Bullying is not just something that happens on the playground at school. It can happen in many different environments, and the workplace is certainly one of these.
If you are being bullied at work, it is important to take action. You should not simply sit back and accept what is happening to you. No one deserves to be bullied on a daily basis. Unfortunately, though, workplace bullying is a lot more common than many people realize.
Most people would think the most important thing would be to decide what to do in such a situation. However, it’s even more important to be aware of what not to do if you’re being bullied at work. Doing the wrong thing could result in an escalation of the situation.
Do not rationalize or excuse bullying behavior.
Before taking action, be sure you are not rationalizing or excusing bullying behavior by others.
A lot of people fear others do not see the situation as they do. This is why it is a good idea to establish the signs and document bullying incidents.
Here are some of the clear signs that you are being bullied in the workplace:
- You feel sick at the thought of going to work.
- You are excluded from training opportunities, promotion or progress.
- There are unfounded threats being made about the security of your job.
- All of your decisions are being called into question, even the smallest ones.
- Busywork, distractions, and obstacles are being thrown at you to interfere with your work.
- Your job is changed or you are removed from your duties without any reason.
- You experience unwelcome sexual comments or experience sexual harassment.
- You experience verbal abuse, whether obvious or subtle.
- You are teased, belittled, or criticized in public.
- Your reasonable requests are being refused and you are not given a reason why.
- You are being held to standards that are different from your co-workers.
- You are being excluded, ignored, alienated, or outcast. There are many different ways this can happen, including your co-workers avoiding interaction with you; false rumors being spread about you; and being left out of events and meetings.
Do not assume you are alone.
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are bullied in the workplace. After all, it can be easy to feel like you are alone and have no one to turn to, especially if your boss has ignored you or, even worse, is the one doing the bullying.
However, it is vital to recognize that there are other forms of help available.
One option is to take legal action. You can start by consulting with a reputable firm such as Slater Heelis LLP.
There are also organizations and charities that have been set-up to help with workplace bullying. Seeking help can be difficult, but you will feel much better once you have done so.
Do not stay – for your own health and sanity.
It’s perfectly normal to feel you should not be pushed out of your job because of bullying. Nevertheless, your happiness and mental health are the most important things.
You need to make sure that you put yourself first.
It is a good idea to start looking for new jobs today.
Once you have found a new job, you can then resign from your current position. This does not mean that you cannot proceed with legal action. You can still do so.
Do not wait to ask for help.
Workplace bullying is a big deal and you should not minimize it.
It is understandable if you feel anxious or embarrassed. However, the longer you wait to get help, the more difficult you make it for yourself.
No one should live their days feeling beaten down and helpless, but that was bullying does. The sooner you ask for help, the quicker you can learn about your rights and take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
Do not fail to document.
You must document events in support of your claim of bullying.
Bullying can be subtle and insidious, often occurring out of the sight and hearing of others. In the absence of supporting witnesses, supporting documentation is the most important thing to have.
Go to HR with all of your documents. This can be very useful if you do decide to go ahead with legal action.
Do not blame yourself.
Last but not least, it is not your fault. Stop convincing yourself that it is.
A lot of people blame themselves, convincing themselves they may be imagining things, or being worried that others will think they are being overly sensitive.
This is what the bully wants you to believe.
No one is perfect, and so making a mistake is not a justification for being bullied. If someone is not happy with the way you are performing at work, they should speak to you in a private, direct, and professional manner, while following workplace policies and protocols.
There is no getting away from the fact that this can be an incredibly stressful and upsetting situation in anyone’s life.
However, if you follow the steps and advice that has been provided above, you should be able to handle the matter in an effective way that will produce positive results.