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Workplace Ostracism Is Worse than Bullying

A (2014) study from University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business concludes that being ignored at work is worse than being harassed or bullied at work. Across three separate studies, a team of researchers measured the effects of ostracism and harassment in the work environment. The researchers defined ostracism as "an individual or a group neglecting to take actions that engage another [co-worker] when it would be customary or appropriate to do so." In other words, ostracism involves anything from having one's greetings go ignored, being excluded from invitations, or going silent when another co-worker tries to enter the conversation.

Surprisingly, the study concluded that ostracism, which seems better than overt harassment, was actually more painful. One of the lead authors of the study said, "We've been taught that ignoring someone is socially preferable—if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. But ostracism actually leads people to feel more helpless, like they're not worthy of any attention at all." According to the study

Receiving attention from others signals that one exists, matters to others, and affects others in that environment … In contrast, being ignored, excluded, and shunned signals that one is so inconsequential as a social being that one is unworthy of others' attention or reaction.

Possible Preaching Angles: Of course this study also has implications for how we accept or reject one another in the body of Christ.

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