Teamwork makes the dream work, as the saying goes, but unfortunately not everyone feels this way in the workplace. There will always be those who feel that the best way to progress their own careers is to bully and belittle other people, whether to eliminate them as a threat or because they genuinely feel like it is a motivational tool. Whichever it is, they don’t seem to care about the impact they have on others, and this can make work a stressful and upsetting place to be.
So what can you do about it? You’re not at school anymore, so telling a teacher isn’t an option, but that doesn’t mean you should just put up with it. One way to cope with the way it makes you feel is to talk about it, and you can share your feelings with a friend, therapist, co-worker or family member, which will at least help avoid letting your emotions fester or become something you feel ashamed about.
Another thing that can happen if you allow yourself to put up with the bullying for too long is that you become more and more stressed, which can actually lead to you being more likely to be targeted for more bullying, according to research by Madrid UCM. So speak out early and there is a better chance of stopping it before things escalate any further.
Speaking out can be tricky, especially in a workplace scenario, so you want to make sure that you have documented everything you can about the bullying behavior, especially any evidence in the form of emails and messages. This will prevent it being a case of your word against theirs and could even be important if the situation leads to stronger – even legal – action in the future.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea early on to look at what policies your employer has about workplace bullying as this will be helpful when it comes to speaking out about it, especially if you can prove that the actions have gone against that policy. In the meantime, you need to look after your own wellbeing, so try and find ways to distract yourself outside of work to avoid letting the bullying cause you any further harm and upset.
Nobody likes having to deal with a bully in the workplace, but these hints and tips should help you avoid having to endure the treatment for longer than necessary.