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The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job Paperback – April 1, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bullies on the job can cause irreparable harm to their colleagues, contend the authors, founders of the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying. While violent or vengeful workers occasionally make the news, there are insidious bullies in nearly every workplace, whether co-worker, boss or junior colleague. Their behavior causes other people to suffer shame, humiliation and fearAall of which can affect their nonwork life as well as their job performance. The Namies recommend that "targets" act quickly to dismantle a bullying dynamic once they recognize it, and they also urge government and judicial recognition that "bullying" is an endemic workplace issue that deserves to be taken seriously. The last 100 pages of the book are the most useful; one chapter, "Control Destructive Mind Games," analyzes how people let their emotions color their actions. Subsequent chapters offer concrete strategies that "targets" can take to alleviate their workplace distress (including using humor to deflect a bully's tactics and finding support among colleagues and friends). Overall, this volume presents an intriguing concept that is rarely given such detailed analysis. However, the notion of "bullying" as a crime seems farfetched; the book would be even more effective if it focused on interpersonal skills and tools that could be used to fight back, rather than on trying to initiate change in public policy. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Because bullying has been identified as a contributing factor in the epidemic of violence in schools, teachers and counselors are being trained in methods for dealing with bullies. Unfortunately, many bullies do not stop their disruptive, hurtful behavior after they leave school and get jobs; they often just become more subtle. Few people, though, acknowledge that workplace bullying is or can be a real problem. The Namies, both psychologists, are out to change that. In 1998 they launched the Campaign against Workplace Bullying. Calling those who experience bullying "targets" rather than "victims," they have counseled nearly 3,000 such targets. They define what bullying is, show why it is harmful, and attempt to explain why it occurs. They describe efforts in Europe to prevent bullying, where the problem is taken more seriously, and they decry the lack of substantive legal recourse here in the U.S. The authors provide techniques and tactics for bully-proofing oneself and show how targets, once sufficiently prepared emotionally, can move on to "bully-busting" and "tyrant-toppling." David Rouse
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.; First edition. edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570715343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570715341
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Bully at Work: What You Can Do To Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity On the job

If you want to learn about the phenomenon of workplace bullying which has become an epidemic in recent years, get this book right now. Bullying at work involves pre-mediated, repeated, malicious mistreatment of one employee by one or more employees. This mistreatment is a sort of psychological violence. Its purpose is to steal all that the target has and the bully envies. It prevents the target from getting his/her work done. The workplace bully abuses power, causes misery to his/her target and endeavors hard to steal the target's self-confidence, perceptions of self- competence and goodness. Gradually, bully involves others in this hateful campaign against the target. Bullies use many tactics such as blaming for errors, unreasonable work demands, insults and putdowns, exclusion, stealing credit, threatening job loss, criticism of ability, and discounting of accomplishments. The book discusses types of bullies. It also includes discussion on who bullies choose for targets. Targets are genuinely bright, creative, dedicated, and self-assured individuals. Since they pose a threat to the bully, the bully works hard to undermine them. As a result of bullying, the targets might experience fear, shame, humiliation, and loss of dignity and it can impact their physical health, mental health and productivity at work.
I recommend this book to every individual in American workforce. It is an eye opener. I also recommend that you visit Namie website, Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute [bullyinginstitute. Org]. I really am grateful to Gary Namie and Ruth Namie for witting such a masterpiece on the topic of workplace bullying. It can save lives and careers.
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I suffered an incident of bullying at work for the past two years. In my case, I got things successfully resolved when one bully left of his own accord, and the other bully was stopped by senior management (I was fired, and senior management rehired me when I went over the bully's head). According to this book, this happens in only seven percent of cases. I feel very lucky. In my case, the only piece of the puzzle that was missing was WHY this happened to me, and this book really helped clarify that for me and bring the whole incident to closure.
I just found this book and read it, and if I had had it during the time all of this was going on, it would have helped me immensely. I experienced all of the behaviors described in this book, and I think the reasons given for the behavior are right on the mark. When my e-mail friends suggested the same reasons (before I read this book), I found them so far-fetched (such as perhaps I was making the bullies look bad through my competence-I said to myself, "They are professional people; surely they are self-confident about their own work.")
This book looks at reasons for bullying, and who become targets for bullying behavior (how and why those targets are chosen). It discusses bullying in other European countries, as well as South Africa, and what progress legally has been made against passing laws against bullying in the workplace. These laws are compared with the legal progress/standing of the target in the United States. The book discusses health ramifications on the target, and all possible actions that can and should or should not be taken personally, and in the workplace.
If I had read this book MUCH sooner (such as when the bullying FIRST started), it would have helped me emotionally.
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This book has comforted me more than I can say, and I just wish I'd had it available in the early 90s when I was going through three years of relentless workplace bullying. Even the severe illness and death of one of my close family members did not deter the manager and co-workers who harassed, ridiculed, and humiliated me; they were completely heartless. Because their torment was neither sexual, ethnic, nor religious in nature, I felt I had no recourse but to resign.

At the time of my resignation, I was taking sleeping medication and antidepressants, and being treated for chronic stomach problems. Within a month of leaving, I was off all prescription drugs. Although I had nightmares four or five nights a week for more than a year, and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, at least I was finally free from the daily abuse. I thank God that I got out before I suffered irreparable harm; my research tells me that some people are no longer able to work after this kind of experience.

My former manager is still at the company, doubtless causing untold grief for another stressed-out employee who is struggling desperately to please her. Tyrants like her must always have a scapegoat; trampling upon other people is what makes them feel superior.

This book reassured me that I am not alone, and that the abuse wasn't my fault. Thank God for the Namies. They have performed an invaluable public service by writing "The Bully at Work." Kudos to them!

I also highly recommend a related book, "Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace" by Noa Davenport, which is available here on Amazon. If you've read this far, you are probably seeking help. Good luck to you, my friend.
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