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Causes of Bullying

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Topic: bullying

Why is there being bullied?

The causes of bullying are mostly attributed to individual people or their personality structure. In the general understanding, of course, the perpetrator always bears the greatest debt. But many perpetrators try to persuade themselves with the statement that the victim is responsible for the situation: through their actions or external characteristics that differ from everyday life.

So are the causes of bullying perhaps in a noticeable deviation from the norm of the victim, such as his social origin, clothing or a special talent? Has it perhaps questioned its colleagues and the way they work too much? Was it too hard-working, too opinionated, just too different from the others?

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Do the causes of bullying lie with the victim or the perpetrator?

Numerous studies and investigations deal with the question of where the causes of bullying lie, who are the typical victims and who are the perpetrators. Accordingly, women and employees up to the age of 25, especially apprentices, belong to the significantly more endangered groups of people. However, it was not possible to create a scientifically founded profile of the victim of bullying in all of the investigations. A middle-aged male supervisor who had been working for the company for a long time was identified as the prototype of a bully. Other studies, on the other hand, named women as frequent perpetrators.

From the different results it can be concluded that there is no such thing as the "typical victim of bullying". Certain personality traits such as gender, skin color or social origin or certain behaviors can be causes of bullying or at least encourage bullying, but in principle it can affect anyone. Bullied in all professions, shifts and at all hierarchical levels. Supervisors can just as easily get into the firing line of bullies and be confronted with intrigue, foul rumors and discrimination, as can their employees. Because they too have to fit into the given structures and need a certain standing in the team in order to assert themselves.

Conversely, however, it was also not possible to create a perpetrator profile with characteristic features that would in any way allow predictions about acts of bullying. As regards the causes of bullying with regard to perpetrators, the motive of fear was mentioned first. Fear of failure or being overwhelmed in the face of new tasks, along with the fear of being fired, can lead to this type of aggressive behavior - and especially directed at people who pose a real or even only a fictitious threat to their own position. Bullying becomes a survival strategy and gives the bully a position of power. Other motives of the bully can be envy, frustration and misunderstood ambition. Often the cause of bullying is also a chain reaction that is triggered by unfair treatment of the perpetrator himself.

Defective structures

The causes of bullying do not lie solely in the personality structure of those involved and in the victim-perpetrator relationship, but are deeper: in the structure of the world of work or the company.

An essential prerequisite for bullying are the established framework conditions in working life. Every day you are forced to deal with colleagues or bosses, regardless of whether it is "human" or not. The only purpose of the community is that the team work well together and lead the company to success. And unlike in your free time, at football or in a swimming club, you can't get out so easily if there are permanent conflicts.

Various faulty operational structures promote this potential for conflict. Starting with a bad working atmosphere or too high a workload to a lack of work organization with unclear tasks and responsibilities and responsibilities that result in a dispute over skills, to personnel changes and non-transparent decision-making processes, employees can cause employees to use their elbows. Constant pressure of deadlines or persistent insufficient demands, coordination problems and superiors with poor leadership behavior and a lack of willingness to talk also create stress and are therefore often causes of bullying. In addition, there are social problems such as increasing unemployment and the associated constant fear for one's own job. If these conflicts are not resolved, it quickly escalates.

Consequences of bullying

Bullying has been shown to make you sick. The psychological and physical consequences of bullying are fatal for the victim. Demotivation, despair, distrust and social withdrawal due to the tense situation at work quickly lead to sleep disorders, depression, paranoia and anxiety, but also physical illnesses such as eating disorders, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, vomiting and others. Psychologists also observe typical stress diseases such as stomach ulcers and cardiovascular problems in those affected. Very serious cases even have to be treated clinically in order not only to rebuild their disturbed self-image, but also to relearn their sense of taste, touch or smell. And about every third suicide is caused by work-related problems such as bullying.

Employers also suffer from the problem of bullying, because victims of bullying work less effectively, often take sick leave for longer periods in order to avoid their tormentors, and they may even be unable to work, or given notice. This is not only labor-intensive and time-consuming, but above all expensive. 10% of all sick leave can be traced back to mental health problems that could be caused by bullying - a rather expensive loss of production.