Bullying and Brain damage

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in bullying

Did you know that being stressed out could cause brain damage? These are the findings from Dr. Klaus Miczek, a Tufts University psychologist. He found a way to replicate bullying for rodents. By placing a larger and aggressive rat in a cage with younger rats, Miczek observed how the more aggressive rat pushed and abused the younger rats. Those younger rats produced more stress hormones called corticosterone. He also found that his hormone could stay in the brain long after the incident. For young and developing brains of children, such stress creates a higher propensity for drug abuse, alcoholism, anxiety and depression. Dr. Miczek found that four different incidents, of only five minutes each, had a lasting effect on the rats. In children with higher stress hormones, the immune system is weaker and memory is challenged. Bullying in humans kills nerve cells. Therefore, those who face bullying for years are not only enduring the abuse at the time, the targets are compromising healthy brain activity to stay in an abusive situation. For more information on this neuroscience research, please visit Brainfacts.org http://www.brainfacts.org/in-society/in-society/articles/2015/bullying-and-the-brain Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger...

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Don’t Let A Bully Rob You Of Good Health

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

  Julius knows he has been bullied since his arrival on the job. While Julius was a stand out during the interview and the search committee liked him, his boss is jealous that he earned his masters at Penn. Julius threw a wonderful party for his mother’s retirement. Julius was even quoted in the news. No matter how Julius succeeded, his boss turned up his nose. On most days, Julius was either strategizing on how to avoid the boss or working diligently to add to his resume and plot his departure At least once a week Julius was yelled at in open meetings. He found his office locked. No one would answer his questions and he soon found himself isolated on the job. He had a few buddies from his last job who were advising him to just get out. Nonetheless, the bullying at work was beyond a distraction. Julius returned to his old habit of smoking. He also realized that at least twice a week, he turned to over- the-counter sleep aids. Though he was once a healthy young man, while he toiled under the boss’s jealousy, Julius turned to comfort foods more often. Hamburgers and French fries with a nice beer was his favorite. He watched more television and fought off some depression. While his work didn’t suffer, Julius’ health did. Like most people who work in stressful situation, Julius found that his health was declining. What used to be a simple walk around the block, turned into a tortuous event. Julius’s comfort food choices led to cholesterol issues during his physical. He had even gained 25 pounds and had to buy new clothes. While his work didn’t suffer, his health did. In reflection, Julius realized he indulged in all his bad habits as stress relievers from work. He realized he needed to return to simple things to cut his health risk. 1. Walking – any walking whether around the gym or around the mall can help burn off the stress hormone cortisol that is released into your system during stressful situations 2. Have a support system who can listen to you ( hopefully while you are walking). Talking out the situation can help relieve stress. 3. Consider your options with the job. How long do you REALLY have to stay? Network with colleagues to find a healthier work environment. 4. Recognize that the bullying will not stop without an intervention. Unless leadership intervenes to deal with Julius’ boss, or the boss leaves, the boss will continue. 5. Sometimes the boss who is a bully is insecure. Instead of supporting or recognizing great talent, the boss abuses staff members like Julius. 6.  Dealing with stress is difficult. Forgive yourself for those questionable habits and try to return to healthy habits Though Julius recognized nothing could be done with the boss, his physical was a real eye opener. Julius realized that people were leaving every year; turnover was common. While...

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Did You Have A Bully-Free Holiday?

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

Matty was always the smaller kid. He was smart, gifted with science, but smaller than his older brother, Tim. For some reason, Tim enjoyed the blood sport of picking on his brother, especially in front of company.  Tim embarrassed Matty about a new girlfriend, about his fender bender, and the last botched haircut.  Matty often appealed to his mom who said, “go work it out with your brother…” Soon Matty stopped asking for help. He was quiet at holiday dinners and retreated into his work just after dessert. He stopped bringing friends home. Once he graduated from college, he avoided holiday get togethers, or only stopped in for a couple hours. He recognized the taunting and disrespect not only hurt, but also took him weeks to recover after visiting family. This all too familiar scenario plays out in the guise of innocence and coming of age.  However, the interaction between Matty and Tim are imprinting on them roles of bully and target.  Children learn early how to self- advocate, endure abuse, or self isolate to avoid the embarrassment when they are young.  The support they receive or are denied also shape their experience around bullying.  What seems like an innocent interaction leaves what Dr. deLara will call, “bullying scars.”  We learn how being bullied as kids, and carry that into adulthood.  Perhaps it is no wonder some of the most epic battles occur over holiday turkey or ham. Throughout the holidays consider: Have you learned to turn your head when friends or family tease you? How can you break that cycle? Have you been the one to pick on others? Consider ways to communicate without shaming. Do your kids come to you to intervene in a dispute? Turning them away sends a message that their self-advocacy is not a viable approach to resolution. The holidays can and should be a safe place to reflect on happy times and family traditions. We learn some of our most cherished values from family.  With this in mind, one such tradition should not include rehearsing power differentials and power struggles that we take into adulthood. Check out Dr. Ellen Walser deLara’s book Bullying Scars The Impact on Adult Life and Relationships from Oxford Press. Happy New Year and have a bully-free 2017. Read more posts by Leah Hollis, Ed.D. here. Leah is a contributing blogger...

