What NOT TO DO When Being Bullied at Work

Updated on January 9, 2018
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Sharilee has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary. She loves using creative teaching methods to reach her students.

What Not To Do When Bullied At Work

What NOT To Do When Bullied At Work
What NOT To Do When Bullied At Work | Source

Bullying Doesn't Happen Only On The Playground

We are all adults here. We know about bullies at school: we may even remember incidents of bullying during our student careers. But when we graduate from school, and get jobs, we expect it to stop, right? We're grown up. How can anyone bully an adult?

The sad reality is, people can be bullied at any age and in any situation. The tactics may change but the behaviour is sadly not that different. Adults are bullied at their workplace on a regular basis. A study from the Economic and Social Research Institute, from Ireland in 2007, found that 7.9 % of adults had been bullied in the workplace in the last six months. A study conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute discovered that 35% of Americans had experienced workplace bullying, and an additional 15% had witnessed it happening to others, for a staggering total of 50% of people being involved in bullying, either as a target or a bystander.

I Was Bullied At Work

I have been bullied at work. For professional reasons, I don't feel comfortable sharing of all the details, but I can share what mistakes I made in handling the bully and what I learned. After doing a lot of research to understand my situation, and after much reflection, I saw that I made a lot of mistakes. I don't blame myself, because few of us are automatically equipped to deal with workplace bullying. We don't expect it, and it takes us by surprise. It is often only after going through it, that we gain a very painful education.

I learned from my experiences and I will share those lessons with you. Based on some of my own mistakes, I would like to share ten things not to do when being bullied at work. I hope that some of these strategies will be helpful for those who are now going through it, or have come out of a situation.

I want to stress that even if you are making, or made, all of these mistakes, don't feel bad. It's normal and these lessons are not designed to make you feel bad, but rather to help you feel hope. Here they are, ten things NOT to do when being bullied in your workplace.

Don't Blame Yourself

When someone attacks on a regular basis, we often start to feel that we deserve it, and that we did something to cause this behaviour towards us.
When someone attacks on a regular basis, we often start to feel that we deserve it, and that we did something to cause this behaviour towards us. | Source

1. Don't Blame Yourself

When we are bullied, we tend to think that it means we are not a good worker, or perhaps even not a good person. In other words, we start to believe the words that the bully is saying, or implying about us. We start to blame ourselves.

But please, REMEMBER THIS! You don't deserve to get bullied! No one does, but the bully wants you to think they you do. Don't give into the lies. No one is perfect, and if you are trying your best to do a good job, that is all anyone can ask of you.

If they are unhappy with some specific aspect of your performance, they are obligated to tell you in a professional, direct way, not to intimidate you into not believing in yourself.

According to this BullyOnline, a site from the U.K. devoted to helping with bullying, a target is often chosen because of their strength, not their weakness.

This goes against the stereotype of a culture of a victim being a weakling man on the beach having sand kicked in his face by a muscular winner, but I think there's a bit of truth in both paradigms.

First of all, the abuser is bothered by a strength he sees in his target that he does not have. Perhaps it's that she is more intellectual, or more organized. Then, the bully will be bothered by that strength, out of jealousy, and find a way to "get in" and bother that person.

So, there is a good chance you are actually being picked on because you are a good person, an honest person, a hard worker. Maybe people feel comfortable with you. It DOESN"T MEAN YOU ARE A BAD PERSON!

So, remember don't blame yourself. This is hard to do, but you have to try. This is a test of your emotional, mental and spiritual strength. It is not easy to be belittled, ostracized and called out for no reason. It's not easy but I do believe that we come out stronger from the experience.

What I Did -- I Thought It Was My Fault

When I was bullied, I blamed myself, constantly searching to see what I might have done wrong to provoke such attention from the person who had intimidated me.

This came from being insecure and tending to second-guess myself. Bullies often do sense when someone is sensitive and and target that vulnerability.

Because I was so busy second-guessing myself, I had few resources left to handle the attacks when they came.

It took me a long time to let that go, and believe in myself, again, but I do believe that my confidence now is stronger than it was before.

2. Don't Obsess About It

If you are experiencing work problems, it is sometimes very difficult to let things go. It is easy to go over and over in your mind, wondering why it is happening, and considering what you could have done differently.

This is a mistake. Obsessing about it takes away all your power, and makes you start to feel weak. This behaviour can also mean that you start to feel confused, wondering how much is your fault and how much is their fault.

An unwavering fixation on the problem can lead you into addictions, as you try to escape from what is happening. Recent parliamentary changes in Canadian laws acknowledged a connection between suicide and workplace bullying.

This moving article tells of the author's own experience with her father committing suicide from experiencing workplace abuse. There is no doubt that it is very hard to not fixate on it. In order to get out of the cycle, it is usually necessary to take some kind of action, either by getting intervention, receiving counselling, or doing something to confront your intimidator. Doing nothing leads to internalizing it more and more, sometimes being unable to control the feelings.

During your time off, try to stop thinking about it for a while, and focus on other things. You won't solve it by thinking about it day and night. If you have faith, I would also recommend prayer.

How I Obsessed About It

When bullying behaviour kept occurring at work, I could not get it off of my mind. I am naturally conscientious, and it really bothered me when someone did not seem to be pleased with my work.

I spoke about with my husband, to the point where he got tired of hearing about it, and I could not let it go. I became somewhat obsessed with the problems I was dealing with at work.

3. Don't assume things will get better.

It's often hard to know if it's really bullying or if it's just normal work relations. But if you really are being bullied at work, there's a very good chance it won't get better. The dynamic has been set up, and there is a good chance it will continue until some action is taken to stop it.

Many bullies are serial offenders, which means that they will choose one or two people to target, and keep bullying that person until they are forced to stop, or find a better target. If it wasn't you, they would have to find someone else, because it's part of their make up.

It is their problem, which means it is natural for them. The only motivation for them to stop will be when someone proves that they refuse to be bullied, or another person forces them to stop. In fact, it will likely get worse as the harasser becomes more confident in her ability to get away with inappropriate behaviour.

How I Assumed Things Would Get Better

As a natural optimist, I did not want to believe that I was being bullied. I figured it was just the flush of a new job, a temporary state, that would end soon.

It didn't end. In fact, it got worse as time went on. I allowed small things in the beginning, and so bigger liberties were taken.

Always Document Everything

Don't forget to document the things that you go through when you are in a bullying situation.
Don't forget to document the things that you go through when you are in a bullying situation. | Source

4. Don't Fail To Document

Documenting your experience is the NUMBER ONE thing to remember when dealing with a bully at work. If you don't keep track of what is happening, then in the eyes of the law, and other people, it didnt' happen.

The only hope you have of ever confronting the issue in any formal manner, is to show what happened. You can only do that through documenting every incident, even if it is small, so that you can show the pattern of what is happening.

This article tells you more about how to document incidents as they happen. You need to write it down if you are going to ever be able to get help, or even prove that it was happening. There is now even an app to help in the documenting process called BullyProofAssistant.

This is important for whatever you decide to do. If you try to fight it through Human Resources, they will need a written record of what was happening. If you go to a lawyer or your union, they also will need to see documentation.

Even if you decide not to pursue recourse, you will rest easier knowing that you could, if you wanted to. Documentation is even good for your mental well-being, as you can view evidence that you have not been making these things up.

How I Failed To Document

The single biggest mistake I made when enduring my bullying is that I failed to document what was going on until it was too late.

I had a feeling in the back of my head that I should have been writing some of these things down, but denial is easy to fall into. I kept thinking, "it's not that bad," until I could no longer deny it.

When I went to talk to people who might be able to help me, they all wanted to see my documentation, and mine was not consistently taken. Therefore, they weren't able to help me.

How To Document Properly

When documenting inappropriate behaviour, do so in a non-emotional way. Keep your notes terse and to the point. Leave out big explanations of how it made you feel: just write down what happened. Here are two examples, one of how not to document, and one of how to document.

How not to document bullying: Oh man, my boss was so mean to me today! She would not get off my back, and I felt like she liked me less than all the other girls in the office. I can't stand it when she always picks on me for no reason. I felt like crying when she spoke to me so rudely. She actually had the nerve to ignore me during the staff meeting! It makes me wonder if my suggestions are no good, or if she just doesn't like me because I might get the next promotion.

How to document bullying: April 11, 2012: This morning I finishing up some paper work, when my boss came into the office and came directly to my cubicle and asked loudly, "what are you doing, Cynthia? You should be keeping busy even when I am not around." She said this in a serious tone that did not indicate a joking manner. She then walked away.

At 2:00 p.m., during the staff meeting, I brought a suggestion about hiring a person for the summer and she ignored me, and immediately started talking to another staff member. When I tried to bring it up again, she did not respond to my request at all, and asked a question of someone else.

5. Don't Allow "Secret Meetings"

I found out this one from a friend that worked as a warden for many years at a prison. He told me that you should never allow any meeting to take place without having a paper trail of it. So, if your boss pulls you aside for a "secret meeting," insist that you receive an e-mail outlining everything that happened during the meeting.

If your boss neglects to do this, then send him a e-mail outlining everything that happened in the meeting, and ask him to confirm. In some cases, you may also want to send a CC to someone else in the company, such as someone in the HR department.

