Your Fears : Are you a victim of workplace bullying?
Consider whether you would answer Yes or No to the following six questions:
- Are you afraid to meet or speak with a work colleague or manager?
- Have you lost confidence in yourself and your work?
- Are you afraid to voice an opinion because it will be ridiculed?
- Are you becoming increasingly reluctant to go to work, taking every opportunity to be out of the workplace?
- Is your health being affected? For example: headaches, insomnia, panic attacks, stomach problems, loss of appetite etc.
- Are you feeling depressed, angry, tearful etc.?
You need to take action if you answered Yes more than No. But do make sure that the cause of your distress is work-related and not due to other problems as well - at home for example.
Bullies are weak, not strong. They become aggressive because they are insecure and often pick on people they are jealous of. They are truly sad people.
A workplace bully may well have been the victim of bullying when they were at school - or even treated badly at home when they were growing up. Their frustration and anger grows until they become aggressive and cross the delicate line from victim to bully. It may be that by being nasty they keep other people at a distance, or just the opposite, drawing attention to themselves.
You do not have to put up with being bullied at work. If someone is making your life at work a misery, tell yourself that they are the sad ones not you. Keep believing in yourself and your abilities. If you have high esteem, the bully is powerless to hurt you.
Some things you can do to deal with workplace bullies:
- If your work is criticised, ask other colleagues to give a second opinion.
- If there are verbal attacks, try to stay calm and stand firm. If you retaliate, things might get worse. But do keep a record of it. What happened, what was said, who said it etc.? If possible, get a colleague to agree that what you have written is true.
- If you are being given loads of work, write a list of all the tasks you have to do. You can check this against your job description.
- Keep a log or diary of all the bullying events - but don't leave it lying around.
- Speak to other colleagues. Are they having the same problems? If so, can a few of you get together and make an informal approach to the bully?
- Look after yourself and try to relax when you are away from work. Do take breaks and holidays if you think it would help. You are entitled to annual leave.
- If you feel that you just can't cope, go and see your GP and see if you can get sick leave.
- If all else fails, talk to the company's Human Resources (formerly known as Personnel) department or your union rep if you are in a union. You could also try ACAS or your local Citizens' Advice Bureau CAB.
- Get in touch with the Andrea Adams Trust Helpline - 01273 704900 or visit their website: www.andreaadamstrust.org
Your local Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and Citizens' Advice Bureau will be listed in the phone book.