“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sandpaper; they may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished, and they end up useless.” – Chris Colfer
How Do You Deal With A Bully, When That Bully Is Your Boss
Everyone eventually pulled under the inevitable slavery of commercialism. We make a living because we must. We become responsible adults who cater to their own needs as well as the needs of others. It requires decades of hard work to keep our financial status and overall well-being at a consistent state. Even with the involuntary elemental burdens of working, we are entitled to be safeguarded by the company or the person for which we are working.
So, what do you do when the ones you look to for help, support and protection fail to give worth to your wellbeing? What if it is your boss who is the instigator of such harassment?
The reason workplace bullying is complicated is due to the hierarchy that exists. When a person in a position of power and superiority instigates the bullying, it may seem that he is immune to any complaints against his actions. How are you meant to combat such behavior coming from someone who is more distinguished than you?
One should have the expectation that they will be secure in a workplace. When bullying happens, that is when one should take action. Here are some things you can do:
- Learn to dissect the situation – You do need to consider if your boss is just acting out because of a specific situation or he is naturally ill-mannered. He is often undergoing a lot of stress, and it is only natural that he become ill-tempered sometimes. This is no different than any other working professional. However, if it is the latter, then you need to speak up.
- Gather evidence – Just as with any other situation; you need to gather sufficient evidence to support your allegation. Remember, you are going up against someone who holds more power than you. Chances are, they have the financial and personal support that can help them find a way out of the accusations. If possible, find someone you can trust at your workplace and ask if anyone else has experienced the same mistreatment.
- Speak up when necessary – It is best to stand your ground when you know your boss has crossed the line. However, remain calm and try to prevent things from escalating into a full-scale verbal or physical confrontation. You are both respectable human beings that need to work out your dispute in the best way possible. Talk it out and let your boss know that you feel degraded or attacked by his words or actions. Politely ask for the respect that you deserve. It is also a good idea to have the HR department help you and your boss settle your differences.
- Learn to be the bigger man – If your boss is extremely rude and you run out of options to save your dignity, learn to walk away. You deserve a good work environment and a good boss who prioritizes your mental and emotional needs. You may work for them, but remember that you play an essential role and that your efforts are directed toward the success of the establishment.
- Prioritize yourself – Sometimes, workplace bullying is so subtle that you have no clue it is even happening. Workplace bullying is not only verbal and physical abuse but unfair work agreements as well. Some employers make you work for unreasonable hours with minimum salary, no pay for overtime work, no bonuses, etc. When you think it is going to take a toll on your overall health, say no. You won’t be able to function as they expect in those conditions anyway and sooner or later, you’ll take the blame. You deserve better, and they should know it as well.
Just like any personal relationship, you are entitled to a reasonable alliance that benefits you. Try to work things out first, but if that is unsuccessful, it may be time for a fresh start. You still have a lot of options and a lot of opportunities. At the end of the day, there is no one above or below you, when morals are involved.