What NOT TO DO When Being Bullied At Work

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

I f 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.

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,, 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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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Comments 181 comments

CarlySullens profile image

CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

Extremely, helpful and powerful hub. It does bring back memories, and I think I did everything the way you did. I was so naïve back then. It was my first job out of grad school. I think you helped me heal something, in that she targeted me, because of the strengths she saw in me. Being fresh out of grad school, I had a lot of questions and wanderings and my mind was wide open and in awe to do my work.

She split between me and another co-worker. I was all bad and the other was all good. It was that clear. My friend, the other co-worker and I maintained a strong bond, because we could tell how off she was and could not come between us.

It is not easy being the all bad one, or the all good one. Eventually, it got worse. She threatened us, pushed my friend up against the wall. Changed my hours to like 10 to 7.

She would tell us confidential things about other employees, on and on.

I isolated myself. I would hide in the basement of the hospital on my lunch break just so I could have a half hour knowing she could not find me. I became friends with the maintenance men. They had a TV in their work room and I will set with them during lunch.

It was hell. I became jaded with a boss at such a young age. I don't think I ever recovered. I still have a hard time trusting a boss.

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Excellent advice. I, too, was bullied and thankfully I kept myself in control and did not burst out in reaction to what was happening. And you are right, it happens when you do not even expect it coming. If I did not have such a close relationship with my Lord, about 20 years ago, I probably would not have fared too well. Also, that was good advice about not being alone, as I had a fellow co-worker with me, and we both documented and she went and told another supervisor that if that happened again, she would file a whatever, and it has not happened since then. Voted Way Up This is a very significant hub of great importance, as it is true, bullying does not just happen to kids at school!!! In His Love, Faith Reaper

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Hmm...I'm wondering if a one-sided written "documentation" is sufficient. It can easily be denied; the bully can claim you wrote up a work of fiction.

A mini-tape recorder might be in order, instead...set it on voice activation, low sensitivity, so it won't pick up desk noise, only voices.

As far as how to respond...I'm not sure at this point in my life I could remain totally polite. There was a time when such an attack would have sent me into tears, but now, I'll generally respond in kind.

In the instance you mention about "keeping busy," I'd have had to say, "If you'd open your eyes before your mouth, you'd see that is exactly what I'm doing!" Othewise, I might say things on the order of, "You don't like the way I'm doing it? Fine. Do it yourself!" or, "Looking for perfection? You're on the wrong planet!"

Yeah, I'd get fired for that, I'm sure, but my parting shot would be, "Thank you. If this is how you treat your employees, I'll consider that you've just done me a huge favor...and don't forget--Karma's a bitch!"

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Just look the bully in the eye and say, "Please do not criticize me in front of others. I am quite open to honest and helpful comments. If you have a personal problem with me then we can discuss it in a meeting with HR."

I think that will shut the bullies up.

There is no point in getting mad, or cowering, or trying to get even, or to be hurt by anyone. Just be assertive.

Sure it will be hard, but once you do it a few times, that's success!

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Sadly, Austinstar, my experience is that bullies do not understand polite, tactful, assertive. It goes right over their heads. They only understand "taste of their own medicine."

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

We shall have to agree to disagree on that one. Anything less than assertive politeness tends to escalate things. I've been on both sides of this type of situation and I know that controlling the situation is best for both bullies and the ones they bully.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I had a boss who was SO mean. If she was having a bad day - everyone was going to. I was actually one of her favorites because I never complained, I did my job and kept my mouth shut. Before I left though, she was being really mean and so I walked away just to have her call me back into her office. She said, "close the door." I'd had enough after 6 years so she said, "I'm sorry if I'm crabby but I'm having a bad day!" I very calmly said, "ok I do understand that but don't make me a victim of your personal problems. It wouldn't be tolerated from me."

Well that didn't go so good! LOL LOL. She didn't speak to me until I left. She cried when I out in my notice too. She just could not be nice! Lol

So sorry and yeah it's tough when your an adult I think because you do not expect another adult person to behave that way!

Excellent write and suggestions:)

MelChi profile image

MelChi 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

I think this is a very important topic that almost everyone should be reading. You are right, bullying doesn't just take place at school - it takes place in our adult lives as well. I've had my share of bullying - I had a boss who just didn't like women at all and put me down and tried to intimidate me at every chance he got. I was so unhappy I'd force myself to be sick in the morning before leaving for work so that I could call in sick. I was a mess, and I left after 7 months. I wish I'd read this article then, maybe it would have helped somewhat. But, like you - I also grew up as a "good girl", I was taught to respect my elders, teachers, parents and bosses. Thank you for sharing this - excellent advice, easy to follow with a great layout. Voted up, useful and interesting :)

kissayer profile image

kissayer 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

This is a great hub for all bullying, not just workplace bullying! All of these points are so important to remember!

Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen 4 years ago from Clinton CT

Wow...this was excellent. Nice work here. Very emotional experience, but it will be so helpful to others.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I agree with RealHousewife and prarieprincess, If you have a bully for a boss, it's best to find another job.

In my last job, my boss was a bully and I in turn bullied her back. I made her cry a few times, and she just pissed me off. But she won in the end and I quit, not because of the way she treated me, I could just ignore that, but because of the way she treated everyone. I tried for 3.5 years to improve the situation.

One year later and everyone she treated badly has also quit. But she is still there and has a new crop of employees to dominate. So not much point in trying to fight back to a bully in a management position. Better to just move on.

Magdelene profile image

Magdelene 4 years ago from Okotoks

Having been through this type of situation, and being on the receiving end of the bully, have to say that it is a truly dreadful situation to be in. Over time it wears you down and myself personally it caused somewhat of a depression; certainly began to dread going in to work. When I would pull into the parking lot I would generally think, 'Can't wait until the last day I ever see this place'. I tried to stick it out there for several years and the situation did not improve, hoping it would just did not make it happen.

I think the problem is that these bullies simply don't see reality and they have some grandiose image that they have created of themselves and think they are untouchable and indispensable. In reality, every one of us can be replaced with another working body.

Many of us try hard to get over the obstacles due to the good points that the job holds, as in retirement plans, benefits and so on. But, I have found that over time it just seems to bring you too far down and tends to affect your personal life and relationships. It can make you bitter, that's not a good thing. We need to remember there are good people out there and we can't let the bullies make us into fearing and bitter people. You have the right to remove yourself from a personally damaging situation and you should.

Excellent hub and it's good for people to know that they are not alone in their experiences with a bully in the workplace. Wish it were simple and we could just make them go away... most times we can't so we're the ones that end up leaving so that we can save our sanity.

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

@ Austinstar--yes, we will have to disagree. As I said, my method of dealing with such people comes from my EXPERIENCES in trying the polite, assertive way. Trying to be polite left me (in their eyes) mute and invisible. They just never "got it." But a taste of their own medicine? Yes, that got the message across, loud and clear. In the situation the author described, perhaps a better response would have been, "I see. You are so insecure in your own position that you feel the need to rule through fear instead of earning respect. You don't pay me enough to put up with your... (pick one: attitude, tantrums,... whatever fits the situation)."

Yes, we'll agree to disagree, here. I wish you well. ;-)

(This truly is a "Take this job and shove it" kind of situation!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@CarlySullens, I am so sorry you had to go through that, and I'm so glad that you were able to experience some healing. I know it as a revelation for me to realize that it was my strength that was a threat, too.

It sounds like it was a very traumatic time, and quite normal to want to isolate yourself. I am glad that you had at least one ally during this time, your coworker.

