Bullying isn't just for kids, professors and employers do too

You’d think that as a grownup, or supposed adult, you wouldn’t have to deal with childish idiots like the dumb high school know-it-alls, or the people who never seem to stop judging every move you make.

I hate to break it to you, but those people you thought you left behind only evolve into the people in your pre-med classes and at your 9-to-5 job; they don’t go away. The bullies haven’t changed much in the real world, and studies show when bullies are placed in authoritative job positions, things can get ugly.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, researchers found that abusive bosses target employees who either have low self-esteem or don’t have many friends in the office.

These employees are least likely to actually defend themselves, making them an easy target. Just pouting and doing nothing about unprofessionalism is the ideal candidate for a bossy supervisor, especially if he or she is stressed or in a threatening career situation.

According to Liane Davey from Harvard Business Review, supervisors under stress did not become universally more aggressive, but they were more aggressive toward the emotionally weakest employees on the team.

It brings back the days of being thrown into your locker or getting your pants pulled down in PE -- except this time, there’s no real boss to tattletale to.

Most employees facing abusive behavior instead decreased their effort on job duties and reduced their effort on tasks that were for the team as a whole.

While you can always quit your job for the sake of your pride and self-esteem, it’s a little more difficult when you find out in college that a professor feeds on verbally targeting his or her students.

It’s actually one of the worst experiences I’ve personally had to deal with, and surprisingly, a lot of my friends have also encountered it. In a college study published in HealthDay, 15 percent of students reported witnessing a professor bully a student and only four admitted that they had been bullied by a professor.

Now, why is that? It’s not okay to let a professor attack you verbally, and especially not physically. I debated not saying anything because I thought I was being too emotional and I needed to work harder.

It wasn't until a girl in my class got so upset for me that I realized that I was not the problem here. I was blinded and blamed myself, but the fact that another student saw that the professor constantly was degrading and condescending to me in class, forced me to take action.

If you’re dealing with something similar, there are things you can do to relieve yourself, too, trust me. Speak to the Dean of Faculty or the Dean of the specific college department the class is in.

Bring evidence with you or just explain the situation. If the situation doesn’t alleviate, you can always drop the class and, if your school allows, take up an independent study to make up for credit.

A bully, regardless of age, is a bully, but that doesn’t mean you should tolerate it. There are always logical solutions, and through this, I actually gained a little more confidence because I realized that I am good at what I'm pursuing.

Through this, I took control and made sure I was wearing the pants in the situation because no one messed with me in PE, and I won’t let anyone degrade me in my collegiate and professional career again.

Photo Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/Sandlot