Tips for recovering from workplace bullying
One of the most agonising demoralising experiences to go through is workplace bullying. The experience the victim goes through is a great deal of mental turmoil (What have I done wrong? Why don’t they like me? Why am I being treated in this way? I do my job well so why? Why Why Why?) you become so consumed in these feelings of low self-worth and begin to question everything, the pressure of whether you should leave your job due to this painful treatment and then the thoughts of not being able to pay the bills etc can be overwhelming. Of course, some bullies deliberately try to trip you up to make you look incapable of your job by setting you up to fail or bare face lie! It gives them this sense of being superior and helps them to feel less threatened. Jealousy is a terrible thing which let’s face it is where it all stems from.
You would think wouldn’t you in this day and age that this kind of treatment would no longer exist and that given all the unkindness reported in today’s society and with celebrities taking their own life due to trolling and the need to hurt others, that workplace bullying would be something of the past. However sadly this is not the case, and indeed many people still suffer from colleagues or bosses ill-treatment of them.
Most people who are bullies for whatever reasons have many insecurities about themselves. Even if they appear confident there is something going on in their life that they can’t control and feel powerless over or just don’t understand (or of course it could be that they are just not nice people). They seem to need to home in on one person to control or make unhappy, but usually very cleverly thought out and executed with manipulation.
How to overcome other people’s unacceptable treatment and regain your sense of self and your self-worth.
- Self-compassion and kindness: To find your ability to be self-compassionate is a great skill to learn and it allows you to acknowledge your problems in a self-soothing and kind response. This allows for feelings of being cared for, kindness, an understanding toward yourself and encouragement. The encouragement part of self-compassion is an important one as it creates strength within you to be able to get through the difficulties and to take action.
- Mindfulness: Being present in the moment with your thoughts brings about an observation that can serve you well. Observing your thoughts, your emotions, the sensations within your body without any judgement no matter how good or bad they are.
- Exposure to your anxious thoughts: Workplace bullying can bring about anxieties and the best way to manage and overcome your anxieties is to stay with them and don’t develop the butterfly mind. What I mean by this is that when we have anxiety we want to run away from it and avoid it so the mind flitters from one thought to the next. But by riding the wave of Anxiety rather than swimming away from it helps to settle the water.
- Forgiveness: yes that’s right you have read this right, forgiveness. This is one of the powerful ways to help you heal. Will you ever get an apology? Chances are probably not, so try to find it within yourself to forgive them. Write 2 letters, 1) a letter saying how you feel and try to see it from their reasons, why they felt they should be like that with you. Think of the problems they might have, or the jealousy that they suffer from and the lack of love and compassion. 2) a letter of apology from them, really try and get into their space and head. Read them out loud (when your alone) to an empty chair. Swap chairs when you are reading the letter of apology.
All of these together with a determination to not be beaten down will enable you to find inner strength and the resilience to deal with it. Remember we don’t have to accept what we don’t want. You are enough and keep telling yourself that.
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I have a wealth of experience with a diverse client base and problems working with adolescence in the NHS GP surgery as well as adults and teenagers in my private practice. I am also an anxiety approved therapist.