Inappropriate behavior: a term you hear more and more frequently these days. It’s very unpleasant when it happens to you because it can cause a lot of emotional harm. In this article, we explain what inappropriate behavior is, its consequences, and how to deal with it.

People can cross your boundaries in all kinds of ways. This is called transgressive behavior. Transgressive behavior is unwanted behavior that you do not feel good about and for which you have not given permission. This can cause damage on a physical, mental or emotional level. This behavior can manifest itself in different contexts, both in private situations and in the workplace.

Common forms of inappropriate behavior

  • Bullying: Including insults, spreading rumors, or sabotage.
  • Discrimination: Unequal treatment based on factors like gender, race, or sexual orientation.
  • Aggression and violence: Such as shouting, verbal abuse, or physical violence.
  • Abuse of power: Abusing authority or a higher position for dominance, manipulation, or control.
  • Sexual harassment: Think of inappropriate comments, assault, or even rape.

Consequences of inappropriate behavior

Physical health problems such as stress, insomnia, loss of appetite, and headaches.

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Psychological problems like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and decreased self-confidence.

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Reduced work performance due to decreased concentration or more frequent absences to avoid confrontations in the workplace.

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Weakened relationships in personal circles or at work, resulting in reduced trust and isolation of the victim.

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What to do if something like this happens to you?

  • Try to stay calm so you can think clearly.
  • Stand up for yourself and make it clear that the other person’s behavior is not acceptable.
  • Keep a record of who is involved, where you are, and the time. If you want to file a complaint later, this information may be important.
  • Talk to a trusted person, such as someone in your personal circle or at work.
  • Take care of yourself and seek help, such as from a psychologist.

Recognize it in the workplace

When is something inappropriate behavior, what are the consequences, and what can you do about it? You can read all about inappropriate behavior in the workplace here.

Read it here


Setting boundaries

It’s important not to let others cross your boundaries. The first step is to speak up by expressing your wishes and boundaries. These tips can help you with that.

Read the tips


What to do as a bystander?

Helping each other is very valuable. Therefore, it’s good to know what you can do if you witness inappropriate behavior happening to someone else.

Read the tips

So, it’s incredibly important to take action against inappropriate behavior. Stand up for yourself, address it, and seek help!

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