And it does take time to get over it, for some of us. I know it has taken me a long time to get over this situation, too. But I do believe that healing is possible in time.

Thanks again for sharing. Take care.

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend, all great and useful information within this very well written hub. It will help all those who may need this kind of information . Well done !

Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

Thai could be a handout to give to every person that first thinks he or she is bullied; or given in high school as a warning sheet. Very good!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Faith Reaper, I am so sorry to hear that you went through that. And it's so good that you had someone to stand by your side during the experience. That is such a blessing! And good for you, for documenting your experiences; that really is a key to being able to prove what is happening, as I found out the hard way. Take care and thanks for stopping by!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Dizzy, thanks so much for your feedback on this. I know what you mean about documentation. It's not necessarily enough, but it's a start. Without anything written down, you have nothing!

I like your idea about taping the incidents, but the legality of using the tape varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you have to be careful.

I know what you mean about being polite, too. I think everyone's style will be different, depending on their confidence level and personality. I know what you mean, that sometimes bullies do need to put in their place. I think you just really need to know what you are doing, and not be afraid of the consequences. It sounds like you have learned to not be intimidated by people, and that is a great strength!

I am trying to be more assertive, when it comes to authority. It is an ongoing learning process, I find.

Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate your feedback.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Austinstar, that is an excellent line to use. I love that. And that is exactly it: being assertive is what is needed. It's a hard skill to learn for some of us, but merely "being nice" isn't enough in these situations. You are so right -- it does take practice. Thanks so much for the valuable feedback. Have a good evening!

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

RHW, wow! You handled the situation with such aplomb and grace! She sounds like a very unhappy person. Your response showed so much confidence. You weren't mean but you let her know that it wasn't acceptable. You sound like a good role model for this. I learned the hard way, by doing it wrongly, but the important thing is, that I did learn!

Thanks so much for the feedback and for sharing your story. Have a wonderful night.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Mel, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I can relate to that so much, with not wanting to go to work. I'm glad you were able to get out of there. And yes, bullying continues throughout our adult lives. I guess it's part of the human condition, unfortunately, but if we learn from it, that is a good thing. Have a good night!

@Kissayer, you make a good point. Yes, this would also apply to dealing with workplace in other situations, as well. Besides the classroom, it also takes place in families and even in social groups. Thanks so much for your comment.

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serendipitypalace 4 years ago

Thanks for publishing bullying at work. I've been in the situation way back in my very first full time job at 18 and many years later where I also left the workplace to accept another position. Unfortunately, during that time the economy hit rock bottome and full time jobs were hard to come by. The boss and another subordinate in the workplace played their bully games and only were available to their " favorites" . Communication was difficult and as a result some of us workerbees were given bad reviews. The union rep stepped in and there really wasn't much to do even though he observed himself of the goings on after we had a meeting with the bosses. I'm glad to be out of the past situation and moving forward.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Julie, thank you so much for commenting. It's amazing how just the telling of a story has power, and encourages others to do the same. That's a great thing about Hubpages. Take care!

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Magdalene, I agree with you about them being grandiose and unable to see anything wrong with what they are doing. I am sure that is completely justified, for whatever reason.

In abuse literature, there is the idea of objectifying the victim and I think the same principle applies. The target becomes less than human and therefore it doesn't matter how they feel.

Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment. I am sorry for what you went through, too. I can understand wanting to stay for the benefits. It's harder than it sounds to walk away from security, into not knowing where your mortgage is coming from.

This issue really does affect people's real life and their finances. Thanks for sharing, and commenting. Have a good night.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Kashmir, thank you so much for your comment and for SHARING! I really appreciate it and do hope it helps others. Take care!

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Truly I know how scary it is to leave a job with good security and benefits. I spent years planning ahead before I was at the point where I could leave my whole career. I've worked at many jobs and I have to say that even though I liked some of them, the pettiness and bitchery and micro management made me angry and depressed all the time.

So I PLANNED to get out of it and I recommend that everyone do the same. Also, special thanks to HubPages and RealHousewife for giving me the courage to do so. Working for yourself is tremendously better :-) Even though I have to do without some of the luxuries now!

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Patty, thank you so much. I appreciate your feedback, especially considering that you have written so extensively on this subject. I am honoured. God bless you.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Serendipity, I am so glad you were able to get out of a bad situation. Sometimes the only recourse is to simply save your dignity and get out while you still can. Even the unions seem pretty helpless sometimes in these situations.

Thanks so much for dropping by.

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This is a wonderful, important Hub pp and I have rated it as such!

I've experienced the work bully too, so many uncomfortable and frustrating memories came up.

I believe the most powerful piece of advice you have offered is that you should never think it's about you. "..the abuser is bothered by a strength he sees in his target that he does not have." So true!!

Adult bullies at home and in the work place gain energy belittling others because of their own insecurities.

In my case, I found it hard to not to stress internally over the situation, but I chose not to verbally defend myself. I just smiled and continued doing what I did best, knowing I was really the one who had the power.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Austin, that is excellent advice about planning to get out of an abusive situation. It is when we don't acknowledge what is happening, and then panic, that worse decisions are made. Good for you, for finding a spot that is safe. Thanks again for the comment!

@Green Lotus, I appreciate your feedback so much. And yes, so true, that they gain strength from belittling others. How sad. And good for you, for having the strength to know your own worth. I think we all have our own way of dealing with it, but we need to feel that we are doing something. What you did sounds like a very powerful strategy. Thank you again for adding your insights to this hub. Take care!

Lightshare profile image

Lightshare 4 years ago

Thank you prairieprincess for a great topic and suggestions -)

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Lightshare, thank you. I hope it is helpful. Have a good night!

Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Prairieprincess... great hub and heartfelt writing and some great advice. This sort of thing starts as a child and if not corrected it is carried into the late years of life. Pleased to see that you have taken and turned it into a positive. One thing that you can rest assure of is the bully will someday be on the other end.

Hugs from Alberta

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Rolly, it is so nice to "see" you here! And yes, that is good insight. Abuse does start in childhood, both in being a victim, and being an aggressor. And I did find that even writing about here was a way to completely let it go and move on. Take care, Rolly, and thanks for the comment!

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tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

There is so much sound advice in this hub! "Grown ups" don't often realize they are being bullied and you've helped point out it can happen to them. I think the most important point you make is email. Email is accepted as proof, even in a court of law. When I retired one of my employees was afraid the new boss wouldn't do what he was supposed to and my employee would be blamed. I told him to send emails confirming what he had done, or wanted to do, or needed to do, etc. and keep his email and the boss's reply as a record.

Loved your illustrations!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Till, you are so right about the e-mail. It is the paper trail that helps to make everything official. That was great advice that you received concerning your boss and could have saved you a load of trouble.

Thanks for the comments and support. Have a wonderful day!

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

It is a shame that you had to experience this from your coworkers. I though adults would handle things in much more mature methods, I guess I was wrong. Your hub covers many of the feelings we experience in bullying and it is so interesting to read. Voted up all the way!

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Teaches, it was quite shocking to me, too, and I think that is why I did not know how to handle it. Thanks for your kind words. Have a wonderful day!

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FullOfLoveSites 4 years ago from United States

This hub will help me tremendously, as I have been at one time or another, have been bullied by my officemates. Thanks for this great hub. :)

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Fulloflove, I am sorry that you had to go through such an experience and I'm glad that that was able to give you some help. It is a terrible thing to have to endure. Take care.

Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

PrairiePrincess congratulations twice over. One for being seleceted hub of the week with Audrey on the apprenticeship programme. Secondly for writing this awesome hub. I think you will help so many people with this excellent piece of writing but more so because it comes from someone who has, unfortunately, experienced it. This means so much more to people than some vague expert trying to tell people what they should be doing when usually it's totally out of character for them to do and so falls flat! It's not easy laying open experiences that hurt so much, but you will have helped yourself and you've definitely helped other people! Have voted this up + shared where ever I could as this is an important hub for people who are being bullied to read!

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akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon

Sharilee - love your layout and your pics but your content is just excellent! Congrats on being highlighted with your hub for the month....and all true points as we've talked about on the forum. Bullies are just people with a lot of insecurities but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!

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Helena Ricketts 4 years ago from Indiana

There is some absolutely awesome information here! You really did a great job explaining what someone should do about being bullied in the workplace. This really should be shared with everyone who works outside their home so they know exactly what to do if they are ever in this horrible situation.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Seeker, thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words and even more, your sharing the hub with those who might need it. You are right -- it was hard to write, but also very freeing. I feel that by sharing my story, others can know they are not alone, and that there is hope. Thanks again, and take care.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Audrey, thank you so much for the encouraging words. You are so right about bullies just being people with insecurities. That is an excellent reminder. Thank you!

@Helena, it does happen quite frequently, unfortunately, and often catches those caught up in it by surprise. Thanks so much for the comment!

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akirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon

As an aside, I'm SO sorry to see you off the team....I'll miss you - so please stay in touch. Wishing you every good thing along the way~~~ Know how that "pile" of stuff can be and some days I start to panic. I am trying NOT to count my jobs as that might get to me~ Will miss you though.....

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Audrey, thank you so much! I am going to miss you, too. I am disappointed, because it is such an excellent program but a bit relieved to just focus on this new challenge in front of me, too.

I would love to keep in touch and will be looking out for your great hubs. Thanks again for reaching out! Take care.

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Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

This is a great hub PP. Sorry you had to go through this but thankful you learned so much to share with us. I guess I can say that I was bullied by a female boss. She used her status to get to me over and over again. In the long run, after 6 years of ups and downs, she got me good. I lost my job. I haven't thought about it but now that I am, I am still pissed at what I went through. I truly loved my job. Finally felt I found position that was "made for me." And because of "company policies" there was not a damn thing I could do about it. Obviously there is more to this story but the gist is that is was painful and still is sometimes.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@SS, I am sorry you had to go through your experience, too. It sounds like you had a bull-eye on your back, and that is so unfortunate, especially since it was, as you say, such a good position for you. The bullies really can affect our lives in very damaging ways. I am grateful that we can at least talk about it, and heal. Thanks so much for your kind words. Have a great week!

Richawriter profile image

Richawriter 4 years ago from On Top of the World

Boy oh boy, did you lay this hub out well or what!!

Very impressed with your hubmanship!

I agree completely and from the examples you gave, I can see that we went though similar circumstances and- like you- I was a 'good boy' and didn't know what to do. Also like you, I wrongly thought things would get beter eventually but obviously they don't, do they.

Excellent tips. I follow all of them except the documenting because I just don't allow myself to be bullied anymore. I'm like a loaded gun with the safety on. Ready to fire at a moments notice but not in danger of ever really exploding unless provoked. When I do unleash my fury on the bully, it isn't fury in the traditional sense. More a controlled, calm but frighteningly intense persona of power that usually stops the bullying once and for all. It may only take a few words, hardly ever much more than that.

It wasn't like that for a long time though. I learned the hard way, but then if there isn't a 'hard' way to begin with aren't we learning less as a result? It's somewhat of a paradox!

Useful and beautiful!! Voted up too. :)


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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Rich, thank you so much for your beautiful comments. I love your last comment that we learn more when we learn the hard way. Very good point!

I had been struggling with writing this article because I feel far from an expert when I remembered that I had read somewhere that writing from your "failures" is sometimes the most powerful writing of all.

It sounds like your past downfall has now become your strength as you stand up to those who try to become a menace in the office, so to speak. I appreciate your insightful comments so much. Have a wonderful weekend.

Lybrah 4 years ago

Thanks for your article. I, too, have been a victim of bullying, and adult bullies can be just as bad, if not worse, than children bullies.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Lybrah, I am sorry to hear about your situation. And you are so right -- they can be much worse, and we don't expect it by the time we become adults. I hope you were able to find healing. Take care and God Bless You.

HoneyBB profile image

HoneyBB 4 years ago from Illinois

Awesome hub. I am a strong advocate against bullying and I found this to one of the most informative articles on the subject of workplace bullying. I hope that people who are bullied at work find they help they need to make it stop.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

Honey, good for you, for being an advocate against bullying. It is so important that we stand up strongly. Thanks for the comment and I am glad you thought the article was helpful. Take care!

AudraLeigh 4 years ago

I will share this...very important to me and so many people! Just brilliant!!!

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Shar - it took me 6 years to work up the nerve to say what needed to be said. I was just so sick of it...I had lost all my fear of "what would happen if I did" lol. But I tried doing what I felt was right - it worked okay. She cried and still I didn't feel bad for her.

That woman would insult people in a group to humiliate a single made me sick. It's hard and I feel unfair that people like us have to keep trying to be graceful when your playing with unfair adults. Dang! I still love this hub:) reminds me of that one time I did speak up with zero fear of repercussion:) lol

bittoo 106 profile image

bittoo 106 4 years ago

great article, I really took time to read it thoroughly, Will read it again. I am currently staying home for the past two months with pay, because I could not take harassment and bullying for past 23 yrs any more. many time I complained and it got resolved temporary , but would start again. Until this time My new director took this very seriously and put me to counseling, while he deals with two bullies through company and union lawyers. He has shown me great support, and made me believe in the company. Matter is not resolved, but I am confident it will soon!

Thanks again for writing this.

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TimKuppler 4 years ago from Detroit Metropolitan Area

Very powerful article. It's tough when the bully has the "air cover" from a top leader or boss. Your emphasis on documenting the facts helps with putting the bully on far less defensible ground.

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maggs224 4 years ago from Sunny Spain

A really excellent article, I particularly like the way you chose the ten things not to do when bullied, followed by why not.

This hub just keeps on giving, because the content is excellent and it has caused an avalanche of responses that are almost as interesting as the article itself.

I love the way in which you have responded to each of these comments each time enhancing both the comment and your own article.

A very interesting article on a serious subject that will help many deal effectively with similar problems in their own work lives.

Voting up and hitting all the relevant buttons on my way out :D

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Audra, I am so glad that it was useful. I know that when someone is going through this kind of situation, it is so important to find relevant resources. I am glad I could share from my own experience to help others. Thanks so much for sharing and for your comment. Take care and nice to see you again.

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

RHW, I agree that it's not fair that we have tip-toe around for those who are so obviously inappropriate. It sounds like you handled your situation in a way that got through and made a difference. That takes a lot of courage. Good for you, for doing it, even that one time! Have an awesome day -- thanks for the comment!

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Tim, you hit it right on. When they are "covered," there's not much you can do to fight it if you don't prove everything you are claiming. It really is like going to court, even if you don't actually go to court. Thanks so much for the great comment. Have an awesome day!

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prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada Author

@Bit, I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I am glad you were able to get out of there, and that a decent boss came along to help you out, and give you the support you need. Thanks so much for the comment, and have a great day!

