Workplace bullying can be a distressing and bewildering experience for adults. It can be hard to understand how you found yourself in a situation where whatever you try do to resolve the situation only seems to make things worse.

The situation often becomes intolerable through relentless, negative, daily interactions that might seem small on their own but which build up. It may be that nothing you have tried to deal with it has worked or only seems to make it worse. Adults think they should be able to deal with workplace bullies but this assumes you are dealing with reasonable thinking or behaviour, which is not the case.

Also, if this person holds power over you then fear of losing your job, your income and your career can mean you are dealing with behaviour towards you that is taking an increasing toll on your ability to deal with anything at work. You are afraid of being blamed or having it dismissed and minimised. In addition, most bullies are serial bullies and have experience at this, and at making it look in public like this just isn’t happening, or even deflecting blame on you.

Workplace bullying is not schoolyard bullying. Competent people with good work relationships, are as at risk of being bullied as anyone else. Potential whistleblowers are most at risk of being bullied.

People who experience bullying can develop symptoms including difficulties with memory and concentration, hypervigilance, even sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression and other post traumatic stress symptoms.

Therapy can help you start to understand and manage these symptoms so you are better resourced to deal with the work situation instead of feeling increasingly overwhelmed. Therapy can also help you better understand the dynamics of your workplace and your options. This in turn can help you make your own decision about what steps to take next.

The Therapists Blog and some of the self-reflection exercises as well as the Resources and Links listed below can also help you become aware of and start understanding what is happening to you and how to start to take care of yourself in the situation.

With respect to other workplace issues generally, you may be feeling dissatisfied with your job, with your responsibilities and/or the expectations others have of you, or you may find the dynamics of the workplace difficult to navigate. I can help you develop strategies for dealing with difficulties at work, for experiencing increased job satisfaction, or to work out what you want to be doing.

1. Trust yourself.
Trust that what you perceive is happening is happening and take it seriously: whether anyone else can see it or not. Bullies are experts at covering what they are doing. Become an expert observer. Notice what happens, notice what gets said and not said to you and others. Read some literature or search the internet so you feel less isolated and alone.

2. Keep a written record.
>Keep a written record of interactions that concern you, no matter how trivial the interactions may seem, including dates and times. It’s the build-up of daily interactions, that may seem small on their own, but accumulate and are relentless, that often comprise workplace bullying.

3. Get support.
Find someone to talk to, preferably someone who does not work there to begin with. If you have a Human Resources department, find someone who you can trust and confidentially find out what your options are. Make sure you are clear on workplace policy and any avenues that are open to you. However, don’t let anyone press you into taking action you are not ready to take.

The Bully at Work. By G Namie and R Namie. Straightforward, comprehensive easy-to-follow book covering many aspects of being bullied at work and what you can do about it. .
Stalking the Soul. By Marie-France Hirigoyen. Excellent book about the impact of emotional abuse both in the home and at work, and what you can do about it.
Why is it always about you. By Sandy Hotchkiss. An exploration for the layperson of narcissistic personalities, the type of charismatic person who can be found to be a serial bully in the workplace. Includes strategies for protecting yourself from such people in the workplace.
Simplify Structure Succeed.  By Shannah Kennedy.  Assessing your values and what's important to you, and how to shape a life that reflects those values.  Any time of change is a time to reassess your life's direction.The author rebuilt her own life 'brick by brick' after suffering from chronic fatigue and now works with elite athletes, business people etc. Lots of insights about how to increase strength and resilience through focus and self-care. 
Manage your Day-to-Day: Build your routine, Find your focus and Sharpen your creative mind. Edited by Jocelyn K. Glei. A series of short, practical essays by creatives and consultants on creativity on how to manage the day to day practicalities of a creative life.
Flow the psychology of optimal experience. By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Audio CD. Great summary of some of his main ideas and what enables people to work in flow.
I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What it Was. By Barbara Sher. A look at all the specific and different ways a person’s psyche resists change and how to develop your potential, with practical ideas for how to work with your specific brand of resistance/fear.
What Colour is Your Parachute. By Richard Bolles. Another practical classic, looking at what makes you tick, what specifically would give you career satisfaction and how to go about getting the career you want.
It's only too late if you don't start now : how to create your second life at any age. By Barbara Sher. Looking at the freedom to make different choices after 40 years old.
Full Catastrophe Living. By Jon Kabat-Zin. Another book looking at the ups and downs that a full life is, and how to build resilience and cope with stress and change.

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