Have you ever found yourself not wanting to attend your place of employment because the boss or a certain co-worker or co-workers might be there; you know that feeling, knotted stomach, headaches, sweaty palms, perhaps nausea?

When you do not have to be around the boss or someone else, you feel fine. You don’t want to put a name to it, but you are pretty sure that you are suffering from anxiety or even panic attacks.

I found myself in that situation some years ago. Every time I entered the building, I would feel nauseous, my breathing would become rapid, my heart would beat faster, and thought that I was going to faint.

You see, I was being bullied by someone lower in rank than me. He may have been in the organisation longer than I had been, but I was his supervisor and he did not like that. He took every opportunity to undermine my authority and would not complete the tasks assigned to him in a timely manner which was crucial to the department we were in.

The organisation was a ‘boys club’, to which this particular staff member was a proud member. So, heaven forbid that a female should tell him what to do. So, I found that I had little or no support from the higher-ups.

It got so bad that I eventually left the organisation that I had loved so much. It had been my life, my passion, and it was all gone.

Bullying can, therefore, come from the bottom up and not necessarily from the top down.

So, let’s look at what bullying in the workplace means.

  1. Workplace bullying is verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse by your employer (or manager), another person or group of people at work.
  2. Workplace bullying can happen in any type of workplace, from offices to shops, cafes, restaurants, workshops, community groups and government organisations.
  3. Workplace bullying can happen to volunteers, work experience students, interns, apprentices, casual and permanent employees.

Some types of workplace bullying are criminal offences. If you have experienced violence, assault and stalking you can report it directly to the police.

What does bullying in the workplace look like?

  • repeated hurtful remarks or attacks, or making fun of your work or you as a person (including your family, sex, sexuality, gender identity, race or culture, education or economic background)
  • sexual harassment, particularly stuff like unwelcome touching and sexually explicit comments and requests that make you uncomfortable
  • excluding you or stopping you from working with people or taking part in activities that relate to your work
  • playing mind games, ganging up on you, or other types of psychological harassment
  • intimidation (making you feel less important and undervalued)
  • giving you pointless tasks that have nothing to do with your job
  • giving you impossible jobs that can’t be done in the given time or with the resources provided
  • deliberately changing your work hours or schedule to make it difficult for you
  • deliberately holding back information you need for getting your work done properly
  • pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing you in the workplace
  • attacking or threatening with equipment, knives, guns, clubs or any other type of object that can be turned into a weapon
  • initiation or hazing – where you are made to do humiliating or inappropriate things in order to be accepted as part of the team.

How bullying can affect your work

If you are being bullied at work, you might:

  • be less active or successful
  • be less confident in your work
  • feel scared, stressed, anxious or depressed
  • have your life outside of work affected, e.g. study, relationships
  • want to stay away from work
  • feel like you can’t trust your employer or the people who you work with
  • lack confidence and happiness about yourself and your work
  • have physical signs of stress like headaches, backaches, sleep problems

[ Human Rights Australia http://bit.ly/2Ry6ipn ]

Workplace bullying face-to-face is bad enough but what about cyberbullying in the workplace?

Most people consider cyberbullying a teenage issue, but the workplace is not immune to cyberbullying. In fact, workplace bullies often use cyberbullying to intimidate co-workers and control their environment. As a result, knowing how to respond is essential. While every situation is different, if you know in advance how to handle a workplace cyberbully, you should be able to get through the situation unscathed.

Here are 11 ways to get through it:

Do not respond immediately

  1. Keep your responses calm and rational
  2. Tell the cyberbully you expect the behaviour to end
  3. Print and keep all of the harassment
  4. Report the cyberbullying to your employer. If the cyberbully is your immediate supervisor, go higher.
  5. Report the cyberbully to your Internet Provider (ISP)
  6. Contact the Police immediately if the cyberbullying includes threats
  7. Close the doors of communication to the cyberbully
  8. Report anonymous cyberbullying
  9. Take the high road. Try to maintain your composure.
  10. Find support – seek professional help or counselling, or surround yourself with supportive friends

[ verywell Mind http://bit.ly/2RuvjSo ]