Many people are unaware that adult bullying occurs, and chances are if you are being bullied at work you have no idea how to handle it. It can be hard to deal with an adult bully because workplace bullying is not widely known or understood. Often times the bully is a person of authority, making it even harder to deal with. There are no set rules for dealing with adult bullies, however, there are harassment laws that can guide how these circumstances can be handled. If you or someone you know needs help dealing with an adult bully, these tips can help.
The first thing you should do to deal with an adult bully is to keep a detailed written account of each instance of bullying. Being able to prove that you are constantly singled out for no good reason and are the target of frequent attacks will go a long way to deal with an adult bully. Keep your records in a safe place, not at work where the bully can find them. You should also keep copies of all written interactions from the bully including memos, notes, and emails that prove you are being treated unfairly. Make a list of every instance of unfair treatment by the bully.
If you are criticized or accused of wrongdoing by a bully and the claims are not true, ask for substantiated evidence of these claims and record in writing. Many times the bully will not have a response or have evidence that is untrue. Their lack of answer or untrue answer will further prove your case and help to deal with an adult bully. You can even point out to the bully that making false accusations is a form of harassment and that you will seek out the proper recourse.
If you are not the only one being bullied, find other employees that have the same experiences and see if they want to pursue a case against the bullying together. Sometimes other employees that are having similar problems will be unwilling to cooperate, but many times, they will be grateful for the help. It is even a lot more better where more than one employee is affected by these acts of bullying. This makes for a better chance at dealing with the issues together as a group. It will help that you are not the only one experiencing the problem and give validation to your claims.
If your occupation has a union or other professional organization, contact them about your bullying problem. Not all unions or organizations will help employees deal with an adult bully but many will or will have information you can use. You can also take your bullying problems to your manager or supervisor, unless they are the one doing the bullying. It is not usually a good idea to skip the proper chain of command, but if a supervisor or manager is the one bullying you, it may be a good idea to speak with their higher-up. If you are the victim of workplace bullying you should get a copy of your company’s harassment and bullying policies so you know what your rights are while not violating company rules.
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