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5 Hints to Beat the Workplace Bully

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by Therese B (subscribe)
Working in the travel industry & having shared some of my overseas adventures in the blogging world, I look forward to also sharing my experiences of what Brisbane & it's surrounds have to offer.
Published March 12th 2013
It's time to take control back from bullies
No Bullying Zone

Bullying, the act of using persistent aggressive or unreasonable behaviour against another individual, appears to be rife in today's world. Whether it be at school, in our personal lives, or in the workplace it can take place in many forms, be it a direct physical action or in a more indirect way.

What possesses a bully to act the way they do is something only they can truly answer. It may be envy due to something lacking in their own life, the need to control everyone and everything around them, prejudice due to cultural or religious reasons, or sometimes people are just generally unkind and manipulative and they take some perverse pleasure in trying to ruin someone else's day.

Workplace bullying not only affects the individual being targeted but can also affect the productivity and morale of the business, so it is in the interests of both that bullies are identified and dealt with in the appropriate manner. Sadly however, some workplaces do not seem to take the issue seriously and individuals are left to deal with the problem on their own.

With the National Day of Action Against Bullying coming up on Friday 15 March, and having tried to deal with my own private "hell in the office" for some time, I would like to take the opportunity to offer my few suggestions on dealing with the workplace bully.

1. Most important keep a record of everything. Dates, times, exactly what was done and said by both parties. Don't rely on your memory, and if the matter is taken further, this information will be invaluable.

2. If you feel confident enough, tell them calmly but firmly that their actions are not appropriate. Bullies will often back down when they are confronted and they realise you are not an easy target.

3. Ignore them. Bullies are waiting for a reaction, so don't give them the satisfaction of losing your cool over one of their malicious schemes.

4. Try to stay happy. As difficult as this may be, by keeping a smile on your face and acting as though nothing is wrong, the bully will not have their desired result of upsetting you. If permitted, quietly play upbeat music at your desk, or subscribe to a daily motivational quote. One I personally find brings a smile is "Notes from the Universe" by Mike Dooley.

5. Think of all the great things you have in your life. They're probably things that the bully has lacking in theirs.

I don't assume that the above suggestions are the answer to everyone's bullying issues, and may not go anywhere near solving the more serious bullying cases in workplaces, but I do hope they may provide a small bit of relief for some people out there. Maybe some readers have some constructive suggestions of their own.

To any bullies reading this article, take a good look at yourselves and ask why you resort to this behaviour, and try to fix those things that are wrong or missing in your life instead of taking the cowardly way out and making the lives of others miserable. Bullying is not acceptable and it is up to all of us to challenge it when we see someone becoming a victim.

For more information and help regarding bullying, refer to or the factsheet from the Human Rights Commission.
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Why? Because it's time to stop letting bullies try to take control.
Where: Workplace
Your Comment
Great piece, thanks! You are right to say that workplace bullying can be so hard to track - especially because it is not always qualified as "harassment." We've just published 11 types of workplace harassment. If you're interested and want to reduce it in your company, check it out:
by mhuss (score: 0|4) 974 days ago
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