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PROJECT: ADULT BULLYING

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Bullying is a serious issue that can have a devastating impact on individuals, regardless of age. Despite the common misconception that bullying is limited to school settings, adult bullying is all too common in today's world.

The outcomes of adult bullying can be as severe as those experienced by children, causing anxiety, fear, depression, and lowered confidence and self-esteem.

 

Adult bullies can be sly, subtle, and cunning, often employing tactics such as intimidation, exclusion, and harassment.


  • It is important to note that adult bullies do not consider themselves to be bullies and are usually driven by a sense of powerlessness.

  • They compensate for their feelings of inadequacy by exerting their will over others.

  • It is crucial to understand that their behaviour does not reflect your wrongdoings.

  • Fortunately, there are several assertive strategies for dealing with adult bullies, including avoidance and ignoring inappropriate behaviour.

  • As an adult, you have the power to control how you spend your time and can ask to work away from the bully or avoid situations where you must be alone with them.

  • Not all situations will allow for avoidance, but it is important to remember that bullying is unacceptable behaviour at any age.

  • Ignoring inappropriate behaviour can also be effective, as bullies are often motivated by a sense of power and will usually stop if they don't receive a response.

  • Responding with humour or pretending not to hear their remarks are just a few ways to avoid giving the bully the satisfaction of a reaction.

  • Adult bullies can take many forms, including an intimidating boss or colleague, a stranger on the street, or an abusive romantic partner.

  • Adult bullies tend to fall into specific categories, including the adult bully with narcissistic traits, the impulsive adult bully, the physical adult bully, the verbal adult bully, and the secondary adult bully.


 

Dealing with bullying, whether it is in the workplace or at home, can be challenging but it is important to address it. Here are some steps you can take:


IN THE WORKPLACE:


Document the Bullying Behaviour: 

  • Keep detailed records of the bullying incidents, including dates, times, what happened, and any witnesses.

  • This documentation will be helpful if you need to escalate the situation.


Confront the Bully: 

  • Sometimes, calmly addressing the issue directly with the bully can resolve the situation.

  • Let them know how their behaviour is affecting you and ask them to stop.


Report to Management or HR: 

  • If confronting the bully does not work or if you do not feel comfortable doing so, report the behaviour to your manager or human resources department.

  • They are obligated to take action to address workplace bullying.


Seek Support: 

  • Talk to trusted colleagues or friends for support.

  • They may have experienced similar situations and can offer advice or assistance.


Know Your Rights: 

  • Familiarise yourself with your company's policies on workplace bullying and harassment, as well as relevant employment laws in your jurisdiction.


Consider External Resources: 

  • If the situation is not resolved internally or if you are uncomfortable with the internal process, consider seeking advice from external resources such as a lawyer or a professional organisation that deals with workplace issues.


 

AT HOME:


Set Boundaries: 

  • Clearly communicate your boundaries to the bully and make it clear that their behaviour is not acceptable.


Seek Support: 

  • Talk to friends, family members, or a therapist about the situation.

  • Having support from others can help you cope with the bullying behaviour.


Safety First: 

  • If you feel physically threatened or unsafe, remove yourself from the situation and seek help from authorities if necessary.


Consider Counselling: 

  • Family counselling or therapy can help address underlying issues and improve communication within the household.


Legal Options: 

  • If the bullying behaviour constitutes abuse or harassment, seek legal assistance or involve authorities.


Protect Yourself: 

  • Take steps to protect yourself emotionally and mentally from the effects of bullying.

  • This may include practising self-care, engaging in activities you enjoy, and setting aside time for relaxation and stress relief.


Remember that addressing bullying may take time and persistence, but it is important to advocate for yourself and take steps to address the behaviour.

 

Individuals must harness courage and determination when confronting adult bullies, whether in the workplace or at home. By documenting incidents, confronting the bully, and seeking support from trusted sources, one can take proactive steps towards resolution.


Understanding rights, both in the workplace and within personal relationships, empowers individuals to stand up against bullying behaviours. Whether through internal channels or external resources, addressing the issue with a clear sense of boundaries and self-preservation is paramount.


By advocating for oneself and seeking assistance when needed, individuals not only assert their own dignity but also contribute to fostering healthier, more respectful environments for all involved.

 

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Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

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