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When Adults Get Bullied

Recently on ABC’s The View a panel featured Aija Mayrock, a 19-year-old girl who endure bullying since 8-years-old wrote a book, “The Survival Guild to Bullying: Written by a Kid for a Kid.” Her book provides a firsthand look of bullying in schools, and offers strategies for children to survive.

As I watched the segment, I began to think about a topic surrounding bullying that doesn’t get as much attention as bullying in schools:

Bullying in the workplace

Bullying in the workplace takes place every day in all fields of work, and leaves employees vulnerable and stressed. I’ve witnessed it firsthand, and have seen people that are bullied break down, miss work, become depressed, lose their ability to function, and have trouble completing their duties due to being targeted by a bully. Physical violence at work is grounds for removal and/or legal ramifications, mental bullying not so much. And, psychological bullying can be devastating and detrimental to a person’s mental health, especially when it is hard to prove.

Once time I had a boss that would send angry, demeaning, and psychologically tormenting emails that would affect my mental health, and every time I opened my email account and see her name highlighted, I would feel by stomach drop. I would sit there and try to calm myself down before I opened it. Knowing that it was going to be aggressive, rude, and result in mental strife, sometimes I would leave it unopened till I felt better, but, eventually I knew I would have to read it and respond. No matter what I did, I couldn’t do anything right. She would publically pick on me during staff meetings, harass me during private meetings, and when I went to her boss to complain it only made matters worse. Her boss sided with my boss and the fundamental problem was that because it was a mental stress, it was hard to prove. And, unfortunately saying “Oh just get another job” isn’t feasible for everyone, and quitting is not an option for some people.

The workplace can sometimes be like a high school cafeteria. There are bullies, cliques, and those that isolate to deal which isn’t healthy either. I have learned that if your boss or the boss’s boss can’t help the situation you are left to fend for yourself. Children can access multiple avenues to help amend or address the situation: a teacher, a principle, parents, or friends. Adults don’t always have a support system in tack.

Just because you are an adult, that doesn’t mean you aren’t vulnerable or subject to a downward spiral. Adult mental bullying might not be taken as seriously cause it doesn’t leave physical scars but, the mental stress can be worse. It is toxic to any work environment, and effects everyone just like it does in the school yard.

Like I said, violence in the workplace is not tolerable, but, mental stress from a bully in the workplace can be more traumatizing, and when it is not as readily discussed as much in a cultural dialogue, we are left with people having mental breakdowns, and fending for themselves.

Adult bullies photo available from Shutterstock

When Adults Get Bullied

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough and Undressed.

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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2015). When Adults Get Bullied. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Oct 2015
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