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Overcoming the Bully in the Workplace: Avoid Becoming the Bully and Find Your Happy Medium in 3 Easy Steps

Updated on August 25, 2014

The Definition of Victim

What does the word victim actually mean to you?

To many, the term victim defines what it is to be in an uncomfortable situation in which you have little to no control over.

The situation is being controlled by someone else because you are not making the initial moves, gestures or actions involved in the incidents taking place.

It is the other person that is "Attacking" you. Whether that be physically, mentally or verbally, it is all the same when it comes to being a victim.

The Typical Workplace Bully

Most of the time, the workplace victim is subjected to mental and verbal abuse. Mocking, teasing and taunting are some of the more obvious incidents that take place in the open, but there are also more subtle occurrences that most people never even notice unless they are a victim to it themselves.

Some of this stuff may sound familiar to you:

  • Brown-nosing to get ahead so that their bullying goes unnoticed by management

  • Gathering a rally against you, but subtly, since "Hating" you could actually give them away and show their true colors

  • Smiling to your face, but then reporting your every move to the boss in hopes of getting you in some sort of trouble

  • Shunning you for doing something that they actually do themselves in hopes of putting the negative attention on you instead of on themselves

These are the nasty tricks pulled by the vultures waiting to, A: Take your place, or B: Get you out of the way because they feel threatened by your presence (typical while in a position of interest).

They will stop at nothing to hurry you out the door, voluntarily or not, its all the same to a bully, and they have many more dirty games that they will play in order to accomplish their goal.


Becoming the New Bully

Here is where the downward spiral begins:

The games start interfering with your ability to work efficiently, and you are eventually forced to fight back: Yet, the more you fight back, the more threatened they feel, and the bigger the bully they become.

You start to feel like your in a losing battle, so the result is that you feel pressured into being a bully yourself because it feels like the only way to win (or get the bullying to stop).

This makes you no better than them in most cases, and undoubtedly they will have everyone fooled that it is you that is doing the bullying and not them anyway (Your bullying is out of desperation to make it stop, so it is more of an emotional, uncontrolled outburst, theirs is more focused, devious and subtle).

Either way, you soon find that you really are the new bully, and its not just the original bully you take it out on, but now everyone that you come in contact with.

Its an all-out war in the workplace, and noone is comfortable there. Not you, not your bully and not the other coworkers that are caught up in the middle of your work-place war.

The other coworkers do not see what you see, nor do they feel what you feel about your bully, they only know what they see from you, directed towards them.

At this point, you have already crossed the line, and you are no longer the victim, but the new bully.


3 Easy Steps to Finding a Happy Medium

You do not want to go back to being the victim again, and that is understandable, but you surely don't want to be just like the person you despise the most either.

So you need to be better than that person and be happy just knowing that you are better.

Here are 3 easy steps to find your happy medium:

  1. Let them continue to play their games, but don't participate.
  2. Be civil, mind your own business and don't give them the ammunition to fire at you with, or in other words, don't give them something to use against you.
  3. Be smart, be calm, and above all else, leave your other coworkers out of it, (don't even let on that there is an issue or they will simply egg it on and make it worse).

The good part is that bullies tend to be insecure and feeble minded to start with, and they have very short attention spans,(hence the reason they pick on others),

they are stubborn and obnoxious, but not invincible.

Even bullies get tired and eventually move on to pursue other things.

Participate in a Poll

Have you ever felt the need to bully back?

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    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 2 years ago from California

      Yes, skperdon, it really is! Thank you for stopping by and reading my hub :)

    • skperdon profile image

      skperdon 2 years ago from Canada

      Being the victim of bulling is always tough. Thank you for your advice on avoiding the bully in the workplace daborn7.

    • StayPos profile image

      StayPos 3 years ago from Florida, USA


      Thanks and you're welcome :-) Although it's not easy, I'm of the opinion that we should strive to focus on the positive in every situation. I definitely believe it's worth pursing.



    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 3 years ago from California

      Thanks StayPos, I appreciate your thoughts and interest in my hub. They are definitely ideas that can be used anywhere, anytime. I am digging your profile name, it says a lot of good about you. It is something I always try to do everyday. You know, its all we really can do in life. :)

    • StayPos profile image

      StayPos 3 years ago from Florida, USA


      Nicely written Hub :-) You've touched on a very interesting set of ideas that whether in a corporate setting or elsewhere in life give us much to consider. Thanks for sharing.

      All the Best,


    • daborn7 profile image

      daborn7 4 years ago from California

      You are absolutely correct...Thanks for stopping by

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 4 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Silence can be golden!