If you want to know how to deal with bullying at work, you need to get inside the head of the cowardly individual who is invading your space.
As a clinical hypnotherapist I meet lots of victims of bullying, and I’m going to explain how you can come out on top if you are feeling helpless, isolated or unfairly treated.
Know Thy Enemy
Basically, bullies are small, sadistic individuals whose self-hatred is so vast that they need to project it onto someone else in order to feel better about themselves. Characteristics of your average workplace bully:
- They like to torment you because it distracts them from their own inadequacies;
- They like to be in control – pathologically so;
- They are painfully insecure;
- They want your attention
If you’re being bullied at work, understand that this has nothing to do with you. Bullies can be very cunning and can make their comments and actions appear innocent and benign to others so that you look like the bad guy if you object or complain.
Some of the more subtle methods that workplace bullies use include:
- Belittling you or making snide comments that appear innocent on the surface but have a deeper, more sinister message;
- Talking about you behind your back and spreading rumours;
- Excluding you from conversations or social situations;
- Nitpicking, micromanaging or setting you up to fail
Treat Your Bully Like a Small Child
The bottom line is this: your bully wants power and control over you. They want to isolate you so you feel as though you have nowhere else to turn.
But most importantly, your bully continues with this behaviour because you are reacting to it in a way that gives them great satisfaction.Think of your bully as a small child that is throwing a tantrum. The goal of a child that is misbehaving is to get your attention.
How to we handle this kind of situation? We don’t give the behaviour attention. Eventually the child learns that this behaviour doesn’t get him what he wants and he looks for another approach.
The more you bite the hook, the more your bully will know that their tactics are working. If you don’t give the behaviour attention, eventually your bully is going to get bored and move onto the next victim.
What If Your Bully Is Your Boss?
That’s a tricky one. But I STILL say you don’t have to put up with it. Sure, you could leave and find another job; and eventually that might be the best option.
But if you were unwittingly entering a workplace where the boss was a bully, wouldn’t you want to know that the person before you had done everything in their power to get justice? Your willingness to take action could help you AND many other people.
If you’re not sure what to do, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman or a similar industry body that provides expert assistance and advice for people in your situation.
Do You Have Beliefs That Make You An Easy Target?
You’ve probably heard stories of children whose parents take them out of one school because they are being bullied, only to be horrified that the exact same thing happens at the next school.
If you’re the victim of bullying you may be carrying subconscious beliefs that are making you an easy target. Just like a shark can smell the smallest amount of blood in the water, a bully will hone in your insecurities before you even know they exist.
I’ve worked with many clients who were victims of bullying and here are some common beliefs I’ve discovered:
- This happens to me all the time;
- I’m too sensitive;
- I’m not good enough;
- It’s my fault; I deserve this
Change Your Mindset And You Can Stop The Bullying
A qualified clinical hypnotherapist can work with you to teach you strategies that show you how to deal with bullying in a powerful and constructive way and eradicate the negative subconscious beliefs that made you an easy target in the first place.
In the meantime, there are probably other people in your organization who are also suffering at the hands of this bully. Make contact and find common ground. You can team up and fight the common enemy together.
If you are being bullied and you would like my help visit my Melbourne contact page.