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How to deal with a bully at your job

Bullying is not an issue specific to the school environment. This problematic behavior is common in the workplace, too. According to a recent survey, approximately 60 percent of workers in the U.S. are victims of workplace bullying.

Supervisors, superiors and co-workers can all be perpetrators of bullying. If you believe you are being bullied at your job, you may not exactly know how to handle the situation. It can be an intimidating situation to be in, but here are some ways to deal with a bully at work. 

Know the signs

First, it is helpful to recognize bullying when it happens. Common examples of bullying include:

  • Exclusion from meetings
  • Not getting credit for your contributions
  • Gossip
  • Someone belittling or sabotaging your work
  • Someone yelling or swearing at you
  • Receiving inflammatory texts or emails
  • Someone consistently bringing up your mistakes 

No one should have to deal with any behavior like this, especially in a professional environment. 

Speak up, but do not be reactive

It is important to stand up for yourself. Be assertive, but not overly emotional or aggressive. Simply inform the bully that you will not tolerate this behavior. 

Document everything

Your interactions with the bully may not be something you want to ruminate on, but it is vital to document the details. Write down the specific things the bully says or does. Jot down the dates and times of everything. This provides a timeline to your employer and helps you recall necessary information. 

Report the issue

Once you get legal advice about your situation, consider reporting the bully to your supervisor or HR department. When you report harassment, discrimination or bullying, your employer has an obligation to remedy the problem. It is best to report this in writing. A written report is harder for your employer to ignore than a verbal notice. 

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