Office Bullying – 5 Ways to Cope in a Hostile Work Environment

office bullying hostile work environmentMany working people spend more time at their workplaces than their own home, and see their colleagues more often than their own family. Therefore, it’s essential that life at the workplace is enjoyable.

However, office bullying does occur, whether intentional or not, and there are a number of ways you can cope in a hostile work environment. Here are 5 of the most effective.

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1) Have a Discussion

Many times, a worker may crack jokes and cause some offense, and then pass it off as friendly banter. They were probably the class clowns in school and carried it into their professional life. Usually, it’s just their personality and they don’t see anything wrong with it.

Unless you tell them that you’re not comfortable with what they’re saying then they won’t stop. They should be mature and professional enough to stop targeting you but if they don’t, then you can consider them to be an actual bully who gets kicks out of denting others self-confidence.

2) Counter-Attack

Bullies usually only target those who are vulnerable and who they perceived as weak. The quicker you get this notion out of their heads the better. If they throw a verbal assault in your direction, then counter attack this with your own comment. Not necessarily an insult, but say something that would at least make them think twice about targeting you next time.

Some bullies may try to intimidate you physically by squaring up to you or subtle actions such as putting their arm around you. This is threatening behavior from someone you don’t get along with. You shouldn’t back down and make it clear to them to not lay a finger on you, otherwise you’re liable to defend yourself.

3) Walk Away

Sometimes the best form of defense is to just walk away depending on the situation. Some may see it as backing down, especially the bully’s ego. Walking away is also a sign that you won’t get drawn into their battle, and they may just leave you alone.

On the other hand, you should be prepared if they continue to harass you. This kind of behavior is expected from individuals who gets a confidence booster from belittling others.

4) Notify Management

If you’ve already tried to resolve any problems that you’re having with your adversary, but they’re still making your life hell, then you can resort to notifying senior management.

They will have the power to at least prevent negative issues from taking place. However, before you make a complaint, you need to make sure that you give the bully a warning. They may just end up treating you better in fear of being reported.

5) Change Your Job

If all else fails, then your last resort and perhaps the best thing you can do is to move on. It takes courage to do this especially when you’ve been at your job for a long time, but if things aren’t changing for the better, then you need to take matters into your own hands.

Once you’ve made preparations to leave, then hand in your notice and make sure that you follow through on your word. Bullying at its worst can lead to extreme stress, depression and low self-confidence. Is any job really worth your health? At the end of the day, as soon as you separate yourself from the problem, the better you’ll feel.


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