As children we have all experienced bullying in some form, whether we were the perpetrator or on the receiving end of the insults and humiliation. When we grow up we learn to love ourselves, be confident and rise above the worthless criticism. But, in some cases those mean girls and boys we once knew in elementary or high school follow us into our adult lives at work or in our social circles.
A bully is a person who is feels inadequate and thus projects their insecurities onto other people in order to deflect from their own short-comings. Although, we know this, it still hurts when someone is verbally abusive, picking on our faults or constantly criticizing any minor mistake we make. It can impact our work and daily life by making us feel unmotivated or isolated.
Bullying in the workplace is dangerous especially if the bully is your boss or two or more colleagues that have grouped together, putting you in a position where it is difficult to report their abusive actions. They have chosen to attack you in most cases because you are good at your job, they are jealous of your success and independence.
Take the fun out of their bullying and let them know it doesn’t affect you.
When the mean girl or boy says something that they hope will get under our skin, shrug it off and smile. Your confidence will catch them off guard and they will notice that they are having no impact on you.
Do not indulge them by snapping back or fighting them.
This will only make them want to attack you more knowing that it will result in a reaction. It is the reaction that they feed off of and if you don’t react they will eventually get bored.
Let someone know what is happening.
Having someone on your side to stand up for you shows the bully that you are not vulnerable and alone as they hoped. If it is colleagues at work, tell your boss that they are harassing you and it is affecting your work performance. If the bully is your boss, group together your work colleagues and see if they have experienced the same thing. Write a letter to your boss’ supervisor or to the owner of the company explaining your experience and any other examples of bullying at work. A bully believes they can get away with their actions by intimidating their victims, if you show them you are not scared they will back off.
If the bully is a friend in your social circle, simply speak to them directly.
Let them know their words and actions have a negative impact on you and thus you would rather not be friends with them. Knowing that they are losing a friend because of their behaviour could make them wake up and realize that things have gotten out of hand and they should try to work out their own issues.