Bullying on the Job

Real answers on how to stand up for yourself at work.
2:51 | 10/09/13

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Transcript for Bullying on the Job
Back now with our real answers team. Taking on a problem we're used to seeing in schools and on play grounds. But you'd be amazed to find out how much bullying happens on the job. Abc's amy roe batch has real answers on how to stand up for yourself at work. I was a victim of adult bullying. Screaming, long tirades, threatening both physically and emotionally. He did everything he could to humiliate me. I would get home at the end of the day, I just wanted to stay in a safe place, because none of those people would get me there. Reporter: Millions of americans go to work in fear. Even in top professions. This neurosurgeon, whose identity we're not revealing, says she was bullied daily by a former boss. It was very difficult to walk into the operating room and be calm, if you had just had somebody kind of take the top of your head off. He also, you know, threatened us in terms of our jobs on a regular basis. Reporter: How would you describe those two years? Unadulterated misery and hell. Reporter: According to a recent survey by the centers for disease control, adult bullying effects an estimated 12 million americans in the workplace. Nearly a third more women than men. Jane pratt, a successful magazine editor, says she suffered intense bullying by a former boss. One time I remember being in a conference room with a bunch of other people around, and he was yelling at me so fiercely and this close to my face. I started to feel like I was going to faint because it was just -- it was too much. Reporter: Author jill brooke has studied adult bullying and says it's almost become accepted office behavior. It is becoming an epidemic in the workplace because people are responding to their fear of losing job and status, so as a result, they consider this behavior survival of the fittest. Reporter: Causing emotional issues like depression and mood swings to physical issues like headaches and weight gain. You gained -- I gained a tremendous amount of weight. Reporter: How much? Probably 40 or 50 pounds. Reporter: So here's what brooks says you should do if you're being bullied. First, speak up. Bullies respond to resistance. Next, make sure you document the bullying to have proof. And finally, build consensus with others. There is strength in numbers. Jane pratt, who's now a boss herself, says learn from your experience. You set the tone. You have to set the tone. Reporter: Nice works. Nice works. It really does. Reporter: And it turns out people pleasers are the biggest targets of bullies and pleasers tend to be women, apparently many of us, george, have the disease to please. And the solution is? Reporter: Well, there is a cure. It's fairly simple. Learn to say no. Sounds easy. Very hard to put into practice. Practice makes perfect. I suggest maybe starting with a, no thank you. So nice works and no works. Reporter: Yes.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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