The Office Bully

Bambang Ramdhan

How to deal with it.

Bullies are like disease. They can attack any parts of your body. Any parts of your life. And bullying is everywhere: at school, Internet, home, and (not so surprising) at workplace.

Bullying that exist in the workplace can affect us greater. A place where we earn money for living can turn into a hell that intoxicates us emotionally and physically. You can’t get out because your life might depend on it. But it doesn't mean there’s nothing you can not do.

You can always deal with things that happen around you, that counts bullying.

Comprehend the bullying

Bullies at the workplace are not the typical bullies we've found at schools. Not that kind of mean girls or cruel boys. They don’t attack us physically or disturb us in the bathrooms. In the workplace, the bullies usually bully their subordinates by abuse of power. They could be your co-workers, colleagues, and they could also be your bosses.

Of course, if you are bullied at work you could (and maybe you should) quit. But that’s not always the option: you need pay checks, you love your job, and you are too passionate to leave everything behind. There’s another job, but it’s not an easy process. We, who have been through the recruitment process, know that. Know the difference. Think carefully about the “bullying” that happens toward you at work. Are they bullying you or they encourage you in a tough and stern way because they want to make you work harder? To make you a better employee?

The form of bullying comes in an inappropriate way. That’s the first thing you must understand. Bullying behaviour is abusive and without merit. But a helpful and supportive boss or colleague doesn't act inappropriately, though they may be tough.

Use your wit

To torture other emotionally, bullies at the workplace will use their power as their ultimate weapons. Sometimes they use their words to trap you into an endless debate in order to make you feel small and useless. By face to face or worst, by using communication tools: Slack, Yahoo Messenger, or Email.

If that happens to you, use your wit. You are smarter than them because you don’t bully. You know how to communicate. Using your knowledge will make them stop. If they trap you into a debate just to corner you, you can always confront them by facts. In my many occasions, bullies are smart to talk but they usually make opinions based on their subjective preferences.

Don’t fall into their harsh words, if you fall then you lose. You can always counter-attack them by using your smart-based-on-fact-words. If you’re the type of a person who doesn't talk much, start practising from now.

Remember not to fall to their traps if they use communication tools to bully you. Don’t give them answers.

By the way, the encouraging bosses will never use third party communication tools if they want to talk to their subordinates about things that must be discussed face to face. Sure, the communication tools help people in an effective way to communicate. But they are lack of emotions, face negotiations, gestures, and etc. which by means some of the most important factors in communications. The smart bosses who encourage you will talk to you directly because they love to interact with you to make you feel encouraged. They will understand you, strengthen you face to face.

Start recording the behaviour

Everything is recordable now. Inappropriate behaviour towards you at work can be recorded and it’s a must! Your boss or co-worker may send you an outburst or a condescending email or message. The first thing to do is document them in a way they can’t find them. You are not being tricky or snaky here, if there’s a need for you to tell your boss’ boss or your HR manager about the bully behaviours at work, you need actual and documented evidences.

The documents will act as proof of the mistreatments.

Be Communicative

Nothing can not be done by being communicative. Once you get mistreated, you can always make conversation — clever communication — by asking why you’re treated in such behaviour.

Being communicative will also provide you a chance to make a conversation with your bullies if they have not backed down. Tell them what you feel calmly and honestly. Give an exact time and place when you feel distressed. Don’t be afraid even if the bully is your boss. You can always find a way to communicate.

I know it’s a gambling because not every bullies are capable to communicate. Bullies talk, but they don’t communicate.

Stand up

Before you stand up for love, you have to stand up for yourself. It includes defending yourself from any bullies you might get. Sometimes it’s not easy for us to defend ourselves. We might be afraid of getting into troubles, or worst we might think we’re weak.

That’s the most pitying thing we might have done to ourselves. Never think of losing if we don’t want to lose. Never think of being weak if we want to be strong. If something unfair happens in your office, you can always stand up for yourself. The same exact thing you must do when you are bullied in any ways you can’t accept.

Don’t be afraid. Be afraid of losing your life if you can’t defend yourself.

Bambang Ramdhan

Written by

A man who loves to write.

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