Monday, July 20, 2009

What can I do if I am being bullied?

Over the past several months I have been diligently writing my next book "In Darkness Light Dawns: Exposing Workplace Bullying." which is about workplace bullying and my experiences. As I think about my audience I am sure many will ask themselves the question "What can I do if I am being bullied?" I have devoted an entire chapter to answering this question, however, I thought I would share a few tips for those of you who need guidance immediately.

One of the first things you must do is uphold your personal value. You must look in the mirror and embrace the person looking back at you. Bullying has a way of playing tricks on your mind, and may cause you to begin to doubt and devalue yourself. You have to begin to change your mindset about YOU. No matter how discouraged and defeated you may be feeling at this time, you must muster up the strength to see your true worth and to embrace it. If you do not value one else will value you.

The next thing you must do is surround yourself with people who love you and are willing to support you. Trust me this is very important. I could not have survived my bullying experience without the love, prayers and support of family and friends. There were times when I doubted myself while going through my bullying experience, and then I would receive a call from a sister or friend and the person would say something that would let me know that I was valued and that I would be ok.

Document your interactions with the bully so that you have concrete evidence. Record the time, place, date, persons involved, and what was said and done. This will come in handy should you choose to pursue legal action. Carry a little notepad with you so that you can write down the facts right after a bullying incident and while it is fresh in your mind.

I would encourage you to talk to a counselor as he/she can help you work through some of the psychological damage that has been caused by the bullying. Counselors can offer insights to help you regain your strength so that you can confidently confront the bully. Yes, I said "confront the bully". I can just hear the collective gulp. In confronting the bully you are taking back your life and letting him or her know that you will not tolerate the bullying any longer. If you feel as if you do not have the courage or strength to do this on your own, take someone with you. Setup an appointment with a representative from human resources or your union. The bottom line is that you must tell someone. Know that you will meet with great resistance from the bully, but that is ok. Take deep breaths. The more you are aware of your breathing, the calmer you will be. Interact with the person in a professional manner. Clearly, let him or her know that the bullying must stop or else you will have to pursue your options. You must be firm. You should also file a formal complaint with the human resources department. Be sure to let your doctor know what is going on. Workplace bullying causes a great deal of stress for a person and can cause other ailments as well. Your doctor needs to know of your situation so that you can be cared for in an appropriate manner. Finally, if you cannot get assistance from your human resources personnel, then contact a lawyer.

So these are a few suggestions. I expand on these suggestions and provide other insights in my soon to be released book "In Darkness Light Dawns". Stay tuned. In the meantime, keep your head up and continue to see your personal worth and beauty.


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