Have you been the subject of jokes by people at your office? Does anyone in your office tell lies about you behind your back? Does this kind of behavior cause you stress and make it difficult for you do your work? If so, then you may be a victim of workplace bullying.
Many refuse to believe it; others deny it or just plainly do not want to have anything to do with it. But in reality bullying in the office is quite common. If you think that bullying is only confined to kids and teenagers who steal lunch money or make fun of other kids then you are in for a surprise. The bully in high school just grew older but did not really mature and may now be lurking in the office. You may be the target of this bully, and he or she may be guilty of workplace harassment.
The trouble is, even though you experience workplace stress due to his actions, you are most probably unsure as to how to react to solve the situation. In the first place you may even feel that the problem is you, not the person causing you stress, and that you are reacting abnormally to the situation. But chances are if the actions of that person or persons is causing you stress making it difficult for you to function properly at work, then you are a victim of bullying at work.
It is normal to have some difficulties in dealing with co-workers from time to time. There are people who are sometimes difficult to work with and this may also cause you stress. But there is a distinct difference with a co-worker who is difficult to work with and a bullying co-worker. When dealing with difficult people the stress you feel is usually related only to the work at hand. But when confronted with a bully at work, you feel stressed every time you see or even think of the bully in and outside work. In which case, it is clear that the bully has created a hostile work environment for you, and this can make you incapable of performing your duties properly, to the optimum level. This is can be construed as harassment based on the definition of workplace harassment.
If you are able to establish that you are a victim of an office bully, you must take the necessary steps to stop him from bullying you or you will never get any peace of mind at work. The situation will even get worse as bullies tend to escalate their acts of harassment if they see that the victim continues to be passive. The consequences for you may become much worse. The stress you go through can cause you health problems or your continued passive behavior may lead you to think that you are better off finding another job. Escaping to another job may look like a good idea, but there is no assurance that there will not be another bully when you get there.
The best thing to do is to confront the situation. Inform your company of the incidents of bullying. If this does not work, seek aid from government labor agencies that deal with harassment at the office. If you are a member seek help from your union as well. Companies, government agencies and labor unions usually have a procedure to address these problems.