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Why don't adults at work "fight back", against the bully?

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posted on May, 25 2014 @ 06:05 PM

In the great majority of cases, no one has the balls to "fight back" against the boss.
And yet, despite of their passivity, they are not being called cowards, but "smart people", who need to keep a job.
- See more at:

Lot's of people in managerial positions simply don't have any good leadership qualities. A boss (manager) who bullies some employees (direct reports) is also highly likely to be playing other nasty games in the work scenario like : special perks for other employees, promotions and awards for only selected "non trouble makers".

In some organizations of multi tier managements, a mid level boss will find it useful to have a "team" of good cop/bad cop bosses that get rotation through the organization. The boss who is buullying may be doing this out of a bullyist attitude .. but the low level boss may also be bullied by the mid level boss, and given direct orders to the bully, to harass lower level direct reports... simply to make them uncomfortable in their jobs.

If one has a union system in your work place then the solution is it use that framework to mend the differences. But that only works if management believes in unions and reducing animosity in the work place for the sake of productivity.

I have hundreds of personal anecdotes on this, worked in large telecom concern for 20 years and been a union rep that saved a man's job who was being bullyied (specifically bullying on attendance, when labor laws and workers comp were applicable).

But the OP is correct. People don't wanna get involved out of fear of losing their own job or fear of getting involved in something that they might get written up or fired for. So the bullying continues, usually, one-on-one,
boss on employee, intimidation, threats of losing job, pay cut, demotion, penalties, warnings of dismissal, etc etc etc.

What happens after you save a man's job? You become the next target for the bullies. I know it from personal experience.

TL;DR Bad bosses have a lot of tools to bully on the job. Weaker employees just take it in stride to keep their paychecks. Stronger employees fight the battles and then become targets.

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 07:13 PM
I got pushed to the point where I ended up throwing a 25 killo drilling rod at a bully of a drill operator, well just beside him. I got told off and he got demoted for causing such stress to a work mate. a reply to: alldirex

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 07:22 PM
I gave up my degree because I was ordered by my boss/professor to cheat... He told me that he couldn't afford the time away from the company and that someone else was going to do my semester final programming assignments for me.

He got my two week notice about a minute later. I'm old, broke and my body is shot but I have my self-respect. My kids all never had to go to bed hungry, I've never had anything repossessed and I can look myself in the mirror.

Sometimes the most devastating thing you can do to a bully is hear them out and then walk away.

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 07:26 PM

originally posted by: john666
In society it is usually thought, that the child, which is being bullied by another child, is a coward because he doesn't "fight back".
The reasoning behind this is the following:

"Fighting back - when you are a child - is necessary, because it builds character. In another words, when you have "character", you will not allow yourself being bullied, that is you will be "tough enough", for our cruel world.

That is the "theory".

The reality is that adults are more afraid, of fighting back against "powerful people"(bullies) that abuse them, than children are.
The best example is the relationship between bully boss, and the employees. In the great majority of cases, no one has the balls to "fight back" against the boss.
And yet, despite of their passivity, they are not being called cowards, but "smart people", who need to keep a job.

I say that this attitude is blatant hypocrisy towards children.

What do you people think?

Having been bullied as a child & also having been bullied at work, I can say, I hate how when your bullied at work your just supposed to grow a pair. I'm always told "well there's going to be ass holes where ever you work" so I should just get used to be bullied.

When I was being bullied at my first job, it was because the night time supervisor was mad that my Mom didn't want to date him so he started to be a huge ass hole to me. I went to the owner about it & he basically said "What's easier to hire, a new employee or a new night time supervisor?" I didn't last too much longer before I was fired.

My second experience with being bullied at work was the worst one. Not only was I being bullied by a manager, I was also being bullied by 4 staff members. I tried talking to another employee about it who had been there for many years & did everything a manager does but didn't get the pay for it. Anyways, nothing ended up happening & I had to quit.

My third time around, I was more annoyed that it was happening & put up a bit more of a fight. I was constantly going to management about another employee who was bullying me & other employees. When I had to quit because the stress was effecting my health, I had to fight tooth and nail to get medical E.I & then regular E.I afterwards. The EI government lady basically told me that I'm supposed to suck it up & keep working. I'm not supposed to tell people if I'm being bullied. Then she also told me a couple things I could have done & asked me why I didn't. I told her because I didn't know my rights as an employee, I would have done those things.

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 07:36 PM
I personally do fight back against work place bullies, regardless of losing a job or not. My employer (the owner) said something untrue and quite denigrating to me in front of 20 other people, so I walked up and knocked him flat on the concrete floor. I helped him up and he promptly fired me, but the next day the business manager called me back and said the owner was sorry and wanted me to come back to work.

Usually I would ignore bullying, but it depends on the emotions I sense coming from the person. If all they have is misplaced contempt and arrogance, then they just need a reminder that they are just the same as anyone, regardless of position. (some think their position excludes them from accountability), (like our officials). Maybe they need a good pounding too?
Works for me

This is why we are in such trouble now is because keeping people honest and defending honor has become taboo, so the nasty ones get away with everything and then they spit on the rest of us even more. A good beating can really restore humility into people who lack it and need it, believe me.
edit on 25-5-2014 by alienreality because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 08:17 PM
a reply to: john666

personal experience relates and agrees with this,

most communication in my work is done by email, this has made the dynamic between employer and employee much easier to see. im literally the only one in some 100 employees who is willing to speak his mind even when i know the boss aint gonna like it, these communications are often done as company wide emails, so everyone see's the dialogue, and i always find it funny just how many people who witness the interaction email me directly on the side just to say thanks for speaking the thoughts and feelings they where having but feared expressing. its encouraging and makes me feel much better, i of course also get the same fear that ill be fired for speaking out, but i try not to let that stop me, punishment for expressing myself is less of a burden on my mind then failing to speak my mind when i feel i ought too.