Of course, this is not necessary for small detailed assignments, but if anything is said regarding your performance, changes to company policy, or anything else that seems important, you need to have it documented. Otherwise, if you act on what you are told in the meeting, and there is no record, you could have your head on the chopping block.

This is absolutely crucial, and anyone in HR knows that they are responsible for the things they say to employees. If you have been privy to a "secret meeting," there is a good chance they are trying to get away with something.

Another tactic of workplace harassment is to actually leave people out of workplace meetings that they should be invited to. If this happens, keep a record of the meeting, when it happened, and why you should have been invited.

How I Allowed Secret Meetings

When I went through my bullying situation, I often heard about decisions, policies and even my position, through private one-on-one meetings, which were not recorded.

Therefore, later on, I could not prove it to anyone that these meetings had happened.

Now I know that any meeting that affects my job or my position should be documented, especially if bullying has already occurred.

6. Don't Allow Yourself To Be Intimidated

This is the hardest thing to do when someone is trying to intimidate you: to not be intimidated. But just remember that if someone is trying to intimidate you, it is aggression. They are doing it deliberately. They think they can intimidate you.

Just remember that you have just as much right to be at that workplace as they do. You were hired to do a job, and have been given legitimacy by being hired. Even if the person is your supervisor or has been there longer than you, they don't have the right to make you feel small or less.

Don't allow the inappropriate behavior. It the bully says something that is clearly not in line, acknowledge it and address the inappropriateness in a polite but firm tone.

Of course, it it important to distinguish between warranted discipline by the boss and inappropriate action. If you need to do better or get your work done better, your supervisor has the obligation to let you know. But she does not have the right to watch you constantly for mistakes, call you out loudly in front of other employees or insult you personally.

There is a lot of information about how to deal with bullies, each with its own viewpoint. The site, KickBully.com, outlines how to understand the bully, and in essence, beat him at his own game. Other sites, such as BullyOnline, focus more on getting outside intervention with your problem.

Whichever way you go, plan your approach and make a promise to yourself that you will not allow this to go on indefinitely. You will either learn to confront, and communicate with the harasser in a way that is effective, you will try to get outside help, or you will leave. It is intolerable to not to do anything for too long.

I Was Intimidated

For those of us raised to be "nice girls" or maybe "nice boys," workplace harassment can come as quite a shock to us. When it first started to happen, I did not know what to do.

I had been raised to be obedient to your boss, and to not rebel against authority. I honestly didn't know what to do because I knew it was wrong, but did not have the tools to deal with this. So, I did nothing. I let this person intimidate me.

What I should have done was to document it, and then taken some kind of action. I should not have allowed that, because it opened the door for other incidents of disrespect.

If I was ever put in a similar situation today, I would want to take action right away. Even though my personality still makes it difficult to confront someone like this, I know that allowing it will only let it get worse.

7. Don't isolate yourself

One of the bully's tactics will often be to isolate you from fellow workers by encouraging gossip about you, by allowing fellow employees to bully you, as well.

As you become more and more of the obvious target in the workplace, other employees may feel that it is not in their career's best interest to align themselves with someone that the boss doesn't like. You may lose people you thought were friends.

The important thing to do, is not give in to this. Keep your relationships with co-workers as strong as you can. You may lose some "friends," but keep the real friends close to you. Let them know what is going on, without going on and on about it, but acknowledge that it happening. You need support during this time.

You may be tempted to cut yourself off because the harassment is making you feel bad about yourself, but don't succumb to those feelings. Fight through and keep the friendships strong.

I Was New

I was new to the system, and therefore had not built up any alliances of my own. This is one of the hazards of being new.

8. Don't Wait Too Long To Ask For Help

Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you are going through this type of experience, you may feel embarrassed to ask for help, and that is understandable.

But don't wait too long to ask for help, because the longer you wait, the more beaten down you can start to feel. It's better to ask for help early on, so that you can learn your rights, and also know that you are not alone.

Possible people to talk to are your Human Resources department of your company, a wise friend, a counsellor or a pastor. This excellent article by Patty Inglish MS. gives excelllent advice in dealing with the bully and also brings up using the EAP services at your company, or your union.You may also consider talking to a lawyer about your rights.

Asking for help can be problematic, too. You don't always know if they will be willing to stand up for you. Sometimes HR departments are part of the problem, too.

Also, if someone tells you that you don't have a case, don't take their word for it. Try talking to another person, because you don't know if they perhaps are not knowledgeable, are afraid to cause waves, or are part of what is happening.

But whatever you do, get help as soon as you realize that it really is happening. In this situation, waiting does not benefit. You need to bolster your strength by getting support while you still have your confidence left. After continued harassment, it is harder to reach out.

I Was Told I Had No Recourse

In my case, I reached out to my union and was told that I had no recourse. Later on, I talked to that same union, but a different individual, and he said that the first person was incorrect. I lost valuable time and did not get the help I needed.

I did finally reach out to several people, but by that time, I was emotionally worn down, and not documented enough to prove everything. Reaching out sooner could have made things a lot better for me.

Take Care Of Yourself

Take care of yourself if you are suffering from workplace abuse.
Take care of yourself if you are suffering from workplace abuse. | Source

9. Don't Forget To Take Care of Yourself

When a person goes through the experience of workplace harassment, it is very emotionally taxing. A person can feel confusion, high stress, doubt, anger and helplessness. To deal with this power keg of emotions, it is extremely important to take care of yourself even more than you usually do.

When faced with stressful situations, some of us turn to addictive behaviours, others may experience family conflict, or use escapism to get their mind off it. These are all negative ways of dealing with stress, and hurt more in the long run.

Try to eat right, take some time for some exercise, and do some things that you enjoy. If the boss is piling extra work on you, don't let it consume your whole life. Take a break.

Take time with your family and friends, and talk to them about what is happening, too. This is an excellent article that talks about self-care when being bullied.

I Gave Into Emotional Eating

During the time of being bullied at work, I felt extreme stress and found it hard to take time for myself.

I gained weight from eating emotinoally and failing to exercise. I turned to the addiction of food. This did not help the situation, and only made me feel worse.

10. Don't Stay Too Long

The decision of whether or not to stay in a harassment situation is a very personal one. If you are willing to stay and fight it in whatever way that is advisable, then perhaps you will be able to make a difference with your actions. You can't change the bully himself, but you may be able to shine some truth into what is happening, and help stop it from happening to other people.

If the situation is getting to you, though, don't stay too long. Your health and well-being is more important than money. Don't let yourself get so beaten down that you lose your confidence for the next job. This is your decision, but listen to what your body is telling you. If you are always stressed, with no relief, your body may be telling you that it's time to move on.

I Left The Situation

In my case, I chose to leave the situation. I could have stayed and tried to change things, but I found the emotional toil had been too high. I needed to get out and to recuperate.

Everyone has different strengths. You have to look at what you are called to do. If you have tried to fight it and haven't received support from the superiors, you may not choose to go any further with it.

Whatever you decide, please know that it is possible to get over the trauma that can occur from workplace bullying, and feel good again. And I think it is comforting to know that you are not alone, by any measure. I think the more we all start to talk about this travesty that happens daily in our workplaces, the better off we will be.

© 2012 Sharilee Swaity


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      Christen Hammock 9 days ago

      I’m dealing with this right now at work. I feel like I am being targeted and I haven’t done nothing wrong. I feel my GM has turned people away from me and I’m getting mistreated by everyone. This has caused severe emotional distress. What do I do??? I can’t quit because of my bills. I’m emotionally and mentally drained!

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      Jean Thomas 2 weeks ago

      I really like your advise. I am being bullied by a co-worker. This has been going on for the better part of a year. I blame myself because I said something to her, I thought in jest, which hurt her feelings. I apologize twice immediately when I saw her hurt. I wish I could take it all back

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      GOUTAM DANDAPATH 2 weeks ago

      Gave me a job to do any work, but I could not do it. Now I told him to give back the money but it will take time, he is not listening to me? I am threatening to take legal action

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      Not going to take it 3 weeks ago

      I am being bullied at work. All females, except one male. The new supervisor wanted all of the workers to tell our director things that our clinical manager was doing that were basically racist bullying to three coworkers. This supervisor told me she was 'protecting' these particular coworkers. I guess so, because now I am the one that is having the work load doubled on me because these three co-workers know that the supervisor protects them. I am ignored by my clinical manager and director now. I am just going to quit, because I don't have time for the nonsense. They can find another idiot to put up with the backstabbing and what not.

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      NC 3 weeks ago

      I will try not to blame myself for being bullied by my coworker. Thank you for the advise.I was crying and couldn't have a sleep last night. I work at a small office and the management always solves things in the way they want to. In the past, several employees filed for the workplace harassment but everyone, except for the one who is a daughter of HR, was fired later for wrongful accusation or some other made-up reasons. If you are close to the management or a superstar at work, they will always protect you. The person who is bullying me is a superstar and harasses me without being noticed by anyone. If I make any action, I will be fired. It's been very hard in Calgary to get a job. I have submitted resumes to many companies for over a year, but I was never called for an interview. I wish I could quit my job...

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      Feeling sad 3 weeks ago

      I work in the mall And I have a guy that works in a store next to me he is bullying me laughing with other people when they wallk next to me pointing and laughing at me and Yelling Racist things at me even throw on me pennies and I told the mall about it and the mall said that as long as he's not hitting me then hes not doing something illegal and they don't do nothing about it.. so what I can do?

