You’d think that once you outgrow the playground, bullying would be a thing of the past. Only young kids who don’t know any better are bullies, right? Unfortunately that’s not the case, and there are many adult bullies out there, too. Perhaps they never fully matured, or something happened in their lives to make them bitter.
Whatever the case, an adult bully can sometimes be even tougher than a child.
Instead of messing with you at school, they make things hard for you in the workplace. Doing your job and enjoying work is difficult if not impossible with them around. If you have a bully at your place of employment, what can you do about it? Here are some tips on how to stand up to a bully at work.
Take the High Road
No matter what your bully does to you, it’s incredibly important to refrain from stooping to their level. Try to keep your cool, and always act professionally. Don’t yell, get emotional, or try to get revenge. Do your best to ignore the bully and not show yourself being affected by their actions. Sometimes just seeing that they aren’t getting to you is enough to make a bully ease up.
If you want to stand up to your bully, it’s important to have confidence in yourself. The bully could be wearing you down and impacting your self-esteem, but you need to reassure yourself that you are not doing anything wrong. The bully’s actions don’t reflect any inadequacies or wrong on your part. Their actions are only a result of their own insecurities and weaknesses.
Confront the Bully
Standing up to the bully at work can, and usually should, be a direct approach. Gather the nerve and talk to them privately. Let them know the specific things they’re doing and how they’re affecting you. It’s possible they didn’t realize their actions were so harmful. On the other hand, they may respect that you will stand up for yourself and lose interest in bullying you. In the worst case scenario when the bully gets mean or aggressive in the confrontation, do not lose your cool, end the conversation, and walk away.
Talk to Coworkers
It’s probable that you’re not the only one being negatively affected by your bully. Talk privately with your coworkers and gather their opinions on the matter. If they’re feeling the same way you are, you can take a united stand against the bullying and work together to stand up to the bully.
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself against your bully is to keep a journal documenting all the incidents of bullying you experience. Write down what occurred, where, when, and if there were any witnesses. In the event that the bully tries to refute your claims of harassment, you’ll have documentation supporting your side of the story.
Talk to Your Boss or HR
When you’ve tried everything and the bully still won’t let up, it’s time to speak with your boss or human resources. Bringing the matter to their attention will hopefully bring about positive change.