We all like to think that bullying ends in the playground at school, that when you graduate you are free from those who want to ‘tall poppy’ you – cut you down when you stand tall, that is. Unfortunately, no matter where you go in life or how old you get, there will always be bullies. There will always be people out there who think that they can stand over you and tell you how to behave, influence you to do certain things and make you feel small.
The good news, is that you’re not a child anymore. You’re an adult – one who knows how to stand up for themselves even when it feels difficult. Bullying in the workplace is pretty much the worst type of bullying an adult can experience. You are in a place of work, one that’s supposed to enhance your career, not pull you downward. You can speak to an experienced unemployment lawyer if the bullying has seen you lose your job, but what do you do in the meantime? How do you tell what type of bully you are dealing with? There is more than one type, and below, you’re going to read about four different types of workplace bullies and how to cope with them:
- Aggressive Bully. An angry type, they throw their weight around by throwing insults and personally picking on you as the person you are as well as the way that you work. They’ll humiliate you, embarrass you and they’ll do it publicly for good measure.
- Spineless Manager. Have you ever had a manager or team leader who takes pleasure in humiliating you in front of the rest of the team to make themselves look strong? Yeah, they exist. These are the guys who would fire you over a complaint than resolve it and admit that they’re wrong.
- Two-Faced Friend. A colleague you confide in, who listens intently and tries to advise you while at the same time talking about you to your employer and letting you take the hit for mistakes. Those are not your friends, but they sit next to you with a nice-as-pie expression.
- Character Assassin. Gossiping, dangerous and out to cut you down before you get too good at what you do. Your reputation gets torn apart without even knowing.
Other than leaving your job, you need to learn how to deal with the bullies. Firstly, you need to realize your bully is waiting for a reaction. Keep a workplace game face on at all times while you build a case. Document everything that happens to you – you need this record to take to court when you want to take them down. Lastly, finding an ally at work is important. Make it your HR manager if necessary; they can help you track the bullies on the down low which can make a huge difference to how your reputation comes off. Don’t be afraid to stand up to the people hurting you at work: remind yourself you don’t deserve it.