Bullying is not just a symptom of schools or playgrounds, it can happen to adults too. Whether they’re supervisors or coworkers, adult bullies are hard to spot, harder to get rid of and take a lot of effort to solve the problem. It might look like teasing, joking about your appearance, sabotaging your work, but it all falls under the label of bullying. Here are some of the best ways to stop someone from bullying you:
Don’t Play The Victim
While it is not your fault that you’re being bullied (it’s always due to a shortcoming or insecurity in the bully’s life), you can take steps to remove the enjoyment the bully gets out of prodding you. Bullies are always looking to get a response or a rise out of you, so ignoring or pretending like they aren’t bullying you can take the enjoyment out of it. Keep your cool when they’re going after you, especially when they are trying to target your insecurities. Avoid the bait and it won’t be fun to bother you.
If possible, avoid the person entirely. If you can be reassigned to a different project at work, block them on the platform they’re bullying you on, or just avoid being around them at the time or place they usually bully you. It might not be the most popular response, but if this strategy works, you can get out of bullying entirely.
Stand Up For Yourself
Do not create a physical confrontation, but consider having a verbal one. When you turn the interaction on its head and start prodding the bully about why they’re targeting you or what you did to them, you gain more control over the situation. Attacking them will only escalate the problem, but if you can call them out successfully, it becomes too much effort for them to bully you.
Talk To Someone Who Can Help
Because the bully is often your boss or supervisor, it can be hard to know who to talk to. If it’s happening at work, your HR department is usually your best bet. Follow your company’s policies on reporting instances of bullying, and make sure they understand it’s a problem. If you feel like it’s affecting your ability to work, make sure you use the term “hostile work environment”, which will help emphasize the severity of the problem. Always remember, if you have been physically threatened, law enforcement should be able to assist you in dealing with it. Do not deal with threats of violence alone.