7 in every 10 had been subjected to bullying at least once in life. From home to school, college to office, everyplace you may experience such incidents. And it’s not so pleasant to deal with.
Being put down repeatedly, mocked at, and insulted on a daily basis is something can literally make you depressed and helpless.
According to reports millions face such issues in their workplace. Some easily handle the situation while for others it becomes a nightmare. People usually decide not to deal with the one who bully but with his own self-respect. Some try to flee from the scene, while others just go home and burst out their feelings. Another category of individuals would themselves be involved in bullying as they progress. So in one way or the other, it may destroy your mind and behavior.
‘Getting medicine for tumor doesn’t necessarily reduce it, sometimes you need to remove it’ same goes here. Bullying at workplace had been subject to research for a long time especially among the mental health workers.
- Let’s look at a few research findings about bullying (at workplace)
- The majority of the bullies are men whose main target is women. For the female bullies, it’s other female coworkers whom they target.
- some of the bullies have been subjected to bullying at least once in life resulting in repressed emotions and anger.
- In most of the cases, bullies are the bosses.
- About 50% of the individuals subjected to bullying develop some psychological disorders like, clinical depression, panic attacks or even stress related disorders.
- Bullying personalities are the ones who are opportunistic and competitive. They tend to have high levels of achievement motivation.
- Bullying at workplace is more emotional and psychological as compared to school bullying which is more physical in nature.
How to deal with such situations?
1. Keep a record of it.
It is not at all pleasant to re-think of the situation but this might help you in the long run. Keeping a small record of all the incidents when you felt like been bullied, who did it and what was the trigger. Also try to mention the date and time so as to make the document more strong and sensible enough for others. Never try to ignore your instincts that you are been bullied, whenever you feel like just take a brief note of it. This will help you to identify such behaviors in future.
2. Take the first action: tell them to stop.
This may seem a daring task but this is what ought to be done. There is no harm in doing so. Try to be more assertive than aggressive. If you become more aggressive then it might increase the probability of such behavior in future because the person might get offended. Don’t forget to do that on the absence of others and if it’s a group that is involved make sure you tell them as a whole without any individual highlights.
3. Find out a witness, if any.
In most of the situations the person who reports such incidents might end up in trouble because they will not be having any evidence to prove their statement. So, it’s always better if there is a witness. In such incidents, first take your time and talk to the respective individuals about the issue and seek for help. It’s also important to consider things from their point of view because people might have the fear of losing job or other issues. So, the first step should be to take their consent.
4. Report to the HR or supervisor.
If things didn’t stop after talking to them personally, it is time to report it to the HR department or your higher-ups. Present the case in a healthy peaceful manner. Try to show all the evidence, your write ups and also the witness if any. Never suggest any action from your side, try to display your trust in your HR who might take the necessary actions. While presenting the issue never try to be highly emotional, it’s always better to be more logical and confident. If the bullying still happens then you have all the right to re- report it to the higher authority. You can even seek a legal help if necessary.
5. Take care of yourself.
It is very important to take care of your mental and physical health both inside and outside work. You can engage in small refreshment activities to elevate your mood. Try to spend more time in things which make you feel worthy and happy. More importantly try to develop more assertiveness in yourself. You can take aid from a professional if necessary. Rather than fleeing away from the bully develop the courage to speak up for your rights and self-respect. Stay calm and try to reduce your anger in provoking situations. When you feel happy and contented about yourself such incidents become meaningless to a large extent. So work on yourself.
6. Quit the job if nothing works.
Yes, you heard it right. If you have tried all the above measures and still it doesn’t work it would be better to quit the job and get placed somewhere better. You don’t always have to select the most difficult option, when an easy option is worthy enough. There are situations where people are ready to face any kind of misbehaviors because they want to be successful in their career. This will never bring happiness in life. As already mentioned in most of the cases it’s the boss who is the bully. So dealing with such a situation may not always be successful. Though you can seek a legal aid, it’s not always helpful and may be expensive.
Because everyone has the right to work in a situation which is safe and happy. Work may become painful and hectic but you should never tolerate such situations where you are humiliated and threatened. In most of the countries there are Anti-Bullying unions and helplines you can also seek help from such institutions.