Bullies are everywhere. Not only kids at school or in the neighborhood are prone to bullying. Adults also have to face the torments of being bullied by other adults, especially at work. Workplace bullies talk about people oftentimes, takes fun in criticizing others, and even stealing credits for works they do not do. In effect, coworkers feel intimated and dreaded coming to work.
According to surveys, bosses comprise 72% of bullies. Around 62% of employers ignore the problem while 40% of victims never tell their employer. These are very disheartening figures since bullying is truly a grave social crime. But how do we deal with bullies in our workplace? What will be our best line of defense against them? Here are some points to consider in coping up with bullies at work.
Do not tolerate bullies. Set limits to your working relationship with the bullies. Once you have set the limits, you can well determine when to tell the bullies to stop the behavior. Fighting and standing for your right will not entirely shy the bullies away; yet, you have informed them loud and clear that you are not someone to be messed with.
Fight back. Confront them in cool and “sarcastic” ways. Never be intimated with bullies. Remember that they are the types who think they were on solid ground; but once you shake their footing, they tumble as well. If they criticize you, do not criticize them back since this can only be troublesome. Instead, let them talk and ask them for their “wise” judgment. Their incessant talk will only make fools of them.
Do your best in your job. Bullies normally attack those you are weak and are not performing well. Even simple mistakes and slight inefficiencies will not escape the bullies’ senses. Avoid being late to work, taking long breaks, and the like since they will only give justifications to their bullying. Likewise, to avoid being the target, excel in your undertakings so that the bullies will be ashamed to make fun of you.
Build a strong support network. It is difficult to deal with bullies alone. Instead of sulking in a corner after being bullied, rise up and fix your feet on the ground. Do not directly fight the bullies. Work on building you relationships with you colleagues so that you have a support group. This will also prevent the unlucky situation that the bully will turn your coworkers against you.
Keep a record. Document everything that the bullies have done to you. Keep it secure, whether you record it on your personal computer or notebook. Write what has been done and who witness it. So when matters got worse, you can have concrete records to show to the Human Resources office and to the proper authorities about the bullying done.
Do not expect to change the bully. We all have our sets of values and it would take time to change them. A bully has lived with his or her behaviors, and we have no control over their willingness to accept the problem and to change. It is really your employer’s responsibility to be observant, responsive, and vigilant to the general working environment. Somehow, you can do your best to manage the situation and mitigate the problem by avoiding confrontations and being subject of bullying. If there were no one to be bullied around, then there would be no bullies.