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Silent Treatment in the Workplace - Strengthening Yourself in preparation for taking things further

Updated on August 1, 2015

6. About Strengthening Yourself to tackle Silent Treatment/Bullying in the Workplace

Silent Treatment at Work - When it's time to take things further
Silent Treatment at Work - When it's time to take things further | Source

When it's time to take things further?

If silent treatment/bullying from a co-worker or manager becomes entrenched and is markedly downgrading your work performance, reputation or personal life, or if you decide you want the matter dealt with in any event, of course you must carefully consider your options to resolve the situation. For example, you might choose to confront the offending colleague directly, speak to HR or to a senior manager. Taking legal action is another option. Some people end up seeking a transfer to another location, or take an entirely new job, whilst sadly some may even opt for unemployment when they feel they cannot take it any longer.

Whatever you ultimately choose to do about persistent destructive silent treatment used against you in the workplace, it's wise to act from a position of strength, rather than from desperation, anger or panic.

Don't be driven into a particular route to take things forward. Act from objective reason, confidence and security. In this way you can enjoy peace of mind rather than feelings of regret or resentment, whatever the outcome.

By consciously taking a step back and viewing your tormentor from a different standpoint, as described on previous pages, you can place yourself in a position where you are far more objective and rational than would otherwise be the case. Once you are feeling less overwhelmed with the mistreatment, you will be more able to stop blaming yourself unnecessarily, feel less intimidated and methodically document mistreatment for future reference.

Once you are able to feel more positive, calm and undaunted in the face of silent treatment, you are also in a good place to constructively assess your own practices and behaviour and make any adjustments you feel inclined to. Once you are more relaxed than defensive, you can serenely judge whether or not there is perhaps a tiny nugget of truth in another persons complaint against you and act accordingly.

Even when there is no truth or actual credence in their complaint, as is often the case with passive aggressive givers of silent treatment, you can take the opportunity to self-evaluate, and set new goals as well as acknowledge and celebrate your past achievements. Turn what has the potential to be a devastating work situation to your advantage.

Whatever form of redress you choose to initiate, armed with strength from your new perspectives you can save yourself from a great deal of the emotional turmoil normally associated with such circumstances and emerge a winner over passive aggressive silent treatment at your place of work.

It's feels good when you know you have excelled yourself in challenging circumstances. It feels good when you are confident that you have chosen the right path for you. Even if you were to ultimately seek employment elsewhere, this need not be assumed a defeat since the silent treatment you encountered can serve as a catalyst for moving you onwards and upwards.

Remember: Adopting new positive perspectives that calm and empower you will aid decision making about crucial next steps.

>>> NEXT - Silent Treatment Stress in the Workplace - Emotional and Physical Health Awareness

See the link above for Perspective 7, and/or scroll down this page re info on some highly rated and useful related books (Work Positive in a Negative World, The Happiness Advantage, and The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict), plus a great little video about rising above adversity at work.


Take Advice

Arm yourself with all necessary professional/legal advice when deciding how and when to tackle troubling silent treatment/bullying at work.

The Happiness Advantage - by Shawn Achor

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

Another highly rated and popular book for your consideration. Rated 4.6 out of 5 by over 700 reviewers. A research based book giving insight and strategies you can employ to enhance your life at work and beyond.


Positivity at Work

Work Positive in a Negative World: Redefine Your Reality and Achieve Your Business Dreams
Work Positive in a Negative World: Redefine Your Reality and Achieve Your Business Dreams

This book is rated 5 stars out of 5 based on over 20 ratings as at July 2015. Well worth a look inside. Both employers and employees can gain from this thought provoking publication.


The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict By The Arbinger Institute

This book (image below) can give you a clear understanding of the root causes of conflict, be it conflict at work, at home or anywhere. It can help you understand how to stop, unknowingly, perpetuating the problems you are seeking to resolve. To aid understanding of the subject matter, there is a storyline format based upon individuals with seemingly insurmountable conflicts – how they came together, and further how parents and children can work at overcoming conflicts and become at peace with one another.

This book can enable the reader to reflect on their own attitudes when engaged in conflict, as well at the attitudes of others, to identify new perspectives which can lead to resolution. It is the type of book you can return to again and again and find new or deeper lessons of benefit. With over 500 ratings, this book selling book has scored 4.7 stars out of 5, with around 94% being 5 or 4 star ratings.


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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      It did happen where I worked but not to me. Most of the time it was a great place to work and the culprits left! :)

    • Ebonny profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from UK

      Hello Ann

      Sad to think of it happening with staff in a school but sadly I have no doubt you are correct. Thanks for dropping by :-D

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      Good points and good advice. Fortunately, I haven't been bullied in the workplace but I know the signs. I managed to avoid being a victim. It can happen anywhere, even in a school!



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