Can’t stand that workplace bully in the office? Office bullying occurs far too often in the workplace. Not just on the playground or at a school setting. After all, the workplace can be like high school in many ways. Just without a set graduation date in sight. So what’s the best way to deal with workplace bullying?
When the coworker or boss is the bully.
Trying to remain professional with a bully in the 9-5 corporate world is no easy task. After a decade of working in corporate, I can say with first hand experience that the office setting is like a playground for cognitive dissonance.
Unfortunately, I’ve experienced office bullying not once, twice, but three times. The bullying occurred at different times and in different offices.
One bully was a female supervisor that took out her anger and insecurities on subordinates. And boy did she have a lot of anger.
She was going through a broken engagement and having an affair with a married colleague in the office. Fortunately, she eventually transferred to a different department. But that was after a year.
Another bully was a male colleague preferred to read the newspaper and socialize all day. He avoided work at all costs and eventually, managers called him out on a daily basis.
That fed his insecurities big time. He found an outlet by being passive aggressive towards others who took their work seriously.
The truth prevails much faster when you take the high road.
Another time, I worked with a office bully who enjoyed pointing out other colleagues’ mistakes. It was a power trip for her.
She would point out various issues and bring it up to the boss. Unfortunately for her, the issues she brought up only showed how much she misunderstood the work.
Each time she pointed out an issue with me, I explained to her my point of view. In fact, I would let her have the last word in all the emails. Boy did she like that!
Let crazy be crazy.
As she continued to have her power trip and cc the bosses in emails, I was reaching my breaking point. Fortunately, so did the bosses.
After having multiple coworkers complain about her behavior and with the emails to back it up, one of the senior managers spoke to her about harassment. As you can imagine, she was shocked.
She thought she was “winning” all the little battles but ultimately she lost the war. Her own war that she created in the first place.
It wasn’t easy but over time, I learned to take the high road.
Working next to someone or for someone who is using the office place as an outlet to unleash their personal issues is downright suffocating. But there’s no excuse for bad behavior.
We all have a lot going on in our personal life. When under a lot of stress, sometimes it can seep into our professional life.
Sometimes, we are the ones being difficult. While other times, it’s the people we work with that are letting their personal life dramas interfere with their work life.
Even trying to understand their personal challenges does not excuse them for their toxic behavior. Here are some of the many ways to turn the negative vibes into positive fuel.
Determine the end goal.
Rather than striking back, there’s an easier and more effective way to deal with bullying or any form of negative behavior. In order to stand up for yourself, first have a clear goal in mind.
Being reactive is normal. But before reacting to the situation, ask yourself what is your ultimate goal.
Is your ultimate goal to get the heck out of the toxic work environment? Keep your job and try to deal with the day to day office politics?
If so, there’s no need to win every battle.
Easier said than done? Nope. Standing up for yourself does not necessarily mean you have to fight back. No girl, that’s the hard way to go about it.
So keep the gloves on.
Be strategic about it. Trying to prove a point or win every single battle gets you caught up in the rat race. Instead, save yourself the time and energy by taking the high road.
It’s easy to confuse taking the high road as being a doormat. But taking the high road does not entail being a pushover. First take the steps needed to emotionally detach from office drama.
Still finding it hard to keep the gloves on?
I hear you. I’m an Aries and an empath. Honestly, sometimes I thrive on being reactive.
If you’ve given it your all to remain professional and are still feeling heavy, take a step back. Perhaps you’ve reached your wits end. Then maybe it is time to move on.
After a decade of dabbling in different career paths, I realized a 9-5 job was simply not for me. It all started when I couldn’t stand one too many difficult coworkers that I began thinking about a career with more job autonomy.
I used the toxic work environment as a motivator to get the heck out of the rat race. Specifically, I created multiple streams of income to speed up my journey to financial independence.
Create an exit strategy.
Focusing on an exit strategy can help to detach from workplace drama. Even if you never do use the exit strategy, at least it can help ease the tension of feeling stuck. Here was my exit strategy that allowed me to quit my 9-5 job.
For starters, I created an emergency fund in case I needed to quit and take time off to plan out next steps. With every reason to leave the toxic environment, I quickly established my emergency fund within 6 months.
Besides applying for a new job, get creative. There are many ways to have a side hustle these days. I had fun trying out different side gigs. Eventually, I narrowed it down to focus on creating passive income to achieve financial freedom.
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