Workplace Bullying: What It Looks Like, How to Deal With It

Workplace Bullying: What It Looks Like, How to Deal With It

Workplace bullying is no different than high school bullying. The bullies use the same tactics to discredit and destroy their victims—baiting, bashing and blaming, mobbing, rumor-spreading, and yes, even physical assault.

Just like school bullies, workplace bullies have a real flare for escaping accountability and doing their dirt covertly. They’re very convincing liars, skilled at the art of deception—superficial charm, kissing up to those in authority or with social capital, and using doublespeak and euphemisms to hide their wrongdoing.

In a nutshell, they’re sociopaths.

They’re sociopaths who are quite talented at making their victim look guilty by feigning victimhood themselves (crying, reasoning, rationalization, gaslighting, lying). And they’re good at it. Which is why you should always keep records of the bullying you encounter on the job.

Although I was bullied in school, when I was young I got along awesomely with everyone at work, I never had to deal with workplace bullying until I was in my late thirties and took a job at a nursing home. It felt as if I were back in high school again! There were the cliques there, just like in school, and there was nepotism, favoritism, and a vicious bias against those perceived as less than everyone else. The facility also had a ridiculously high turnover rate—a classic sign of rampant bullying in a workplace. Because I had already experienced it all in high school, I knew what to do. And was able to stay one step ahead of the bullies and come out of the situation unscathed.

You can survive a hostile work environment and come out of it a winner. Here’s the strategy I used:

  1. I knew my enemies. I stood back and observed. I watched everything that was going on around me without looking like I was watching. I used my peripheral vision instead of looking directly. I also paid special attention to others’ body language, tone of voice, facial expressions and eyes—you’d be surprised at what you can pick up on just by observing the people around you.
  2. I kept a low profile. Preferring to stay out of my bullies’ sights, I avoided the places they gathered and never did anything that could draw attention—”Out of sight, out of mind” as they say.
  3. I kept a log of any provocations or confrontations. This included a description of what happened, any specific things said, the date and time it happened, the names and titles of the people involved, and any witnesses.
  4. I saved any threatening texts and/or voicemails for evidence. There was even an instance when I used my cell phone to record an altercation started by the bully. As it happened, I stood my ground with her and kept my composure, making sure not to tarnish the recording by yelling or using foul language.
  5.  I never bragged about any evidence that I had. Most importantly (and this should go without saying), I never mentioned the evidence I’d collected against a work bully, not even to my best friend at work. This was how I overcame a HWE.

By watching my own back, I was able to stay there as long as I needed to get a few goals met. Then I quit the job and left on my own terms, moving on to a better work environment with wonderful and genuine people.

About the Author

Cherie White

Cherie White, both a writer and author, joined the team after being discovered by Brian through her own personal blog and through social media. She has been writing ever since she was ten years old and has a love for writing articles, short stories and novels. She became intrigued with the new Pyngby app because it helps victims pinpoint victims and their harassers for easy protection and litigation if need be. Because she experienced severe bullying from sixth grade until changing schools during her last year of high school, she has a passion for spreading bullying awareness and helping those who are bullied and abused today. Her goal is to bring down the suicide rate among bullied children, teens and young adults. Her debut novel, “From Victim to Victor” is available now at LuLu. Cherie looks forward to helping victims through Watchdog Creative.

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