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      Mm 3 weeks ago

      Thank you so much... i had a similar situation and it has affected every part of my personal wellbeing and confidence. I need to step up and not let it affect me.

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      Amber Jeanette Gardner 4 weeks ago

      I was an abused kid. Got into a lot of trouble. At 21 I was assaulted and it resulted in a head injury (longer story). I was on disability for 7 years and I wanted a job. I messed up my first job royally. Lasted about 2 months because I was still so sick. About 6 months later I found another job at a fast food restaurant and it became a huge nightmare.


      had two people throw punches at me, two different women grab my by the throat, I was sprayed me with cleaner, sexual harassment. I was mercilessly harassed by some and given the cold shoulder from others. One after the other after the other after the other. Sometimes it's was mobbing, sometimes it was individual.

      I'm still there 6 years and 4 months later. I had an anxiety attack the other day which I'd never had before. A real one. I thought I was having a heart attack after yet another confrontation with a another co-worker. Today, had a young lady come in and she could not be bothered to speak to me. She stormed away from me knocking equipment into the floor and leaving it there after DARING to ask if she would bring up some cups. I'm a manager.

      I'm finally done. 6 years and 4 months of non-stop straight torture, I am done. I toughed it this long thinking it would just follow me anywhere I go, but I have to take that chance.

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      PiRho 7 weeks ago

      Hi. The harassment at work is definitely nobody wants.From what I have seen, on your part, if someone is doing to you what you consider is bullying or inappropriate behavior, one of the first top strategies is to call them to the side and professionally express you don't appreciate, and would like a stop a specific sequence of actions that you deem in appropriate. If you are introvert by nature it can be daunting, but you can do it. One VERY effective method, if you are too nervous asking about it, send an email to them detailing everything you have observed, and how uncomfortable it is for you, and that you would appreciate if they stopped. 98% of BULLIES will swiftly disappear and not bother you again, because there is written evidence right there. Confronting the person in question does not necessarily mean you standing there to rationalize or argue with them. If you really nervous, then prepare the sequence messages you want to make to have them stop the undesirable, and to so very clearly and briefly, and then walk away, and DO NOT NEGLECT follow up with an email clearly stating the behavior you find deplorable. If after a verbal confrontation, or written one does not stop the action, you may send another more forceful one, making it perfectly clear that any further harassment will prompt you to go to management. They likely will disappear, and if not, submit your written and etc. Oh another thing too is that if your email system contains read receipts send your message and clearly express the fact you need an acknowledgement that they have read your message, and indicate that given no read receipts you are going to go and personally report them, and very likely you will be OK thereafter.

      I am being personally harrassed by managers, who are trying to pressure me to quit, or to fabricate evidence. I do send myself amendments to continuously update the memorandum that and again reply to myself, then a progressive written record develops. It has gotten quite bad, I fired at them end professionally spelt out precisely what they are embarking on. Good luckn and hope the problem is resolved so you can proceed with your work in peace and not feeling uncomfortable, once the bad behavior towards you gets halted one way or the other.

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      Cath 2 months ago

      Thanks for your insight. I a female, I work in an all male environment. They are all great, except for one who recently started. I had no idea what I was about to experience was gonna effect me in the way it does. Telling lies, manipulation, playing us all off with each other, and now he's saying he's being bullied?? I wrote anonymous letters to HR because of his behaviour, his sexual, sleazy conversations which I felt uncomfortable with. But I was the one who got all the fleck. As he denied everything and I was put on probation. He is now telling lies about his home life so he doesn't have to do certain things. I find this so frustrating as he was, and is be believed over me and everyone else who has put in complaints about him. In all my years working there I have never came across the like. I love my job, get on with everyone and I don't want to leave. Please help.

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      Caroline 2 months ago

      Thank you for this very important article and sharing your story and resources. So much appreciation.

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      Fear of lusing my Job. 2 months ago

      How many documents do I need of bulling belittling bosses in CAL-Trans . Their has already been 3 deaths from insensitive behavior to full on bulling from bosses to upper management. I need help to stop the murder suicide to (Caltrans Lead Worker public hanging suicide. 1-18-18)

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      ALEXANDER 3 months ago

      As mentioned another very important factor is the secret meetings, always, always follow up to the person with a recap of your secret meeting with that person, what happened, who said what, ect..and cc any and all important relevant people. Again the more the merrier, the more people involved, the more the why birds fly down as to why did u not do something about this harassment. NOBODY really wants to be involved in harassment suites, terrible for your job references, and any hint of harassment either for or against you, can sink you into the land of unemployment forever. Harvey Weinstein yeah he is a bonus for those who are rich, and powerful and have tons of lawyers, which most do not have in the real world.

      If you are dealing with multiple managers, supervisors ect who are harassing you, go one at a time, remember those wild animal vidoes, have you ever seen another zebra rush into the water to protect the other zebra against the alegator, helll no never. Same approach at work, one at a time, people will back away and will not want to be involved or risk their jobs, too back a harrassing boss, female or male, and yes chicks do it just as bad as the guys, just in a harassing way more than sexual...

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      ALEXANDER 3 months ago

      Interesting articles as it has become a high pattern of female on female bullying at work. Canada is rated as the 6th worst country for allowing bullying and harassment at work. I have seen 11 women turn there backs on one woman who was being harrassed by her male boss. 11 women so it tells you its both ways kiddies whether u like the reality or not. First of all document everything and I mean everything and send it to your private email, or copy it to take home with you. CC your supervisor so now he or she is involved and the why birds will ask him or her, why they did not do anything?? Secondly, NEVERRRR GO TO HR.. they will do nothing for you except try to get rid of you, HR never helps anyone period.

      CC your supervisor about everything let them do their jobs that is what they get paid for, if they give you a hard time, cc other managers in your department, and even more if necessary, the more the merrier.

      Your evidence will be key, as all HR fear lawsuites in this now the day of Harvey Weinstein and yes Oprah did know, but waited until some poor little woman had the guts to set this all about. It sickens me that so many women in power knew, but did nothing.

      Yes some people will say goodbye to you at work but its better to be feared that liked, for like can turn to hate very quickly. With all that evidence docmented, all professional no emotional stuff, and names ccd, they will fear lawsuites but like any prison environment you will get respect and will keep your job, while your harassing manager, boss, ect will be let go. PROTECT YOURSELF, DO NOT GO SILENT

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      danell 3 months ago

      I am women working in kind of a mens world the security industry. Ive been here for almost a year now and from my fisrt day i was indimitated. But specifically by one idiot this idiot were just an controller like myself but he got promoted to a coordinator and since then he really made it hard for me to get up every morning and come to this dreadfull place. Others will make the same joke as myself then itds fine but when I do he isolates me from the whole team. Sometimes I dont even talk to him or would come to work being polite and friedly he would still isolate me. Our useless hr does not want to hear compliants. Ive become so depressed that I lose my apitite and sense for humour and I dont want go in public. I do not know what to do anymore I cant just quite this job I need the money.

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      Hearhrr 3 months ago

      Sorry, I forgot to add to that comment, that I’m only 18 very shy and don’t tend to stand up for myself


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      Diana Butt 3 months ago

      Am I being bullied. ...

      I’m currently been working in my work place for 2 years.

      My manager has been picking up on my work standards, making faults claims that I’m not doing my work correctly. Within the past four months I’ve received 3 written warnings for things I haven’t done, without any evidence that they’ve been done.

      My “apparent” mistakes have been highlighted on the public staff notice board.

      Photos of mistakes have been taken, blamed onto me, undated or timed, so I cannot confirm if I was actually at work on that date.

      She constantly picks on me but no others.

      I feel totally humiliated, hate going to work

      I am currently awaiting a disciplinary for something she claims I’ve done but has no evidence


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      Lisa 4 months ago

      I was bullied in a factory from 2003 to 2005 many years back it was verbal abuse name calling back stabbing and being screamed at by two work colleagues I didn't report this due to the shame and embrassment I'm not a confident person and ended up with very ill health due to this. I ended up having a nervous breakdown in 2009 and left working in the factory. I since had a volunteer job which I loved but the supervisor also had bullying tactics to me she insulted me in front of others and public huminated and degraded me about my weight and the size of my chest. I had another breakdown soon afterwards I reported her to the manager about her unapproiate words and bullying behavior no action was taken against the supervisor I thought it was unprofessional and degrading what she said to me. I had to go back on sick because of this. No body should be degraded or public huminiated no matter who you are. It brought back the bullying episode many years before. I've not work since I now suffer from panic disorder and anxiety

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      Jill 5 months ago

      This is a great article, especially the App recommendation. I am in HR and will be recommending this to the employees in my organization.

      Bullying happens at all levels in organizations, sadly I haven't been exempt.

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      Sana 5 months ago

      Tori, so true that is what happened to me and after 2 years it is still happening..

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      Gina 5 months ago

      Thank you for your article it was great reading really opened my mind.

      I have just experienced workplace bullying to its worst kind to the point of not going back. The anixety and mental stress on my health is very draining and loss of sleep is

      Very tiring.

      The hard part is the dishonesty and the negative remarks that are made.

      The isolation was deafening to the point of suicidal thoughts. I spent a lot of my days on my own people were ignoring.

