As I state in my book, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation, we feel what we feel. Advising the target of workplace bullying to simply “get over it” or “move on,” though clearly sincere advice, nevertheless fails to appreciate the emotional wounds left by the bully.
That is tantamount to advising one who has been mugged to simply forget the painful experience. It won’t happen.
We feel what we feel. The true challenge, however, is to learn how to manage our feelings in a productive manner.
Workplace bullying, especially when committed – as it most often is – by a higher level official (supervisor/manager), is a betrayal of trust.
Employees have a right to expect that their employer will treat them with dignity and respect. When that does not happen, he or she feels betrayed. And betrayal, in any context, is a difficult thing to forget.
Thus, as I share in my book, we must find ways to manage our feelings constructively. I have found that trying to help others who have experienced workplace abuse actually helps me to manage my feelings – and painful memories of my own experience being bullied and harassed at work.
As an attorney and expert in confronting workplace bullying, I successfully took legal action against my former employer – a large federal agency. I prevailed in that action and reached an honorable settlement, where 100 percent of my demands were met.
I have since used that successful experience to help others nationally and internationally, via my book and more directly where possible.
Have I forgotten about those who bullied and harassed me? No, I doubt I ever will. But do I dwell on them? No, I refuse to give the bully such control over my life.
Helping others is my way of managing constructively my painful memories. It is a powerful avenue.
We each must find our own constructive path, whether the bullying experience is ongoing or a haunting memory of the past. That is how we heal and grow stronger.
Stay safe and healthy, all!
Shenandoah Titus, Esq.
Author, CEO, Whistleblower Attorney, Anti-Bullying Expert
Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network (WARN)