This week we’ve been talking about bullying. Bullying in the workplace and bullying outside of the workplace. Here as part 3 of 3, we’ll be discussing bullying in more depth and what to do about it if you think you might be experiencing it.
Are You Being Bullied?
First things first, is to identify bullying. What is it exactly and how to identify it. Ascertaining who it is you think is bullying you is a good start. We talk more about this here in this article and how, in the workplace for one, this can move up and down the scale of ‘professional hierarchy’.
Here’s a Shortlist of Some of the Types of Bullying:
(If you’re concerned you’re being bullied and what you’re experiencing doesn’t appear on this list, this does not mean it’s invalid. Please scroll to the end of the article for links to professionals for expert advice.)
- Criticism which is unwarranted / untrue / unsubstantiated (personal or professional)
- Embarrassing individuals
- Demeaning others
- Preventing others from performing or being promoted
- Sexual harassment
- Threatening behaviour (physical or verbal)
Modes of Bullying:
Bullying doesn’t always happen face to face. It can also go under the radar because it’s non-verbal or via other forms of conversation. Some of these include:
- Social media
- Text or Whats App
- Phone calls
- Letters (anonymous or otherwise)
N.B: None of the above outweigh another. Bullying is bullying in equal measure.
How Bullying can Affect Someone
If you’re being bullied you may experience anxiousness, nervousness, stress, lack of sleep or insomnia. All of these affect a person’s self esteem and confidence. Aside feeling awful you will likely feel bad within yourself.
In addition, as human beings, if we are stressed or anxious we are less likely to manage daily tasks effectively. At the worst form, all aspects of an individual’s life will therefore be affected.
It is common for someone experiencing these issues to be absent from work due to ill feeling, physical ill health and general melancholy can develop. In more serious cases, this could cause depression in the individual or stress disorders.
What to do if You’re Being Bullied:
Often is the case that those being bullied are advised to speak to a bully and confront matters head on in order to squash whatever the underlying issue may be. We do not advocate this unless you feel you want to.
If you feel you can approach another and are comfortable doing so, then so be it. It is perfectly normal however that you may not feel comfortable in doing so, in which case escalate it to someone in your team if you can or someone who Can deal with the problematic scenario.
It’s important to remember at this point that the perpetrator is the one harbouring the resentment and that holding a grudge is not healthy for anyone. To move past it, will be as much about escalating it to someone who can crush it as it is then mentally moving past it yourself. Some feel it helpful to chat in a judgement free zone to a counselor or therapist during or after a matter has arisen.
Please do not doubt yourself and your capabilities. Self worth is not found in the opinions of others.
Who to Go To if You’re Being Bullied:
Inter-company complaints of this nature should go to a line manager or to your HR department. If this has not been dealt with within the workplace or if you simply can’t go to someone within your company then speaking to someone professional, externally will likely be your next move.
External Assistance (UK)
Citizens Advice – Advice on legal matters (free)
Samaritans – Emotional Support (free)
ACAS – Advisory Conciliation & Arbitration Service