      Thanks again for listening

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      innerseeker 5 months ago

      I came from a foreign country 11 years ago. I had been working almost 9 months at this immigration attorney firm before I was fired for complaining the bullies. I did the accounting job and manage the contracts, etc., didn’t handle the clients’ cases. I was nice and respectful to everyone at work but still became the target of workplace bullying. The firm is very good at bullying. The bullies know who the target is and actively to do this. When I just started working, I was told the boss did yelling and name calling toward the employees.

      I will mainly tell about what the most bullying person and the CFO did to me. The bully is also an immigrant like me. He accused me of the “errors” which I proved by emails I had sent addressing the issues before that I had taken care of the issues and these are not my fault. He also let me correct other staffs’ errors, confused responsibilities. He sent me the emails about the questions are not specific; I had to spent much more time to figure out. I pointed these issues out to him; this made him and the CFO unhappy. Then they picked on me much more harder. He once said to my boss in front of me that his prior employer had said if the employee did not fit in the culture, let he or she go and they can get cheaper and better one. The boss trusts him very much.

      I got my bachelor degree on accounting two years ago and graduated as an honor student. I cherish this job very much. I know people value the team work in this country, but not in this firm. I did the work very carefully and try to be professional and cooperative. I did what I was asked to do, such as substitute the receptionists while they are at lunch, and do some translation when they needed. I wish if I do perfect, they cannot pick on me and can reduce the abuses. Because I can prove myself I am competent person and not let the bully accuse me of the errors he made up and was impossible for me to make. The CFO, another bully, who just works at the firm two days a week, was also angry with me. She blamed me of having problem of communication. She didn’t know and was reluctant to learn that how many emails I sent and how I reached out persons to resolve the issues. When I sought the communication with her, she was angry with me and blamed me of working like a robot.

      The situations got escalated two weeks ago. After the weekly meeting, I received an email from the bully. He let me to go upstairs and bring the boss’ note he gave to me the night before. The boss was waiting for us. I don’t know exactly what the notes mean and ask him that evening; he said he didn’t know either. But I cannot find the notes which should be on my desk then. I looked at everywhere including rest room and kitchen. But no found and I have to go to meet them without the note. When I came to the upstairs, he was sitting with our boss. He showed me the note. And I felt relief and also weird. How can he get this in my office without acknowledging me? And I said, “I look everywhere for it.” The boss saw me and got up and left. The bully pointed at the contract that client signed and asked me what happened to the contract.” I looked at the contract and try to answer his questions with the possible answer I can think of without knowing what he really want to know, because this question is not specific again. I had to show him my cooperative to prevent from inducing any conflicts and being humiliated by him. At the end of my answer I said I still needed check the System which used to record the contracts to figure out. Because I opened so many cases, without checking the system, I had no way to answer whatever his question is. He seemed he didn’t listen to my answer and continued to draw a timeline to illustrate the period of time during which what happened to the contract. It seemed like I didn’t understand his question. He also became more rude and aggressive and raised his voice. The question doesn’t make any sense. I feel like I was interrogated like a criminal. I said what’s wrong with you, I told you I need to check in the system and then can answer you. He was absolutely furious and glared at me standing up and left. I asked for the papers about case and want to check in the system. He didn’t give to me. We went back to offices separately. He gathered the other two staffs in accounting department to talk to them. I was asked to join them later. Till then, I was told what the problem really was. The issue is that a paralegal said she didn’t get the folder I created and put on the ledger under her name. What a big deal? I can just simply search my emails to find out if I had sent this case to her by email. If I did, I can pretty sure I had gave the folder to the paralegal because the email sent was based on the folder created, designed by work process. They suggested me to get the signature list from the receipents from now on to prevent this from happening again. This has been first time happened since I started working here. It was very weird. The CFO also joined us. Without asking what the issue was and began to teach me her “gravity theory”. She concluded because the accounting department is at the half basement floor, the lowest level of the building, we need to bear the weight (Pressure) from second floor (where the clients are received) and third floor (where the paralegals and attorneys are working) due to the gravity theory. What an explanation of the great theory! Who does she want to bear the gravity? Obviously it is me. She wanted me got bullied, criticized by anybody would like to. I stopped her and said I would discuss the issue with another member of the department who are the sister of the boss. I have been asking her whenever I had some questions and seek the help from her before, given the CFO worked two day a week here. The CFO said not to talk this with her and this is for your safe. I said I didn’t think not speaking up was for my safe.

      I talked to my boss’ sister when she came. I said I wanted to sue and complain about the bully. What he had done to me is bullying. This affected me very much that I cannot concentrate to work and fell upset. I told her the process of the incident. I said I couldn’t allow him to do this to me again. And I think this conflict shouldn’t have happened. I didn’t want this happened. I just would like him to treat me like a person and fairly. He absolutely can be straight forward to me and let me know what happened or what I need to do, instead of interrogate me like a criminal, to humiliate and sabotage me like this. She let the CFO joined us to discuss together. The CFO accused me of stopping her to speak. I said she is bias. She was reluctant to learn how the bully had been treating me and just accused of me. She said this is the culture. She was born here. She knows. I told the boss’ sister about her Gravity theory, about her intimidating me not to tell for my safe and calling me working like a robot. I told the CFO I didn’t take this. The CFO said it was true and I shouldn’t work here. I said I did nothing wrong, Why? The boss’ sister said the bully do these to me because of his male chauvinism personality. Can this be an excuse? I ask what the culture they want me to fit in? What on earth they need me to do? No answer. The CFO asked me if I communicated this way with my husband at home. I told her I don’t want to talk about this. She blamed me of not letting her speak. But the topic she raised I really cannot talk about. I think her question is not relevant to the bullying problem we were talking about. She got mad with me and left. The boss’ sister finally agreed to talk with the bully.

      Another morning, I met with the bully and told him if he ever took things from my office again, I would call the police. He sent an email to the accounting department and said he had just wanted to be proactive about the boss’ question, this would not happen again. But he required me to write down what I just said. I ignored him. I just wanted him to take this seriously. Later I talked to the boss’ sister and told him I say so to him just let him know I was not OK with his bad behavior. I wish he could change because this was

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      Tara 5 months ago

      I'm currently in this situation... My Office mate does everything that she can to portray herself as a sweet woman who would never harm a fly. But she likes to gossip and bash people behind their backs all the time. After a particularly bad week of her doing this type of stuff and then deciding that I was her personal yes-man I told her that I just want a professional relationship and some space from her. She's spent the last 3 months filing complaints against me, convincing everyone at work that I'm a bully, and isolating me as best as she can. I'm lucky that I have a few people here who just don't buy it and a few more who know what she's like. But that being said... I am looking to leave and she is the sole reason.

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      Human.1 5 months ago

      I have worked for a governmental social services agency for over 20 years. Up until a year ago, I have had very positive performance evaluations and received kudos from many work associates.

      One year ago, A woman I hired about 10 years earlier became my boss. Since that time, I have been investigated for personnel actions 4 times I am at the end of a process that will most likely result in being fired.

      My new supervisor and 3 of my peers (all female) have been making allegations which are either completely false or greatly overstate reality. They have had "secret meetings" I have even had a couple of staff members tell me I was being mobbed. It has become clear that our HR department is complicit.

      I was sent home (paid) for almost two months and was never told exactly what I had done although there were whispers about my threatening someone and have a gun in my car (completely false).

      My last investigative interview lasted over 3 hours and took on the tone of the Spanish Inquisition.

      I have hired an attorney and filed complaints with Human Rights and EEOC. These agencies are SLOW to act.

      I have been having cardiac and gastric problems as well as headaches. As a social service professional, It amazes me just how horrific these people are being and the extent to which they will go.

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      Renee 6 months ago

      Thank you so much for posting this article - it is so helpful for me since I have just had my first workplace bullying / harassment experience.

      Fortunately, I chose to exit the job and am now away from the harassment and the toxicity of the environment the manager creates; however, I have been personally and professionally affected negatively by it! While it is likely my career and reputation may never be the same again; I am hopeful I will get back to being strong, confident me again! It is articles and comments such as these which are helpful to me in trying to make sense of the experience so I can heal and get off the emotional rollercoaster I have been on this year. What a ride it has been and this gal will be glad to see it end!

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      Shaniqua Jones 6 months ago

      Bullies are mean :(

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      Karmer 6 months ago

      I remember someone who was a bully back in my school days - unfortunately he was my team leader on the job i had - he tried to turn all my work colleagues against me and made me think that i couldn't do my work properly - i knew if i left my job they would of won - so i gritted my teeth and lasted till the end of my training - i made a complaint about my team leader and he was then demoted from his position, i heard he was so angry and humiliated and it served him right.

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      Tiffany 6 months ago

      Yesterday I made a mistake at work (im a cashier) and the customer was making a payment and she handed me a $100 bill but once I had put in she wanted to make a $100 dollar payment she then said it was actually $30.. I was furious. That now counted as a loss towards the store and it technically was MY fault.

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      Samantha 7 months ago

      True bullying doesn't help workplace morale and efficiency. Hazardous to the employee's health and also their livelihood, especially if the employee is a healthcare provider !!!!!

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      ME 7 months ago

      I need to do something about it, is being very stressful all over...

      I would like to find a strong lawyer that would like to help me , not just for me.

