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8 months ago · · 0 comments

5 Little Known Ways to Deal With Workplace Bullying

Picture this. You’ve spent hours pouring your heart and soul into what you consider a door-busting resume.

Your fingers are numb, and your eyes are screaming fatigue. It’s been eight hours of meticulous editing and formatting.

With unwavering confidence, you hit the send button, imagining how great it would be if you got your dream job.

A week later, you receive an invitation for an interview. You walk in, nail it, and secure the job. Everything is checking out as it should.

But a few weeks into it, you start hating your new role. Your boss won’t stop humiliating you. His criticism is harsh, and the words cut deep.

You start questioning your competence despite years of trailblazing in your field. The headaches and tears are endless, and you dread reporting to work.

The truth is: you are a victim of workplace bullying. Your work environment is 100% toxic, and your mental health is at risk.

Here’re some tips for dealing with workplace bullying:

Developing these critical soft skills is essential for not just surviving but thriving in your professional journey.

Mental Health at the Workplace: Recognizing the Red Flags

Bullying at the workplace is the repeated mistreatment by a colleague or a group of colleagues. It could be:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Sabotage
  • Humiliating criticism
  • Threatening or intimidating remark

4 out of 10 employees experience bullying at work. More than half of those bullied lose their jobs without substantive legal reasons, according to a WBI Survey. It is ‘psychological violence’ that negatively impacts employees’ mental health in the workplace.

Examples of workplace bullying, as per Clark and Ritter(2018), include :

1. Disrespectful language and any threatening remarks.

2. Labeling or name-calling, insults, and dehumanizing language.

3. Your colleague or boss continually lies about you or leaves you out of important meetings or activities.

4. Harsh undeserving criticism in front of colleagues that leaves you feeling intimidated and humiliated.

5. Negative comments possibly circulated to everyone, consequently affecting your work performance.

6. Withholding critical resources at work that should help you perform your duties. It could also be a  colleague refusing to cooperate and collaborate on a task that needs input from all sides.

7. Your supervisor can make your life hard by issuing unreasonable assignments frequently.

8. Leaking of private information.

9. Intentionally sabotaging your promotion and other work benefits or opportunities, such as attending a workshop.

Now this is important. Because of workplace bullying, 67% of employees quit their jobs. They leave a job that was once dear to them. This is quite unfair, considering they worked hard to get the job.

How Do You Deal With Bullying in the Workplace?

Empower yourself to defy workplace bullying by mastering emotional intelligence and not cowering when attacked. Be tactical and apply these five tips for dealing with workplace bullies:

1. Document the Abuse

Pick your journal or phone notepad and write the date, the person who bullied you, and where it was. Give more context or details about the incident. Write the exact phrase or words used; if it’s emails, start grouping them in a file as evidence.

This will be helpful later when you escalate the matter to a superior manager or HR. It is strong evidence should you decide to file a legal complaint.

2. Speak Up Immediately When Bullied

Bullies take pleasure in the act and must be stopped immediately. Playing along will only make matters worse, so don’t do it.

Address the issue with utmost emotional intelligence using phrases like “Please stop that. It is dehumanizing.” Point out their lack of values and explain why the bully’s actions are a problem to you.

Stand tall as you speak, with shoulders straight and not hunched.

If you’re afraid of talking to the bully alone, you can ask a colleague to accompany you. You can also escalate the matter to a top manager or HR.

3. Talk to Your Supervisor or HR

Let HR or a senior supervisor know about the issue if you cannot face the bully. The latter is a good idea if the HR is unapproachable.

Be sure to research your company’s policy on workplace bullying and harassment. Use this information to back up your claims. It also helps you know your rights as an employee.

Additionally, have the documented evidence with you and make your case more about the business than you. Talk of company resources, time wasted, productivity, mental well-being, and anything that affects the business bottom line.

If it’s the HR who’s bullying you, speak to the next in charge.

4. Take Care of Your Mental Health

Do something that makes you feel good about yourself-something away from work. It could be a hobby like baking, a business, charity, or painting. Anything that makes you feel good.

You could also vent to a friend or relative. However, don’t make it a habit. Endless venting about workplace stress will strain your relationship with friends and family.

Talking to a counselor or therapist is a good place to vent, especially one who’s specialized in trauma counseling. Aside from getting solutions to this issue, you’ll learn how to handle your emotions and identify your triggers.

You’ll also know how to handle your mental health, be confident and not blame yourself that this happening.

5. Move on

If the problem doesn’t seem to have a solution, evaluate if it’s worth staying at the workstation. Don’t take things personally, and don’t expect the bully to change their ways.

Get closure emotionally and move on since you have little control over the situation.

As a last result, look for another job. Your mental health comes first!

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