When bullying causes stress and anxiety: help, suicidal working atmosphere


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That the working conditions in Company are not always optimal, many employees in companies can sing a song about that. It is also well known that stress and bullying can make you sick. What to do if it leads to suicide

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Bullying - hell are the others

Hell is the others ”- this sentence by the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre aptly describes the everyday life of workers who are subjected to daily harassment. According to a report by the “New Quality of Work” initiative, 11 percent of employees in Germany have already been harassed - by colleagues or the boss.

Although the typical victim of bullying does not exist, young workers under 25 and older workers are particularly affected. Women are bullied almost three times more often than men, most of whom are the perpetrators.

The consequences of constant stress from bullying

In the long run, nobody can endure such personal attacks without injuries. The reactions of those affected range from physical complaints to mental disorders to suicide.

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The large corporation France Télécom records 35 suicides in two years among its employees. The reason for the sad balance sheet: poor working conditions, stress and bullying. The electrical giant Foxconn, which produces for Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sony and Nokia, among others, committed ten employees to suicide within a few months. Workers accuse the company of unbearable working conditions.

Stress, burnout and bullying: 11 percent victims of bullying

And what about the causes? Even if suicide series in Company are extreme cases, as they show one thing very clearly: stress and bullying at the workplace is a problem for many people - even on management levels.

A survey of the European online job market StepStone suggests that a good third of German specialists and executives are already running out of work - up to clear bournout symptoms that a quarter are feeling. And according to a report by the “New Quality of Work” initiative, eleven percent of employees in Germany have been bullied before.

What to do about the bad working atmosphere?

Because although stress and bullying are always caused by external factors such as bosses, colleagues or the economic situation, everyone can do something about it themselves. For example, by trying to avoid stress through a correct timing, relaxing regularly and doing sports. In the case of bullying, it is important to get advice and help from others and to set limits to the perpetrator in good time so that the perpetrator does not feel confirmed that he is still bullying.

After all, the company also has disadvantages due to bullying: According to estimates, the loss of production due to bullying amounts to over 4,4 billion euros per year in Germany alone. In principle, companies should ensure that bullying does not occur at all - for example, by changing the organization of work.

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Pressure from the boardroom increases bullying and stress among employees

Because: Monotonous work, strong pressure or excessive demands often lead employees to react to their frustration with a supposedly weaker colleague. If he does not fight back immediately, the rejection can quickly become a systematic harassment.

A stressful environment that does not allow for mistakes also results in an increasing drive for perfection on the part of employees: Because perfectionism is the desire to want to do everything particularly well and correctly. Since you can hardly do this, you often create unnecessary stress. Often there are deep-seated fears from childhood. And both favor bullying and social isolation.

10 immediate help tips that may still save the working atmosphere

Even though circumstances are often to blame, there are sometimes simple solutions that everyone can take to heart when stressful circumstances temporarily make life hell for them. Laughing, for example, is a good medicine for not seeing things as seriously. If the working atmosphere is so bad that it is difficult for you, you should seek professional help or change your job. Here are 10 instant help tips that can help prevent a poisoned work environment.

  1. Do you often fail because of your own high demands to want to be perfect? Slightly lower your demands on yourself by realizing that nothing bad can happen if you give a little less.
  2. Do you often feel criticized or even bullied? Question the criticism: have you really been criticized? Is the criticism justified? Does your critic have enough knowledge of the matter to be able to really criticize you?
  3. Can't decide? Instead of rolling your thoughts back and forth: write everything down. Structure also helps with perfectionism to make a decision.
  4. If you make a mistake, feel free to be annoyed that you weren't perfect this time. But then also think about what you can do better next time and communicate it to the outside world to prevent bullying!
  5. Say “No” more often when others ask for the impossible instead of always trying to please everyone. Because with it you are promoting stress and making yourself a potential victim of bullying.
  6. Do you expect too much from others? Be tolerant of others, even if their accomplishments are not 100% - being bossy quickly makes you unpopular and isolates you from colleagues.
  7. Instead of constantly working hard: relax, take breaks - and lower your stress hormones.
  8. They keep pushing important tasks ahead of them because they are afraid that they won't be able to do it perfectly - the classic procastination? Make a priority list and get important things done right away!
  9. Do a lot - and talk about it. Especially those who tend to be too stressed have to sell their good performance to be recognized in the job! This creates a good standing in the company and ends up having less stress.
  10. Laugh: It's also a sign of constant stress: sit doggedly in front of you! Do not always take yourself and others so seriously - this relaxes and helps against pessimistic brooding. Many things are also a matter of attitude. And laughing is sometimes a pretty simple medicine.

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