      Has been out of control for while... I'm still there for reasons ... " being mobbed is painful "

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      Prestin Johnson 7 months ago

      I'm suffering from a bully like I used to be. I used to be really good at my job and so I would expect my peers to listen to me even though I wasn't the boss - I didn't understand that concept of "boss" which really just means the person everybody on the crew reports to. When you are the rookie, it's good to be given the Faith that you're going to try your hardest, and that eventually you're going to be just as good as them. Everybody goes through a learning stage but when you're struggling and aren't realizing their help is needed and helpful sometimes you think it would be better without them - even though in their own way they're contributing. You just don't know how! I appreciate greatly this post - you really addressed it well, thank you!

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      Candace 7 months ago

      My bully is my boss, which therefore the other employees follow suit. I have been here 4 years and it has been the same since day 1. I am afraid to stand up for myself because I have a family to provide for and cannot afford to lose this job, especially in this economy. I am also pregnant which seems to be treated like a sin since my boss doesn't have children and makes very blatant and insulting remarks about how children are terrible, disgusting, stupid and so on.

      I want to do something about it. I learned how to document incidents through this article. So thank you. It will hopefully prove to be useful in the future.

      There is also a lot of very good advice as well. Thank you.

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      Jean 8 months ago

      Thank you for the article, the 10 strategies are useful tools to keep in mind.

      It is sad to see so many bulling incidents happen around world in every corner of our workplaces.

      The bullies use isolation to seperate the victims from the group. The bullies often develop a support group around them, it makes almost impossible for someone not align with them to obtain a job let alone to survive.

      The bullies want reaction from you, so keep calm and not react to their pathetic play.

      The bullies want to win and gain power.

      Look after yourself. Expend your support network outside of your workplace.

      Keep your goal in mind and plan exit.

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      Sue McElfresh 10 months ago

      I also left my job of 19 yrs due to bullying, it was devastating to be ganged up on by 5 people, 2 of which were supervisors. No help from anyone, union, HR, nobody wanted to go anywhere near that, or they themselves would have been targeted. Due to all that it took me awhile to heal and understand what made me a target in the first place, and find the strength to find another job, but bullying is in every workplace. Pray, pray and pray some more the Lord is with each and everyone of us. God Bless

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      Mick 10 months ago

      I work in the steel industry with lots of weak managers who think they're above everyone because they haven't done the hard yards and got their job because they have family or mates in there and abuse the system. Do as I tell you, not as I do. That won't wash with me! I'm not the sort of bloke to take that crap, man up or you'll cop a beating in a very physical and humiliating way with me. I might add I'm also a biker, but not necessarily a tough guy. While I have had numerous criminal assault charges over the years, I don't care when it comes to low life managers who think they're tough. They won't look so tough going home with a black eye and a split lip to their spouses for their trouble.

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      RCP 11 months ago

      I am bullied at work and the aggressor is insanely jealous person. She has even spilled over into my personal life. The other people know how much of a bitch she is they don't cross her.

      They don't like me and don't like me to speak up. I have to work. It is a fess pool of people from the management down

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      Laura 11 months ago

      Thank you for the article.

      I will never forgive the male superior who yelled at me and called my work "a pile of shit!"

      I was so traumatised by the verbal abuse at work that I had to visit a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with acute depression....

      Words can hurt and going to work is no longer the same!

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      Sarah 11 months ago

      Thank you for sharing your story and providing this advice. It has made someone in a similar situation feel better and a little stronger :-)

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      Sharilee Swaity 12 months ago from Canada

      @Jennifer Anne, thanks so much for your comment. I am sorry this brought back so many bad memories. It sounds like you were experiencing severe bullying. I am glad you were able to leave that workplace and I wish you all the best. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments. God bless you, too. I pray healing for you after those terrible experiences. Take care.

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      jennifer anne 12 months ago

      I feel your pain so much. This makes me fall into a deep sadness as I was bullied in the year from past 2 jobs in 2015 - 2017 by awful departmental work cliques. This one guy would follow me around and make hurtful comments to me to the women in the office. I hated him (and still do) so much. The last job I had a shitty senior woman always scream at me and berate me then she would put eye drops to make it look like I WAS BEING MEAN TO HER. Then the girl next to me would say what did you do to her? They all conspired together to make my 8 hours at hell at work. Gosh I really really hate these people. They truly are energy vampires with evil intentions. BTW I did nothing wrong and came in on time and went in EVERY DAY!!!!! WTF ..... I again feel your pain. God Bless you and much prosperity and longevitiy at your workplace. Good peaceful energy to you.

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      Mary F 13 months ago

      I have a question. Several weeks ago a Sr. level co-worker sent an e-mail, which I felt he was trying to intimidate me with his position in the company, after responding professionally and without emotion I reported to one of my supervisors by telephone and also via email stating that I felt like he was trying to bully/intimidate me. I have followed up with supervisor weekly and am not getting real response or action. What should I do next?

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      Sharilee Swaity 13 months ago from Canada

      @Kissadtales, thanks so much for your beautiful comment. And I agree with you -- it does show what a cruel society we live in, with bullying being so commonplace these days. It seems to be every man (or woman) for themselves. And for sure, it takes courage to stand up to those who are behaving this way. Thanks for the reference to Jesus ... he truly was the true advocate for the bullied. Take care and God bless you!

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      Sharilee Swaity 13 months ago from Canada

      @Mapol, thanks so much for sharing your story and insight. That is great that you had the wherewithal to know how to handle the situation and stand up for yourself. Take care.

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      Sharilee Swaity 13 months ago from Canada

      @Liya, I am so glad it was helpful and that you are actually getting out of your situation. For sure, documentation sure is the key but we often don't know that until it's too late. Thanks so much for your comment and have a good day!

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      Sharilee Swaity 13 months ago from Canada

      @Andrew, thanks so much for the comment. if it is the actual owners, you don't have much recourse, unfortunately. The owners create the company climate and it is unlikely to ever change. I wish you the best in your situation. It sounds like it is tough.

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      Kissandtales 13 months ago

      Thank you for this Hub of importance ! To be bullied can happen just about anywhere these days. Just was reading how a young teen was bullied by classmates wrapped up in plastic and dunked in toilet. Then returned him to the class room.

      The teacher did nothing to save him. He tried to reach her desk and fell against it and broke his esophagus or wind pipe when he fell. So sad ! Bulling is just another open avenue to murder people in a suttle way that escalates to that end.

      Your hub is showing that we are living in a inhumane type of thinking even in the workplace people go to work to victimize other humans.

      I really think these are the weaker people because they are followers of the majority's.they can not do the right thing being cowards they just march at others actions.

      Its a strong and brave person that can stand up against the odds .

      Jesus did.

      There is always a reward reflecting his righteous and beautiful ways.

      Thank you for sharing.

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      Andrew 13 months ago

      How can I actually report something when it's your actual owners doing it

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      Liya 14 months ago

      Thanks very much for this article. I'm just getting out of that situation and this is very helpful information for the future. Yes,Documentation!!

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      mapol 14 months ago

      Bullying in the work place is an extremely common occurrence, especially nowadays. I remember, back in the late 1990's, having to file a grievance against an overzealous supervisor, which I'm glad I did. I ended up leaving that toxic environment, which was better for me, on the long run, despite my co-workers being upset about it.

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      melanie smith 14 months ago

      I had a great job which I loved very much got on well with everyone and one day my employer put on a new person but this person became my bully she would make me feel bad about everything I did eventually I went to my boss but she told me that I should put up with it and that I was the one with the problem.

      this. Wow I was devastated after 3 1/2 year of working together now she was telling me that I was the bad person but this person was yelling and screaming at me in front of customers and had pushed me to the ground a number of times in front of customer. When I put my resignation in she said that I should think about what I was doing but I cant put up with treating people with disrespect as I am a good person who believes we should respect everyone. Am I the one with the problem. help

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      Tori 14 months ago

      My advise is do not go to H.R. they do not want any trouble and will turn it around on you.

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      Yoyo 15 months ago

      Hi there,

      I am from sg. I really lik e your article and wish I have read it sooner.

      I wasn't aware I was being bullied . In the back of my mind, I see those demand from my bosses as a challenges but later did I find out they were ganging up against me to kick me out of my position.

      I was all alone going up against all management within my team.

      I stood up and cried for help but my called for help and support was left to the dust for the past 7 mths.

      I was like you, I decided to leave ... not bec I am not a fighter ... is just not worth it .... this past 7 mths have been very damaging to my health, trying so hard to stay focus and fighting off a pack of rats sneaking up at you and bitting you while you are focus on other rats .....

      The bullies I have encountered are not abusive nor aggressive they just constantly confused you and keep changing their focus ...up till the point I was lost and start questioning my ability .........

      I was a top performer in my organisation before this bully came on board and became my supervisor......

      Thanks for assuring me I am not alone ....



    • bobr1013 profile image

      Bob Richardson 15 months ago from Telford PA

      Hello Everyone,

      Some of you may have heard of my story where I was harassed and bullied at multiple job locations by the same very aggressive workplace bully who had actually ruined my career. I feel heartbroken that this bully was able to get away with what he had done.

      I just re-published my book on amazon where the company names and locations were added back in.

      I did that because it’s a true story and what is anyone going to do? House is in foreclosure and we are filing bankruptcy this week.

      My story is true and at the same time very hard to believe with how someone can use a very aggressive version of workplace bullying and use it as a way to get ahead.

