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Workplace Bullying

Written by Intern Psychological Counsellor,
Iilonga Victoria

Business Colleagues
Workplace Bullying?

According to Health line (2019), Workplace bullying is harmful, targeted behaviour in a working environment. It can be verbal comments or acts that may psychologically hurt/ isolate an individual in a workplace.

Examples of Bullying
  • Humiliation, ridicule, and threaten people          

  • Overly harsh and unjust criticism

  • Misleading another on deadlines

  • Constantly monitoring for excessive performance

  • Yelling and screaming at workers

  • Stealing people’s ideas

  • Giving people the silent treatment

  • Devaluing people or their expertise

  • Competing with people

  • Telling lies about others

  • Making uncomfortable jokes about people

How can bullying affect your health?

Physical health effects of bullying:

You may: feel anxious before coming to work or even by the slightest thought of work experience some digestive issues or high blood pressure

have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes develop insomnia (inability to sleep)

experience constant headaches and decreased appetite (Health line, 2019)


Mental health effects of bullying:

This may include: thinking and worrying about work constantly, even on off days

  • Inability to work or concentrate

  • needing time off to recover from stress losing interest in things you usually like to do

  • increased risk for depression and anxiety

  • suicidal thoughts

  • low self-esteem (Gordon, 2022)


Bullying and the working environment:

Workplace bullying can result to: 

  • increased employee absence

  • reduced trust and efforts from employees

  • decreased productivity

  • Work imbalance (Gordon, 2022)


How to deal with workplace bullying:
  • Speak up while it is early -  Many individuals fail at standing up for themselves in a workplace with the fear of what people will say or concerns about losing their job. However, bullying can negatively impact the totality of your overall well-being, both physically and mentally. If you struggle to stand up for yourself, go see a professional or counsellor to help you establish certain boundaries needed for your well-being.

  • Talk to your higher-ups or HR - If an individual feels uncomfortable speaking to the individual who is bullying him/her directly, consider discussing it with your manager or Human Resources. Always choose what is the best action plan for you. When you address your concerns, remain calm and professional. While stating the negative impact on your productivity and well-being.

  • Do not take it personally -  This is of course easier said than done, but remember that most of the time bullying is about the bully and not you. It is usually a sign of jealousy, insecurity, or the need to feel in control.

  • Face the bully head-on - “Stay calm and rise above. Take the higher ground and try to respond in a rational and professional manner. There's no point in trying to beat a bully at their own game, as it will only fuel the fire. Instead, address the conflict head-on by letting them know — in a non-accusatory tone — how their actions are making you feel.” (Rodner, 2022).

  • Leave if it is not worth it - After trying everything possible and nothing seems to be working, then it might be time to leave that organization or explore other options. Keep in mind that your mental and physical health comes first.


Suder. R, (2022).

Healthline, (2019).

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