Oscarlites profile image

Oscarlites 4 years ago from Alabama

PP, I was an assistant maintenance director in an Illinois school district. one of the employees had an ongoing grudge against my boss, the director. and in the process, he was a golf buddy with one of the board members, and seemed to have the business manager in his pocket, due to having 4 kids in school, he had some "clout" . he worked under me, and then he worked half of the day under the grounds director. this bully built up his case and covertly he turned the other director against me, and my boss, the maintenance director, being also their target let them go ahead and take me out. the bully challenged my carrrying out our boss's orders one day while he was working under me. I stood up to him and said Yes, we WILL follow our directives.. the bully was unhappy. later I found him in the warehouse helping someone. that he knew I was on my way to help. I politely moved in between them and he claimed I "bumped" him, and told the story that I was bullying him!. he was the one out of place, as he had instructions as what he was supposed to be doing elsewhere, but he had a "need" to be the one that "helped" everybody. . anyway, as he had his back up buddies, I ended up having to leave to get myself out of the situation. my boss and his postion was also on the line , budget wise, and he was also in a way, their targets.. I was the expendable one. yes, they reduced the work force. and yes, they had their way. I had no more options. I did not know however that they would stoop to claim I was the bully unitl I filed for unemployment. my notes meant nothing. my boss said "im sorry". I'm just saying that there are impossible situations. in the end, the background superviser, was the most at fault for he used the guy that worked part time for me, to try to gain control of the maintenance dept. but my boss ademantly denied this, as he felt he had control of it... but he really didn't and I lost as a result. I can say I believe my boss made the best of it after I left and was not threatened of his job, as he had been there many years. I have paid dearly though in lost income and continuity of employment, /retirement.-- this guy wanted my job in a budget crisis, and he worked his wares at getting his way.

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prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Oscarlites, first of all, sorry for the long delay in answering. I have been out of town working, and unable to get to Hubpages.

I totally agree with you that some situations are almost impossible to win. I am glad you got out, but the price you paid was high. I think they were trying to cover themselves, being scared that you would file for harassment. They thought they would get to you, first. And they did. And it sounds like your boss was in a bit of denial.

I'm really sorry for what you went through. It's good that you can articulate things and realize, for yourself, what happened. I understand the loss of employment. I hope you were able to move on, eventually, and leave it behind you. These situations are so painful and confusing. Take care.

jaydene profile image

jaydene 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is sad but true that it goes on. I find i cannot work in an environment that is any way demeaning and others who do it, seem to get away with it. terrific facts here on what to do. This is why i am pursuing self employment to stay away from this type of politics.

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amandajoyshapiro 3 years ago

This is an excellent hub, and all of the comments are so well written too. To be open about your experiences with bullying in the workplace, and the ways to handle these situations show that one person is not alone in their's. The media so often focuses on childhood bullying between the victims, abusers, their parents, and the horrible consequences. But those stories rarely mention how the teachers and administrators are part of the problem. These issues are only exasperated when bullying is in the workplace between the adult victims, abusers, and bosses. When bullying occurs in the workplace between adults, whether a small or large beauracratic environment, you can't just say that person is being mean and cry. Even though it is adults behaving so poorly, you still have to be the adult and take adult action. Again, great advice on how to handle this.

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prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

@Jaydene, I agree with you that self-employment does seem like the only way to completely avoid these types of problems. It is so prevalent in our workplaces, unfortunately.

@Amanda, thank you so much for the comment and your kind words! I appreciate it so much. You are so right, in that schools are often cultures of bullying, where bullying occurs among staff, as well as students. We cannot teach our children to be loving if we are not there ourselves. Once again, thanks for the comment.

Kosmo profile image

Kosmo 3 years ago from California

This is a very good hub. I like how you stacked your print capsules, thereby providing a wealth of information and advice. It's too bad you had to leave that particular situation, but sometimes it's the best thing to do, because sometimes no matter what you do, "they" prevail. Later!

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prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Kosmo, I appreciate your feedback so much. It was a terrible thing to go through but writing about it helped me heal, and move on with my life. Thanks for stopping by! profile image 3 years ago from upstate, NY

Great Hub, excellent information and suggestions on this important topic!

"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" "

This is interesting and I believe true. Bullies only bully people if they believe they can win in the confrontation, so no doubt their must also be an exploitable weakness that they take advantage of.

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prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

@wba, thank you so much for your generous comment. You make an excellent point. I agree with you that there must be an "exploitable weakness," that allows the abuser to take advantage of them. There may be qualities that are weaknesses in that situation: an insecurity or lack of confidence that allows someone to plow them down. Thanks again for your insightful comment. Have a wonderful day!

bebewrites profile image

bebewrites 3 years ago

great post and I can definitely relate.

i get bullied all the time because I'm the best worker any employer can ever have. I used to always blame myself, make myself feel insecure to the point where i walked out on the job bc I wasn't strong enough, mentally, to accept the fact that I AM THE BEST, and no matter where I go and where I work, there WILL BE somebody there TO TRY TO BRING ME DOWN. I've had enough and now, the instant I recognize hateful gestures, I report it. All of it. I'm tired of trying to be nice. I'm one person. I can't please everyone. I'm the best and I'm NOT SORRY that managers prefer ME over someone who's been there for years. I don't care that my report leads to other employees getting fired. I don't need to work with dishonest, hateful, and immature people that cannot accept the fact that I am better than them.

guest 3 years ago

Thankyou for this article, i went through a similar situation and the bully got away with it because of my mistakes. I feel very bad because i let someone get away with doing bad things, but i have decided to try to move on and learn from my mistakes.

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prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Guest, I am sure you were not expecting it, as I was not, either. So good to hear that you have chosen to move on, and learn from it. In the long run, that is what will benefit us the most. Thank you so much for the comment and for reading. Be blessed!

EmpatheticAdvisor profile image

EmpatheticAdvisor 3 years ago from Montana


All of what you say is true in any bullying situation.

The sad part is that they forced you to move on, and you lost whatever seniority and time you had in there.

In the end you saved yourself, but, and please don't get upset, the bully did win, because they made you leave.

Bullying is about aggression and control.

All of what you said here can be applied on a personal level as well.

I have a brother and sister in law that have systematically tried to bully me, and in a way they have been successful because they have done what they have wanted to , to me and my husband.

It is no use to try to fight them or expose them as they don't care.

I will not leave my husband to make them happy because this is what they have tried to make me do from the start. If I did they would win.

I won't say it hasn't been hard, but I also won't let them have their entire way either nor give them the satisfaction. I can be a thorn in their side too.


cbarbar 3 years ago

I like that you wrote this hub. Before the job I have now, and hearing experiences from others I know, I didn't realize how prevalent this problem is in the workplace. I do agree especially with documenting offenses. But for me, unless I truly loved my job and saw a possibility of things getting better, I would leave too.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

Hey EA, thank you so much for your insightful comment. You make such a good point, that these points would apply to any bullying situation. So true! And you are also right in that I did lose that battle, but I guess I see in the long-term that I was given better opportunities later on.

EA, I am sorry for what you are going through with your family. Sometimes family members can be the worst bullies of all. It sounds like you have held your ground firmly, but it must be an ongoing stress. Thanks again for sharing your story, and for reading mine. Take care!

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prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

@Cbarbar, thanks for the comment. I was the same as you, in that I had no idea that this was so common, either. It is an unfortunate way to find out, from having the experience. Take care, and thanks again!

platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 3 years ago

This is great information it should be posted in a number of large employment facilities.

