Shop Now New Bras Undies Lingerie Fit Blog Loyalty Program

office bully

Unfortunately, almost every woman will have to deal with an office bully at some point during her career.  Mean girls continue to roam the halls long after we have left the confines of high school.

The Workplace Bullying Institute reports that 68% of women bully other women in the workplace. Sometimes this is outright harassment, but many times it’s a subtler approach.

So how do you spot an office bully?

She may try to take credit for your accomplishments, shift her responsibilities on to you, or make herself look good at your expense.  Many try to engage coworkers with gossip or negative talk about colleagues and superiors, only to repeat what is said to higher ups.   They can be difficult to avoid, particularly in offices that value teamwork and collaboration.

How do you maintain a professional relationship with this saboteur while keeping your sanity?

1.  Document, Document, Document

When dealing with an office bully, email is a girl’s best friend.  Save all of your correspondence with said coworker, and copy your manager in email chains so your work is documented.  Communicate responsibilities and deadlines clearly, and summarize them in writing as well to avoid misunderstandings, be they real or fabricated.  At the same time, avoid putting anything in writing or in an email that you wouldn’t want everyone at the company to read.  Never assume what is sent is confidential.

2.  Draw Boundaries

While it is important to remain pleasant and professional, you don’t need to be best friends with everyone in your workplace.  Keep personal issues out of the office, and redirect coworkers when you need to.  A simple “I’m really swamped and don’t have time to chat right now.  Let’s catch up later,” can go along way.  If the relationship is interfering with your ability to succeed at your job, you may even want to address the conflict directly.  Use “I” statements to avoid accusations and keep the conversation headed in a positive direction.  If this is the first time you’re experiencing bullying from that person, a statement like “I feel like our friendship is becoming competitive and it might be tarnishing my image at work,” may open a productive dialogue or at least give your frenemy reason to think about her actions.

3.  Avoid Obsession

When you feel like everything is a competition, or that you have to stay one step ahead of a colleague, it uses a lot of energy. That’s energy that could be channeled into productivity and innovation at work. This can be especially difficult if an office bully seems to be targeting you – but chances are other people are noticing her missteps, too. Don’t make taking down an office bully your goal.  Instead, focus on doing your own thing and your success will shine.

4.  Be Confident

Above all, put your own best foot forward and be proud of your accomplishments.  Speak up often at team meetings so the entire team hears your ideas and be sure to update your superiors on your progress throughout big projects.  If the office bully continues to make things difficult, do your best not to react emotionally.  Schedule a brief meeting or jot a quick email to your boss to get your concerns out in the open.  If you can, try to see your coworker’s actions as a bit of healthy competition and use them as motivation.

As they say, it’s a good idea to keep your friends close and your frenemies even closer.  Remain calm, cordial, and confident as you focus on your own workplace advancement, and soon the office bully may be a few rungs below you on the corporate ladder.

Featured image via Stocksnap


Tags: | In Categories: Blog,Health & Wellness
Shop Now
Go Top