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Mental abuse in the workplace is more common than you might think.  It could be an angry aggressive boss, a mean condescending co-worker, or a group of bullies that band together and target others in the office.  An abusive work environment erodes productivity and hurts those involved emotionally, sometimes escalating into making people physically sick.  

Here are 5 signs that abuse is present at the office. See if any of these are true for you:
1 - There is a 80 - 100% staff turnover every year.
2 - The office is extremely quiet. People have their heads down, and rarely make eye contact with supervisors.
3 - You can cut the tension in the air with a knife.
4 - Employees meet and organize outside of work to support one another.
5 - Staff look drained and they call in sick more frequently than in a healthy workplace.

If you relate to any of these signs, then abuse is present in your office.  You may be suffering in silence or you may be looking for some help.  Here are a few suggestions to get you out of your dilemma.  

1 - Always actively network for another job so that you are working on a way out.
2 - Try not to take the behavior of the abuser personally: it’s not about you. Abusers treat everyone that way.
3 - Understand that the abuser is most likely good at managing up and only abuses those below. That’s why he/she doesn't get caught.
4 - Exercise after work to rid yourself of the toxic energy as often as necessary.
5 - Participate in an activity that builds your self-confidence. Join a task force, volunteer for a good cause, write down your successes every night.
6 - Circulate, do not isolate and suffer in silence. Go out and have fun after work.
7 - Get another job a.s.a.p.

Kathi Elster an executive coach and Katherine Crowley a psychotherapist are the authors of Working with You Is Killing Me and Working for You Isn't Working for Me. They can be reached at [Link Removed]


Askk2, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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Member Comments

    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Dec 3, 2010
    • hearthappyGreat post, unfortunately this is true for most places of employment these days it seems that management is out to get their dedicated hard workers and allow the slackers to slack, I was told by someone not long ago that when an employee is faithful to their job as far as coming to work on time doing their job effectively and try to be a positive force, they are doing what their getting paid for. But on the other had the slackers are look upon as great employees did we miss something in the small print of the applications, since when does it warrant a slacker to gain over a hard dedicated worker? I’m at a loss for words.worried



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Dec 5, 2010
    • Thanks for the info!  People laugh all the time where I work- we all have little things to grumble about too, but compared to what it could be, it’s not so bad at all!  Thanks for helping me get things into perspective.



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