Were you the bully in school or the victim? If you were the victim, were you told that it would stop when you graduated the lower grades and entered college and found that it didn’t? Did you assume that it would stop when you entered the workplace? Do you find yourself still being bullied? You may not find yourself getting your lunch stolen or your stomach punched but being singled out and abused at work is a lot more common than you may think.
Gossip is a nasty habit that is easy to find yourself caught up in, especially if you don’t like the person that the cruel barbs are aimed at. Hurtful comments, whether whispered or shouted, plague us every where. One thing that the person who engages in this behavior needs to know is that if some one will gossip with you, they will gossip about you.
In the work place the practice of bullying is called ‘mobbing’. It can be as obvious as open displays of hostility or as subtle as snubbing or excluding someone. Most of the time, the people that you considered friends will know enough about you to know how to hurt you. You may want to reconsider how much of your private life you want to keep that way to avoid being grist for the rumor mill.
We like to think that we have outgrown the playground, but find that hurtful words have replaced the sand that was thrown in childhood. You don’t have to play along. You can keep your conversations focused on the positive or keep them general. Disinterest in gossip is one of the best ways to avoid it. People will stop spreading the news to you if they know they don’t have an eager audience. As long as you maintain a policy of being courteous to everyone and never betraying a confidence that you have been entrusted with, you will not become the unpopular wall flower at the dance.
Besides avoiding stressful situations when it all hits the fan, as it usually always does, you will not have violated your personal code of ethics. You can never elevate yourself by demeaning someone else. When invited to join the mob, politely decline.