What To Tell Naysayers

What Naysayers Say — And Why They Say It
We’ve all met people who just don’t get workplace bullying. One user said on Facebook:

My God, what a nation of babies we are becoming. If your job sucks, find one that does not or open your own business. It’s a free country. You already have laws that protect you. If your rights are violated, take them to court.

They make a bunch of assumptions: it’s easy to just go find another job — and that we should have to find another job, there are laws in place that protect employees, and that behaviors that should be illegal are illegal.

Most importantly, naysayers don’t see that the problem isn’t with the target — it’s with the abuser.

So what do we say to these people?

We don’t.

Sure, we can try educating them. And sometimes it works. Most of the time it doesn’t. Don’t get frustrated. Convincing them is not our goal.

What We Should Do
Instead, here’s what we do to pass the bill. Let’s look at it this way. On the continuum below, we are the strong supporters. We advocate for the bill and spread the word. There are more of us out there who would do the same but who simply don’t know about the bill. We need to reach out to these people and let them know about the bill to build support.

So who’s the next group we target?

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The next group we target are the soft supporters: the people who have gone through workplace bullying but who don’t know what to call it, the people who live with people going through workplace bullying, the people who witness it at work. These are people who would support the bill if only they knew what to call workplace bullying, if they only knew they really weren’t alone. For some of them, the emotions are raw, and they’re not ready to advocate. And that’s perfectly fine. But the idea here is that they understand the concept, once they’re educated about it, and they can help spread the word once they’re ready.

That’s how we gain momentum with this movement. If you talk to a strong opposer, or even a soft one, don’t waste your time trying to convince him. Focus your time on turning soft supporters into strong supporters, and let’s get this bill passed.

*While we say don’t waste time arguing with naysayers, DO stand firm commenting on online articles to make the voice on our side strong.

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