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Psychological profile of the labor harasser, in 25 traits

Psychological profile of the labor harasser, in 25 traits

April 4, 2024

Workplace harassment, also known as mobbing , is a phenomenon that can occur at work. It occurs when a stalker (or stalkers) repeatedly (usually psychological) acts on one or more victims.

The consequences for the person receiving the harassment are devastating, as mobbing does not only causes intense discomfort (sadness, anxiety, insomnia, etc.), but also tends to destroy the reputation of it.

  • If you want to know more about mobbing and its characteristics, you can read this article: "Mobbing: psychological harassment at work"

The profile of the stalker according to Tim Field

Much has been said about what leads a person to become a stalker. In the following lines you can find the personality profile of the labor harasser taking into account the opinion of different researchers.

To begin, we must bear in mind that one of the first researchers to be interested in this phenomenon was, Tim Field, a British researcher who in 1996 described the harasser as:

1. Liar

The harasser is more likely to tell lies and to change the truth to accuse the victim of all ills . It is a person who is very comfortable in lying, and is characterized by a personality in which he projects a false image of himself.

2. Enchanting

Being a liar, he easily deceives those around him. That's why it may seem charming at first, hides his true personality .

3. False appearance of security

Labor harassers may appear to be somewhat self-confident; but nevertheless, they hide a low self-esteem . That is why, in part, they perform mobbing, to compensate for deficiencies in this sense.

  • Related article: "10 keys to increase your self-esteem in 30 days"

4. Controller and avenger

Labor harassers are usually controlling people and, in addition, they are vengeful. They usually make life impossible for anyone who crosses the path.

5. Critical

He is usually critical of others, and attacks their weak points. These criticisms are never constructive , but harmful and aimed at causing discomfort.

6. Irritable

Although it seems to be a kind person, everything is front. Actually, he is easily irritable, which hides a great anger inside him.

7. Unable to self-criticize

Although stalkers are often critical of others (always in a destructive way), they are not self-critical. On the contrary, they project their failures on others and use them as scapegoats.

8. Violent

These people are often violent. Largely because they feel frustrated and hide a great anger inside .

More personality traits

Another of the first researchers who studied this phenomenon and who extracted a profile of a labor harasser was Hirigoyen in 2001. According to her, the harasser is:

1. Perverse

The author calls her a perverse being, with narcissistic features . It seeks to appropriate the image of the victim and reflect his own in it.

  • Related article: "The (subtle) difference between self-esteem and narcissism"

2. Feel pleasure to see another suffer

The harasser feels great pleasure when he sees the victim humiliated and enjoys the suffering of the other.

3. Does not have remorse

He is cruel and does not care about the victim's pain. Do not feel guilt because he enjoys acting like that.

4. Low self-esteem

Have a great inferiority complex which is a consequence of their low self-esteem. Try to increase your own value through attacks on the victim.

5. Lack of empathy

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of others. The labor harasser tends to Do not put yourself in the shoes of other people .

6. Denies the reality

Hirigoyen claims that the stalker uses defense mechanisms as a denial of reality .

7. Project your mistakes on the victim

Another defense mechanism used by the harasser is the projection, since it projects its errors onto the victim.

  • Related article: "Defense mechanisms: 10 ways of not facing reality"

8. Seducer

Labor harassers usually show a personality with a narcissistic root, characterized by superficial charm .

The pathological side of the stalker

According to Iñaki Piñuel and Zabala, the labor harasser presents a series of characteristics. They are the following.

1. Repeated harassment

According to this researcher, the harasser is a "serial killer", because the behaviors of workplace harassment they are not isolated, they are repeated . In addition, it usually carries out harassment towards different individuals over the years,

2. Inferiority complex

The bully's inferiority complex makes Try to increase your self-esteem at the expense of others , that is, trying to feel superior to them.

3. Pathological personality

It is relatively frequent that the harasser presents some pathology, for example, narcissistic disorder, dissocial disorder, psychopathy or paranoid disorder.

Compensating shortcomings

The psychiatrist José Luis González de Rivera describes the personality of the harasser in the following way:

1. Narcissistic traits

Labor harassers present narcissistic traits. That is, they feel an excessive sense of grandiosity, they think they are special and they try to have their status recognized.

You can delve into the characteristics of narcissistic people with this article: "Narcissistic Personality Disorder: How are narcissistic people?"

2. Paranoid traits

The author also thinks that labor harassers have paranoid traits. That is, they are people who they feel a great distrust towards others and an intense unfounded anticipation that other people want to cause them some damage, show a certain egocentricity and are contemplative, cold and demanding.

  • Related article: "Paranoid Personality Disorder: frequent symptomatology"

3. Envy

Stalkers are envious people and they have no problems in snatching from others what they consider valuable .

4. Need for control

They have a great need for control, they do not tolerate frustration and fear uncertainty

5. Mediocrity

Consider these mediocre people, in the sense that they are empty and evil. They have a great desire for notoriety and for influencing others.

And how does mobbing affect victims?

Mobbing, like any other form of harassment, causes serious problems for the victim both in their morale and in their performance at work. Workplace harassment causes:

  • Loss of confidence and low self-esteem (both in the person and in relation to their work).
  • Changes in personality and behavior.
  • Difficulty sleeping and nightmares.
  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Feelings of failure and guilt.
  • Extreme concern and hypervigilance.
  • Depression and sadness
  • Irritability, fatigue and difficulty of concentration.
  • Great demotivation for work.
  • Emotional mutism and a sense of detachment towards others.

Bibliographic references:

  • Field, T. (1996): Bully in sight, Wessex Press, Wantage.
  • Hirigoyen, M. (2001). Moral harassment at work: distinguishing the true from the false. Pujol i Valls, Núria.
  • Piñuel, I. (2001): Mobbing: how to survive psychological harassment at work. Ed. Sal Terrae. Santander.

Workplace Harrassment panel from NYU Law's 71st Annual Conference on Labor (April 2024).

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