It’s all about your emotions. You’re feeling terribly hurt, crushed and devastated. You’re furious in a way you’ve never known before. You feel true hatred for the first time ever. You’re terrified, scared and distracted. You don’t know what’s coming next.
In a word, you’re emotionally overwhelmed. But before a mobbing target can effectively respond to the shunning and onslaught of personal and professional attacks, he or she must control the emotional flooding that mobbing produces. There are four reasons why it is imperative that to do so.
First, emotional flooding can be deadly. Anytime we are emotionally overwhelmed, we are prone to stress-related illnesses. It is not unusual for mobbing targets to suffer heart attacks or strokes or develop cancer shortly after being mobbed. Many are made to feel so worthless and unwanted that they commit suicide. Others, such as former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner who went on a murderous rampage in the wake of his termination from the police force, have been known to kill their coworkers, managers and others in a desperate effort to gain power over a situation which has left them feeling utterly powerless. The documentary, Murder by Proxy (available on Netflix at the time of this writing), is an excellent exploration of the role mobbing plays in many workplace shootings, and how some may have been avoidable had the targets been treated more humanely.
Second, emotional flooding confuses us, making it difficult to concentrate and get our work done. When our coworkers and managers are out to get us, becoming an unproductive worker is hardly in our best interests. A mobbing target must work extra hard to avoid any perception they cannot do their job, and do it well.
Third, it is impossible to effectively respond to aggressive attacks and escape the mob (by getting a new job, for example), if you do not have control of your emotions. At the very time you have been made to feel completely worthless and loathed and utterly crazy, you must muster the poise, confidence, and control to respond to repeated accusations of misconduct, find a new job, and perhaps even pursue a lawsuit. It requires the strength and emotional control of a Navy SEAL to respond to mobbing, so there’s no more critical time to gain control of your emotions than when they are understandably exploding inside of you.
And finally, anyone who is emotionally overwhelmed is a drag to be around—the mobbing target almost always finds themselves alienating their support system at the time they need it most because they are constantly babbling about how awful their situation is and how furious and depressed they are. No one can withstand hearing that for very long before they’re ready to run for their lives from the pitiful friend they wish that they could help but would rather just escape. If you’re being mobbed, chances are your friends and family are feeling overwhelmed themselves; give them a break from your emotions by gaining control of them.
To control your emotional flooding, understand that there are three primary emotions that mobbing provokes: anger, fear and sadness. Each of these emotions is experienced as a range of feelings. Unchecked anger turns to fury and rage; unchecked fear turns to paranoia; and untreated sadness turns to anguish and serious depression. All of these emotions are normal and natural responses to threats to our survival, but they become maladaptive when they are not controlled. To control the painful feelings associated with mobbing, here are a few steps you can take to gain greater control of your emotions when you are under group attack.