We’ve left the playground bullies behind, and grown up. Sadly, so have they.
Bullies in the professional arena may use different tactics, but the result is the same. Instead of stealing your lunch money, they may invite several of your co-workers to lunch and pointedly exclude you.
An office bully may be a supervisor or manager, but often the bullying is from a coworker who is trying to advance in the ranks by any means possible, or someone who tries to force others to do his or her work.
One thing to keep in mind: Those who bully others are frequently insecure, and perhaps feel threatened by whoever they’re harassing.
What can you do?
A bully will often back off if you show confidence and stick up for yourself. Whatever you do, don’t stoop to their level. Stay calm and professional. If the problem continues, maintain a record, detailing what was said or done by the individual. If you aren’t able to resolve it on your own, alert your manager or HR department for assistance.
Adulthood does not insulate you from being targeted, it’s how you respond to it that shows who is the grown-up.