The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
In the workplace, bullying can be characterized as a long-term pattern of abuse. Verbal criticism, character attacks, ridicule, demeaning, and exclusion are all examples of bullying. It doesn’t matter what position you hold at work; anyone can be a bully or a victim of bullying.
More than 30% of workers have been bullied at work per the Workplace Bullying Institute. People who work from home are more likely to experience workplace abuse, as seen by the 43.2% who said they had.
Anti-social behavior at work has a negative influence on employee health. Workplace productivity and performance can potentially suffer as a result.
Workplace bullying can manifest in a number of ways, some of which are explored in this article. We’ll also discuss the ramifications for the workplace and steps that individuals can take to assist prevent such behavior.
Signs of Abuse in the Workplace
If you’re a victim of workplace bullying, you’re likely to begin each week with a sour taste in your mouth. Finally, the countdown begins for your next weekend or vacation. Adult bullies may engage in inappropriate behavior, such as:
- Harassing others
- Forcing someone to perform something they may not want to do
- Not appreciating what someone has done
- Making someone feel embarrassed in front of their boss, coworkers, or clientele
- Making people feel excluded
- Making others fearful
- Making false statements to others
- Making sarcastic comments
- Inappropriately claiming credit for someone else’s work
- Making threats to people
- Criticism that is unjustified
Bullying in the workplace need not always be overt or aggressive. In more subtle forms, such as gaslighting, the bully engages in abusive behavior but denies it. Gaslighting is a bullying tactic that aims to make the victim doubt their own perceptions of reality and their own experiences.
How to Deal with Abuse at Work
There are ways to deal with bullying in the workplace that you can employ. The following are possible courses of action for you:
- Tell the bully what they’ve done and that their behavior is inappropriate when they engage in abusive behavior. You need to make it clear to them that their behavior is unacceptable and that you will take measures if it happens again. Setting limits enables others to know what you are willing to tolerate.
- Following through with repercussions is vital after establishing a boundary. The next time the abuse occurs, call out the conduct. You should ask them to leave until they can behave in a respectable, work-appropriate way.
- When you feel you’ve been harassed at work, keep a record of the incident, including the time and the specifics of what happened. Record the names and contact information of everyone who may have witnessed the abuse, as well as any documents or records that may serve as evidence.
- Talk to your boss or HR department: Your employer should be consulted if you’ve made no progress in resolving the bullying situation on your own. To learn more about how to make a complaint, consult your job’s employee handbook.
While you should do everything you can to protect yourself from bullying, it’s also critical that you care for yourself. Take advantage of social networks and stress-reduction techniques to cope with life’s challenges. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, seek help. Additionally, check out resources from BetterHelp to learn more about what you can do to cope with harassment or unjust treatment at work.