Bullying (adults)

Bullying is not just something that happens to children at school. Being the victim of bullying as an adult can lead to feelings of shame, low self esteem and depression. Seeking help when being bullied can be hard because of these feelings. Bullying behaviour in adults can be clever, subtle, insidious and can be an abuse of power. It can happen at work, in families and even from someone you love. It also often leaves you feeling confused and hurt. Talking to a therapist can help you to identify this behaviour and give you the confidence to work out a way forward.

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Bullying and harassment can be defined in many different ways and can be described
as unwanted conduct of behaviour designed to cause harm or distress to another
person. Bullying falls under four main categories, psychological, verbal, physical and
cyberbullying. Sustained bullying can cause stress, emotional issues, social problems
and even physical disorders.

Bullying is any form of unacceptable behaviour that causes individual stress. By way of
guidance, most employers today have a Dignity at Work Policy or a Bully and
Harassment Policy where examples of unacceptable behaviour are set out. Employers
should have both informal and formal grievance procedures in place.

When you are being bullied, you should prioritise your safety and well-being. If possible,
remove yourself from the situation and cut the bully out of your life. In situations where
you can’t avoid a bully, you should work to build a strong support system. Document any
and all instances of bullying. If the bullying escalates, you can include this
documentation in your police report or formal complaint.