Workplace Bullying: 7 Warning Signs

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For too many Americans, the daily grind can become a daily nightmare. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), harassment in a job environment is an issue in desperate need of attention. 

In its recent 2014 survey, the institute found 27% of American workers have suffered abusive conduct, while another 21% have witnessed it. Sadly, the organization also found that in cases of bullying, the target loses his or her job 82% of the time, whether it be by quitting or termination.

However, a caveat: the study polled only the most serious forms of bullying, that is victimization in the form of threats, intimidation, humiliation, sabotage or verbal abuse. Oftentimes, workplace bullying can encompass more subtle behavior, actions that are not clear-cut but are intended to belittle and make others feel inferior.

Here are 7 subtle signs of a workplace bully, according to WBI definitions.

Source: Workplace Bullying Institute, 2014

Sign #1: Ignoring, isolation and exclusion

This form of abuse could involve the perpetrator:

  • Deliberately ignoring or avoiding a target;
  • Purposefully excluding someone from group meetings, discussions or decisions;
  • Or intentionally making someone feel isolated from the team.

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

Sign #2: Minimization

This form of abuse could involve the perpetrator:

  • Discounting or diminishing someone else's views or concerns;
  • Making someone else feel useless or underused;
  • Or only delegating the worst of tasks or responsibilities. 

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

Sign #3: Creating hostility among colleagues

This form of abuse could involve the perpetrator:

  • Purposefully causing hostile competition between employees;
  • Intentionally creating conflict;
  • Fostering a hostile team environment;
  • Encouraging backstabbing;
  • Or publicly ranking employees.

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

Sign #4: Undue criticism

This form of abuse could involve the perpetrator:

  • Constantly giving unreasonable or non-constructive criticisms;
  • Fostering feelings of shame or guilt in employees;
  • Or making employees feel as though their work is unworthy or inadequate. 

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

Sign #5: Projection of blame, taking credit

This form of abuse could involve the perpetrator:

  • Using an employee as a scapegoat for work mistakes;
  • Blaming others for their own mistakes or faults;
  • Or assuming credit for work that is not their own.

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

Sign #6: Deception

This form of abuse could involve the perpetrator:

  • Lying or deceiving employees;
  • Omitting information;
  • Or willfully giving incorrect information. 

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

Sign #7: Manipulation of employees' roles

This form of abuse could involve the perpetrator:

  • Purposefully blocking progress of work;
  • Falsely promising projects or career progression;
  • Removing responsibilities without justification;
  • Or shifting expectations or guidelines without cause.

Editor's Note: Have you ever been a witness to or victim of workplace bullying? Tell your story in the comment section below.

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