Grin and bear is not a good policy

lawzmag.comA bully is a very commonplace person found everywhere from the home to the kindergarten to the senior most executive’s office. Today in the working world there is no escaping the fact that bullies abound there too. The special conditions in which the lawyers live and work, prepares them to become excellent bullies.

Bullies are a fact of life. The physically or intellectually stronger will always attempt to overpower the weaker. In the office, the psychology is the same. Nice people who are not in a habit to grumble or complain are seen as good game and some of the brasher elements will want to intimidate them for their own ego boosts. And this they do.

Mostly, they stick to the safe side by using words. It is simply their need of controlling others. Often they use work as the excuse to unload on the hapless juniors unusual responsibilities so as to first create an impossible situation, then by demanding something in return they give the promise of alleviating the stress. It is blackmail of sorts and many succumb.

Every office without exception has seen this scenario and it is being enacted at any given moment somewhere. The problem is it remains hidden as most of the time there is nothing untoward to report and more often than not, even if there is something to report most people are too scared to do so. Who would believe them anyway? Unwittingly the victims are only encouraging the act but who will bell the cat?

Verbal abuse is very common. As it is not physical, there is rarely anything to show as evidence. Until and unless a tape recorder is always actively recording every word said. There may not be any conscious malefic intentions behind it but it is definitely a tool of control and assists greatly in keeping the other person submissive and scared. It is an age-old technique, very deeply embedded in the human subconscious and very widely used in communities where feudal tendencies have prevailed for a long time. India is no exception. Though the perpetrators rarely realize that it is self defeating as it lowers morale and brings down productivity.

Though the perpetrators rarely realize that it is self defeating as it lowers morale and brings down productivity.

It is imperative that victims do not learn to live within these conditions, as the scars are long and deep. Tolerance only encourages and emboldens. A broken bone can be mended but the psychological scars can ruin a person’s life. If you cant live with it, quit. Here are some of the watchwords to save yourself from this trauma:

Keep your cool. Do not get into a slandering match. Call his bluff. Distance yourself. Never argue or explain. Do not feel guilty, afraid or compassionate towards your abuser. Remember the abuser is using your own feelings to manipulate you. By focusing on weaknesses, guilt is built up. Verbal violence is used to frighten and this may easily one day convert into physical. Don’t get into the trap of  thinking he needs you.

If the demands are unreasonable, say so; as far as possible without upsetting the apple cart. Object at the very first instance. Delay in objecting will turn the situation into an acceptable habit.

Grin and bear it is not good policy. Let others know and take help from the right people.

– LawZ Bureau

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