Most people experience blame and humiliation at least once in their lifetime. Although this experience is associated with discomfort and stress, there are many ways to avoid and deal with it. In this note, we examine humiliation in the workplace and how to deal with it, as well as some tips to help you deal with this phenomenon. Stay with us until the end.
What does it mean to be humiliated in the workplace?
Humiliation involves the use of words and behavior toward a person with the intent of undermining and embarrassing the self. Humiliation targets a person’s self-esteem and has destructive mental effects on him. In the workplace, bullying is a major cause of humiliation. Coping with bullying and the resulting humiliation is one of the challenges in the workplace. When an employee is humiliated by other co-workers or his boss, his self-esteem is damaged.
Although coercion is a major cause of humiliation in the workplace, it manifests itself in a variety of ways; For example, when someone mocks a colleague’s way of dressing or mocks his or her ideas in a business meeting, he or she is indirectly humiliating him or her. Sometimes humiliation occurs after a person has not been able to perform his or her duties for any reason.
How to deal with humiliation in the workplace?
Here are some ways to deal with humiliation in the workplace:
1. Control your nerves
When someone makes fun of us or humiliates us, it is natural to get angry and want to react seriously; But this method, especially when we are angry, not only does not solve the problem, which may lead to worsening of the situation. We need to keep calm so that we can find a good solution to this issue in time. Anger only further destroys our image.
When someone confronts you with derogatory behavior, you need to think about a few things before reacting:
- First, think about whether I should answer it or not. Think about how important this person is to you at work. If the person is in a higher position than you, this reflection can help him to maintain your image with him.
- Second, in this situation, it is better not to make eye contact so as not to lose your patience.
3. Leave the environment as soon as possible
When you are humiliated in the workplace, try to leave temporarily as soon as possible. It is better to stand there and be humiliated. This will prevent both further damage to you and a major lawsuit. Leaving the environment does not mean that you are weak, but it means that you have a value for yourself and do not stay where the atmosphere is toxic.
4. Use your imagination
Almost no one has been humiliated at least a few times in their life. Many of us have memories of being blamed at school. Now that we look at that time, we do not take those events very seriously. The same approach can be applied to the work environment in which we now live. When we are confronted with blame and humiliation in the workplace, we can not take it too seriously; For example, to see a partner who humiliates us, like an immature school child, or even a dog that constantly barks but does not bite.
How to deal with humiliation in the workplace?
Although avoiding humiliation in the workplace and dealing with it gently is a good way to deal with this phenomenon, sometimes it is necessary to address the issue. When the situation becomes acute, avoiding confrontation or withdrawal does not solve the problem. It is better to introduce some solutions to deal with this problem:
1. Do not use harsh words or answer them
Using harsh and inappropriate words is a common way to humiliate people. In such a situation, even though you feel a lot of pressure, control yourself and do not respond like them. Do not use harsh words; Because you follow a set of ethical principles that no one else does. Also, do not respond to inappropriate phrases to avoid escalating stress.
2. When you reach the tolerance level, go to higher positions
When the situation is out of control and all other solutions have failed, when you waited for a while but the problem did not subside, and finally if you could not solve the problem, it is better to go to senior managers and resolve the issue through them.
3. Talk about it explicitly
Humiliation is not just words. Sometimes the humiliator uses body language and facial expressions and even the way he looks to achieve his goal. There may be other motives behind these behaviors. In such a case, discuss the issue with other colleagues with transparency and determination. By doing so, the wrongdoer may no longer have to repeat his behavior.
Tips for dealing better with humiliation in the workplace
When someone is humiliated, they experience unpleasant feelings. To react to this state, one thinks of different things. It is important not to react too harshly in the first moments, as this only encourages the humiliator to continue. We live in a society where many people enjoy humiliation and blame, and they enjoy seeing the destruction of the character of others. To live in such a situation, we just have to maintain our self-confidence and act intelligently.
