarily transferred to another precinct. There the woman had to deal with the inadequate behavior of one of her colleagues. “She worked as an assistant to my new supervisor and for some reason she immediately disliked me, disrupting me with terrible force. Now rumors spread behind my back, that I allegedly got the job through his bed. That is silent about an important request of the chief, and she brazenly lied to him that he gave me everything, “- says Maya.

This is another version of psychological terror – bullying, or harassment of one person by another, usually his equal in status. It is believed that the bully’s peculiarity is the constant thirst for “fresh blood. Often after the victim, unable to withstand the abuse, quits, the attacker takes on the next “lamb.”

How do you fix a relationship?

If you feel that there is a targeted large-scale action against you, you can choose several strategies of struggle . The main thing is to realize what you are willing to fight for.

Try to fight back vigorously against the aggressor. Another option is to ignore their attacks, hoping that sooner or later they will leave you alone. Another useful technique is “outward agreement”: “You may be right, I’ll think about it. Sometimes it has the effect of surprise: you were expected to flare up in anger or make pathetic excuses, and now you have a chance to take control of the situation.

Ask your boss for help. By and large, it is possible to stop the bullying if he takes action. Otherwise, further fighting for your rights could turn into a battle with windmills.

You can also take steps to prevent any potential negative behavior. When hiring, find out what the company culture and values are, whether mutual assistance, respect for one another, etc. are accepted. Sources of such information are the interviews with the personnel manager and the future supervisor. If you are hired by a firm whose products you have used, pay attention to how the stores of this organization treat customers. After all, this is often a reflection of the style of relationships within the company. During the probationary period you can also learn a lot of interesting things. For example, about whether there is pressure from any of the employees. If there is such a phenomenon, make conclusions accordingly.

Karina Khutaeva, Director of International Educational Center

If you meet with bullying at work, keep calm and do not stoop to the level of stalkers. Don’t shout and don’t intimidate in return. Often “attackers” provoke you on purpose, expecting a retaliatory aggression, because this will give them a chance to respond to you with an even stronger provocation. It is not recommended to cry or show weakness, that is expected from you in the first place. Continue to work well, because the “well-wishers” hope to see you broken, and when you succeed time after time, it is perceived by them as a defeat. Be sure to show the results of their work bosses to protect themselves from malicious accusations of your unprofessionalism. And do not allow yourself to be isolated from your loyal colleagues, maintain business and friendly relations with them.

Natalia Verigina, business coach

Victims of bullying or mobbing are often people with low self-esteem, so it is important to work on improving it. This can be done by consulting a psychologist, participating and winning professional competitions. Loners who are isolated from the team are often harassed. Learn to build relationships with people – this will make it easier to establish contact with colleagues and form an “army of allies. These can be employees not only from your own, but also from adjacent departments, and even more importantly – the direct supervisor. Learn to defend your position, taking into account the interests of all parties and established company “rituals”, so that disputes do not escalate into violent conflict. Do not make enemies with your own hands.

Bossing: the boss is against

The confrontation between Nina and her boss has been going on for a long time, and no one will remember the root cause anymore. The manager creates an unbearable working environment for her employee. She sets before her unrealistic deadlines for completion of tasks, requires strict compliance with labor discipline, and the rest are given significant indulgences. Nina is under constant stress, and the only thing that stops her from quitting is an even greater fear of being unemployed.

In this case, we are talking about bossing (boss, boss), the harassment of a subordinate by a supervisor. In fact, it is the same as bullying, but not horizontal. Usually it is used when the boss does not have enough weighty arguments to dismiss the person legally.

As a rule, the victim has little hope for the help of his colleagues, because they are not too eager to get under the sword. Sometimes the attitude of the boss to someone is perceived by the subordinates as a clear indication of the action, in such a situation a person is in the crossfire harassment of literally all sides.

You may be subjected to pressure, forcing you to urgently write an application for resignation at your own request. Do not make any decisions in a hurry, you have every right to take a pause for reflection. If you agree to quit your job, try to negotiate a termination by mutual agreement. This assumes that both parties are willing to make concessions to each other. You leave, and the employer, if it can be negotiated, pays a severance payment of a certain amount. After all, the dismissal on one’s own initiative involves only compensation for unused vacation time.

Experts recommend in any case to leave the company, where it is allowed to terrorize people with impunity, and the sooner the better. Otherwise consequences for your health and a psychological state can become irreversible.

Daria Stasevich, psychologist

If the chief decided to fire you, you will have a very hard time. But your departure is not the only scenario, although it is very likely. You can try to transfer to another department of the same company or to another branch or even region, if possible. You can seek help from a higher authority or the courts. There are also city and district labor inspections. It is important to provide documentary evidence of the violation of your rights – dictaphone recordings of conversations with the boss, various correspondence, the employment contract, etc. will do.

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