Online Mobbing

I came across an online article on workplace mobbing, that perfectly describes situations that happen not only in the workplace, but also on the Internet. See:

http://counselingoutfitters.com/Housker.htm

What was especially of interest is the authors' notation of the fact that all too often the target gets blamed as if the person was deficient in some way for being a magnet for such bullies and that makes the person, who did not deserve this abuse in the first place, even more of a pariah. Here is what experts on this topic have found about who is likely to be a target and it really dispels some of the myths that are out there that blame the targets.

Targets of Mobbing
An individual can be mobbed regardless of age, race, religion, gender, or rank within an organization (Davenport, Schwartz and Elliot, 1999; Namie and Namie 2000; Leymann, n.d.). Though any person is susceptible to being mobbed,those individuals who are devoted, loyal, creative, organized, cooperative and experienced professionals, seem to be at a higher likelihood to experience mobbing ((Davenport, Schwartz and Elliot, 1999).

It is suggested that particularly creative individuals may often be subjected to mobbing because they promote new ideas which may challenge others (Davenport, Schwartz and Elliot, 1999). Mobbing may begin out of jealousy over the superior competence of the target, envy over the targets social skills or envy regarding the positive attitude of the target that attracts colleagues to them (Namie and Namie, 2000). At times mobbing is done as a bully revels in animosity, gaining pleasure from the excitement that it creates, giving the bully what Westhues (2002)calls “the euphoria of collective attack”.

This definitely fits my situation, since in the mental health professions, people who dare to challenge the unsupported assertions of certain therapists who are considered to be authorities and "experts" is seen as a major threat. Although my criticism may be viewed as harsh, I have always taken great care to support my views and have not spread lies about people, as I am falsely accused of doing. Also, I was told by the director of one program that my achievements might be seen as a threat to some people, which brought to my mind Ayn Rand's description of envy as "hatred of the good for being good, hatred of success for being success."

So next time a person wants to rub salt in the wounds of someone who is already being damaged by a cyber abuser, please keep that in mind and put the blame squarely where it belongs: with the perpetrators. Here is what they say about characteristics of perpetrators:

Who Mobs
The literature is particularly critical of the perpetrators of mobbing. According to Namie and Namie (2000) those who instigate mobbing tend to be bullies, who try to dominate people in nearly every encounter. They are described as “inadequate, defective, and poorly developed people” (Namie and Namie, 2000, p. 14). They tend to be unpredictable, angry, critical, jealous, and manipulative (Davenport, Schwartz and Elliot, 1999; Namie and Namie 2000). Finally,lass (1999) describes them as representing “everything bad” (p. 239).

Full references available at the above URL. This is a topic where proper education and information is sorely needed.

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