IGNORING WORSE THAN BULLYING

 IGNORING WORSE THAN BULLYING

Bullying could be quite bad, no matter if it occurs at school or at the workplace. But a new research study has found that people in general feel unhappier and lonelier when they’re ignored. University of British Columbia’s Sandra Robinson and her team superimposed surveys of workplace ostracism on those of workplace bullying and found a surprising trend whereby ostracism is consistently seen by the victim to be worse than bullying. This is problematic because from the point of view of the perpetrator, bullying is seen as much worse, and ostracism is considered socially impolite, perhaps, but definitely more acceptable.
We’ve been taught that ignoring someone whom we don’t necessarily share a friendship with is all right and acceptable form of social behaviour while bullying is a much more serious offense. But while bullying gives the victim something to hold on to, says Robinson, ostracism leaves her feeling helpless, like she’s not worthy even of derision. Ostracism disengages a person from society and gives them very little chance to reclaim that human bond that all of us crave – even if that bond tends to be exploitative.
The study found that ostracism need not be intentional to be harmful. Most often, people engaging in such behaviour are busy, aloof, and simply don’t even notice the kind of effect they have on the recipient. As a result, there are many of us who feel under-appreciated and ignored at the workplace.
‘Love me or hate me, but don’t ignore me,’ runs an old saying. There appears to be a smidgen of truth to it after all.

Sharath Komarraju

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