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prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

@plantinumOwl4, thank you so much for your comment. I would love it if this information could help many people. Take care!

Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

The mistakes you made have been made by a great many of us, myself included. Your comment about being raised as a "nice boy or girl" I found especially appropriate to my own case. I too was taught to respect authority, but this only works when the respect is mutual. Unfortunately, I discovered too late that many times the only way to shake off a bully is to give it back. The bully will give up on you and find an easier target because ultimately they are cowards and bullying is a way of masking their lack of self-esteem. Your hub really moved me, because I have walked in your shoes.

Carl8033 profile image

Carl8033 3 years ago

Is it OK if I bully the bullies in retaliation?

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 3 years ago from Canada Author

@Mel Carriere, you are so right -- it only works when the respect is mutual. And I know what you mean about being a bit tough in return -- maybe that is one of the only ways to stop yourself from being labeled a target. Thanks for the comment!

@Carl, I guess that is one way of handling things, but I don't think a full-on bullying campaign against them will make things better, but only keep it going. Thanks for the comment!

guest 3 years ago

Hey Prairieprincess. I sent a post a few months ago. I have finally gotten around to posting thanks about your kind reply. I like how you admit your mistakes but don't judge yourself to harshly. Hey, we all know we have had enough of that! I feel a lot better about my own situation and realize i did the best with the knowledge i had at the time. Sometimes it just gnaws at me though, but i refuse to live in regret. Thanks again, and good luck in the future. And remember the quote from the Conan film: "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Sudhir Suvarna 3 years ago

Hello Prairie, Hope you are well ?

This is an excellent article. I made the same mistake as you have.

I worked for a bully who treated me like a doormat, humiliated me in public in every meetings, blamed me for anything that went wrong in the project and finally, he got a promoted for a project that I delivered and I was the one who was made redundant.

It took many month and a lot of research to discover that I was bullied by that manipulative jerk.

I did not find a job after that. I got panic attacks, suffered from nervous breakdown and clinical depression. I discovered I suffered from PTSD.

Now I am scared to go back to the corporate world, my savings are running out.

Only saving grace is my spirit to fight back. I will be launching my own stock photo website soon and praying that the website is a grand success and I don't work for any bullies in future.

During my research, I discovered I was not alone. My prayers and best wishes to all those who were bullied that they have the strength to fight back.

Great post and my best wishes to you.

Regards, Sudhir

Amber Gardner 3 years ago

This is one of the best articles I have come across. I have been bullied for 2 straight years at my job. I am jittery, on edge, and unsure for the first hour at work. It's so horrible. Thanks so much for writing this, I actually feel better.

Des13 3 years ago

Thank you for this article. I am a technician and the only woman with 3 co-workers a supervisor and a boss. It is a 6 month contract so I will not be there much longer. The problem is one of my co-workers is a very sly bully. He only confronts me when there is no one else around. Yesterday he positioned himself at the door and tried tactic, I just played stupid and left. I try to never be alone with him, but he is very cunning and seems to pop up out of nowhere. Also when we are all at lunch he tries to be my best friend. I only find out he is coming to lunch with a few of us after I have be asked, so it would seem odd for me to back out at the last minute. I know I need to let this go, but he is such a shmuser and slick. I also think he is related to the supervisor or the boss. This is not the first time and I am sure it will not be the last. I am. Intelligent and have a strong personality, also a hard worker and just want to do my job. That may be what is getting me bullied by these male co-workers. I work for one of the nations larges health care companies.

Nathan 2 years ago

Having been bullied at different stages throughout my life, I finally learned some strategies for dealing with it, which have served me well. What I offer isn't perfect, but it's the best I have. I hope it will be useful to you. You can read the article and watch the video here:

2 years ago

Some good advice. I have a few points for it if happens again. Thanks!

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Rebecca E. 2 years ago from Canada

to the "points" well written and as always informative, the best is leave a paper trail, and be as neutral as possible.

Debbiedavies profile image

Debbiedavies 2 years ago

WOW! I thought i was going cray! Thank you for the information. I can add a story to every single point you have listed; i realize its time for me to move on. And i clearly see how clever bullies are. Unfortunately my companies HR department supports them. I am shocked!

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

This is great advice. To introduce myself I'll tell you my story of being Bullied by what I now call a very aggressive Serial Work Place Bully. I first met him while I was working for a company in Wilmington DE. When I first met him in 2001 he acted like he was my best friend. I later figured out that he was gathering information about me and my family. In 2005, in a matter of a few hours he went from being my best friend to my absolute worst nightmare. He constantly harassed me in the work place from 2005 till 2007 when my position was outsourced to India. He got away with his very aggressive form of bullying day in and day out. When the two of us are in the same room, he acted like he was going to kill me but did not attack me in from of the others in the work place. He did assault me in a dark parking lot telling me that I am not welcome there. Managers and HR kept telling him to stop it but he continued on. Most of his assaults were mental and I was even diagnosed with PTSD. During that time I began reading "The Bully At Work" and to my surprise, he was doing a lot of things that I read in the first 6 to 8 chapters. He would not leave me alone. When I left the company in 8/2007 I was glad that I would not have to put up with his harsh intimidating behavior or hear him constantly defaming my character. I went to two employment lawyers and they both told me that since it would be considered heresy that there was really nothing that I could do. All that would happen is that I would end up spending a lot of money. After I left the company, I worked around the country as a Cobol Programmer Analyst on Tandem systems. After I left a company in Little Rock AR in 2012, I was hired as a consultant for a company north of Pittsburgh PA. I was excited and I moved up there. On the second day, someone stopped me as I was turning into the parking lot, then I saw this Bully slowly walking across and going into the entrance where I was working. How did this guy know I was working there? He know and I was like shocked like a deer staring in the head lights. Anyway, long story short, I witnessed him with his typical defamation of my character, and his dirty looks like he's about to attack me. HE WILL NOT STOP. I don't know why he was there except that he was visiting a friend or interviewing with an adjoining company. I want to another Employment lawyer and he said the same thing that the other two lawyers told me in the past. I was terminated three weeks after my boss told me that I was doing a great job. To keep my sanity through all this experience, I began teaching myself android programming and that is what I'm now doing. I want to write a book about my horrifying experience and now that I published 4 android anti-bullying apps, of which I became possessed with completing, I see this bully reviewing my LinkedIn profile. He's keeping track of me and I'm afraid that if I begin working somewhere else that he would somehow find me and start up with his Bullying. I created a blog and web site hoping to find anybody else who has run into similar circumstances. I'm hoping to find support here. I've been bullied in the past and this Bully is like every bully I had problems with all rolled into one. Thanks for your support:)

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

I really wish that I was able to read this article back in 2005 which was when all the very aggressive bullying was in full swing. Private meetings with me and with the bully. With my boss and his senior architect constantly slipped everything under the rug while the bully appeared to that his Bullying was his main purpose at the company at that time. After over a year, I not only was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress disorder, but I also got very sick where I had my second bowl resection surgery from crones disease. Being as nervous as I was caused the inflammation which caused an obstruction and peritonitis.

After I was out of the hospital, I had a mussel seizure and had my license taken away for six months. I was out of work for over 8 months in 2006, When I went back to work in June 2007, I was called into a private meeting with the VP of our department. The meeting was about the possibility of outsourcing my position to India, That I was to train my replacements for 2 months and then I would be let go with a small severance and a 10% bonus for doing my best to train my replacements. I worked for that company for over 10 years and I end up getting screwed. The Bully continued with his Bullying until the last day I was there.

