Don't give in to the bullies

If you are suffering at the hands of a tricky colleague or horrible boss, follow these tips to stop workplace bullying in its tracks.

Follow these tips to stop workplace bullying in its tracks, writes jacqueline hurst
Follow these tips to stop workplace bullying in its tracks, writes jacqueline hurst

Bullying is one of the trickiest situations to deal with in an office noticeably because a bully is most likely the least self-aware individual in the office. They are the ones with the most unhappy minds. Usually the bully is living from a base of fear and insecurity and his/her outlook is bleak. They often belittle others in order to make themselves feel better, bigger or stronger. Ultimately the bully is the exact opposite and is usually someone who is incredibly unhappy.  

Being bullied can wreak havoc on mental health in the workplace. These are my top tips to help you get your power back. 

Don’t hand over your power

In my opinion, no one can bully you unless you let them. You’ll end up handing over a lot of your power otherwise, but thinking about it correctly – something like, "wow, what must be going on for them to be acting in that way?" – can help you start to get your power back. Use this power, through your thought process, to make yourself feel better about it. Feelings are your choice and no one can take them over other than you. If you think correctly you will feel good: it is as simple as owning your own thoughts and making sure you are not handing away your power. 

Suss them out

A bully attempts to rid themselves of the self-loathing they feel by displacing those feelings on to someone else. In coaching we call this ‘splitting and projection’. In other words, what someone else says or does is usually an indicator of what might be happening behind closed doors. What might seem an overly confident, brash and overbearing workplace presence on the surface may quite easily crumble within the confines of their own home due to personal problems with their wife/husband or kids. 

It’s a mind game

It is imperative to remember that bullying is a mind game: it is not about you, it is not personal – it is their ‘stuff’.  Keeping this at the forefront of your mind will definitely go some way to reducing the animosity you’re feeling, knowing that they may be having a really awful life when they go home. Instead of being the person who asks themselves, "what’s wrong with me?" try to change your thinking – it might not be about you; there may be bigger issues going on. 

They are your greatest teacher

Yep, you heard correctly. While at the time, it may seem like your career is crashing in around you, those who have encountered a workplace bully all share one thing in common – an insight into the type of boss or employee they won’t be when they’re in their position. They can teach you how to get your mind right, about mind management and how to think correctly – without them, we don’t become bigger people, and better people too.

Talk to someone

If you are struggling with working it out or feel like you are unable to cope with this situation, it is imperative that you don’t sit with this alone. It is important to talk to someone and by doing so you can air what is going on in your mind.  Talking to someone is not a weakness; it is in fact a strength. Talking about how you feel isn’t always easy but it can help relieve your stress. Sharing what’s going on in your mind helps to create some space so you can get your thoughts together easily.

Jacqueline Hurst is a life coach. Visit or

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