Second excerpt, from Part II, How to Stop (or At Least Survive) Mobbing:
Of all the many things you can and should do to survive a mobbing, there are three things you can do which will be damned hard, but will do more than anything else to help you to survive. These three things are: control your thinking; control your emotions; and grow up. Now before you start sending me hate mail, listen up. There is a reason you need to grow up: mobbing is a devastating attack on your identity and humanity, and because it is so devastating, it will rapidly reduce you to tears. It will take you back to an emotional state of childhood when the bullies were picking on you. It will make you want your mother. It will leave you feeling powerless. And now more than ever, you need power. So you need to calm the child within you, and muster up the grownup that you are.
There’s another reason you need to grow up. You are at war. It’s time to be a man, even if you’re a woman. This is a test of what you’re made of.
And there’s a third reason you need to grow up. Most of what we complain about at work is really pointless. Most of the grave injustices and abuses we suffer are really better off ignored—or stored in a file of our minds labeled “useful information.”
Now I know that sounds flippant and insensitive, but let me tell you—as someone who lost way, way more than I ever thought possible to lose—when I look back on what I was so upset about at work, I snicker. I snicker because had I simply ignored the small injustices, I never would have endured the great ones. If I had laughed off the bad behaviors, I never would have suffered the atrocities. And had I left my ego at home when I went to work, it never would have had it slaughtered by the people I worked with and trusted.
It doesn’t mean I deserved it. It doesn’t mean they were right to do it. And it doesn’t mean it is okay by any means. What it means is that I walked straight into a den of alpha wolves and offered up my jugular, when I should have just kept my mouth shut and observed them.
In short, mobbing forced me to grow up in ways I never would have understood before or during my mobbing. But now that I am past it, I can provide a more objective take on what leads to mobbing. And what I’ve learned is that in so many cases, mobbing turns into a wildfire of torment because the person who has been targeted has let their mind run in an endless loop of wrongs they think need to be righted, cannot control their emotional wounds and rage, and they have put their egos ahead of their interests—which is completely disempowering.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t good people—many targets have a high sense of ethics and their complaints do have merit. (Unlike some anti-bullying experts, however, I’m not going to tell you all targets are good and all targets have superior ethics—rotten no good scoundrels with the ethics of a lobbyist can and do get mobbed. And so do decent, hard-working ethical people. Anyone can be mobbed.)
Maturity requires learning how to control how and what we think, and how and what we feel. It also means weighing our options not based on idealism, but on reality. And the reality is that pursuing justice is usually a lonely pursuit, and one that offers little reward. We need justice in our world, and we need idealists. But don’t make put your career on the line for your ideals (nor sell out your ideals for your career). There are other ways to fight for fairness. But when it comes to the injustice in our own worlds, far too many mobbing targets find themselves blinded and buried in their pursuit for justice. And once blinded and buried, we cannot effectively achieve any meaningful victory over injustice.
What almost all any mobbing target wants is really not a lot. Mobbing targets want the abuse to stop. They want to work. And they want an apology. That’s all. But as simple and reasonable as those three things are, they are not going to come once a mobbing commences. So what mobbing targets must do is protect themselves.
There are three ways in which you must protect yourself from mobbing. You must protect yourself emotionally, socially and professionally. By doing so, and by learning to control your thinking and your emotions and by acting from a place of maturity, rather than neediness, you’ll go far toward managing the mob. So listen up and toughen up, because in the next three chapters I’m going to tell you what you need to do if you’re going to survive the mob.