Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mobbing Can Also Happen at Church

Mobbing in a workplace setting was something that was virtually unheard of until the 1980's, when a Swedish-based researcher described what happens when a group of people gang up on a coworker. Since then, this type of behavior has either become much more common or much better known. (I personally think it's a combination of both.)

Unfortunately, mobbing can happen anywhere a group of adults tend to gather, even at church. As with workplace mobbing, the goal is to drive the target out. It's usually successful because church bullies only rise to power if the leadership is weak.

Once this dynamic starts, and you become aware of it, the situation probably can't be fixed. The pastor likely won't help you, either because he doesn't know about it, he doesn't care about it, he doesn't believe it's happening or he believes he's powerless to do anything about it. Try not to judge him too harshly, as there may be extenuating circumstances you don't know about.

One of the best ways to prevent becoming a target at church is to fly under the radar and not get involved with various projects. Don't join church boards and committees. Narcissists are drawn to religious groups, partly because they afford them ample opportunity to run things and push other people around. Since that's the case, it's best to stay out of their way.

Flickr photo by Lucid Nightmare

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