Change Your Outlook. Act The Part. Bully Will Notice (And Stop Acting Like A Jerk-Off).

by Jul 21, 2012

Have you ever come across one of those people that just seems to have success and happiness bleeding out of their ears? Everyone seems to like them, they are always in a good mood, and they just seem to really enjoy life.

And have you ever come across one of those people that just seems to have bad luck with people, and with their jobs? They’re usually very hard working, honest, and generally nice, but for some reason they just can’t seem to get ahead in life.

What makes them so different? Why can one person be so happy and one be so miserable? The answer is their outlook, or perception of the events going on around them.

The former wakes up each morning enjoying life. No matter what happens that day, he is happy with his life and his situation. He learns from the mistakes he makes, and he doesn’t blame them on others.

The latter wakes up each morning upset with life and the situations he anticipates coming across that day. He often blames others when things go wrong and rarely learns from his experiences.

In 2003, some researchers found that while 1/3rd of participants were the receipient of office asshole antics, only 1/5th actually identified themselves as a victim of them.* Well how could that be? The observers watched all of these people get yelled at and belittled, but some don’t show any sign of feeling bullied, while others do.

The answer is their outlook, or perception of the events going on around them.

If you’re feeling victimized by a bully at work, perhaps now’s a good time to take a look at your outlook. I’m not saying, by any means, that the bullying is your fault or you’re making it up in your head.

What I am saying is you may not have the power to change your boss, but you do have the power to change your outlook, or your perception of the events going on around you.

While you’re getting ready for work each morning, tell yourself you will not feel bullied today. Tell yourself you will not allow the jerk to hurt your feelings. Tell yourself you have the power to overcome it. Although not in your bathroom with you, the bully will notice.

During the day, as you walk toward the stupid bully’s office to make your daily report, walk with your head held high, shoulders back, and chin in the air. When you get to her office, walk in with your head held high, shoulders back, and chin in the air. And when you walk away from the encounter, walk with your head held high, shoulders back, and chin in the air. The bully will notice.

On your drive home, drive with your head held high, shoulders back, and chin in the air. Take a breath of fresh air and remind yourself that you are a smart, intelligent person who knows how to do your job, and who has respect from co-workers. Although not in your passenger seat (thank goodness!), the bully will notice.

Change your outlook. Act the part. Bully will notice (and stop acting like a jerk-off).

About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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