Crowdsourcing Solutions

14 Signs you’re being Bullied at Work: 8 Tips to Stop it


Socializing in the workplace can be a very complicated task as you have to be friendly and approachable, at the same time maintaining professionalism. And thus in the complication, the individuals who are being vigorously bullied at work by a colleague may find it hard to recognize that it is happening just because they fear to not accept that they are being bullied, they suffer it in silence.

According to a recent study, most of the people are not aware that bullying may occur in the workplace and thus when it happens they do not know what should be done about it.

signs being bullied work

To understand the signs you’re being bullied at work, below are some good explanation that can help.

Workplace Bullying vs Harassment

What is Bullying?

It is a type of aggression wherein there is an imbalance in power. The person who is bullying holds the power over the individual who is victimized.

The types of bullying can be physical, verbal, social wherein one tries to eliminating them from the team or isolating or dispersing rumors about them or cyberbullying in which a person uses electronic media to either threaten, embarrass, damage the reputation of other.

Difference Between Bullying and Harassment:

Both bullying and harassment may seem similar to an extent yet they differ. Harassment seems parallel to bullying as someone harms other people with offensive, cruel or abusive behavior. However, it is dissimilar as it is a form of discrimination.

1. Discrimination:

It is when someone treats another in a different way or poorly characterized by specific features or diversities. Bullying becomes harassment when the behavior concentrates on treating people inadequately due to their age, race, religion, gender, family or marital status or physical or mental disability.

2. Differences in law and approach:

Bullying is an issue of health and safety and a workplace may be prosecuted for violation of health and safety legislation if bullying is entertained at the workplace.

Harassment can be associated with the prohibition of discrimination laws against sex-based discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. It differs from health and safety laws wherein a victim of harassment can place a complaint to an external agency.

Types of Workplace Bullies:

Getting bullied at the workplace is one of the worst things one could experience. There are times even when our friends try to tease, prank or can say, bully us. However, anything within the limit can be taken easily but once the limit is crossed, even simple prank will turn out to be uncomfortable.

Bullying can also affect the productivity of the employee in a negative way. This can act as a hindrance in the path of development of the employee as well as the organization. The initial thing one must understand is the different types of workplace bullying which we have mentioned below.

As per a survey, there are around 70% of males, 61% bosses, 33% of peers and 6% subordinate bully in a workplace. Not at all behind, you can also find around 33% female workplace bullies too Share on X

Common Workplace Bullies:

  • Mean-spirited prankster: Cracks jokes and pranks on co-workers
  • Saboteur: Little psycho in nature who doesn’t allow you to succeed or develop at work.
  • Gossip: Gossiping is also a form of bullying can be ignored only if it doesn’t cross the limits
  • Jerk: This kind of people are completely dangerous and carry toxic or negative attitude at the workplace
  • Constant critic: These are the people who are in managerial positions and would be picking on you, no matter how good you are at work.
  • Gatekeeper: The one who doesn’t provide you enough resources and loves seeing you fail.

How to know if you are being bullied at work:

1. Is work a suffering for you?:

If you always feel physically ill or are acutely apprehensive before the start of your workweek, there are possible chances that you are being bullied in the workplace.

2. Relentless criticism:

If you are facing relentless and regular criticism from either your boss or a coworker, despite your brilliance and goal oriented competence, perhaps it is that you are being bullied. The workplace bullies contain a distinct standard of bullying keeping their targets in mind.

3. Loads of yelling:

Blatant bullies in the workplace will constantly yell to make their opinions known. If you are consistently being yelled at, humiliated or offended in presence of the others at your workplace, it is an evident sign that you are being bullied at work.

4. Keeps an account of your mistakes:

If your boss keeps an account of your errors and keeps mentioning it to you for no practical reason, then you are surely being bullied. Another tactic that can be used is the false accusation of a mistake.

5. You are isolated:

You are being bullied if you are frequently being isolated by your colleagues or the boss, either physically or socially. It can be in ways of moving your desk or not inviting you to lunch or meetings.

6. Regular Mental health breaks:

Perhaps you are using up your paid leaves for mental health days to escape from your sufferings in the workplace as you are being bullied. Other indicators could be your constant obsession overwork or spending your time offs feeling all lifeless.

7. You become the prey of a sabotage:

The workplace bully may try to look for ways to make sure you fail at your tasks. It could be by altering rules in a haste that relates to your work or not attending to your work such as taking a call or signing off on some documents.

8. Impractical schedule:

A bully would change your schedule essentially often to cause more trouble for you. In case your boss always arranges up last minute meetings on the days when he knows you will not be available due to certain personal reasons that you mentioned to him in advance, you are being bullied.

9. Stealing credits:

You have worked on a project for days and nights and for weeks and have achieved success as well as it has created a lot of buzz at your workplace. If you time and again find your boss or a coworker steal the credit of the work that you have been doing with all your might and have been achieving great success in, then you are certainly facing harassment
at work by the coworker.

10. Constant undervaluing of your efforts:

Again, if you have given your 100% to a project and used up all your capabilities to achieve significant outcomes and in the end, you receive the success you yearned for.

But your boss still searches for minor errors or accuses you of not carrying out the tasks systematically, so then you are being bullied at work by the boss.

11. Calling names:

If your boss or coworkers are keen on personally insulting you or keeping offensive names and also encourage others to call you by that name, then understand that it is an act of bullying in the workplace.

