Study shows “growing a thick skin” and confronting a workplace bully does absolutely nothing most of the time

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Some say that how you respond to a bully from the first sign of abusive behavior might thwart off bullying behavior. But what happens when it takes time to detect the bullying behavior? Is the “grow a thick skin” mentality even logical based on what’s worked with workplace bullying targets?

In a 2013 Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) poll, nearly 70 percent of respondents DID have a thick skin and confronted the bully. And in more than 93 percent of cases, confronting the bully did NOTHING to stop the bullying, regardless of whether they confronted the bully immediately or months later.

The conclusion is that growing a thick skin has no bearing on the bullying since abusers don’t stop when faced with resistance from their targets. So for those of you who assert that we don’t need a law because standing up to bullies will end it: you fall within a seven percent group that confronting bullies worked for. For the overwhelming majority, confronting bullies, who are irrational, did absolutely nothing.

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