One of the nastiest things about bullying is that it doesn’t only exist in schools, it also can take place in other places you never thought it would be. And a great example of that is the workplace. Yes, you’d think since people are already adults they’re mature enough not to bully others. Well, you’re wrong. Bullies in the workplace are those who repeatedly criticize, embarrass, humiliate, and invalidate the achievements of their workmates.
“Bullying is a form of abuse,” says social psychologist Gary Namie, PhD, founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute and author of The Bully-Free Workplace. “It has a neurological impact, flooding your brain with hormones that impact your memory, decision making, and your emotional regulation.”
Have you encountered someone like this in your place? If so, then that person is a workplace bully.
How do you deal with a person like that? If you have no idea, then keep on reading because we’ve written some tips that might help ease your situation.
Study Your Situation
The first thing you should do is to assess your situation. List down the dates when you got bullied, and gather as many witnesses as possible. You can also take this time to ask other people and see whether they’re being victimized by the bully as well. If they are, then make a pact with them and decide what your next move will be. But if the bully singled you out, then just do everything you can to keep track of the situation and gather all the information that you can use against him.
Ignoring It Won’t Make It Go Away
Workplace bullies don’t just go away when you ignore them. In fact, not paying any attention to them can increase their interest and torment you longer. And besides, no one deserves to be repeatedly bullied. You can’t let yourself be a victim of this person. Address the problem and get help when you need to.
Set Limits And Stand Your Ground
Setting limits with your bully might allow you to deal with the situation better. If the bully crosses the line then you better be ready to confront him. Your bully thinks he’s a stronger person than you, so challenge him.
“Targets usually do have some form of vulnerability, like financial or family issues, but just because they are vulnerable does not mean they are weak. More often than not, targets of workplace bullying are popular, sociable, and even experts in their field,” notes Jason Walker PsyD, PhD, an expert in the assessment of psychological trauma.
Stand your ground, call them out on their actions and make a statement that you’re no longer going to let them make you feel bad just because they have an issue with themselves that they can’t get over. Shock factor works sometimes, and this is one of those situations where catching a person off guard might just do the trick.
When things get worse, and you run out of options, you can ask for the HR or manager’s help. However, don’t trust them to fix the situation entirely. What you can do if the bullying persists is to also ask for legal assistance to take action against your bully. And don’t feel sorry for doing it – your bully deserves everything coming his way.
“Workplace bullying is inappropriate, and no one should have to put up with it. Indeed, employees and employers should become more aware of this pernicious behavior and take measures to recognize and eliminate its occurrence,” wrote Shoba Sreenivasan, PhD, and Linda E. Weinberger, PhD.
Being bullied is hard, but it’s a situation you can surely get out with if you pull yourself and understand the need for ending it. Follow the steps we shared with you, gather enough confidence in yourself, be positive at all times and use these steps to bring your workplace bully down.