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How to Deal with a Workplace Bully

How to Deal with a workplace bully

Remember your high school bully? The jerk who used to throw people in trash cans? That burly kid that used to dunk people’s heads in the toilet and give them swirlies? And remember the grand tradition of wedgies?

I once thought that bullies only existed in high school. I used to believe that the “real world” was full of civilized, kind people and the whole idea of “bullies” didn’t exist for adults.

The sad fact of the matter is this: yes, most adults are pretty civilized. And I still like to think that kind people make up the majority of the population. But bullies still exist. And it’s a very real problem when you find yourself the victim of one in the work place. Dealing with a bully at work is entirely different than it used to be in high school. You can’t gather your friends around you for protection and you can’t ask your mom to talk to the principal. A work place bully is a delicate situation that must be handled with care.

What does bullying work look like?
Bullying is a deliberate attempt to control or undermine you. It typically happens over a prolonged period of time and it can severely damage your self esteem and confidence. It can be subtle or overt. It can take place in private or in front of others. The circumstances can vary greatly from person to person. Here are some examples of bullying behavior at work:

How do you handle a bully?

Bullying can not be ignored. If you feel you are being bullied, here’s some steps to follow:

  1. Evaluate the situation
    It’s important to trust your instincts in situations like this. If you feel bullied, you probably are a victim. But look closely at what is happening around the person in question. Is everyone afraid of them? Do they have a reputation for this sort of thing? Are you not the only one experiencing this?

If it’s happening to others, get together with them and find out how they feel. There’s power in numbers.


Written by Chrissy of The Executive Assistant’s Tool Box.

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