      Here is the link to my new book Targeted Exposed. http://tinyurl.com/TargetedExposed

      I'm trying to publicize my story but have been having problems with that. I'm at the point where if I find people who are in the news business and who can definitely help me with exposing my story, I would consider on sending them my book for free.

      My ebook is only going for $2.99 which is not selling. Any help or advice from anyone here will be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks for your support and God Bless,

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      Flo 15 months ago

      One joins and form an alliance to attack me verbally. Its really depressing when colleagues whom i thought of as close and dearful to me began to discriminate me.i did not abuse my authority as a senior but it was misinterpreted when i asked and informed someone bout work tasks. Because i am not good with words, my words were misinterpreted even though i did the right things. Trying to help now does not make any sense.they gloat, they laugh when they know that they have succesfully octracized me. Is there really a price to pay for trying to help others at work? Asking people to do things which are in their area of responsibility is wrong too? Should i have done those tasks by myself since i know how too. Seniority at work comes with such a huge price tag. I am really tired.

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      sadiq 15 months ago

      I have been bullied my entire life from school to college, one thing i have noticed is people who are often bullied are people who have thin skin they are sensitive and empathitic and often very good people who always help others and never hurt others but still these are the people who gets picked on right away because we are the easiest prey and these psychopath bullies don't have any morals whatsoever. The way is to firstly understand that its not your problem, the second thing is to stay strong and fight and not care about your "image among others" or "what people will think" because that's the only way out to deal with a bully, people in general don't care about right or wrong to them if their needs are met that's all that matters. It's like this on the extreme left are the bullies, those whom you consider as "friends" are somewhere in the middle, you are on the extreme right. Don't ever think the bully is going to have a change of heart because they don't have a heart. The only way to deal with this nonsense is fight, win or die don't matter just fight, that's your purpose, don't care about what people will think and don't get confused by other people's "words of wisdom" that's all bullshit you were right you got hurt you need to make it even that's all that matters.

    • Margo687 profile image

      Margo687 16 months ago

      I knew within the first 3 minutes of my new job that I had met the most lethal person of my career and within an 60 minutes I knew I was working in a toxic environment.

      Rule 1:Give up on being right. Focus on survival and an exit strategy. You win by survival.

      Rule 2: Alarm bells listen to them

      My Indian supervisor told me within the first fifteen minutes that she wasn't one of these people that set people up. I took this extra information as a warning that she did set people up and unfortunately I was right. On the first day she got me in the office, and told me that she didn't need to train me that I knew everything and should read the manual. However, she TOLD everyone else that she trained me. In mediation she told the HR manager she trained me and then told me " she had no confidence in my ability to do my job."

      Rule 3

      It's not you - it's them.

      I made excuses for the bully - like cultural differences. It was cultural reasons that meant she wouldn't deliver work documents to my desk (we worked a metre apart) and instead would leave them 2 metres in the opposite direction for me to collect( why would I give them to you?) It was cultural difference when suffering from low blood pressure she refused to come to my desk - I always had to go and see her like a school girl. It was cultural reasons that she expected that she would talk and I would listen and NEVER talk. It was cultural reasons that she listened to all of my phone calls. It was cultural reasons when she told me I don't communicate well and then stopped talking to me for next two weeks. It was cultural reasons that she would dictate that I have to be available to crawl to her anytime.

      I made excuses for her behaviour.

      I learnt in my final three weeks in this workplace that she would train senior people and the person that she wanted to get my job, who was now back in the office. She would go and talk to that person and ask her about her schedule rather than dictating to her.

      I learnt that this person culture wasn't an excuse. She was an insecure bully who was scared I was going to take her job that she made me a toilet cleaner in her class system.

      Rule 4: Bullies refuse to stop, no matter if you give them everything they want because you're the problem

      I gave her everything she wanted, even though when I requested mediation all I found was her ability to lie and be deceitful.

      However, that did nothing. She wanted me gone and plotted with a senior officer to get rid of me. I never know the lies she told about me. I do no everything I did to as taken out of context - black was white, white was red and red was green. I could never do anything right, because as bully no 2 informed me I was the problem. Bully no 2 informed me I needed to communicate to caste supervisor, which showed me they were plotting. The irony is I tried to talk to her, but to no avail. She would take things out of context, never ask clarifying questions of me and make a new tale to make me look bad.

      You know, I was the problem.

      Rule 5: Never talk to your colleagues about the bullying

      If you're new in the workplace this is a must. You don't have allies or power. By not talking about the bullying, the only place they could hit me was below the belt. Throughout this time period my mantra was that all I wanted from caste supervisor was two-way communication and training. The only people I told this was her in front of the HR Manager. Yes, she lied to the others - but I wasn't ever badmouthing her. When she claimed that I had down this on a phone call, I was

      Able to say decisively that I have never spoken badly about you to anyone.

      In meetings focus on the issues rather than the person. Caste supervisor made personal attacked on me - I focused on two issues two way communication and training. Caste supervisor informed me that "I needed to be babied."

      When you need to vent, bent to your family, your closest friends and doctor. Yes, you need to see a doctor if you are being bullied.

      Rule 6; Exit Strategy

      The HR manager informed me that I would need to resign or win a job somewhere else. As a strong woman, I broke down and sobbed like a baby. You need to show the organisation what keeping strong,doing your job and being torn apart by a pair of bullies is doing to you.

      Do not resign, tell them they will have to dismiss you because you have done nothing wrong.

      Bully no.2 had got me in the office the day before on the prelude to talk about my dying grandfather. Instead she ripped in to me for the stationery order. She had previously told me constantly that there was a high trust model with stationery and she didn't need to be informed as to why items were purchased. Red is green...green is blue. Now it was because of my continued lack of communication skills that items were ordered. She told me I was the problem, she told me I didn't fit in and you know what she told me to leave. She continued to abuse before another 60minutes in private meeting.

      You should leave. That was my exit. Within 60 minutes an email was sent to HR requesting a meeting.

      It took me almost 90 minutes to convince the HR manager that I couldn't return. I never did return to that workplace.

      My doctor who heard the full story and saw my anguish the next day diagnosed me with acute stress caused by workplace bullying.

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      Ann 17 months ago

      The workplace counsellor is not the place to divulge what is happening because they can distort the notes to make you look like you are supposingly paranoid. I worked at a hospital and the head of counselling came up to our section to talk about bullying and said " if you are being bullied you deserve it". I couldn't believe it. They look after the business first because they are paying them and that includes psychologist and counselling services provided by another organisation to the organisation you work for.

      Unions do not always help either because at times the union organisers have made deals with management.

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      gary 17 months ago

      4 yr old article but I feel like you are giving my situation to words.. Thank you, I learn not to blame myself anymore

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      Carolyn 17 months ago

      I just started a new job. The person my boss chose to train me is a bully and my boss's favorite. The coworker/ trainer stated in front of me and my boss that she had gone to my boss 5 times ( in the first week and a half) to say I am too stupid to learn my job. I requested a new trainer. The person then suggested I be very careful when out and about. I asked why and she laughed. The next day a male coworker ran into me on purpose, gave a weak excuse and I walked up to hear him tell her he bumped me for her. I work for a very large company known for bullying. There have been a number of suicides over bullying documented... on the news locally. I didn't even get the job my offer letter was for. I was put with the women who do the work for the men. I guess I interviewed for a man's job. Silly me. I am educated and overqualified but female.

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      Don't give up 17 months ago

      Hello. Thank you for this post. I've had a terrible experience and people keep saying to move on. I've had two weeks of life is good again and it won't effect me and here I am crying again wondering why did it happen to me. How do I pick myself off the floor and how do I go on and tell family and friends I'm ok when I'm so sad.

      You're points are so valid and I went through every single one of them. The one that stands out the most is that I had hope. I thought it would get better and I wouldn't let them beat me.

      So I stayed until my contract was at an end, when in hindsight I should have stopped, said no, I'm not letting this happen to me and walked away.

      I can't seem to recover from the emotional battering and my confidence in my own abilities is at an all time low.

      I know when I'm 80, I'll look back and say all those days you couldn't get out of bed and spent in the dark crying was a waste of your life. I know I'll be angry with the young me for not grasping this beautiful life and continuing being the kind, creative, quirky person that I know I am. I can see me. I just can't get her back. I'm desperate to get her back.

      Best wishes to you all and to all who are going through it. If I had my time again I'd say no. I won't let you treat me like this. No. No. No


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      Affifa 18 months ago

      Being bullied is worst thing i have ever faced. specially for new people in the field it is always difficult to fit in . Supervisors and seniors think bullying is there basic right . Thank for amazing article

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      Graham Gifford 19 months ago from New Hamphire

      What a wonderful article and such a great topic to cover. Sadly, I am not surprised at the number of office bullies there are. You offer some very helpful tips for someone who may be experiencing this themselves. This is a conversation that MUST continue and there should be workforce training which includes upper managment and outside advocates, as well. I can see from the many comments that others share in your experience. Articles like this is what makes HubPages a go-to site.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 21 months ago from Philippines

      Wish this article existed when I was young, as I was always the perfect target for bullying. Even at work, I was bullied. Which is why I love working from home. I like the idea of keeping a journal of everything the bully does.

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      not perfect, just forgiven 21 months ago

      Thanks for all the articles. It really helps as a guideline. I now realize that I too became a victim of workplace-bullying.