Cornet University psychologist Robert Sternberg has done a great deal of research into humiliation. He mentions 10 points to better deal with this phenomenon, which are:
- Do not hide anything;
- Stay strong and come back strong;
- Get help from your past experiences to deal with humiliation;
- Plan wisely before dealing with this issue;
- Reduce stress by doing something you enjoy;
- Understand that you are not the only one who has experienced this situation;
- Take this as an opportunity to show the greatness of your character;
- Benefit from the emotional help of others to reduce unpleasant feelings;
- Most blamers do not humiliate you, so do not personalize the issue;
- Ignore (the latter, according to Sternberg, is the best policy in the face of humiliation).
How do we regain our self-confidence?
One of the consequences of being humiliated in the workplace or life is a decrease in self-confidence. Humiliation is traumatic and painful. This pain sometimes becomes so unbearable that it makes the person weak and numb. Self-confidence plays an important role in dealing with humiliation. But how do you regain the damaged self-esteem caused by humiliation? The answer to this question lies in practice in the following points:
- Gesture of being strong;
- Hug your loved ones;
- Learn stress coping skills;
- Share what happened with trusted people;
- Be stubborn and focus on your goals;
- Use your experiences to regain your self-confidence;
- Remember motivational phrases that boost self-confidence;
- Identify your crisis point and plan to prevent it from reaching you.
Tips for survival against humiliation in the workplace
Despite all the solutions that have been said to deal with humiliation in the workplace, sometimes it is necessary to put a tooth on the liver and wait. During this time, how can we survive in an environment where humiliation is a practice? To answer this question, read the following points:
1. Do not personalize the issue
As stated earlier, most humiliations do not stem from personal hostility toward us. Sometimes we get very frustrated about being humiliated in the workplace. Sometimes we experience a lot of stress; Because we did not expect such encounters. However, it is better not to personalize the issue and not to face it too emotionally.
2. Do not blame yourself
When you make a mistake and you are severely reprimanded and humiliated by your co-worker or manager, it is natural for you to get hit and start blaming yourself for letting it happen. Never underestimate yourself and your skills. Your mistake does not mean your inability. Do not blame yourself either in private or in front of others. This will not solve anything. Maintain your self-confidence and try to make up for the mistake.
3. Do your homework
Never let the unpleasant feelings of humiliation negatively affect your job performance. Such a thing means your defeat and the victory of those who humiliate you. By staying focused on your work and doing the right tasks, you are the one who succeeds.
4. Strengthen your working relationships
There are always people who underestimate and humiliate you; But there are always people who respect you and praise your work. Try to establish a lasting relationship with the second group with mutual respect. Creating a network of appropriate relationships in the workplace will help you in the face of humiliation and can even prevent it.
5. Do not change the reality
According to research, every minute, at least 2 people in this world experience humiliation. Remember, you are not the only person who has experienced humiliation. Do not try to force the humiliator to understand something or change their mentality towards you. In general, changing the behavior of others is not an easy task. You have limitations in the workplace.
Does humiliating employees improve their job performance?
One of the most controversial approaches is to motivate employees and make them try harder to humiliate and blame them. This approach is not necessarily accompanied by direct verbal humiliation, but manifests itself in more complex ways in the workplace; For example, when we turn employees into two rival teams and impose humiliating penalties on the loser.
Another issue is that this approach has many fans among managers. Many of them think that they should humiliate their employees for the mistake they have made. They think this method prevents further errors. They think that most employees are afraid of being humiliated, and because humiliation makes them ashamed and embarrassed, they redouble their efforts to prevent it from happening.
But do these approaches really have a positive effect on employees’ job performance? The answer is that while humiliating employees can increase their effort for a short period of time and result in higher job performance, it is associated with long-term consequences such as stress, job anxiety, and burnout, and ultimately to the detriment of employees. It is better to take more appropriate approaches to strengthen the motivation of employees and improve their job performance.
What experiences do you have of being humiliated at work or in your personal life? Tell us about its impact and how to deal with its consequences.