What Is Psychological Harassment? 22 Warning Signs

Psychological bullying, unfortunately, is a phenomenon that can occur in relationships, but also between friends, family, or at work or school. The psychological harasser acts according to his interests, and usually blames, inconveniences and provokes fear in his victim.

Suffering psychological harassment is one of the worst experiences that human beings can experience, and many studies show that psychological bullying has very negative effects for individuals: deterioration of physical and psychological health, anxiety, sleeping problems, lack of concentration… In this article we will talk about what bullying is. psychological and what are the alarm signals that characterize it.

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What is psychological harassment

Although we associate harassment with physical harm, There is a very common and less visible form of abuse: psychological, moral or emotional harassment. The Spanish language dictionary defines this phenomenon as “a degrading and disqualifying treatment towards an individual, with the aim of psychologically destabilizing him.” In other words, what the psychological harasser intends is to damage the dignity and moral integrity of the victim.

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But what characterizes psychological harassment is that It is not a specific action, but rather the acts of harassment are repeated over time and progressively, which causes great helplessness, uncertainty and a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence in the victim. In extreme cases, continued psychological harassment can lead to suicide.

Its consequences

Psychological bullying can end up causing serious mental problems for the victim, because despite being silent, it is devastating for the person who suffers it. Low self-esteem is a key factor in this type of phenomenonbecause in addition to becoming a consequence, it can also be a cause that causes the victim to end up in a situation of learned helplessness.

The person who is the victim of psychological harassment may suffer from different problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and even addiction to psychoactive substances, and, in many cases, they are not fully aware that they are being humiliated.

Signs of psychological bullying

One of the most frequent scenarios for this type of violence or abuse is intimate relationships (such as a couple) but it can occur in other situations, for example, at school (Bullying) or at work (mobbing). Although the figure of the harasser is usually associated with men, studies show that if all the ways of carrying out this harmful behavior are taken into account, both men and women harass each other at equal rates. In psychological harassment, verbal insults, threats, intimidation and criticism appear. as well as more subtle tactics such as intimidation, shaming and manipulation.

But what are the signs of psychological bullying? and what are its characteristics? If you are going through this situation, below you can find a list of signs that could indicate that you are suffering from this type of abuse:

1. It only focuses on the negative and humiliates you

Especially in the case of a couple, the harasser focuses on the negative things and undervalues ​​the positive ones. He only points out the flaws and despises you.

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1. He publicly humiliates you

Psychological harassment includes public humiliation and ridicule, although the harasser is sometimes not even aware of the damage he doesWell, he does it like a joke. However, although there is not always an intention, it does produce serious consequences for the victim.

3. He humiliates you online

A more or less recent form of psychological harassment is what It is known as cyberbullying.which arises with the emergence of new technologies, and is nothing more than psychological harassment through the network.

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4. It makes you uncomfortable

Being close to that person makes you uncomfortable or anxious, even leading you to avoid them. This behaviour It is an attempt to avoid unpleasant situations.

5. They accuse you for no reason

Many times their words have no basis, and the harasser can accuse for things you are not guilty of. For example, for the behavior of your children who misbehave, blaming you.

6. Threatens to hurt you

Although physical violence does not have to occur In this type of harassment, it is common for the harasser to threaten to hurt the person and loved ones, for example, the pet, family, child…

7. Your self-esteem suffers

Self-esteem is the first thing that suffers, because the harasser, in some cases, consciously intends to harm your dignity and your person. In a relationship, he can make you feel like you are worthless.

8. Confusing behavior

In close relationships, these people They don’t always appear that way. (that is, cruel and inconsiderate) because sometimes they can even be affectionate. These behaviors can confuse you.

9. Damage to property objects

The physical damage It is not carried out towards the person, but towards other entities. For example, your cell phone, when you throw it and break it against the wall.

10. Your opinion does not count

Especially in cases of workplace harassment, your opinion You have no voice or vote and you are despised. Furthermore, the harasser or harassers do not let you express yourself.

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11. They treat you differently

In cases such as bullying, you are isolated from the group and made to feel different in front of others.

12. Turn everyone against you

When the way you act is aimed at damaging your dignity, it also tries to make others not respect you. For example, speaking badly about you.

13. Use teasing and sarcasm

The bully may use sarcasm or teasing to demoralize you or make you feel bad about yourself.

14. You have been feeling this way for a long time

psychological harassment It’s not something that happens overnight., but it happens progressively and over time. That is why it is so harmful, because the discomfort becomes chronic.

15. He blackmails you

Especially in the case of a couple, the psychological harasser uses threatening phrases such as the following: “If you do that, don’t blame me if I leave you.” That’s how it makes you feel bad. This is a common form of emotional blackmail.

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Signs of harassment at work

A very common form of harassment, which can have different and peculiar characteristics, is mobbing or workplace harassment, which It can come from co-workers or from the company. These are some of the signs that may appear when this situation manifests itself:

16. They send you impossible tasks

At work, to destabilize you and make you feel unskilled, they may assign you objectives or projects with unattainable or exhausting delivery deadlines.

17. Big demands

But not only can deadlines be a problem, they can also send you tasks that do not fit your abilities or that require a great deal of effort and work to make you feel incompetent.

18. Employment discrimination

You suffer discrimination at the workplace compared to the rest of his colleagues. For example, they can make a woman feel bad about a pregnancy.

19. They take away your responsibility

They take away your responsibilities so that you feel useless and boredwhich can cause boreout.

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20. They belittle your achievements

The company does not value good work, and in this way, you do not feel comfortable in your professional space. You are constantly underestimated.

21. Rumors are used

Rumors or falsehoods are spread by the company to belittle you and damage your reputation and image professionalism.

22. Your professional development is blocked

If the objective is for you to leave the company voluntarily, They can block your development or professional career so you don’t feel fulfilled and leave the company.

  • You can delve deeper into workplace harassment in our article: “Mobbing: psychological harassment at work”