Am I Being Bullied?

A Self Assessment Tool

We hope this self-assessment tool will help prevent self-doubt and support you to reach out for help.

It is especially important to review a few definitions of workplace harassment, including forms of psychological harassment e.g., bullying, before filing a complaint. Also, review your organizations definitions, policies, and procedures. Your companies’ policies must align with the OHS Act. Therefore, they should state that you are protected against retaliation. In Canada, if you are a federal employee, you are protected against harassment, bullying, and any acts of retaliation for reporting this abuse. Be sure to check with your provincial legislation too. Most provinces also have this legislation. It is important to know that false complaints are considered malicious, and or acts of harassment. Clarity can be found on our website, or you can call OHS, Human Rights, Labour Standards, your Union, or WCB for information.

CIWPB Definition: the following is our own formula for defining workplace psychological harassment.

a) A variety of tactics directed at a person or group of people,
b) repeatedly used over a period of 3 months or more,
c) with or without conscious intent,
d) to cause some form of harm e.g., embarrass, humiliate, degrade, diminish, shame, or silence,
e) by use of verbal or non-verbal tactics (e.g., in person, by letter, or electronically) towards a person, or group of people (learn about lateral violence or mobbing).

Examples of psychological harassment or psychological violence (bullying) tactics:

  • Have you been yelled at or shouted at in a hostile manner? Whether behind closed doors or in front of others, this is unprofessional. No one deserves to be treated in this manner.
  • Have colleagues or leaders refused your requests for assistance, especially in a safety or high-risk situation? For example, you are feeling attacked or threatened by a client or contractor, and colleagues do not respond.
  • Has a leader(s) or peer(s) lied to you, set you up to be accused of something you haven’t done, or created false rumours about you?
  • Has someone been repeatedly glaring at you, or rolling their eyes when you speak?
  • Are you repeatedly excluded or ostracised at work-related social gatherings?
  • Do you experience someone repeatedly storm out of the room when you enter?
  • Are you given the silent treatment? Does someone repeatedly ignore you, turn their back to you, start texting on their cell, or seem (perhaps pretend) to fall asleep, whenever you enter the room or speak in a meeting? Is this a pattern?
  • Are you often deprived of recognition and/or praise for which you are entitled? Is someone else always taking credit for your work?
  • Is someone repeatedly failing to return your calls, memos, or emails? Even if they have stated that they just don’t like you, this is unprofessional and immature behaviour.
  • Is someone interfering and/or sabotaging your work activities? Work relationships? Your reputation? Be sure to collect evidence.
  • Have you been the target of derogatory name calling or gossip? Be sure to document.
  • Are you given unattainable workloads or deadlines? And is this happening just to you, or a few people and not to others? Is favoritism happening?
  • Are you subjected to temper tantrums when disagreeing with someone? Are you documenting this? It is important that you do.
  • Are you constantly interrupted, ignored, or oppressed when speaking?
  • Do you fear that attempts are being made to turn other employees against you?
  • Do you feel anxious when coming to work in the morning? Depressed? Fearful? Tearful?

Be sure to learn all you can about workplace psychological harassment (bullying). We know that shame will often keep people silent. Silence and isolation will only feed the needs of people who harm others. It does not make anyone accountable. You do not need to go through this alone. This is painful and can cause physical and psychological harm. Times have changed and there are solutions for you no matter how complicated it may seem. It is helpful and wise to talk to someone about your options. Please receive help with navigating workplace systems and their unique or complicated processes. We can help you develop a strategy for your situation, including next steps. Be sure to see someone who is trained, qualified, and experienced in workplaces systems, and the injuries targeted workers sustain. Start by calling us for a brief assessment/consultation.

The combined services of an experienced and knowledgeable coach and qualified counselor will be most effective! If you wish to process this further with an objective and experienced professional, call for a confidential supportive consultation.

It is important to choose your recovery with or without, justice.
~Linda Crockett