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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 12-Feb-10


Friday 12-February-10

Bullying, revenge thinking and detachment

Have you ever been the subject of unkind words or actions? Have you had people threaten, insult or overlook you? Perhaps you will have felt the very real physical tension as you ache for revenge. Maybe specific incidents play and-replay themselves inside your head. You might even have successfully got your own back, though even this may well have only partially relieved the internal pressure.

Researcher Bernardo Moreno-Jim?ez and colleagues surveyed 511 employees at several companies and found a correlation between job stress and bullying, often because a person's role conflicted in some ways with others. Power is unevenly distributed in most organizations and with lack of alignment between roles, many use coercive and other less savoury methods to succeed at the expense of others.

An interesting point that Moreno-Jim?ez found was that those who can detach themselves from work and see what is really going on suffer less stress and are less often at the receiving end of workplace bullying.

This is one of the benefits of studying psychology. You naturally tend to take a more detached viewpoint and when you can see how people are just responding to the forces on them, even when this response is anti-social, then you take things less personally and have greater sympathy (or at least pity) for the aggressor. Rather than objects of fear they become subjects of study and so lose much of their power over you.

Morenojimenez, B., Rodriguezmunoz, A., Pastor, J., Sanzvergel, A. and E Garrosa, E. (2009). The moderating effects of psychological detachment and thoughts of revenge in workplace bullying. Personality and Individual Differences, 46 (3), 359-364

Your comments

Hello Dave.... Moreno is right. Being interactive with some of the less fortunate among us is such a clear example of the forces applied to them and their reactions to it.

I'm happy to see your personal list of a weekend of accomplishments and wish I could find the time to make a list! (me casa:

But, I'm really writing not because I need help with my homebuilding, rather I'm in desperate need to "nudge" a congressional district with a CookPVI score of +26. Philip Zimbardo says that the same means to oppress can be used to elevate and I'd appreciate any help in that direction. I'm looking forward to diving in deeper to the London club mission to remove the mask and consider other solutions for us in the US albeit maybe impossible, it is essential for progress. IMHO.

best regards, Mark L, Texas

Dave replies:
Hi Mark. Nice house! The PVI score seems to indicate strong political tendencies and indeed it's better to use the flow rather than try to push rope. An inventive method called TRIZ uses a similar principle of using resources that are already available.

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