Do you feel agitated and anxious, anticipating an impending sense of doom before starting every work week? No, we are not referring to the transient Monday blues, but to the real obsessive instinct that you feel!
If the answer is yes, then you are a victim of workplace bullying! Workplace bullying is a persistent pattern of mistreatment that can be verbal, nonverbal, psychological or physical that causes either bodily or emotional harm. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) report 2007, work place bullying is four times more prevalent and toxic than other types of harassment or racial discrimination at workplace. Several case histories suggest that confronting and reporting the bully are effective ways to end to this sick behaviour, which results in severe psychological damage to the victim. But how to avoid the harmful emotional after-effects you would suffer, as a victim?
HereÔÇÖs what you must not do, if you want to get out of this bullying saga, unruffled!
Pointing fingers at yourself
DonÔÇÖt give into the self-blame game. When you are bullied, remember that itÔÇÖs not your fault. Remember that the onus for this psychological violence lies with the abuser and not the victim. So do not be led into that self-vindictive mode, where you feel that you deserve to be belittled or abused at work. Never underestimate your self-worth!
Brooding over it
Brooding over the past makes you weak. So never dwell on previous mistakes or errors, even if they are on your side. Several reports have shown us a strong correlation between bullying and suicidal tendencies. Relieve yourself by talking about your experience to a trustable person. However the important thing to do is to move on!
Assuming issues will sort out on their own
Workplace bullying is not an impulsive snort that comes out during a rough situation. Rather itÔÇÖs a compulsive habit, the bully carries forward right from his childhood. So unless you take substantive action against the bully, it will not stop!
ItÔÇÖs very important that you monitor and document every encounter with the bully. Only then will you be able to prove the abusive pattern to your higher authorities. While documenting the incidents, you must be verbatim and not jot down your assumptions or ponderings. Or you may run the risk of trivialising your experience!
Never confront or try to sort out issues with the bully in private. After any meeting, immediately send an official email listing down the points of discussion. If not you might run the risk of being blamed and shamed for not adhering to any allegedly discussed action points. ThatÔÇÖs running your head right into a guillotine!
Remember that you have as much right to be at the work spot as does the bully. So donÔÇÖt be intimidated when the bully asks you to leave or shouts down at you. Address the inappropriate words in a polite but firm tone.
Always remember that isolating yourself or waiting too long to ask for help will only be detrimental to you. So call out and speak up without getting overwhelmed. Never listen to pessimists who say you do not have a case!