Saturday, February 21, 2009

Psychological Harassment in the Workplace and How to Protect Yourself

Psychological harassment is a common form of harassment affecting people in the workplace. It can have serious and long lasting effects if it is not addressed. Psychological harassment is abuse and it appears in the form of verbal comments, physical action or gestures directed at a person with the intention of humiliating or lowering their self esteem. Often times a victim of psychological harassment is unaware that they are being harassed and therefore may feel that the abuse is deserved due to the abusers manipulative tactics to lower the victims self worth.

Psychological harassment usually begins slowly and increases over a period of time. The actions are repetitive and often hostile creating an unpleasant work environment for the victim. The harasser will usually attack the victim by making rude or unusual remarks about the victims personal life and will attempt to intimidate the victim by yelling, making threats or by use of intimidating gestures. Victims who are suffering from psychological harassment often show signs of anxiety, irritability, insomnia, paranoia, stress and depression. In many cases the victim will be unable to continue to do their work and be forced to leave their job causing them financial loss and instability.

Psychological harassment should not be ignored or allowed to continue. Here are 4 things you can do to protect yourself if you are a victim of psychological harassment in the workplace and to prevent future occurrences from happening to you.

1. Log every incident of harassment. Keep an ongoing journal of your thoughts and feelings, and safeguard any evidence that can be used to provide proof of your claim.

2. Express your feelings to the harasser and ask that they stop their abusive actions immediately.

3. Communicate your thoughts and feelings with someone whom you are close to such as a relative, friend, or spouse. It is important to express your feelings. Do not keep them isolated.

4. Inform a proper authority of the harassment such as your employer, union representative, state labor organization, or contact a lawyer. If you wish to file a claim against the harasser be sure to do so within 90 days of the last incident. Do not try to fight this on your own.

Andrew Williams

Learn how to empower and protect yourself from psychological harassment in the workplace, please visit

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