12. Unfair punishments:

Even for minor mistakes if your boss dispenses unfair punishments then you are being obviously bullied. A bully may even punish you out of the blue, without any practical reason.

13. Increases responsibilities:

A bully may even hand you impossible amounts of responsibilities with the intention that you fail in handling them all at once and eventually fail in completing your work then you are being bullied at work by manager.

14. Not contracted or menial tasks:

A bully may give you tasks that hold less power but are menial with the intention of decreasing your capability for a promotion or growth. A bully may even assign you tasks that are tedious in a physical manner.

How to Stop Being Bullied at Work:

1. Never get emotional:

It pleasures a bully to emotionally manipulate a person. It is thus highly recommended to not get emotional and encourage their behavior. Just stay calm and sensible so that you can dissolve the issue.

2. Maintain an account of the problem:

Many people overlook the vital step of documenting their bullying experiences at the workplace. It is necessary for the bullied employees to document the experience immediately in order to not forget any information.

The documentation of key information will help the victims to recover their control over the situation.

3. Seek for external support:

You can seek support from your family, friends, or professionals like a counselor, or doctor. It is important for you to seek support as soon as possible as the bullying may turn you anxious, helpless and depressed.

It is important to know that there are others who are willing to be at your side for help whenever needed at the time when you are getting bullied at work.

4. Never be an easy target:

You will yourself encourage the behavior of a bully towards you by shrinking away from them when bullied. People would treat you the way you let them treat you, thus it is important that you instruct people on what conduct is accepted by you and what is not.

5. Stand up for yourself:

The trick to standing up against the bully is to stay calm and polite. You need to set your limits while still being professional. Practice how you would respond the next time your bully does something to you so that you respond in a swift manner without getting emotional.

Be simple and straightforward; do not get into verbal retaliation, instead look them in the eyes and remain strong.

6. Make a bottom-line case:

Most of the managers are generally hesitant and unwilling to intervene in a situation of bullying among coworkers. However, to address the issue it is essential to persuade them. You do not have to give details about the psychological harm because it makes you seem vulnerable.

7. Present your case in financial terms:

Describe the manager or an HR how the bullying affects work and hinders it from getting done or damages the quality of work. Explain this is the reason you ask for an intervention so that the bullying stops to not just help you but for the employer’s sake too.

8. Prop yourself for retaliation:

A bully would find his or her way to retaliate even in subtle ways, thus making it difficult for anyone to identify the tactics of the bully and impossible for the human resource manager to take action against the people who bullied at the workplace and keep addressing the issue in related meetings and ask for the company’s policies to guard you against retaliation.

In case the bullying continues and intensifies, the bullied employee can take legal actions.

What to Do if You’re Being Bullied:

As per my personal suggestion, if you are too much bothered with bullying at the workplace, firstly try to inform the authorities. If it still continues then it is better to quit the organization and look for other companies.

As per Fishler whenever, you are bullied “In general, an employee should consider approaching HR when they have either tried, unsuccessfully, to address the situation with their supervisor, or feel unable to do so

Taking a step against such atrocity at the workplace is a bold, strong and essential move.

As per Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute and co-author of The Bully-Free Workplace: Stop Jerks, Weasels, and Snakes From Killing Your Organization.”Your strategy to take a step or defend will depend on who is bullying you

As per Curry. “we must have unconcerned replies ready with us whenever they try to say something against us“. This is the case if the people bullying are peers or subordinates.

As per Fishler, “it is better to document everything, like the place, date, time and people who were bullying ” and produce it the authorities

Now, what if your boss is the bully, then we have to move by Namie’s suggestion. According to Namie, “You can’t stand your ground as readily, since there’s a power dynamic,”. Also, Namie suggests that “You need to break the silence with co-workers. Chances are you’re not the only person [being bullied], and you can use your collective power to mobilize as a group.

As per Namie, everybody should take strong actions like “turnover, absenteeism, and lower productivity” and then create a strong case on your boss and bring it before senior managers or legal authorities.

Bullied at Work Quotes:

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” – Michael J. Fox

“If you’re horrible to me, I’m going to write a song about it, and you won’t like it. That’s how I operate.” – Taylor Swift

“I would rather be a little nobody, then to be an evil somebody.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – Desmond Tutu

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more.” – Taylor Swift

“What if the kid you bullied at school, grew up, and turned out to be the only surgeon who could save your life?” ― Lynette Mather

“People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” ― Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

“You should never make fun of something that a person can’t change about themselves.” ― Phil Lester

“I saw the world from the stars’ point of view, and it looked unbearably lonely.” ― Shaun David Hutchinson, We Are the Ants

“Never do a wrong thing to make a friend–or to keep one.” ― Robert E. Lee

“Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained.” ― Thomas M. Cirignano, The Constant Outsider

“Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It’s a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment.” ― Zack W. Van

“Things will get easier, people’s minds will change, and you should be alive to see it.” ― Ellen DeGeneres

“You only get to walk variations of the same lines everyone has already drawn for you.” ― Courtney Summers, Some Girls Are

“If you’re insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.” ― Phil Lester

“I was diamond on the outside, and I would not break.
Inside, though, I was already broken.” ― Shaun David Hutchinson, We Are the Ants


The above information must have definitely helped you to understand the signs of being bullied at work and how you can stop it. It is important to educate yourself thoroughly regarding bullying to deal with it appropriately when it occurs.

You need to set strong and evident limits so that your bully cannot break into the boundary you have set for them and they will eventually stop.