You thought you left bullying back in high school? You were wrong! Adults can be bullies as well, and they can literally terrorize employees or coworkers.
Back in 2008, researchers from the University of Phoenix published a study called Workplace Bullying: Aggressive Behavior and Its Effect on Job Satisfaction and Productivity. A massive part of the participants (75%) reported that they witnessed mistreatment of coworkers at one point or another. 47% of the participants shared they had been bullied throughout their careers.
Those statistics are staggering. With the latest Hollywood scandal whose details keep coming up, we realize that even the most glamorous industries are not immune to bullies.
The biggest problem is that many people are being bullied without even realizing it. They know something is wrong with the approach of their boss or coworkers towards them, but they cannot define this behavior and they are afraid to speak up.
Let’s clarify this once and for all: are you dealing with an office bully? These 6 obvious signs prove that you are:
Bullies love this tactic, since it helps them get what they want. This is a kind of passive-aggressive behavior that makes the victim feel threatened or insecure. The bully wants you to do something, and they will manipulate you in a skillful manner.
For example, a coworker will purposefully block the work progress because they don’t want you to complete your report on time. They will find all kinds of excuses for doing that. They will make you believe they are doing their part of the work, but will fail you.
A manipulative boss will falsely promise new projects or career progress if you just do this thing right. Then, you’ll have to do the other thing right, and then another thing will appear. You’ll keep doing things for them and you’ll only get promises in return.
2. Constant Need of Attention
An office bully is not much different from a child bully. They do this because they want attention. But they won’t do it by telling jokes or being lovely. That’s not bullying. The bully is a person who will use something they know about you, just so they can remove you as a competitor and stand in the spotlight all by themselves.
This is someone who will tell lies about you, so they can get attention from the other employees. They will willfully give incorrect information, so they will gain competitive advantage over you. They will want to take all credit for the success of a particular project, even though you were the one doing all the work for them.
3. Unreasonably High Self-Confidence
The bullying behavior may come from low self-esteem, but that’s not how others perceive it. Usually, bullies appear like overly self-confident people. They think they are hot stuff.
Marion Stafford, hiring manager at UK Careers Booster, shares her insights: “I’ve had an overly confident bully in my team and it wasn’t a nice experience. She was a researcher who kept bragging about the great results she’s achieved. That’s not so bad, but the problem was that she was trying to sabotage my other researchers by not sharing information and by giving wrong information on purpose. She couldn’t stand the thought of someone else being better than her. It took some time for the team members to step up and share their revolt with this behavior.”
If you’re going through a hard time and the office bully finds out about your personal life, they will spread the word around. They will tell everyone about your circumstances. This is the person who gossips about people’s partners, kids, lovers, money issues, bank loans… everything. And the person in question is not even around.
They do this with the purpose to undermine your influence over other people. They want others to see how vulnerable you are.
5. Public Shaming
This is possibly the hardest tactic for a bullied person to handle. The bully will yell at them in front of other people for a tiny mistake. If you spill the coffee on the way to your desk, the bully will shame you for it. If you ask a simple question because you’re new at the job and you can’t know everything, the bully will embarrass you.
They will constantly give remarks to your work, making you feel less and less confident in your own capacity.
6. They Won’t Leave You Alone
When a bully picks on someone, they glue onto them. They will call this person several times per day, constantly asking for small or big favors. They will send texts and emails, always pressuring this person to respond.
An office bully wants other people to do work for them. If they hold a supervising position, they make the job unbearable for the ones “below” them.
Did you recognize your coworker or boss in some of the behaviors above? It means you’re dealing with a bully. Recognition is your first step to success. Now what do you do?
Well the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to them. If you realize that what they do or what they ask for is not fair, just tell them that it’s not part of your job and you won’t be taking it any longer. Bullies are strong, but you have to be stronger!