The EEOC definition included “petty slights” or “simple teasing” as not being harassment. While activities that were “frequent and severe” and “that creates a hostile or offensive work environment” were included in the definition of harassment. (7.1, 7.2)
It is important to bring the topic of harassment and discrimination out into the open. Not talking about a victimization situation is usually only easier for the non-victims and is leaving the victim at worse risk of bullying. And less social support for the victim is associated with greater risk for their developing mental health problems. (7.Perspectives on Bullying, a book)
Other workers might be intentionally trying to intimidate or cause emotional pain in other workers with their joking or other activities, in which case the definition of harassment might be appropriate.
Sometimes emotional harassment is more subtle and may be difficult to recognize if the person is charming. Manipulative people can do very well in the competitive business world and their charm may lead to promotions but it can also be a sign of a more severe level of psychopathy, sociopathy, or narcissism.
Recognizing the warning signs [11, 12] and leaving the job, (or a relationship ), may be healthiest and safest if the person is a manager in a position of power over you, or “document, document, document” if you hope to win a case with a charge of workplace harassment. It will be a case of your word against theirs, usually, and if the other person or people are in a position of power or have more influence then the story may not matter as much as having actual evidence. 
Proof is needed when making claims about another person or group of people or it might be considered slanderous or libel.
We are comfortable with who we are, not only on the surface but deep down in our habits and instincts, and we like to protect those values and habits. People who tend to pick on others or blame them for their own problems may be most comfortable with other people who tend to always agree with them. Attachment styles learned in early childhood can affect how we relate to others and who we feel more comfortable with as adults. 
Suggesting other ways to look at a situation or claiming that a situation is wrong, may make the person or group feel like you aren't taking their side so therefore you must be against them. There is a tendency to see things as all good or all bad rather than that life and people are a mixture.
A former government agent, Chuck Spinney, shared an account of an attempt at retaliation against him at his place of employment in an interview about his work history.
Documentation of annual and midpoint performance evaluations can be a way for managers to keep a paper trail that they would need to help prove that an employee is not meeting job expectations and support a case that the employee should be rightfully dismissed from their position.
However, unfairly rating the evaluations in order to ease an unwanted employee out of a position is an illegal abuse of power. Chuck Spinney states that the method is occasionally used within government agencies according to the interview with Bill Moyers:
Harassment and discrimination, or sexual harassment  and sexual discrimination,  are different legally, but may involve similar issues. Harassment based on a person’s sex might be by a member of the same sex and involve negative joking and be considered sexual harassment if it met the EEOC criteria for severity. Sexual discrimination might be involved if an appropriately skilled applicant is not hired for a job because of their gender or appearance. A term that might be more familiar is “sexism,” which is discussed in more detail in the section What is Sexism?.
Ethologists, scientists who specialize in the study of animal behavior, spent many hours watching Komodo lizards and other animals in their native habitats and found that certain types of behavior patterns are seen in many species. Behavior patterns can help speed up reaction time and help a frog catch a fly or avoid a predator, and which may help support survival of the individual or the group as a whole.
Our non-verbal brainstem and limbic areas of the brain may lead us into performing behavior patterns that our verbal mind may then try to rationalize in words. Are we truly going to every single store during the middle of the holiday rush in order to get the best deal or to enjoy the holiday spirit?
- or because our non-verbal self is energized by the thrill of foraging for the best deal?
Non-verbal behavior patterns that may be based in activity from the brainstem area are listed in the book The Triune Brain in Evolution. It is an older text on neuroanatomy and animal behavior - the neuroanatomy is out of date although the author, Paul D. Maclean, is still known for having first named the limbic system of the brain which is largely involved in emotions and emotional bonds between caregiver and child or between mates.  The examples of animal behavior in the book are likely irreplaceable as animals have lost their natural territories and ability to hunt or graze freely. Behavior patterns would be seen in urbanized territory but they would be affected by competition with concrete and motorized vehicles, and people.
7.7.1: Increased dopamine levels may affect nonverbal instincts or urges to perform an activity.
The brainstem area of the brain is rich in the neurotransmitter dopamine so conditions, substances, or stages of life that affect dopamine levels may also affect the likelihood of these behaviors occurring or affect how strongly the person feels an urge to perform the behavior. (7.22) Do holiday lights go up on the day after Thanksgiving because they are pretty or because the neighbor already decorated their house?
There are many beneficial ways to improve the mood too, besides mood altering substances. Holidays and special events with loved ones can cause an increase in positive mood hormones and the stimulating dopamine. Even imaginary ones can help boost dopamine. Fans of stars whether real or animated may enjoy conventions where everyone enjoys and knows about the same topic. When groupthink (7.39) turns violent however we are in the mob mentality territory of mass hysteria. (7.40) That is rare however, most large crowds are peaceful and a pleasant experience for participants. Festive events can have a very uplifting effect, large crowds generally have a very positive mood and lift spirits. (7.35)
7.7.2: Compare Hunter Gatherer cultural similarities with behavior patterns in animal species.
To return to the first point on this page, our human ancestors share common behavior patterns around the world and across history. Compare anthropologist Donald Brown's list of human actions (7.3]) with the list of behavior patterns seen in many animal species, Table 6-1. Special Forms of Basic Behavior, (p100, 7.22).
Table 6-1. Special Forms of Basic Behavior, (p100, 7.22)
(p100, 7.22)- Paul D. MacLean, The Triune Brain in Evolution: Role in Paleocerebral Functions, (Plenum Press, 1990, New York) National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
The limbic area of the brain is associated with several non-verbal behavior patterns having to do with bonding and caring for offspring.
Six types of general behaviors have also been observed in many species that may occur as part of the other behavior patterns.
Considering the discussion of our instincts both versions of the Golden Rule may be represented in our hunter-gatherer and evolutionary history. Stephen L. Anderson may be correct about the Golden Rule being less golden - it has a silver version and a golden version. The Girl Scouts of America share a song with the line “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver (new friend) and the other is gold (old friend).” (7.29)
New friends and old friends are both important but our instincts may favor protecting family members first.
7.7.3: Friends and family may be identified as “‘insiders” by sharing rituals and customs.
We learn to trust others or to not trust as easily when we are young and dependent on caregivers. “Rituals” (7.3) that we learn when we are young may be part of what helps us identify who is an “insider” and who is an “outsider” based on who participates in the ritual - such as the ritual of putting up holiday decorations in your yard. (7.30)
As we have more people with neurological differences working and living in our businesses and communities the more aware “neurotypical” people, people with average communications styles, need to be that those with differences may not be able to speak or hear, or otherwise communicate normally. They may be startled or made uncomfortable by festive lights or noises. Efforts to try to speak louder or more aggressively may just cause the person with differences to get silent and scared or to start acting out in some way that might lead to escalating a situation that likely need not have occurred in the first place.
Read more on how early childhood and attachment styles can effect an adult’s tendency to trust others in the section Trust is learned early.