In a national survey, workplace bullying was defined as ‘repeated mistreatment’ or ‘abusive conduct that is threatening, humiliating or intimidating’. It can also include ‘work sabotage or verbal abuse’.
Here are five ways to beat bullies in the office and come out on top.
1. Know that it’s not your fault
Bullying happens to lots of people and you cannot blame yourself. It says more about them and their insecurities than it does about you. Don’t beat yourself up about it and ask ‘why you’? Just pity the bully. Kick Bully explains here how you can recognise the bullies’ behaviour and know that it is not to do with you.
2. Don’t get upset
If you cry in front of a bully it will only encourage them. They have got the reaction that they wanted. Stay cool, calm and collected, and act as if they aren’t riling you one little bit. Bullying.org says that as bullies love a reaction, if you don’t get upset they will get bored and move on.
3. Keep a journal
Keep a record of the incidents, and who else saw it happen. NEVER leave this in the office, keep in on your phone or somewhere personal and safe. If you do need to take the issue to HR you will be able to show them your records, and explain what happened and where.
4. Get help
The Government website says that you should go to HR if you are being bullied at work. However, be aware that HR aren’t trained counsellors so they don’t have to keep what you say to them confidential. Only go to them as a last resort. If you just need someone to talk to about what is going on, and this will make you feel better, then seek a mentor, friend or real counsellor. If you are considering taking the matter further, try a legal advocate. There are lawyers who specialise in bullying in the workplace.
5. Build up a support network
Make friends in your office, and the bully should see that you are not someone they can pick on. You have back-up.