Workplace bullying is widespread. In the United States, more than one-third of employees, at some point in their careers, say they were bullied by a colleague.
This translates into millions of people, and an untold amount of lost productivity. There's also an enormous personal cost, as the targeted individuals, under extreme stress, may develop physical and mental health problems.
Unfortunately, once a target is selected, the odds are greater than 75 percent that she'll soon be out of work. Sometimes she resigns because she just can't take it anymore. Oftentimes, however, her competence, professionalism and integrity are called into question, so she is fired.
Nearly 40 percent of workplace bullies are women. And they usually (71 percent of the time) attack other women, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute.
Many of these corporate tyrants suffer from Malignant Narcissism, or another personality disorder that puts their prey in a no-win situation.
Narcissists are charming, manipulative, deceptive and highly believable. Before striking, she has already ruined your good name, and managed to turn others on the team against you. So, if you start to complain, you're quickly fingered as the "troublemaker" or branded as a malcontent.
Perhaps the only consolation for targets is that they are not alone. There are many resources to help you decide whether to tough it out, or to leave before serious health problems surface.
Flickr photo by Tatiana12