Tips to Deal with Workplace Bullying

by Sep 15, 2015

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.

Click here to read to learn more about dealing with bullying at the workplace.

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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