How To Handle Workplace Bullying: 3 Tips

How To Handle Workplace Bullying: 3 Tips
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bullying at the workplace is a targeted behavior that is harmful and happens at work. This behavior might be offensive, spiteful, intimidating, or mocking. It tends to happen to one individual or just a few people, hence, forming a pattern. As a result, half of the targeted people suffer from stress-related health problems. Bullying at the workplace can be physical, psychological, verbal, or online.  It could include blacklisting the targeted from future employment opportunities. Also, bullying can take any form of personal attacks that may appear to have little to do with your job or the environment at your workplace.

Bullying can involve coworkers sharing hurtful gossip about you, spreading rumors, and name-calling. Unfortunately, most people fail to report the abusive behavior for the fear of losing the job or retaliation.

Workplace Bullying Institute show 30% of employees suffer from PTSD due to how intolerable their working lives have become.” – Heidi Lynn Kurter, Business Coach & HR Consultant

Common types of bullying

Verbal. This may include gossip, humiliation, mockery, practical jokes and other spoken abuse.

Work-related performances. For instance, being wrongfully blamed, interference or work sabotage, taking or stealing credit for ideas.

Intimidating. This could include social exclusion, threats at the workplace, spying, or other invasions of privacy.

Institutional. This type of bullying happens when an institution allows, accepts, and even encourages bullying to take place at work. For instance, you may find that an organization has set unrealistic production goals, or forced overtime. Those who can’t keep up are singled out.

Retaliatory. When bullying is addressed at the workplace it could lead to refused promotions, further exclusion, lying and other retaliation.

Related: How and Why Workplace Ethics are Important

Workplace bullying may occur repeatedly over a while. However, early warning signs can vary. For instance:

  • Office culture like team lunches, parties or chitchat may happen and you are not included.
  • Co-workers might simply ignore you when you walk into a room, or even become silent and leave.
  • Your supervisor might ask you to do seemly pointless or difficult tasks and he/she knows you can’t get them done.
  • You might notice that important files, documents or even personal belonging going missing.
  • Your manager or supervisor might give you multiple tasks a give a limited deadline without a clear reason.

When these incidents frequently happen, you may be worried that you will be demoted or get fired. This may cause anxiety when at work or even on your time off. Therefore, to protect yourself from this kind of workplace bullying you can consider the following tips:

  1. Stand your ground– It might be difficult but let the bully know that you don’t appreciate the behavior and you are not going to tolerate it. Otherwise, if you are not the assertive type bullies might never stop.
  2. Document the behavior– Ensure that you have documented every action and where it happened, and the time of occurrence. Also, make sure that you have documented who witnessed the incident for the sake of proving it later.
  3. Try to understand– Sometimes the bully might be tormented more than you are. For instance, he/she might be going through divorce, bankruptcy or any other life crisis. However, understanding a bully may or may not solve the problem; it all depends on how you handle it.

These are just a few, but they can protect you from being bullied at the workplace.


Workplace bullying is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Let us take the necessary steps to prevent it from affecting targeted employees.

Workplace bullying is serious. Let’s take the necessary steps to prevent it from affecting targeted employees. #stopworkplacebullying Click To Tweet
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