Caution: toxic coworkers are on the prowl seeking opportunities to sabotage. Luckily, we’re sharing some precautionary measures you can take to ward them off, as well as strategies for those of you currently dealing with an office bully.
You know yourself better than anyone else. Be aware if you find yourself feeling out of character in the workplace and consider if this change was provoked by a coworker. If yes, stay aware of how the coworker makes you feel and what triggers you to feel out of character. In situations like these, the only thing you can control is the way you react. Don’t give the office bully the satisfaction of knowing he/she got under your skin. Being aware of how he/she makes you feel is the key to controlling the way you react!
Call them out, in a constructive way.
Some victims may not be uncomfortable with this recommendation, but confronting the bully directly is sometimes the most effective strategy. However, the key is to do it when your coworker doesn’t expect it – perhaps, you approach him/her and say something along the lines of, “It seems we don’t see eye to eye on this issue, maybe we should discuss why that is.” If this doesn’t work out, surely Step 3 will.
Get a second- or, third- opinion.
Want to make sure you’re not imagining that you’re being bullied? Ask an unbiased colleague, HR, or a supervisor to witness your interactions with the toxic coworker. Not only does it create an objective P.O.V. of the situation, but it also creates accountability for everyone involved. This is especially useful if there isn’t a written record of what’s going on.
Patience is key.
We understand how uncomfortable the entire situation may be. From feeling undermined by the office bully, to involving HR, to the amount of time it takes for the situation to simmer down. Don’t let the discomfort of dealing with a toxic coworker override your need for mental stability in the workplace.