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Bullying in the Workplace: 8 Tips to Get Out of Victim

Tips for victims of bullying

When harassment, targeted exclusion and Bullying at work determine your everyday life, you are caught in a vicious circle that seems hopeless. Do you feel affected? You are not alone in this: According to the Germany-wide study by Viking *, around one in four employees has experienced bullying themselves, the most serious of which applies to 18-24 year-olds with around 35%.

We give you tips for action with which you can regain your quality of life and your job satisfaction and show you what you can do when you witness Bullying at work will.


How can you recognize bullying in the workplace at an early stage?


In the case of bullying, there is a spark, then the fire smoulders, then it burns brightly. The earlier those affected react, the better their chances of putting out the fire in the office. But how can you recognize the first crackling, the development of bullying in the workplace?

For example:

  • Fronts are forming in the group
  • The person concerned is undesirable as a conversation partner
  • Rumors about the employee are making the rounds
  • The person concerned is attacked personally during technical discussions
  • Information passes him by
  • Unpleasant tasks always end up on the table of the victim of bullying


8 tips on how to confidently box yourself out of the role of victim when it comes to workplace bullying


The following eight tips will help you, depending on the phase of the fire Bullying at work to deal with:


1. Take the bull by the horns


It is of no use to ignore allusions, to overlook hostility or to simply hide away. who of Bullying at work affected should intervene at the first spark and confront the attacker in private. For example, if a rumor has been spread, address the person as follows: "I heard you were talking about me ... what is your purpose? " This offensive approach shows: the other person is not an easy victim and knows how to defend himself!


2. Remain forgiving


The victim should put the attacker in his place, but leave it alone and then treat him like any other colleague. Forgiveness drains the nourishment of the aggressor's aggression. On the other hand, hostile behavior would incite new attacks. Don't worry: doing this doesn't make people affected by bullying smaller, but bigger. In this spirit, the Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi stated: “The weak cannot forgive. Forgiveness is a quality of the strong. "


3. Find allies


Victim of Bullying at work do well to seek allies. It is advisable to involve colleagues you trust and explain to them what exactly happened. Caution: Do not slide into monologues of lamentation full of self-pity. Instead, it is better to formulate specific wishes and question them beforehand: In which situations can colleagues provide support? If the attacker notices that the alleged victim is not alone, he often gives up his activities.


4. Talk to the boss


If the fire threatens to spread anyway, those affected should take their superiors into confidence. The same applies here: Don't talk so much about the anguish of the soul, but rather about how the bullying hinders work. A discussion between the employee and the bullying colleague, moderated by the boss, can contain the fire.


5. Maintain privacy


As the bullying fire spreads, bullied workers should recharge their batteries in their free time. The best way to do this is to look for people with whom you can talk about your situation. Time for hobbies is also important. Sport helps to reduce stress and to defend one's own physical and emotional balance.


6. Keep a bullying journal


Anyone who suffers from bullying in the workplace should record all incidents in a bullying diary and describe exactly what happened. Such documentation can later provide support before the labor court and is at the same time a good basis for talking about the experiences - in private or with a psychologist. Therapeutic help can be a valuable support in the case of bullying in the workplace.


7. Remaining able to act


Stress arises from the feeling of being at the mercy of a situation. Therefore, those affected by Bullying at work do everything possible to create alternatives. For example, by applying internally or externally. Or they develop plans for self-employment. Bullied employees can use these turntable ladders to leave the burning house in an emergency.


8. Observe and evaluate


Those affected should see to the last that the bullying colleagues do not improve on their own initiative. Bullying gets boring too! The tailor of the Irish playwright George Bernhard Shaw can serve as a model. This is "the only person who behaves sensibly (...). He takes new measurements every time he meets me, while everyone else always applies the old standards in the opinion that they still fit today. "


Do you observe bullying in the workplace? Get active!


According to a recent study by Viking, around 37% of those surveyed have witnessed bullying. However, many observers of an ongoing bullying process turn a blind eye when colleagues are obviously affected by bullying attacks. The truth is: This does not happen out of a lack of interest, but rather out of fear of being the focus of the bullies. What you should definitely take into account, however, is that your intervention is the first but crucial step towards harmony. With a strengthened back, the person affected can gain new courage to face the bully for the first time. Because the more idle time that passes, the larger the group of people who participate in the bullying and the more difficult it becomes to intervene. In order not to allow the fire room to spread any further, it is therefore of enormous importance to become active quickly!


The chairman of the Alliance against Cybermobbing e.V. Uwe Leest shows ways in which you can intervene:

  • Do not support intrigue, but take sides with the victim
  • Talk to affected people
  • Informing victims of gossip and rumors
  • Address and sensitize fellow travelers
  • Don't trivialize the problems
  • Analyze the bullying situation by asking who, when, what
  • No further steps without the O.K. initiate the data subject


What can companies do about workplace bullying?


Many employers do not want to associate the issue of bullying with your company because they believe that such a problem does not exist under their leadership. By looking the other way, trivializing or even tolerating the problem, the fire is not suffocated, but only further heated and the desire for a pleasant working atmosphere becomes unattainable. Around 37% of victims of bullying are not supported by their superiors *. The wish that employers take bullying more seriously was expressed by almost 30% of those surveyed. In order to strengthen the dynamic of the team in the long term, it is important to start with the structures that encourage bullying within a company, such as the development of a competitive climate or rigid hierarchies. The establishment of institutional structures, e.g. a contact point with trained employees for incidents of bullying, or the appointment of trained conflict controllers also has a major effect.


Examples of resounding approaches to Bullying at work to prevent:

  • Offer of topic-specific training for all employees
  • (Cyber) bullying training for executives
  • Offer of events on the subject of (cyber) bullying
  • Choice of a suitable organizational structure
  • Well thought-out concept for the integration of new employees
  • Creation of a good culture of discussion and argument



When nothing helps ...


If the situation doesn't change and it turns out that you will no longer be happy at your current job, it is time to look for a new, healthier work environment. We are happy to help you and assist you in your job search. Sign up for Monster for free! As a member, you will not only receive valuable tips on topics related to your career and application via email. You also have the option of setting up up to five different “jobs by email” and thus finding the right job and a more positive work environment.


* "Bullying Survey" - study by Viking, 2019