Well Several years later, after traveling around the country working on different contracts, I ran into this same bully and I was horrified by seeing him after all these years, I observed him with his defamation of character and I was still afraid to confront him. Long story short, I was terminated from my 1 yr contract in Pittsburgh PA. He has the reputation where HE JUST WILL NOT STOP.

I've been laid off since January 2013. I was so upset, that I figured that I only had two options left. The first option was to go postal on this idiot. The second one that came to me was trying to do something positive out of my horrible experience. My web site and my android apps "BullyProofAssistantLite" (Free) and "BullyProofAssistantProfessional" (Paid) which helps those who run into such horrible occurrences in the office. I want to use my abilities to come to the aid for such assaults. All I ever wanted to do is do what I learned in school. I've experienced being bullied in the past, but after I was bullied from October 16 2012 - January 25 2013, I lost interest in finding another position. I feel that this person had successfully destroyed my life and my career as a Tandem Programmer Analyst.

I go out to sites such as this to open up and hopefully find support.

Thanks and God Bless

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

Dear guest, thank you so much for your kind response back. I am so glad that you have learned to forgive yourself. We are often our own worst critics but you are so right in saying that we just need to learn from our mistakes. Take care. I apologize for the long, long delay in responding. I have been away from the site at another job, and am now trying to catch up on comments. Take care!

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

Sudhir, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am sorry that I took so long to respond to your comment. I have been away from the site, on another job, and comments have fell far, far behind.

First of all, I can say that I do understand your sense of fear and trauma. I went through that for a long time, too. Good for you for setting a goal for your own business. And also, that there are nice people out there, too. Not everyone is as heartless as your bully. I hope you find more nice people to fill your life, so that you are able to forget about that miserable person who made your life so difficult. Take care!

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Amber, I am so sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I have been away from this site for several months.

I am sorry for the situation you have been going through at work. It is very hard on a person's mind to go through that. I am glad that you could relate to the article, and I hope you are able to get some relief from your situation.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Des13, it sounds like he is trying to intimidate you, perhaps because you are a woman. Maybe it makes him feel a bit more powerful. That's good that you have managed to elude him. Try to stick with a friend, when you can, so he doesn't have a chance to find you alone. Thanks so much for the comment, and sorry for taking so long to reply. Take care!

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Nathan, thanks for sharing your site. I did look at it, and it gives excellent advice. I will include it as a resource in my article. Take care!

@j, thank you so much. I am glad it was useful. Take care!

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@RebeccaE, it's so nice to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate it, especially coming from you. I hope you are well, and take care!

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Debbie, I am glad you could relate to my story, and it helps you see that it is normal. I know the feeling that you are alone in your situation. Thanks so much for writing, and sharing, and sorry for taking so long to respond to your comment. Take care!

Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 2 years ago

Great Hub very real and useful, I have a family member in a professional work field, this is a big problem these days just as it would be for kids in school, I think it would be a good hub for someone with writing skills to write for students also. I certainly agree documentation is very important.This would also work for students in school. If they do not want to be I'd as the reporter. They can send copies of letters dated to staff about local bulling. I love your Hub useful!

Bk42author profile image

Bk42author 2 years ago from New York

I've been through this in the past and have made those same mistakes. Thank you for sharing your experience. Voted up!

joni 2 years ago

I left work today because I wasn't feeling well and couldn't defend myself against a coworker who has chosen to bully me. She gets this way every month or so and has brought me to tears more than once. This article helped a little. But I'm not sure if documentation would help.

samuel 2 years ago

Our plant manger once told that he was like a god to these people

andrea88 2 years ago

I'm glad that some people think standing up to a bully works and sometimes it does, but when you are in certain industries, especially well connected professions like healthcare, IT or the police or military, changing jobs just makes you more isolated and the bullying easily follows you. Of course people say just change careers but it can take a decade of schooling and getting your foot in the door to build a career. Also it can take that long to get up to earning a good income. So if you are bullied at say...age may be close to retirement if and when you manage to re-educate yourself into another career, that you probably will get bullied out of anyway. Senior people don't have many options once they are bullied.

The best advice I can give is to get records from your harassers if you can. If they are professionals like police or doctors they have to keep records and generally you can request those records. If they are lying about you, they will make mistakes and self incriminate but you may have to endure a lot of bullying in the meantime.

When you counter attack by exposing their self contradicting lies in their own records, use their own sloppy mistakes against them rather than pitting your credibility against theirs. They will do anything to discredit you so don't go there.

Thinking that if you tell the truth, that you will be believed, even with documentation, is very naïve and very high risk with powerful people whose word carries a lot of weight, especially if your abuser is powerful like police, politicians, military, medical or powerful corporations. Pitting your word against theirs, especially when they round up people to defame you, which they can easily do, is a terrible mistake.

I know this because I've been subjected to a decade of bullying throughout my industry. And because my industry serves all other industries (I was in IT for 30 years) there is no industry that I can work in that the bullying does not follow me into. It's very widespread.

No I don't have anyone to support me. I am a single attractive woman that's been harassed for a decade mainly because I complained about abuse by a man that had a powerful friend who used smears to block me from any help from all kinds of so called helping professions. They say when women are harassed there are lots of resources but I assure you there are absolutely no resources if your abuser is a politician, a police officer, a medical professional or a powerful corporate man and if groups of people across several organizations gang up on you, well, you are outgunned. I work in and industry that serves all industries as I said, so spreading bullying across these industries is very easy. Also if you are bullied by police they can spread malicious gossip all over the country about you. They just pretend they are investigating you and everyone listens to them.

Yes this does happen and organizations that are supposed to investigate abuse mostly actually work to protect abusers, not victims. Advocates paid for by tax dollars are paid out of the same tax dollars that medical and police services are paid out of. It's the same coffer really. It's all tax dollars. So if someone powerful like a politician or senior police member or a powerful corporation wants to defame and destroy you, they will. They have ample resources and influence.

So like I say, get your records, make copies, hide those copies in several places and corner them. Because they will enter your home, hack your computer and destroy records.

And don't trust mental health professionals. They are the worst for the most part. The mental health profession has been used as a tool to defame bullied targets for as long as it's existed. You can go to a psych professional and they will say your accusations are paranoid and delusional and then you get apprehended. Watch the movie The Changeling if you don't know how it works. In that movie women are thrown in the mental health detention system and basically disappear and never come out. That movie is set decades ago in the US but I assure you if you get on some police or doctors shit list you can wind up in lock up. I should know - my mother worked in lock up institutions for decades. She warned me. They all know it happens. If you get molested or raped or beaten by a powerful man and you reach out for help, you can wind up being smeared as someone who makes false accusations and if you persist you wind up in lock up as insane. More people defend abusers than victims. It's a hard fact to accept but it's true in some cases, depending on how powerful your abuser is.

That's what's being done to me. I'm not easy game though. And women should realize that they are "game" to many abusers. Women are literally being hunted like a deer in the woods. These guys love the thrill of hunting. It's in their DNA. You are nothing more than a target in a video game to them.

