Almost 50 percent of people have been bullied at some point in their lives. While bullying is a common problem, it can be difficult to know what to do when you are the victim of it. While workplace bullying is not illegal, there are some situations when it can cross the line into illegality. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler have compiled a list of things to avoid doing if you are the victim of bullying at your job.
It is common for people to keep quiet when they are the victims of workplace bullies. You might be worried that you will face adverse job actions if you complain. It is best for you to report what is occurring. Go through the channels at your company and file a complaint. In many cases, this may be enough to end the situation.
Another common reaction to workplace bullying is for people to internalize what is occurring and to blame themselves. Remember that the person who has the problem is the bully rather than you. Many people are bullied because of others’ attitudes about their protected characteristics. If a workplace bully is targeting you because of your gender, race, disability, sexuality, color, national origin, or religion, the bully’s behavior may also be prohibited under federal and state law.
Resist the urge to lash out aggressively against your bully. Doing so can place you at risk of harm and could lead to you losing your job. If you feel that it is appropriate, it is fine to confront the person who is engaging in bullying behavior. Talk about the behavior and not the person. Simply explain why their words or actions are causing you to feel bad. Sometimes, talking to a workplace bully may be enough to stop his or her behavior.
Don’t isolate yourself away from your support system at work. This will not help to resolve the problem and might make things worse. Keep up with your regular activities and remember to take time to do things that you enjoy.
During the times when you are away from work, try to leave what happened behind you. Take care of your mental wellbeing and your health. Try doing things that make you feel good such as eating healthily, working out, getting plenty of sleep, and having quality time with your loved ones. These activities can help to reduce the stress that you are experiencing. If you need it, you might also benefit from talking to a counselor for additional support.
Do not engage in self-harm. It will not solve anything. If you feel like harming yourself, get help immediately. If the bully at your job is targeting you because of your protected characteristics, you may also have legal rights. Talk to the attorneys at Swartz Swidler to learn about legal remedies that might be available to you.