What’s Going on at Work?

Work. A place where you go five or more days a week. A place where you interact with other people. A place where, at the end of a specified period, you receive a paycheck. A place where you are unhappy. Now you are seriously asking yourself, “What’s going on at work?”

I applaud you for finding the courage to confront, or at the least explore, a situation you probably would rather not confront or explore because it causes you too much pain. I also applaud you for finding the courage to examine and explore what is happening to you at work but you have no name to describe it. You need to name this feeling because, without a name, you cannot begin to deal with it.

You know that you have been feeling uncomfortable, off kilter, confused and many other feelings which used to be ones you read about but have never felt in the past.

Perhaps you would describe the feeling by saying that you are being bullied because that word is familiar to you. Bullies are everywhere. In schoolyards, where you shop, on the Internet and in a variety of other places. Bullying is dangerous and can cripple the person who is being bullied. Perhaps that is what you are feeling.

How do you define “bullying?”

The current definition is of a person who is loud, overbearing, intimidating and routinely picks on another, weaker person. You may not think of yourself as weak but the bully finds your weak spot and bears down on you because that person knows that you will be intimidated by the behavior.

This is insidious, unacceptable behaviour in the workplace and I consider it a form of emotional abuse.

If you are like most people, you think and believe that abuse involves some kind of physical action against another person.

That is a myth and I am here to dispel it.

I am here to open your eyes to the realization, or to a new idea, that abuse involves far more than the narrow definition that is familiar to all of us.

Abuse can occur without a touch. How else would you describe the kind of behaviour directed at us that makes us cringe, makes us feel small, belittled, confused, powerless, stressed out, voiceless, teary eyed, fearful, have knots in our stomachs and our emotions in turmoil.

You get the picture.

What is all of that, if not abuse? And I am adding another word to it. I am talking to you about Emotional Abuse. Using these words to describe what you may be experiencing at work may seem foreign or even strange to you because we often do not think of work experiences in those terms.

I am talking about the kind of abuse that renders you speechless and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning, not wanting to walk through the door of a place where you spend most of our waking life, sometimes more than you spend with our own family, or hide out in the washroom when you do get there.

Perhaps the emotional abuser is your boss, maybe a co-worker. Either way, being subjected to their abuse can create a toxic working environment for you and can severely affect your health. There comes a time when you have to take a stand to declare, first to yourself, that you will not tolerate the behavior. You cannot carry on like this. You know that you need to deal with how you are feeling.

Something has led you to this website. Perhaps you have decided that you need to confront what is happening at work and have decided to do something about it. If you have, you have come to the right place.

On this page is a questionnaire which will help you determine if what you are feeling is emotional abuse. Perhaps you already know you are being emotionally abused and you are looking for some clarity about how to handle it. Again you are in the right place.

The questionnaire response will give you some tools to help you start the healing process.

If you do not confront the behaviour now, when will you do it?

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