Bullying is not a noun you hear in schools only. It is also a verb and a social issue that happens at the workplace. To be specific what happens at the workplace is emotional abuse characterized by dominant behaviour. This type of bullying comprises verbal abuse (name-calling, insulting, shouting at someone), passive-aggressive behaviour (pretending not to notice someone’s presence or value), and intimidation or withholding someone’s wage/salary. Emotional abuse can lead to anxiety, fear and depression causing someone to lose their self-esteem and confidence in their talents. Therefore, here are some ways to cope with bullying in the workplace.
- Do not react
A bully delights in seeing you lose and respond to their theatrics. Since bullying at the workplace is often in relation to dominance, understanding what fuels a workplace bully is one way of avoiding being bullied. If a bully teases or taunts you, don’t get angry or react in their favour. Take authority and kill them with kindness. This will prove a more effective strategy than if you shouted back or taunted them back. Remember all the bully wants to feel is the thrill of winning and you losing. Therefore, use this knowledge to your advantage by becoming resilient, and calm and practising emotional intelligence. Sometimes it is more about their weaknesses and frustrations than it is about you as a person.
- Seek Help
Not reacting only works on a short-term bully or someone who had a bad day and just happened to exhibit behaviour out of the ordinary. However, someone who makes it a habit to bully you long-term can affect your level of performance and mental health. Therefore, before this behaviour has a negative impact on your life, seek advice from a trusted colleague on the best measures to take.
Consider your options and inform the necessary bodies, for example, human resources, your supervisor or your manager. Show how this behaviour affects your work and the possible solutions you would like to see implemented.
- Keep a record
When it comes to a bully who wants to make you look bad or as if you are not doing your job it is best to keep evidence that you can use against them. For instance, this type of bully might ask you to do a task and fail to communicate the deadline so that get in trouble. Or take credit for your work and receive merit instead of you. Therefore, to avoid such instances maintain communication with such a person through official channels. This could be through emails or chats.
The key is to have it documented so that you can keep track of the timeline and be able to recall such incidents with ease. When it comes to someone who takes credit for your work, confront them and establish boundaries by making it clear that you won’t tolerate another episode. They will feel embarrassed but still respect you as you approached them instead of ousting them in public.
- Be assertive
It is always a good thing to establish boundaries as they ensure our well-being and protect us from unnecessary struggles. Before it reaches a point where you have to take action, ask a bully not to address you in the way they do or inform them that you do not appreciate their tone.
These simple assertive ways from Topresume are some stoppers you could use on a bully who is on a power roll and doesn’t treat you right.
- “Please don’t talk to me that way.”
- “Let’s try to get this conversation to a place where it can be productive.”
- “Let’s take a break and come back to this later.”
- You come first.
If all else fails, remember “me before you” is always an option. For instance, if someone is withholding your salary or you have tried any option possible and you cannot stop them, then it might be time for you to explore other options. Remember your well-being comes first and you can never give from an empty cup. Seven Signs That Your Job Is Killing You
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