and many times, i have received emails from the top top of the company basically telling me "its our way or the highway" "follow the protocol do as we tell you or find another job" im paraphrasing, of course their emails were much more politically correct but the meaning of them was exactly that.

some of the things this company does isnt even legal, of course the ones running the show are more then likely ignorant to alot of those laws as they can be obscure, but i learned when i told them of a few that i noticed in the beginning of my employment that they dont care and wont change their ways till after it becomes an issue,

power makes people into jerks, people who arent jerks who get power loose it as they dont mind giving it away, its the jerks who clutch at power, so its the jerks who get and keep all the power, so its rare that bosses arent bullies,

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 08:48 PM
a reply to: MysterX
For the vast majority of people all that "stuff" they are scared to lose is a crappy rented house for their kids and food to feed them. Fighting back is a luxury.

I say this because when I was a single parent, genuinely single as the dad disappeared, of two toddlers I could never have fought back for fear of losing the tiny stability I had.

Years later, with teenagers, I was in a position to fight back and even told my boss I was quitting if he didn't pull his head out of his ass. Did a world of good and he fixed the problem.

Might have seemed the right thing to do in the first place but I had no seniority nor proven myself back then

edit on 25-5-2014 by igloo because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-5-2014 by igloo because: Tablet thinks it knows better

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 09:36 PM
Bullying is endemic in the workplace.

Probably always has been but more than ever now that the unions have lost their teeth.

But it's quite insidious and what you and I would interpret as bullying simply isn't acknowledged as such by the PTB.

Since 2006 I have had 3 disciplinary hearings, none of which were justified in my opinion; fortunately, I survived them.

It's a form of sadistic torture which has the full support of the government, so there's nothing to be done.

Obviously, in my 50s, I don't want to be sacked because I can't be sure I will work again, even with professional qualifications.

There's no shortage of young, smiling Nigerians who would quickly replace me, and with whom I now have to compete for other jobs.

Such is life in the EU.

posted on May, 25 2014 @ 11:17 PM
a reply to: john666

This is called over-generalizing. Be more specific. If your afraid to tell your boss to treat you right or go f@# himself, then shut up and take it.

posted on May, 26 2014 @ 11:39 AM
Thank you for all of your comments.

Now let me explain you, why i started this thread.
The concept of "fighting back", is intentionally, wrongly defined in our societies.

It is wrongly defined, because it is defined as:

1.Exclusively non-lethal form of action.

2.Exclusively individualistic form of action.

In another words, it is a taboo that fighting back, may mean killing somebody, or that it may entail group effort.
That is the reason, that when people are talking about fighting back, in the great majority of cases, they are talking about children and adolescents.
Namely, when children and adolescents, are being bullied by other children and adolescents, than usually the force that you need, to correct the abusive situation, is non-lethal force.
Also, in many cases the children are able to fight back successfully on their own, and even in those many other cases, where the child is not able to do that, it is usually enough that one or two people(I include children in this), help the victim, and the problem is solved(that is, if the victim has somebody to help him/her).

What I am saying, is that society at large, has been manipulated by the use of NEUROLINGUISTICS, to think that the great societal problems, that we have, can be solved by individual non-lethal effort.
I disagree with that.
I think that the only solution to world problems - that are also local everyday problems - is by FINDING, the "elite" and KILLING THEM!
And the process of finding, and killing them, can only be achieved through GROUP EFFORT!

Once you do that, ABUSE, in all levels of society, will be greatly reduced.

That is my solution, "to the problem".

What is yours?

edit on 26-5-2014 by john666 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 26 2014 @ 12:17 PM
Well, while there are many examples of bullying in this thread as well as true bullying world wide... what the majority of people need to realize is that, as an employee you are "contracted" to do whatever the requirements of your job are and not be on social media or other personal pursuits during the work day. People nowadays seem to feel that an employer owes them a substantial paycheck simply because they are present at the workplace! This is not the same as actually working. I see this even in the small company I work for. So many people spend so much of their work day updating their status or playing games on their i-phones or surfing the internet - and then they are irritated when they are asked to perform the duties that they are being paid to do! That is what they call bullying - being asked to do their job instead of being allowed to screw off!

As I said - I am fully aware that true bullying happens and needs to be addressed somehow... but a lot of the complaining is coming from people who just want to screw off. So few people anymore actually "earn" their paycheck.

posted on May, 26 2014 @ 12:29 PM

originally posted by: john666
I think that the only solution to world problems - that are also local everyday problems - is by FINDING, the "elite" and KILLING THEM!
And the process of finding, and killing them, can only be achieved through GROUP EFFORT!

Once you do that, ABUSE, in all levels of society, will be greatly reduced.

That is my solution, "to the problem".

What is yours?

Um... that's a little bit over the top, I think. I don't believe murdering someone is the solution to any problem other than a true kill or be killed situation. If we can get a real group effort going, then we can prosecute those who abuse through the laws that already exist. Then prosecute those who want to legislate exemption clauses for themselves (hi congress) and their buddies. Revolution does not have to be violent - punishing a murderer by murdering him makes us murderers as well.

posted on May, 28 2014 @ 04:04 PM
a reply to: tallcool1

I'd be in much better financial condition if I could just have $1 for every time I've said, "There are a lot of folks out there that are d@mned lucky they don't get paid based on what they are worth."

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