      I thought that maybe I was over-emotional and too sensitive, but now realize what actually happened. Luckily (with my instinct) I documented everything that was said over the past year.

      When both culprits had their last laughs two weeks ago, gossiping in front of me, loud enough to make sure I hear what they say, and mimicking the way I speak, and after I kept quiet and staying true to myself and staying polite towards them, I layed everything on the CEO's desk, and handed in my resignation.

      They did not see this coming, as I always kept quiet, smiling and hoping they would accept me. But they pushed too far. I broke down emotionally inside, and decided that this is where I no longer allow them to steal my dignity and strength. So I walked away, stating all their comments in my resignation.

      I forgive them for not trying hard enough, we don't all have the same will'-power, and are sometimes blinded for the truth. But I will not stay quiet for what is wrong. And they showed me exactly what I DON'T want to be.

      Rudeness is a weak person's imitation of strenght.

      I am busy healing, they need to fight the battles within themselves, and hopefully one day their eyes will open.

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      Kawai 23 months ago from Singapore

      There are a lot of great tips here..2 key things which you mentioned and I strongly agree is that bullies are repeat offenders..and i think that they don't have to be loud or exceptionally rude to be considered bullying someone..subtle actions like constantly excluding you, ignoring you are also another form of bullying. Documentation I think is also important..I remember having issues with my ex boss and when HR stepped in to intervene and ask for some examples, I had some difficulty recalling the details of issues that bothered me..enjoyed reading this - thanks for sharing!

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      Sourav Rana 2 years ago

      I agree with you that bullied treatment is triggered on you because of your strength not weaknesses. Another reason may be to force you to resign from workplace so that a job vacancy may be created.

      And I think behaving in an opposing manner at the first time may help you prevented from being subjected to bullied behavior in future.

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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Prairieprincess... I had this one bookmarked and I know I have commented before. Just needed to affirm you and stand with you completely. Far to often in the workplace and life I watched this unfold. We are not meant to be doormats for anyone else... such talent is hard to find in a writer and you have exceeded yourself with this one my friend...

      Spring is arriving here, the smell of the earth warming is just beginning to awaken the senses... then of course there are the fish calling...

      Hugs from Alberta

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      Sharilee Swaity 2 years ago from Canada

      Very interesting insight, @Christiana! I really like that, and it does provide a very good image to put these people in the right perspective. Have a wonderful evening, and thanks so much for the comment.

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      ChristinaVictory 2 years ago

      One other thing to add to my above story...One of my hobbies is to train dogs for obedience and to work with dogs who have behavioural problems. The bullies I have encountered remind me of these problem dogs. Not everyone has the stomach to deal with them so some of them just end up in shelters but if you show fear or cower to an aggressive dog, they will think they have the upper hand and can hurt you. If you challenge them, they can also be aggressive and hurt you. The best thing to do is set boundaries and if they cross them, provide consequences, otherwise, ignore their bad behaviour and reward good behaviour. Thing of your bullies like the dogs I train. This mental image may help you because they are acting like predatory animals and you have the upper hand, not them. Don't let them ruin your life but if you can't deal with them in this fashion then is ok to quit. It's not your fault, it's theirs.

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      Fatima Jalil 2 years ago

      This is such a helpful and well written piece. Good job!

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      James Smith 2 years ago

      Very informative piece of work. Thank you

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      Robert 2 years ago

      i don't know

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      Fay 2 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      Very good advice. The problem with our culture here is that it is the one being bullied that is considered in the wrong.

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      Damari Stratford 2 years ago

      All bullying is unacceptable and unnecessary...Narcissistic bullies...Work place bullying, what will he do about it? All bullying needs to stop. What will they do about work place bullies and bullying? I was also the only one he treated like this..All he needed to do was be kind, show kindness. I want to bring more awareness to work place bullying in 2016 to help others not have to deal with bullies for bosses. The laws need to change!!! What will they do about work place bullies and bullying, it needs to stop...I was fired 12 days before Christmas...

      I use to like people but a bully shot me down! Bosses should lead employees not Bully...Yes not from bullies! What about work place bullies?! Remember bullies come in all shapes and sizes....I was bullied by an adult named Jeff Ursino , my manager at Citibank in Carmel, Ca...after he successfully made me sick with nerves and caused my blood pressure to go up he fired me via UPS 12 days before Christmas while I was out on a workers comp pending case...my family will never forget the pain he caused us....and I haven't worked since due to all of this.

      Jeff Ursino once told me that I couldn't wear the hats I'd been wearing to work for almost four years with no problem. He said it was company policy yet there was nothing in writing. I called HR and they said there was nothing in the codes about hats. About six weeks later Jeff Ursino decided to tell me that I could wear hats again but only a couple days a week. I asked him what about the policy and he replied " I'm in control" , it was his way of throwing his weight around, what a bully! He also threatened to fire me for job abandonment if I didn't show up to work on a day I couldn't work, my daughter was ill and he was already fully staffed. He put me on the schedule at the last minute to pressure me into working...a Bully at his finest. He also stated that I hadn't worked on days that I had and I still have a copy of the schedules.

      Bullying needs to end and companies need to properly train manages to be leaders not bullies! What will politicians do about it? Nothing! We need to unite and do something about adult bullying and in the work place!

      I have two boxes of proof and I did document everything. When I realized that there is actually an Awareness month for anti bullying I decided to tell my story again in hopes of finding an organization that I can help bring light to this also very ugly issue!

      What I have mentioned is just a bit of all he did. No one cared or did anything about it. I wrote my leaders, congressmen , senators , mayors, city leaders, the president , attorney general, etc...everyone past the buck. Since then, bullying has come to the forefront and I want to tell my story.

      He is a father of 3 sons, still a " manager" , on the board of trustees for a school district and I can't help but wonder who he is bullying now.

      He had choices and he chose to be unkind, uncaring, not understanding, treated me like crap, ignored what others where doing, focused on me until he ruined me!

      ALL BULLIES NEED TO BE STOPPED!!!!! All companies need Bullying training and the manager isn't always right! Only cowards bully other people! He didn't care what I was wearing he simply wanted to show who was in control and bully me. The hats didn't prevent me from doing my job nor did anyone ever complain about them, in fact I got lots of compliments from customers and a couple of his bosses and someone from HR, it's was great until he showed up as a temporary manager. He just wanted me gone and set out to wrongfully terminate me. He couldn't even write me up correctly and I have the proof. He couldn't even fire me correctly as he broke California Labor codes in the process of firing me. He was simply unkind and heartless to me.

      Please grow up to be a kind, caring person. Never purposely make someone fear their going to loose their job for putting their daughter first, that's what he did to me...and yet he is a father.

      Time to open their eyes and our leaders and change the laws. Speak the truth state the facts and have your evidence ready! One of the reasons I am doing this is because I have proof, my journal, the forms he used to write me up incorrectly. He was in such a hurry to write me up that the first time he wrote me up he used the wrong form, he used the second warning form. He threatened me with job abandonment yet didn't know how that law worked. For some reason the universe, my God or what ever you want to believe, had me keep all the evidence. In my journal I wrote daily of what occurred at work, he singled me out. In four and a half years I loved my job 98 percent of the days then he came and ruined not only me but the spirit of that bank branch. He took away causal Friday and tried to take away cookies on Fridays for our customers. He said we all had to only eat in the break room but yet would eat at his desk and not say anything to the pretty blonde when she ate at her station. He took all my family photos down and claimed it was best for my family but allowed others to have their family photos out! A BULLY!!!!please share my story to bring awareness to work place bullying.

      The more I read the more I realize he was threatened by me. My reviews didn't justify what he did. Several times I was asked if I was the manager as he stood next to me. The hat issue was just him being a bully, he ignored what others did and wouldn't give me credit when it was due to me, he played it down. He snapped his fingers twice, said my name , pointed to the back room and said Damari in the back the very first time he ever addressed me. In the back room he said my reputation precedes me, that upper management had nothing but glowing reports about me. He asked why I thought I do so well and I told him because I love my job. He was a temporary manager, the branch was looking for a full time manager. Jeff Ursino was managing two branches during this process, I was trying to hang in there until we got a new one but he couldn't wait to fire me. I'm understanding more about bullies these days, it doesn't make it right but we need to pray for the bully.

      That's was awesome, thank you for caring and reposting. I use his name and the bank and location to keep it real and honest. I have nothing to hide. I use to tell my kids' if you don't want grammy to know what you did then don't do anything you'd be a shamed of because I will tell grammy the truth' it really helped with their behavior. I once wrote him and asked why he did what he did and I also told him that I hope no one ever treated his family as he had treated mine, but I got no response to my email from him. It's all true so it's not slander. Have an awesome day, thank you very much. So sorry about what you went through, hopefully we can get others to come forth and share their stories. I honestly feel that the bully should be called out, if he/she was so proud of their actions then don't get upset when we share what you've done. Please feel free to share my story to bring awareness to work place bullies and bullying, it needs to stop, the laws need to protect the employees and victims not the bully. Share my story please.

      Kindness is free, spread it! Bullying cost lives and jobs, stop it! ~Damari Stratford ~

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      Sharilee Swaity 2 years ago from Canada

      @Maggie, you are so right ... it is unfortunate that it is true. Thanks for the comment and I apologize for the delayed comment. Take care.

