Nobody today know what is meant by sexual harassment, but there is another form, less recognizable, more insidious: psychological harassment. It is most commonly found in the workplace. What are the strategies of the stalker? How to face him?
A study by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (1998), French than 1.9 million were victims of stalker in 1997. In a notice of proposal issued in April 2001, the Council economic and social (CES) provides moreover that the consequences of such harassment are treated as an occupational disease.
What is it about ?
Stalker moral In his book *, Marie-France Hirigoyen defines mobbing as follows: “Any abusive attitude manifested in particular by behavior, words, actions, gestures, writings that may affect personality, dignity or physical or psychological integrity of a person, endangering the use of this or degrade the work climate. ” Mobbing can be exercised between colleagues of the same level (the banning of a person), but more often it is the act of a superior to a subordinate; for the one who is the victim, the stakes are so high and the often dramatic consequences.
The stratagems of “stalker”
What makes the “stalker” particularly harmful is that it is never exposed and exercises his ruthless violence “low noise”. Before even understanding what is happening, the victim can not speak or defend themselves because it undergoes is intangible, indescribable.
In public, the “stalker” uses his charm and his great powers of adaptation to win the audience and cause his victim with impunity in small barely perceptible buttons: humiliating innuendo, sarcastic humor, sham civility, bullying repeatedly, not verbal abuse (gestures, contemptuous looks, sighs) …
His words, his complaints are often so vague that they give way to all possible interpretations; he handles the half-lie and perfectly paradox is explained and never directly on anything. It does not communicate because he knows what there is to say and think …
Overcome by fear and guilt ( “What have I done wrong to deserve this?”), Often isolated from the rest of the group, the victim is paralyzed, deprived of his usual resources. But it’s still privately that the “stalker” proves the most terrifying, especially if the victim has rebellion inclinations: coarse insults, attacks on the person, physical, privacy, threats (for reference, loss salary, sometimes death) … Without a witness, everything is permitted; it exercised its unrestrained terror. Threatened in his status, his job, but also in his being, his victim is cornered, helpless; if this “game” takes too long and that nothing will help to respond, it will soon no longer have the means to escape her attacker.
Suffice to say that at this stage the company’s interests and those of the group are no longer appropriate. What “plays” holds the pathology of “stalker” (perversion) and his purpose is outside any “common sense”.
When the mask falls …
Behind the stalker’s face hides a hungry for recognition and power. To keep or hide his incompetence, he is ready to eliminate anything that might obstruct it. He will then choose a victim, a “scapegoat”, not as is often believed, someone weaker than others, but rather someone conscious, lucid and therefore disturbing for him.
The harasser excels in the art of detecting the weak, the flaw that he will be able to use to destroy the defenses of the victim; there he will attack applicable to insinuate doubt (in her and in others) on his skills, his personal worth. This until she lost all his means. Unable to think, understand, react, the attacked is pushed to the fault, which justifies both the attitude of the aggressor and the silence of the entourage.
If nothing comes to hinder it, things will not cease with the capitulation of the victim (start, lengthy illness for depression, severe psychosomatic disorders …).
To feel the strongest, the stalker needs to hold another in its power. If he can corrupt, he must reduce it to nothing. It is difficult to imagine, but to transform the victim into puppets in the devitalized, to destroy, he finds his greatest enjoyment.
How to cope?
It is best to act before the process is too involved. Refuse much as possible to remain in limbo: asking for details of instructions or tasks assigned to you, if possible always publicly and insistently. Uncover the hidden meaning of allusions “humorously” write down the provocations, bullying, and everything disconcerts you before it becomes too confusing … This can help you not to “lose the North” and keep top you are within your rights.
Also avoid isolation. Looking for alliances among your colleagues, without expecting testimonies (the stalker terrorizes and muzzles perhaps). It is rare that the stalker has not already raged. In which case, it certainly still traces that can help you analyze the situation. Look for support from the side of the hierarchy or the company doctor: the stalker is often terrorized by the idea of being discovered or to be subject to law. Knowing that one is ready to defend itself, which has support (or at least we’re looking at) can significantly inhibit action.
If the process is already heavily committed, it is better to act more radically, taking the distance: stop working long it will take for you there but do it in the strictest legality. Buddy up with a psychotherapist to help you make sense of things, out of fear and guilt, understand how you were trapped and do not let yourself be taken.
Finally, if a departure is inevitable, fight for it to happen in the best possible conditions; you do not have to pay the price of the “madness” of the stalker!