Bullying In the Workplace

Recognizing an office Bully
While bullying in the workplace is a form of aggression, it can also be hidden or unrecognizable. Just like the school yard, work place bullies use the same tools to intimidate and manipulate their employees or co-workers. Bullies usually possess certain traits that can easily be misinterpreted for constructive criticism when in actuality it’s another technique for torment. Distinguish between the two and consecutively ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this person harassing you?
  2. Do they deliberately overload you with work?
  3. Is this person purposely withholding or giving wrong information that you can’t do your job accurately?
  4. Do they seem to find enjoyment in tormenting you?

If your answers to all these questions are YES, you are more than likely a victim of being bullied at work.

The Psychological Association
Bullies primarily have deep rooted psychological issues related to being in control. In most cases the issue at hand isn’t about you personally or your work performance, but more so the insecurities and anti-social disorder that consumes a bully. This in turn, encourages a childlike mentality, with a predominant antisocial tendency of getting under the skin of others. When your attacker lashes out it is no more a display of incompetence and a lack thereof. This behavior is a defense mechanism to deal with their insecurities and are usually threatened by the employees with better potentials. Although bullies and victims are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, they really are not all that different. It has been statistically proven that most bullies were once on the receiving end of this abuse.

Take Action. How to deal with Workplace Bullying?
Office bullying can be devastating for the affected employees and companies. Most corporations have a zero tolerance policy for workplace bullying. They encourage employees that are being victimized to record all incidents in full detail. It is recommended to provide the name of bully, dates, location, and also any witnesses. This structure will solidify your claim so that it can be properly presented and further investigated. Don’t ignore the fact that you’re being bullied. If you are being treated unfairly in a misappropriate amount than others, don’t hesitate to contact your Human Resources department.

The Follow-up
If the bullying still persists and becomes out of control, try other alternatives and escalate your complaint if necessary. If your manager or supervisor is reluctant in acknowledging the bullying reoccurrences, you have the right to take it further to higher management or a union personnel. In some instances complaints do not resolve in a timely manner as they should or when you expect them to. Do not get discouraged as with time and perseverance your complaint will be taken seriously. If the present evidence still hasn’t taken notice, only then a variety of options may have to be taken into consideration. Seek what’s in your best interest, whether it is relocating or consulting with a lawyer.

It is unacceptable for someone to continue with this behavior. They may have had past victims who were timid to speak up for several reasons. But one compliant can make a difference making it a comfortable environment for you and your colleagues.


L. Paul | DBPC Blog