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      Sharilee Swaity 2 years ago from Canada

      @Lizmac60, thanks so much. Yes, the hub and topic certainly seems to have resonated with people. I am blessed to know that my difficult experiences have been able to help other people. Take care!

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      Sharilee Swaity 2 years ago from Canada

      Employee Advocate, I appreciate your comment so much, and the work you are doing, also, to help those who are experiencing bullies. Have a good night, and I apologize for the late comment.

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      Sharilee Swaity 2 years ago from Canada

      @Starrgirl, I think it's normal to feel like you want justice for what was done for you. I had those feelings, too, for a while, but they seemed to fade with time. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and I apologize for the long delay in responding. I have been away from HP for a long time. Take care.

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      PhD student 2 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this. It is extremely helpful! As adult in a PhD program I find that PhD is overrated and students should not pursue it unless 1) they are sure that they want an academic career 2) they are sure that they get a known supportive supervisor. My co-supervisor behaves as if he is bipolar or just being a narcissist. My supervisor doesn't interfere although he see harmful remarks my co-supervisor makes. My co-supervisor gets mad when we don't work till wee hours in the morning and during the weekends, and he gets mad when we don't turn up at work by 10am (how could we if we work till wee hours?). Once on a Friday, he asked if we would attend a colloquium and being stressed students, we said no and that we would like to work. He responded and said, "but it's Friday!". Personally I have already 10 publications on my third year and when I request for vacation, he responded if I didn't have enough. Being a student, I feel that PhD are treated more like a slave than a human being.

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      Tana 2 years ago

      This was a great article. I am experiencing this right now and having trouble with taking the proper steps. Everyday, I leave work in tears. I would say, I'm right there with Charlottenonnie, on the emotional level and how I respond to things. I have talked to 2 bosses with no headway. 1 boss twisted my words and made things a bit more worse. I feel like I'm drowning. I do plan to take to 1 harasser but I haven't had the chance to get her alone to discuss what the problem is. At work, I keep it at a hi and bye with very little conversation , yet I find myself constantly getting attacked from 6 people. I do plan to leave my job in the future, but not right now for schooling purposes. I'm also 50/50 with my situation. Part of me thinks that people are going to do crap like this just because and I should just let it roll off my shoulder. The other part of me feels like, I shouldn't have to come to work and be subjected to this. My supervisor said to one of the harassers that I'm just doing this for attention. Negativity & harassment is NOT the type of attention I want!

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      Sajib 2 years ago from Bangladesh

      A wonderful and extremely useful hub for the ones who are looking to get refreshed during the bullying period. It is very natural to get bullied at work. There is hardly anyone who does not get bullied at the work place. But it is most important not to take any harmful decision during this period. As the bullying period will not stay forever, just hang on at that time and try to make things work out in a positive manner. After all your performance should not be degraded in the work place! If you can keep up the performance in this intimidating period, you can give up the best shot any time in your career.

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      Christinavictory 2 years ago

      I have a happy ending to a bully story of my own and one that you don't hear often. I work in the healthcare profession and was singled out and bullied a few years ago. I fit the profile of a target - high integrity, more skilled, educated and talented than my bully, caring, not a game player, independent and confident. My bully was a jealous miserable person and made my life a living hell by lying, sabotaging and just being plain mean to me.

      I decided not to quit and move on. If you do this, be prepared for a long haul but I did not give up. I called her on all of her bullshit. I made life equally hard for her when she made it hard for me by going to the manager and having meetings called. I didn't give up. I was relentless just as she was but here was the key. When she did even one thing that was remotely nice or kind or even neutral, I gave her positive reinforcement, credit, encouragement or recognition. If she was a jerk again, I called her on it again. Eventually she learned that it was better for her to be nice to me:) After about a year we actually became friends of sorts. We were never really close but there was a genuine warmth between us that I never thought would be there. It is not the road I would recommend for everyone to take but it worked for me and this story had a happy ending.

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      Vagabond Laborer 2 years ago

      Thanks for the great hub. Unfortunately, some people who are drawn to being the boss are also drawn to bullying. This hub really hit a nerve with people. Good Job!

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      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      bullying is getting out of hand, thanks for your hub that we know what to do now

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      Ebonny 2 years ago from UK

      I too am sorry to know you have experienced bullying that resulted in you leaving your job, but so glad you have shared your knowledge and wisdom. We can all learn something from your honesty on this matter and I’ll be adding a link to this on one of my hubs about handling silent treatment at work. Voted up+

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      Eileen 2 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Interesting hub with invaluable information . Fortunately I've never been bullied at work and I can just imagine how terrible this must be to so many that have to go through this ordeal. Your article will inspire many in the right direction.

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      Anonymous 2 years ago

      For your information, Austinstar, the tactic that you suggested doesn't always work. Sometimes, you got to be aggressive because there are people who use pacifism as an excuse to keep on antagonizing their victims. You may have experienced in your way. But not everyone experienced like you did.

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      joxworld 2 years ago

      This is a great write up. It needs to be shared with others. Thank you so much.

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      Eric 2 years ago

      I currently work at a hospital. Imbbeing teased laughed at and destroyed by my aggressor.I feel and am going through everything the narraor stated no to go through.I hate where work because of how I'm being treated. I had no idea people can be so cruel and when your a black male, it's 10X worst. I'm being violated on so many levels words cannot describe the mental anguish and pain I am suffering because of this experience. I am in my early fourties. Never been bullied at any of my previous jobs and find it difficult that these kinds of behaviors can be acceptable at any work place..I'm so sick and morbidly tired of what I'm going through. I need the money, have responsibilities. Social media is the weapon that has been used to destroy my character . I always think.. How could this have happened to me? I don't deserve this treatment. The aggressor is being rewarded every day to make my life a living hell which carries over into my personal life. I'm not the same person I was nearly 5 years ago, which is how long I've been going through this. And pray to dear God, that I am just truly passing through this experience and some day sooner than later I will get to have a new start in life, with a level of understanding in wisdom, money will never be able to buy. And until I came across this article..I thought I was the only grown adult being bullied at his job.

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      Colin Garrow 2 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      I think most of us have been bullied at one time or another (I certainly have), and it's not always easy to see a way through things. Some good solid advice here that would've been helpful to me a few years ago. Great Hub.

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      kbdressman 2 years ago from Harlem, New York

      Brilliantly written! I agree with all 10 of your suggestions. Unfortunately, few victims of workplace bullying think to start these measures early enough! Documentation and preventing isolation and secret meetings can never start too soon. These are good practices for all employees to make a habit of!

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      Jacqui 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you for writing and sharing this hub. Making good out of a bad situation. I too have been bullied at work, more than once, but mostly as a new graduate nurse (we nurses have an alarmingly common habit of 'eating our young" - bullying new nurses) - but it was my experience that made my resolve stronger to be a support for anyone who has been bullied, or standing up for those who I can see it happening too. It has even resulted recently in me standing up at handover and advising my colleagues that "we are a large bunch of women, in a small area. We are likely to annoy each other at times - but those doing the annoying, can't change it unless you tell them to their face. Talking about people behind their back isn't the way to go" as several people were doing just that (without approaching me)...it's happening again to someone else, but she wants to sort it herself (and she's just as stroppy as I am!), so I'll let her.

      Thanks for ways to deal with it, and what not to do - it will definately help someone.

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      WhiteMuse 2 years ago

      This one caught my eyes and others. Working with others can be difficult. I wish I had stayed at different places like NYU. Then I am also had I quit. It happens with different things and people.

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      Shelley Heath 2 years ago from Birmingham

      Excellent hub and one I'm sure many a workplace bullying victim will appreciate.

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      Sandria Green-Stewart 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Very helpful hints; too bad I didn't read it while I was being bullied at work. I share your experience where I was bullied for many years in a job that I liked. I was a young manager and I was so undermined in my job that I became stunted. I eventually left but the damage was done - diminished self confidence, depression and extreme stress.

      I also wrote a post about being bullied at work. Very insightful!

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      McKenna Meyers 3 years ago from Bend, OR

      Wow! Thanks for writing this hub and sharing your experiences with workplace bullying. It really helped me. I was bullied at my job over a year ago. I resigned but am anxious about getting another job and being a victim again. The bully was not nearly as bad as the higher-ups who did nothing to stop her and did nothing to support me. I was journaling through it all for my sanity but did not document. Hopefully, it will never happen again but if it does, I know what to do. Terrific hub!

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      Sandeep Rathore 3 years ago from New Delhi

      Great hub!

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      Kelly 3 years ago from NJ, USA

      it was once called harassment and cause for dismissal, but in today's world it seems to be the norm. I work in a school system in NJ, the emotional immaturity of the teachers who target one person makes it easy to see why they picked the profession they did, they can't seem to get out of school. So busy bullying and teasing that they've forgotten, or lack the knowledge to actually teach. Most classes are filled with movies and video games. Why pay taxes to send your children to a dead end street.

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      Besarien 3 years ago

      Great hub! Sorry to hear that you suffered this situation and were forced to leave a job for your own well-being. I admire your courage for using your awful experience to help others in similar circumstances.

      Audio or video makes great evidence,. Be sure to make good copies and keep the originals. Things like this have a tendency to "get lost" all the time.

      People have a harder time making excuses or transplanting the blame when caught red handed on tape.

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      Maggie Bonham 3 years ago from Missoula, Montana

      Very true, unfortunately.