Are you the workplace bully?

There are many discussions and talk of work place bullying. We have all seen the posters at work, well at least I hope your work place is evolved enough to promote antibullying in the work place. But I would like you to consider if you may be perceived by someone as the bully.

A bully is a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable

Oxford Dictionaries

When we imagine a work place bully we imagine an authoritarian power tripper, or some sleazy old guy that has his hands on all the female employees. But that’s the equivalent of teaching stranger danger to children. The real perpetrators are much more subtle, and closer to home, it may be you.

Photo by Daniel Reche on

People you interact with on a daily basis may not blatantly tell you, you are a bully or offensive. They will most likely keep it to themselves, and let your attitude and words towards them eat away at their soul like acid burning through bare skin. Your looks of distain toward them cut what’s left of their fragile self worth, until there is nothing left but a vulnerable bare soul, ready to snap at your next breath. But, you wont see that, that is what they hide from you and let fester deep in their mind and soul. That is what their tear stained car sees on the drive to or from work. Or the ceiling in their bedroom, as they lay awake hoping to some how die in their sleep, to avoid seeing you tomorrow. Then they will come back to work with a smile on their face and laugh off your snide comments and pretend to joke along side you.

You may think you’re funnier, or smarter than others, or have more experience, or had it harder, and therefore others don’t have the same rights as you. But I am here to tell you, if that is you, wake up and stop before someone kills themselves at your hands. You are no more entitled than the person next to you. No one persons pain in worse than the others. Nobody is smarter than anyone else, we all have different gifting’s. If you think your the smartest person you know, you are probably not gifted in people skills, empathy or compassion. You don’t know what other people experience and hide. We all need to reflect on how we speak and treat others. If it is not how you would want to be treated, or how you would want someone to treat your children, your the one who has to change.

Bullying can include (but is not limited to):

  • aggressive or intimidating conduct
  • belittling or humiliating comments
  • spreading malicious rumours
  • teasing, practical jokes or ‘initiation ceremonies’
  • exclusion from work-related events
  • unreasonable work expectations, including too much or too little work, or work below or beyond a worker’s skill level
  • displaying offensive material
  • pressure to behave in an inappropriate manner.

If you are harbouring ill feelings for a co-worker, your language and behaviour might be showing this person, or those around you, what you really think. You may try and deny ill feelings, but they slip out in your non-verbal cues and tone when you speak. It leaves a stain of sarcasm on every word you speak. A look of disdain in every glance towards your victim. It’s ok to not like other people, it’s not ok to make them feel like they are useless, inferior, scared, isolated, trapped, confused, and take away any sense of hope. Check in with your facial expressions, tone and use of words when speaking with someone you do not like. They may have annoying or incompetent traits, but they are still a human being that deserves kindness and respect.

Photo by on

There is no excuse in the world for treating others with anything other than kindness and respect. Unless of course they have committed a heinous crime against you. I don’t care what your role at work is. Primarily your role is to not be an arsehole. If you have a very high opinion of yourself you may need to rethink that, and humble yourself to the possibility you are the only one with that view. Being kind saves lives.

R U OK? Day is 12th September. Be kind to others, be empathetic to what could be impacting others in your workplace and stop being a dick.

If you or anyone you know needs help:

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