So, you finally got hired at the company you’ve always wanted to work for. You passed the interviews, impressed the hiring managers, and secured the job. That’s great! So you begin working in the office and everything’s been good so far. But then, after your first few weeks, you notice something is off. You notice that this particular colleague has been treating you differently. It’s like they don’t want you in their team. Many times, you feel excluded. And it doesn’t stop there. You notice that this certain colleague has been criticizing you non-stop every time they get the chance. At first, you just try to shake off this annoyance. But it’s starting to get to you. You’re having a hard time focusing on giving your best performance because of that colleague who is always standing in your way. In other words, you feel that you are being targeted by an office bully. Now, what should you do about it?
First of all, bullying is a serious matter. It does not only happen inside the classroom or in the school playground. It happens in an office too. A lot of employees have experienced or witness some form of coercive behavior in the workplace. Oftentimes, employees feel rather clueless on how to stop workplace bullying or how they should handle this without causing a commotion in the office. It can get tricky because not all offices enforce anti-bullying policies that protect their employees. It is also normal to feel doubtful. After all, no one wants to risk losing their jobs.
Keeping calm in the face of bullying is one of the first things you can do. Try your best to remain professional and focus on your work. Avoid getting too emotional or overly confrontational. It is not always good to approach office issues with strong emotions. There are some bullies who eventually stop their negative actions when they see that it does not affect you. Try to observe if this will discourage the bully from making your life stressful.
If that does not work, then you can use a different approach. If you both work for the same manager, then you can try bringing it up. Validate your claims by giving examples of instances when the bully displayed aggression towards you. Stick to the facts and don’t make it seem like you’re just angry at your aggressor. Remember that bullying is a legitimate issue that affects your well-being. However, be careful. Your manager might end up taking sides. This is not the outcome that you want. If that method is too uncertain, then try this. Be more active in the office. Work on building connections with managers, supervisors, and other officers in the company. By doing this, you are making your network more powerful. When the bully sees that you are in a position to potentially ruin their career, then it can change things. Having this powerful network can improve your situation and fend off the bullies.