We get one chance at being a kid, but we get several chances at being an adult. As an adult we can consciously change who we are or how we act. We can do this at any time in our lives. It is called growing, but we can’t grow backwards. I often find that people are surprised that adults bully other adults whether it is in a relationship, with family and friends, or in the workplace. Does it really matter? It does not change the fact that we are the example for the young generation. We are looked up too and mimicked often by children and young teenagers. If we are showing them that bullying behavior is acceptable, we are setting them up for a fall at some point.
Chances are if you are a bully in the workplace, you are a bully at home or with your partner as well. I find it hard to believe that a personality does a complete 180 once they walk out the doors of work, though it is possible. The workplace is about professionalism and working together. How can the workplace be successful and function as a team if you feel awkward, bullied, or harassed at your job. Most of us work because we have rent and bills to pay, families, and a plethora of other responsibilities. I am sure if the majority of population had a choice to make money and not work, they would. Who wouldn’t take that job? I can also say that I know people who are happy in their profession and it is not about the money, while others only stay at a job because of the pay and benefits. I personally want to be happy with what I am doing while I am doing it and choosing a career that I know am meant to be doing.
What happens when you have all that but are miserable due to a workplace bully? There are times that it might even be your boss or someone above you rather than just a co-worker. There are few things that can happen; however, most fear losing their jobs or having other issues outside of work if they speak out or stand up for themselves. It is a choice you will have to make based on what is best for YOU. Nobody should have to just deal with it, collect your paycheck, and go home and take it out on some innocent stranger, friend, or family member. This is often what happens. Work comes home with us just as we take home to work at times.
There can be a variety of reasons the workplace bully behaves as they do. We never know what people are privately going through, but that does not make it right or acceptable. Emotionally you will begin to breakdown or lash out at some point. Before this happens, take action. Here are a few of my personal tips:
- Go to someone higher up
- Sit down and try to have an adult conversation or mediation with them
- Always have a witness as you never know what a person will try to say happened
- Do nothing and take it (Not recommended)
- Talk to someone and make sure you have a support system behind you
- Find another job while keeping the one you have. I do not ever recommend quitting until you find another job unless you only have yourself you are taking care of and enough to get you by until you find something else. (I still recommend not leaving until you have a sure thing)
- Stand up for yourself in an appropriate way by letting the person know you are not taking it anymore. There are several ways to do this without taking it to extremes. They might be surprised and respect you for it…believe it or not.
When there is no winner in this and it is a hopeless situation, this is where you have to access what it is doing to you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Make a good decision, but take care of YOU when making it. There will be times a workplace bully gets completely out of control to where you want to explode. It is not a good idea to wait and let this happen. If the workplace bully takes it out of the workplace as well, which some do, than legal action may be needed. Legal action is always an option as new laws against bullying are always in the making.
Please also understand that we will all run into issues at work with co-workers, those above us, and even our bosses. The key is to maintain respect. An argument or disagreement is not bullying. There will be many times of frustration or resentment. The key is to let it go and release it and move on. There is no point on dwelling and harping on a situation. There will be times people in the workplace do not get along, so you have to know the difference between bullying/harassment and a one time occurrence. Sadly, people will not always like us, and that is their right. You can’t please everybody, but if it is not affecting your work and is not becoming a major concern, then just keep pushing on. I always say it is better to walk away from a no win situation and be the better and bigger person.
How many times have you became defensive and tried to make your point. It is banter back and forth and who has to have the last word. Next time that happens, think about how many minutes you will not get back wasting your time. Is it worth it? Probably not.
Please check out savemetubbyman.com as BKO has partnered up with them. This web series starring veteran comedians Mike Bocchetti and Ken Burmeister on Blip TV has a deep focus on work place bullying in a fun and comedic way.
Written by Dana Jacoviello: Founder, Manager, Writer, Cyber Bully Investigator, Motivational Speaker & Mentor/Coach of Bullies Keep Out (BKO) and host of podcast La Bella Vita