Dealing with Workplace Bullying

Some people think bullying stops when you’re out of high school , or college, but the truth is that it can occur in the workplace as well. The Workplace Bullying Institute surveyed people in 2010 and found that 35% of workers have experienced bullying firsthand [1]. So what is workplace bullying? It refers to repeated actions that have the intent of intimidating, humiliating, or degrading, and are directed towards an employee. These actions may put at risk the affected employee’s emotional health, and sometimes even their physical health. Not only do workplace bullies intimidate their victims, but they also may spread rumors around the workplace in order to harm their reputation, not tell them about an important meeting, hide their office supplies, or anything that will make their victim feel helpless or useless. If you are a victim of workplace bullying, or know about someone who is, here are some tips on how to deal with them.

Keep Your Cool

Having someone intimidating you and harassing you daily is frustrating. Instead of fighting back, just take a deep breath and relax. Try to avoid the bully as much as you can, but if you happen to bump into them, just try to keep calm. Don’t rise to the occasion. If the harassment continues consider confiding in your Human Resources department and explore your options. 

Write it Down

Every time you feel like you’re being bullied, write it down on a journal. Make sure to list as much details as you can, any witnesses, location, time, etc…Documenting your harassment will give you backing you need when you do approach Human Resources or a supervisor. The more detailed and specific you can be, the only likely it is that your incident can be proven.

Tell Your Supervisor

They are there for a reason. They have the power to reprimand bullies and they are there to help you. There is only so much you can do on your own, so getting supervisors and managers involved may be the best option. Because you have been logging everything, you will be able to describe the situation and explain how it is affecting your ability to do your work effectively. 
In some cases, your supervisor or manager may not want to get involved in the situation, this is when you go to your HR department.