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How To Handle Being Bullied At Work

When we think of bullying, we tend to revert back to our school days when we used to witness it on the playground. However, bullying in the workplace is just as common and it can have a larger effect in the adult world compared to a bit of name-calling in the classroom. In many cases, bullying tends to go unreported due to the serious consequences that it can cause. This is why it’s also important to establish if you’re actually being bullied and how to deal with it in the correct manner.

How Do I Know If I’m Being Bullied?

Accusations made in the workplace will be taken seriously and some cases can lead to legal matters, so establishing the difference between bullying and performance management, providing it’s done professionally, is key in this sense. Identifying the difference can be difficult, but there are ways you can help to establish whether you’re being bullied especially as bullying tends to occur over a sustained period of time.

What Is Classed As Being Bullied At Work?

There are several ways in which bullying can be carried out and can essentially come from anyone in the business, even if they have less authority in the organisation. For example, it could come from the manager right down to an intern. Examples of bullying can include:

  • Insults
  • Sexual harassment and advancements
  • Victimisation
  • Unnecessary overworking
  • Threatening Behaviour
  • Promotion preventing

It’s also worth remembering that bullying doesn’t only in the form of face-to-face interaction. Other forms of bullying can include email, texting and written communication which are just as serious as doing it in person.

How Can I Resolve It?

– Confront The Bully

First things first. The best way to deal with the issue is to start at the root, which is the bully themselves. If you show no sign that it’s bothering you or they’re unaware that what they’re doing is affecting them, they’re unlikely to stop. If you communicate with them in person, you’ll be able to express your feelings that should help them to understand. Just be sure to do this in a calm manner and if you need, take a colleague you’ve discussed it to with you. Sometimes, this doesn’t always resolve the situation but attempting to deal with it directly is sure to help.

– Discuss It With The Necessary People

If this fails, go down the route of discussing it with a senior member of staff or an HR department employee. Let them know about your side of the story and how it’s making you feel at work. If it’s potentially affecting your performance at work, manager’s will appreciate you coming to them about it. Discussing it with the right people will help to find a solution quicker considering they’ll have more authority over the situation.

– Seek Professional Help

If the internal channels have failed, there is also the option to seek external help. There are several organisations and legal businesses that can help with providing advice about situations. For example, dispute resolution lawyers are trained to help with such situations and can even form a case regarding the matter if it’s causing serious issues. This should only be your last resort, however, as it can only escalate the situation further going down this route.

– Stay Calm & Professional

Regardless of the route you choose to take, the most important step to take of all is making sure that you remain calm and collected throughout the whole process. If you show signs of vulnerability to the bully it will only show that they’re getting to you. Remain as calm as possible and take the right steps to overcome the situation.

It’s important to speak out if you think you’re being bullied. There should be no reason why anyone should be a victim of bullying so don’t suffer in silence.

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