Workplace Bullying-  Is this adversity?

Workplace Bullying-  Is this adversity?

You have been an active part of my journey as I write my first book, “What’s Your Plan B?” It makes me even more ecstatic to share a snippet directly from my book that talks about one of the many steps on how to work your network to your advantage effectively.


Do you feel bullied at work? Is it uncomfortable, stressful, and you want to quit your job? Here are some interesting statistics I found during my research on peers:

  • 61% of bullies are bosses who operate alone
  • 61% of employees are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace
  • 19% have experienced it, and another 19% have witnessed it
  • 29% of victims remain silent
  • 65% of bullied employees lose their jobs
  • 80% of women bully other women

According to, there was an increase from 75% to 94% between 2008 to 2019 of people who have either suffered or witnessed workplace bullying. The most common signs of these bullying were aggressive email tones (23.3%), co-workers’ negative gossip (20.2%), and someone yelling at them (17.8%).

What is the definition of workplace bullying?

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, the definition of workplace bullying is “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or work-interference, sabotage, which prevents work from getting done.

How do you recognize workplace bullying?

Here some of the signs that can help you identify workplace bullying:

  • Bullies are generally very competitive and try to undermine your work at every given opportunity.
  • They often act in groups, and with this group of “friends,” they will congratulate each other’s every activity, even underperformance, and oversell it.
  • Some bullies can be verbally abusive, but most aren’t. Some of them will refrain from any unprofessional words or remarks, but still, make you feel bullied through verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Not all workplace bullies are bosses; sometimes, it’s your peers too. The most common sign of noticing such a peer is to observe their constant attempt of declaration that they are closer to the manager than you.
  • Another big sign of noticing the workplace bully is to observe their feedback. They will rarely give you feedback on your work. It is more about calling you unprofessional, egoistic, or dumb.

What to do when you figure these signs?

Workplace bullying should have zero-tolerance. Here are some actions you can take in case you’re feeling bullied:

  • Sometimes it’s too hard to pinpoint at one sentence or event that made you think that your colleague is bullying you. This restricts people from confronting them or addressing them to the management. No matter the evidence or facts, the management cannot dismiss how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling bullied, then the management should address it.
  • The victim of bullying often feels vindictive and revengeful. This makes them vulnerable. If you’re bullied and feel overwhelmed, you may feel unable to express your thoughts clearly. It is vital to stay professional in such meetings and clearly state how you feel. Keep the focus on how you feel than what they did to you.
  • Always keep every evidence in-store; store every email, text, WhatsApp message so that you can provide them as evidence. If you were bullied verbally in a meeting or workplace and there were peers around you, then make sure you have a good rapport with them so that they can support you when you record a complaint.


Time for Plan B

If you experience workplace bullying, then confront the bully. If things don’t change, address the leaders in your organization. If still nothing changes, then it is safe to assume it’s not the right environment for you. You may feel compelled to fight this battle, but you will feel stressed and perhaps depressed. It may even leave long term scars on your mind. Whenever I have found myself in a situation like this, the sooner I was able to get out of that toxic environment, even if it meant swallowing my pride, I found myself, in the long run, happier and less affected by those bullying episodes. My advice is to talk and address this situation to your network and seek help to either fight this situation or get a new opportunity.




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Lithuania calling this October. Really happy that I will be speaking at the PMI Congress in Lithuania on how to survive adversity. In my talk, I will share my idea on why we need a plan B and how to choose and make your Plan B.