So, you thought that bullying was a thing of the primary school past? That it would disappear along with math homework and bad lunchroom food? Instead, now you are faced with a boss that beats you down or a malicious coworker who seems to be better at making life miserable than at doing their job. You can’t stick your tongue out, but there are solutions that just might solve your bully situation. Read on for ways to make the office a better place for you.

Evaluate Your Situation

Before you take action, it can be helpful to evaluate your situation. Not just to determine your action, but to make sure that what you are experiencing is really bullying and not just a miserable manager. The following behaviors are considered as bullying:

  • sexual harassment
  • hurtful comments that make fun of you
  • physical violence
  • giving you irrelevant tasks and setting you up to fail
  • initiation or hazing rituals

It’s important to remember that a bad boss doesn’t necessarily equal a bully. If you are the only person at your job that is singled out for this type of negative treatment, chances are it is bullying. And isolated incidents are typically not grounds for bullying claims—the behavior should be prolonged and recurring. Try to be as objective as possible and ask for a second opinion.

Stand Up For Your Rights

Want respect? You have to earn it. Don’t stoop to the level of your bully by shouting or threatening. Instead, remain cool and professional. They’ll have no ammunition and you won’t be giving them what they’re looking for. Practice a calm response, and use it. If you are consistent with your bully, they will likely begin to respond differently. And don’t let the bully’s negative vibes rub off on you. Stay confident in your abilities, and you will be untouchable.

Prove it

Actions speak louder than words, and a picture’s worth a thousand. Ready to take action against your bully? Save e-mails, voicemails, or anything that could serve as proof of the bully’s bad behavior. Keep a log of verbal assaults. You might find this helps you keep your cool, too. Meanwhile, make your work shine by being especially diligent. Your bosses will have nothing to complain about and you’ll look like a model employee.

Seek Out Superiors

You shouldn’t try to face this situation alone. Seek out a mentor that can give you advice on the situation, a friendly ear to bend, and an objective point of view. When you are ready to take action, approach your superior at the office. If the superior is the bully, try the HR department. Bring documentation of the bullying and try to be as professional as possible.

Get Out

If you have done your job well, tried to make others aware of the situation, and you are still getting no response, it may be time to check out. You’re not losing a battle, simply moving on.

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