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Leah P. Hollis speaks at ACE, addressing costly bullying behaviors in higher education

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

      Leah P. Hollis speaks at ACE, addressing costly bullying behaviors in higher education Leah P. Hollis speaks at ACE, addressing costly bullying behaviors in higher education   WILMINGTON, Del., Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In this historic moment saturated with bullying, aggression, and incivility, what does bullying cost higher education?  Hollis, President of Patricia Berkly, LLC, and thought leader on workplace bullying in higher education, addresses this question at the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Leadership Forum at Clemson University. On average staff enduring bullying and aggression at work spend 3.9 hours a week ruminating, strategizing, and avoiding bullying; in turn, over five weeks annually is lost, per person in employee disengagement.  In addressing close to 50 emerging women leaders, Hollis, also offered her research findings that documented stress leave, resignation, and suicidal ideation for those enduring bullying. Echoing one of the participants in her study she remarked, “It is devastating to have a great career and end up dealing with a bully…” Hollis further commented, “No one is a winner when a bully is allowed to fester.”  In short, organizations that protect or ignore bullies are more likely to have costly turnover and low morale.  She asked the audience, “Think about it…who wants to report to a workplace that is a war zone?” Given the national attention on bullying, more colleges and universities are considering anti-workplace bullying policies. Despite the fact that workplace bullying is typically legal in the United States, many organizations are starting to recognize the debilitating impact on their employees and prohibiting the behavior as a matter of policy. One way to find bullies is to look at the foot traffic. People will leave a department to escape a bully, even take lower paying jobs or horizontal transfers just to escape. High turnover and absenteeism are costly to an organization, and some of the clear signs that something needs to change. Given the stressful times facing higher education, civility is needed more than ever. Dr. Leah P. Hollis will speak at ACE’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. in late November, 2016. She is the author of Bully in the Ivory Tower: How Aggression and Incivility Erode American Higher Education (2012). Her recent book, The Coercive Community College: Bullying and Its Costly Impact on the Mission to Serve Underrepresented Populations was published by Emerald Publications (UK) (2016). She is an assistant professor at Morgan State University who can be reached through her website at www.diversitytrainingconsultants.com. CONTACT: Warren, 1-610-990-6588 To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/leah-p-hollis-speaks-at-ace-addressing-costly-bullying-behaviors-in-higher-education-300361845.html ©2016 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved....

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Inclusion v. Tolerance: More than food for thought

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in bullying, inclusion

Over the past year, higher education has had an intense national conversation about the need to diversify its faculty, staff and executive administration. This time has long been coming, as a majority of the young people born are black, brown and beige. The United States is evolving into a “minority-majority” country. When I started my career in the early 1990s, often the word “tolerance” was used. TOLERANCE… and all I could think of is tolerating the taste of bad medicine, tolerating the cold. TOLERANCE. The word doesn’t mean you want me there… just that you tolerate me, put up with me. In 2016, this newer wave of activism by our young people has challenged tolerance and transcended to INCLUSION. The cultures from our community mosaic should be included, and not just in a culinary way. So often inclusion is dealt with by serving different foods from around the world… there is much more to it than that. Inclusion means tempering those micro aggressions, comments that show one’s bias about race, gender, or sexual orientation. Inclusion means allowing and truly inviting other voices to the table, without reprisal. Inclusion means equal pay for equal work, while differential pay shows whom you truly value. Inclusion means striving to understand people who grew up in different communities, backgrounds, and social economic status, and avoid jumping to conclusions about what they/we should or should not study, read, or write. We have an awesome time here; sure change is contentious, but we have a change to truly create that new nation. What we need to realize, is that the change is now, upon us know at work, in school, in our communities. Much more than food for thought. Originally posted on Annie Jennings...

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