Good luck out there. I mean that sincerely - especially to the women who think our world is a safe place to be single. It's not. That belief is just propaganda.

grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

Excellent info and advice about bullying. Great analysis of what drives the bully. I also like your idea of documenting every incident with the bully in an objective way, and never meeting alone with the bully but always having notes taken with a third party as witness to the notes. You also analyzed the groundwork, too, that oftentimes HR is part of the problem. Man, you are good and very strategic. I also like the ending. Very realistic.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@KissandTales, thank you for your insight. You have given me an idea for another hub. As a teacher, I am very familiar with how this works with kids, too, and it is definitely a very important hub. Take care and thanks so much for the inspiration!

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Bk42author, thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you had a similar experience, but sometimes the best healing is realizing that we are not alone in our problems. I am glad you could relate. Take care!

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@joni, I don't know all the details of your situation but consistent bullying, if it makes you go home early, is definitely a problem. Maybe you could talk to someone above her? I apologize for the delay in responding, but I hope your situation has improved. Take care, and thanks for writing.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Samuel, your boss sounds like he is a charmer ... just kidding! But wow, some people really let the power get to them. Thanks so much for the comment.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Andrea88, first of all, I am so sorry for your situation. I know that doesn't change anything but my heart goes out to you. And I really appreciate your comments, which I agree with completely. That is the reason I got out of my situation and chose to work in a completely different environment. I hope my advice was generic enough for different situations. I work in education, which is also high profile and widespread. So I understand what you are saying.

Thank you so much for bringing up some very important points.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@grand old lady ... thank you so much for your kind comment ... you made my day! And yes, unfortunately HR is part of a system that bullies within an organization. I know that is another topic, very related: organizational bullying. Thanks again, and have a wonderful day.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@bobr1013, thanks so much for the comments, and I do apologize for the delay in responding. I have been extremely busy with work this last year, and have fell behind.

First of all, I am so sorry for your horrific experience. I am so glad you can talk about it now, which I do believe does help. It really does sound tragic but I am so glad you have concluded that you need to do something to help others through this experience. That was also my motivation for writing this hub. I needed to do something proactive because I was still so upset about what happened.

Writing this article really helped me to heal, and to frame my experience in a positive way. I am so thrilled that you are doing something similar, and I believe you will have a good future, in spite of your terrible experience.

I really want to have a look at your site, too. Thank you so much for writing. Take care.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@bobr1013, I looked at your site, and it is excellent! I have now added a link in the "documenting section" of my article. Let's keep in touch!

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

Prarieprincess, thank u so very much for your very positive comments. I've been trying very hard to do something positive. But after all my effort, I'm not seeing any income from my android apps. Around 35 people downloaded my free app. Trying to get the word out on my own is really tough. Aside the person who interviewed me, your comments were the most positive and you can't imagine how great I felt after reading it. I definitely want to keep in touch with you. Please pass the word. Any suggestions on improvements for my apps (bully proof assistant lite and bully proof assistant professional) I would really appreciate it. Again Thanks Bob


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

Bob, promotion is a very hard for me, too, and I am trying to promote my writing more. I definitely want to look at your site more carefully, but what I saw looked solid. I will put some thought into it, too, and try to pass your link around. I think you do have an excellent start on something that could help people. You are obviously good at developing, your chosen field, but it must be very discouraging to put all that work into it, and not receive back. Don't give up, though, because promotion is a whole different game. Let me think about it, and I would like to offer some suggestions on some writers that I read regarding getting more traffic, etc.

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

I'd also like to write a book on my ordeal with this bully which is actually over the course of the last 10,12 years. I strongly feel that this story needs to be told so that steps can be taken to prevent this from ever happening to anyone else. Also, I would love to have more interviews. If u know anyone please forward my story to them.

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

I'd also like to write a book on my ordeal with this bully which is actually over the course of the last 10,12 years. I strongly feel that this story needs to be told so that steps can be taken to prevent this from ever happening to anyone else.

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

Prairie princess,

I was hoping ti get the word out about my experience with this horrible Bully I had to deal with over the years. I was hoping to have more than one interview. I will tell my story to anyone who will listen. If you know anyone who could interview me that would be great. I'm trying to prevent what happened to me to ever happen to anyone else. I'm also looking to write a book about my ordeal. Its unique in that the relationship lasted for over 10 years and affected my job at multiple companies. I first met him in 2001 before 911. He first acted like my friend, then in around 2004 became my absolute worst nightmare. In October 2012, when I began working in Pittsburgh PA, I was terminated 3 weeks after my boss told me that I was doing a great job. Now, out of work and forced into early retirement with a fixed income, all I have left is my sanity and telling my story. I'm just surprised that there weren't too many people responding to my apps and what I wrote on the internet. When I first published my story on over 1.5 million peaple viewed it and gave it a 4 star rating. Anyway, thanks for your support and GOD Bless. Bob

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

prairieprincess I'm doing my best to tell my story in the hopes to prevent what happened to me to happen to someone else. Thanks for your support and God Bless:)

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

Prairieprincess I'm working hard to prevent what happened to me to ever happen to anyone else. I also intend to write a book about my experience with the horrible bully I had to deal with. Thanks for your support and God Bless:)

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@bobr1013 ... I think it is a really good idea to write about your experiences. I think you need to do some more marketing on your app by building a list up. Maybe you could start a blog on the topic, and starting posting relevant links and wisdom that you have found. Ask people to subscribe via e-mail to get your list going. Then, if you develop more apps, they could use them. It is a hard slug, but I think you could develop this idea further. Take care and we will stay in touch.

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

Hi Praireprincess, Thanks for your thoughts. What do you mean "building a list up? I was just thinking of finding usable links. One list of links for children and a second one for adults in the workplace. One of my first links will be this blog. I'm going to move my story to the Blog inside my web site and make sure that the lists will displayed on my home page. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Also, do you set up these ads on this blog?

Lybrah 2 years ago

@bobr1013 I read your story and I think you are dealing with a very sick person who probably has an obsession with you; he probably has an insane crush. Is there anyway you could put out a restraining order on him?

Lybrah 2 years ago

It is really hard not to isolate yourself when bullied, because if the bully is the manager/boss, he or she will have a group. In the case of a bully, if you are not with them, you're against them, and the bully may turn on you. So many people either side with the bully or stay out completely. It is hard to make friends in that environment because no one wants the bully to turn on them too. So consequently, no one wants to be your friend. I had this experience while working in an elementary school. It seemed that no one wanted to befriend me because they knew I was on the principal's hit list. It seemed like everyone was on board with her agenda. I questioned my teaching abilities, but I was writing lesson plans with other teachers who didn't work at the school, and using the ones in the curriculum, and I still got unsatisfactory reviews. I got written up for the most asinine things, such as not having the days of the week on my wall. Or having the title, "Word Wall" above my word wall. And I even copied another teacher's rotation chart, but the principal insisted it was too confusing for students and wrote me up. Like bobr1013, there is nothing I can do. I met with a lawyer who told me I would lose the case, because technically, she didn't do anything illegal. It's not against the law to be an asshole.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Bobr, I will e-mail you with further details, but in a nutshell, I mean building up a list of people who are interested in your apps and work. I will shoot you an e-mail this week, and talk about it further. Take care!

@Lybrah, my experience was in a school, too. Educators can sometimes be the worst bullies of all. Thanks for coming by, and take care.

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

@Lybrah, you make a really good point about the bully getting other people on his or her side, and making it hard to make friends. It is a very isolating experience, and the boss seems to hold all the cards, in this case. I hope you were able to find a better situation. That sounds intolerable. It is so wrong when educators, who are supposed to be the examples for the kids, are the ones doing the bullying, but it is definitely happening out there. Thanks for the comment, and take care!

