In today’s highly stressful working environment, workplace bullying has somehow become a prevalent incident. According to a 2012 Career Builder survey, around 35 percent of workers felt that they were being bullied at work. This is 5 percentage points higher than previous year’s 27 percent. And while handling workplace bullying can be difficult, here are some tips that can help you manage the situation.
First, learn to spot the signs that you are being bullied. In most cases, employees are unsure and unaware that they are already a victim of workplace bullying. Studies from the Workplace Bullying Institute states that one telltale sign is if you are taking “mental health days” in order to avoid a co-worker who is making your work life a living hell. Another is if you are dreading the start of the work week and may feel sick the night before work begins. One other sign is if you are hesitant and ashamed to let your partner or spouse know that someone is controlling you at work.
Once you have acknowledged the fact you are a workplace bullying victim, you have several options to address the situation. You can opt to confront the individual to let him or her know about his or her behavior. However, this is a tricky situation since things may not go as planned and it may not necessarily stop the workplace bullying also. Best to alert your boss, or the boss’ boss in case the bully is your manager. Make the human resources department aware that you are a victim of workplace bullies.
In worst case scenarios, leaving your job may be the best solution, especially if you have tried everything to stop the bullying. This may be the healthier alternative given that long term effects of workplace bullying can lead to depression and can have tremendous consequences to an employee. What’s most important is to not punish yourself and resist the urge to put the blame on you. Remember, you are not to be blamed for being bullied.
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