Bullying can be at school or at work and even within families; it may be verbal, physical or cyber bullying and it will effect your mental health and sometimes your physical health too. In the workplace it is often more subtle, but can still make you miserable and may well effect how you are at home as well.The definition of bullying is when someone or some people make you feel bad, just because they are somehow in a position of power over you.So here are some things to think about if you are being bullied:
- Remember you are not weak if you are bullied – most probably you are a kind person and some people will try to take advantage of that, but don’t let it stop you being who you are.
- Use the broken record technique i.e. keep on repeating what you have to say in the hope that they will get bored e.g. if someone is trying to prevent you going through a door just keep on saying “I need to get past” ad infinitum.
- Try ignoring them – sometimes this works.
- Be assertive – this doesn’t mean being aggressive or even passive-aggressive, but it means using the ABC of communication i.e. you acknowledge what they have to say, you give your opinion, then you suggest a compromise, e.g:if your boss asks you to work on a report over the weekend and you can’t do it because you have family commitments then say “I acknowledge this report is important, but I have a lot on this weekend, so as a compromise I will stay late on Monday if necessary in order to make sure it is done.”
- Log what happens as evidence and get witnesses if possible (although most bullies will find a time when you are alone).
- Tell someone – if you are a child then tell your teacher and your parents; this feels counter-intuitive, but from personal experience as a child who was bullied too – often when the teachers are informed the bullying stops. If it is at work then you may be able to tell your union or HR (although if it is your boss doing the bullying, HR will often be on their side and not yours. But you may be able to get help through counselling from an EAP scheme). If it becomes harassment and you are being targeted because of your race or gender, then you may be able to involve the police.
- If the worst comes to the worst then remove your self from the situation:take time off, get another job (easier said then done), leave the relationship, move schools, block people on Facebook and change your phone number/email address.
- Remember, this too will pass.