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

@Lybrah Thanks for your support. He is a real psycho and he will not stop with his madness. When ever he's around me, he gets others to help him with his bullying. I really thought my job was safe since my boss told me that I was doing a great job 3 weeks before I was terminated. Today I'm on a fixed income and am currently in the worst financial situation I've ever been in. Thus far a few people has downloaded my free app and one person has downloaded my paid app. Knowone has yet to make any comments or rate the app in the stores. I'm currently adding new features where people who are being targeted can get information on what to do when they find themselves in a similar situation. (such as this blog). Again, many thanks for your support.

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

@prairieprincess - I need to figure out just how tto do that. Currently 48 people total has downloaded the app and only 19 currently have the app on their device. I'm currently unable to email anybody. Maybe there is a way within my app. I'll have to look into that. Thanks fr your support, Bob

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

@prairieprincess - I just had a brainstorm last night. I'm creating a new HubPages Blog and call it "Could I Have Saved my Job as a Consultant in Warrendale PA (Rather than give in to the Bully)". I then am going to examine each one of the 10 points discussed in your article, compare it to what happened, what I did, and what I really should have done during the Bullying incidents between 10/16/2012 - 01/25/2013. Since I'm in early retirement, I don't really care about going into specific details. I really wish I was able to read this back in 2012. Please send me your thoughts on this.

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bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

Hi Prairieprincess - FYI - I just published my HubPages post at

When you get a chance, please let me know what you think. Thanks, bobr

CharlotteNonnie 2 years ago

This is and has been everything that I'm going through right now. I thought I would research the term of bullying in the workplace and I'm shocked to see that this is what it is that I'm experiencing. I am extremely emotional, have lost any inch of confidence I had and have started to binge eat to make myself feel better, when in actual fact is only making me feel worse at the end of the day. I am scared of what is happening to me and it's all down to one person and they are the one person I am scared to report because they are family of the boss, how awkward would that be to report them. Instead I am keeping my head down, not going out of my way for anyone, and looking for the next job there is. God bless anyone who will ever experience this and I hope they have the confidence to speak out unlike me. Thank you for this article it has really helped me

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prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

Charlotte, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I am glad you are able to see clearly what is happening, so that you can take some kind of action. Sometimes it feels so paralyzing, but try to get away even for a little while, to clear your head, and decide what you want to do. My heart goes out to you. If it is a very small family-run business, it might be hard to get a transfer out. Sometimes leaving is your best option, but only you can say, because you know all the details of your situation. Take care, and thanks so much for writing. Feel free to e-mail me, as well, if you want to bounce ideas about what you can do from here. Take care.

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

@CharlotteNonnie - maybe you can check with an Employment Lawyer. Send correspondence to him and see what he says. I paid $250 for one hr. I wish I had been able to talk to him while I was in the midst of the last time I was assaulted.

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

@prairieprincess, Hi prairieprincess FYI - I just published my android apps with some major enhancements. I added menus which gives users internet access to ten web sites (5 for work and 5 for children in school) where people can get the help and support they need. I included this blog as one of the resources on my apps and my web site (

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 2 years ago from Canada Author

Bobr1013, wow, that's great! Thank you ... I really do appreciate the link! I will have a look at your site, and see what you have done. This sounds like an excellent resource.

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

@prairieprincess - Thanks for your support - please check out my new enhancements on Google Play and pass the word. I'm hoping to find people who will try it out and give me a positive rating. If you know anyone, please forward them my name, web site, and apps.

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

@prairieprincess - I've been sharing this at several anti-bully sites. Please let me know what you think.

Hello Everyone,

It’s been almost two years since I was viciously assaulted while working for Federated in Warrendale PA (23 miles north of Pittsburgh). Since then, to take my mind off of all that crap, I’ve focused my attention on making major enhancements to my android anti-bully apps while searching for a new position. As I said before, I’m trying to come up with some useful tools which I feel can assist someone who is targeted by Bullies. Besides being able to send emergency text messages or e-mails, the apps also have links to some very good information on the subject of Bullying from 10 popular web sites on the internet.

I’m inviting you to please download my free version of my android anti-bully app “Bully Proof Assistant Lite” from Google Play at: Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements or enhancements. I’m hoping to get some honest feedback on these apps.

After my last experience with this horrible Bully, I figured that I had two choices. Going Postal or work on doing something very positive. I feel that I’m doing something very helpful by helping others. If you want to support me, I would appreciate it if you would purchase my paid app for 0.99 cents.

Please note that these apps have the added capability via a special setting for sending messages in either the Working or School environments (slight changes in the wording).

These apps are set up where the user doesn’t need to spend too much time typing, so the e-mails are set up with specific wording. If you have any suggestions on changing the wording, please let me know.

Thanks for your support and God Bless,

Bob Richardson

bobr1013 profile image

bobr1013 2 years ago from Telford PA

Hello Everyone,

I'm writing to let you know about 'Bully Proof Assistant android apps'.

Take a moment to check it out on Indiegogo and also share it with your friends. All the tools are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. If enough of us get behind it, we can make 'Bully Proof Assistant android apps' happen!

Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I'm really sorry you had to go through this and thank you for the excellent tips on what not to do. It's a shame that workplaces put up with this type of behavior. Bullies should be warned to shape up or ship out but that doesn't always happen unfortunately.

Stargrrl 21 months ago

I was bullied at work. It's hard not to think about it. I feel real angry, and hope my enemies will someday pay dearly for what they have done. Dramatic, yes, but there are really crappy people out there. 20 months ago

Excellent information! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

LizMac60 profile image

LizMac60 20 months ago from United Kingdom

A good hub based on experience. I see by the comments that you have struck a chord with many people.

Maggie Bonham profile image

Maggie Bonham 20 months ago from Missoula, Montana

Very true, unfortunately.

Besarien profile image

Besarien 20 months 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.

sosown profile image

sosown 20 months 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.

sandeep15r profile image

sandeep15r 20 months ago from New Delhi

Great hub!

letstalkabouteduc profile image

letstalkabouteduc 19 months 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!

DynamicS profile image

DynamicS 19 months 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!

ShelleyHeath profile image

ShelleyHeath 19 months ago from Birmingham

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

WhiteMuse profile image

WhiteMuse 19 months ago from San Francisco

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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jlpark 19 months 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)'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.

kbdressman profile image

kbdressman 19 months 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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FatBoyThin 19 months 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.

Eric 19 months 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.

joxworld 18 months ago

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

Anonymous 17 months 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.

eilval profile image

eilval 16 months 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.

Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 16 months 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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peachpurple 15 months ago from Home Sweet Home

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

Vagabond Laborer profile image

Vagabond Laborer 15 months 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!

Christinavictory 12 months 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.

breathing profile image

breathing 12 months 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.

Tana 11 months 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!

PhD student 10 months 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.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 10 months ago from Canada Author

@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.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 10 months ago from Canada Author

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.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 10 months ago from Canada Author

@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!

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 10 months ago from Canada Author

@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.

Damari Stratford 10 months 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 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 ~

Snowsprite profile image

Snowsprite 10 months 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.

Robert 10 months ago

i don't know

Beer Pong profile image

Beer Pong 10 months ago

Very informative piece of work. Thank you

Fatimaaa27 profile image

Fatimaaa27 9 months ago

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

ChristinaVictory 9 months 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.

prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 9 months ago from Canada Author

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.

Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 9 months 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

hubber8893 profile image

hubber8893 7 months 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.

Happylovejoy profile image

Happylovejoy 7 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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