No matter what job you do, whether it has been your passion for years or if you have just found yourself in this role, nothing ruins going to work more than a boss that creates a toxic environment. A bullying boss can truly make you miserable even if you are not the direct target of their abuse and vitriol. There are no laws that ban workplace bullying unless it is based on something specific like gender or race. Here is what to do if you are being mistreated by an employer and a little advice if you find your workplace becoming a nightmare due to your boss’s behavior.
What is classed as bullying behavior?
A bully can exist in the workplace without laying a finger on another employee. They can use verbal and emotional triggers to belittle other people. For example, a bully is someone who puts other employees down in front of a group by belittling them and accusing them of incompetence. When things go wrong, bullies are likely to blame everybody else and yet take all of the credit for things that go right. It can even go as far as sexual harassment and threatening an employee’s job on a regular basis.
How can you deal with it?
Defusing the situation is one of the best ways you can attempt to stomp out this behavior. If your boss is targeting either you or a colleague due to impressive performances, then you can attempt to share the spotlight with your boss. This can make them feel like they are part of the success and as such, you become less of a threat to their job and ego.
However, many employees find that their boss is only a bully when things start to go wrong, or they find themselves stressed. When this is happening, it can often help for you to lay low and avoid them until the pressure has eased a little. If they are dealing with lots of deadlines, then it is best to give them a wide berth. It won’t change how they behave but it will likely make your life so much easier.
A more direct solution can be to confront your boss. However, you should only do this if you feel comfortable and have thought about what you would say. It is important not to say things in the heat of the moment that may lead to more trouble. You can even be a little less direct and just refuse to do unreasonable requests. Though you should be wary as this may anger them and make you the main focus of their ire and frustration.
Bullying in the workplace
This is no easy thing to tackle, and it can often go wrong if not handled correctly. Ultimately, you need to decide if you are happy to stay out of their way in the hope that their attitude calms down or you can confront them. There is also the option of seeking help from someone above them, but this may cause more of a scene than you want.