How to deal with being bullied at work

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How to deal with being bullied at work

Bullying comes in all forms and it doesn’t just involve just children.

Bullying not only happens in school, it can happen at home and in the workplace.  It can happen to anyone of any age, in any place and in every type of situation.

Bullying in any form is not acceptable.

The most important thing to remember if you feel you are being bullied, you have done nothing wrong.

When a bully tries to make you feel bad, the problem lies with the bully, not you.  This is really important.  No matter how many times you are bullied, the bully is the weaker person in the situation, not you.

A bully looks for power and control over others.  It is a severe lack of something in that persons life that makes them behave badly towards others.

Key things to look for:

  • Being ignored: in the workplace or given the silent treatment by a co-worker or co-workers
  • Being mistreated: by a co-worker, supervisor or manager
  • Taking credit: someone else trying to take credit for your work
  • Dismissing/belittling you: or your efforts in front of others
  • Making fun: of you in front of others
  • Starting rumours: about you or involving you
  • Practical jokes: on you in front of others
  • Humiliation: any attempt of humiliating you in front of others
  • Undermining: you in anyway


  • The bully may feel threatened by you in terms of your skills and abilities at work
  • The bully could be jealous of your home life (if you give them that much information about you)
  • The bully may feel threatened by you if you are sociable person and they are not
  • The bully may feel threatened that your career is progressing whilst theirs is stagnant
  • The bully could be jealous if good things are happening around you

Follow these steps:

  1. Whenever you suspect you are being bullied, you should email yourself documenting the behaviour so that you have a clear and concise record of each event including who was present at each occurrence.  By sending yourself an email, it “locks in” the date and time of every incident.
  2. You can also use a dictaphone to keep exact notes or place your mobile phone on recording mode whenever you have an interaction with the person bullying you or whenever you report the bullying to a line manager.
  3. If at any time you feel you need counselling, click here.
  4. If you suspect you are being bullied, don’t give the bully too much information about yourself.
  5. Separate yourself from the bully and try to avoid them wherever possible.
  6. Confront the bully if safe to do so and tell the bully that their behaviour is unacceptable.
  7. If the problem persists tell someone about the problem (preferably your line manager). You may feel that this could make matters worse, but if you allow the bullying to continue, it WILL get worse.
  8. Your line manager should offer you guidance on your companies grievance procedure.
  9. If you decide to not go through the company’s grievance procedure and the bullying continues, report it again escalating it through the company’s grievance procedure.
  10. If you are unhappy with the outcome, escalate it to the most senior person at the company (CEO, Managing Director).
  11. If you remain unhappy, then leave.