How to Fight Back an Office Bully


Office BullyYou slowly worked your way down to the next floor worried to make any noise. Assuring yourself that everything will turn out right, you proceed to the marketing department to hand in your report. All of a sudden, you see her at the corridor looking mockingly at you with a sneer on her face. Seeing that she’s blocking the only way to the marketing department, you pretend not to notice and focused your attention on your report. Just when you thought that you have passed the awful ordeal, you hear her say “Looks like Little Miss Know-it-all is slacking off again. Going somewhere Missy?”

That’s just the beginning of career-long office bullying. They exist in every office set-up and may range from that guy in the next cubicle to your towering and oh-so-self-righteous boss. Bullies can cause serious problems in a workplace and may even destroy a company by causing high turnover, loss of valuable employees, and decreasing productivity.

Bullies are aggressive individuals that may use force or coercion and intimidation in varying methods and degrees to affect other people.

Common Targets

Usually, office bullies target individuals whom they think are “threats” to their existence in the office. The competent and independent individuals who have good sense of ethics fall victims to bullies. Bullies also target people or colleagues who have the potential to whistle-blow in the future.

These individuals, however, are reluctant to report act of bullying for fear of being labeled as “whiners” or “a snitch.” Further fear of being out of job also prevents victims of bullying from reporting such offenses especially if the bully is their superior.

Conquering the bully

There are a number of ways on how you can overcome an office bully. Well known recourse is reporting him to your boss. You don’t need to file in a complaint against him. You can just talk to your boss and ask advices on how you can handle that person.

What are you going to do if your office nightmare is your boss? Just move up the management chain (say, the boss of your boss, that’s it). However, you need to make it clear that this is not just a simple misunderstanding or conflict by presenting evidences and proofs of your boss’ bullying.

If this doesn’t work, here are some options that you can use to overcome the bully:

  • Ignore him

He’s probably doing it just to gain attention. If you ignore him and proceed doing your work, he may stop from annoying you.

  • Try to befriend him

If ignoring doesn’t work, you can try to be friends with the bully. Probably he doesn’t have any friends at work and just wanted some attention. Knowing him better might make his actions less irritating to you. Further, his attitude toward you might change once he finds you friendly.

  • Be kind to him

You know the tactic “kill him with kindness” might work for him. Even if he play tricks on you or even calls you names, still, try to be nice to him. He might realize that he’s been an awful person and might stop bullying you.

  • Confront him

Talk to him. Be open to him and try to understand his actions. Let him know that you’re uncomfortable with his behavior and that you’re looking forward to a smooth working relationship with him.

  • Let the environment take care of him

When all things fail, the best that you can do is to let others take care of him. If he indeed has an annoying behavior, someone in your office would take initiative in reporting him to the management. Further, if he’s attitude did not improve, your boss will probably kick him out of your team or even out of the company.

You don’t have to endure the pain of being a target of the office bully. With careful evaluation of the situation and assessment of events, you can be sure that you can overcome and beat a bully. Just make sure that you play the game right and avoid any circumstance that can place you at a disadvantage.

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