It’s easy to assume everyone knows what bullying is. But often the term
bullying is used to describe other aggressive behaviour. This can make
it hard for the wider community to consistently identify and deal with
bullying when it happens. Most widely-accepted definitions of bullying
are base on four elements:
* Bullying is deliberate - intentionally causing physical and / or
psychological harm to another person.
* Bullying involves a power imbalance - an actual (or perceived) unequal relationship between those being bullied and those who bully. For example due to physical size, age, gender, social status or digital capability and access.
* Bullying is usually not a one-off - it is repeated over time, with the threat of further incidents leading to fear and anxiety. People may bully one person many times, or different people each time.
* Bullying is harmful - there is short or long-term physical or psychological harm to the target (eg, as a result of coercion or intimidation).
* Bullying can happen anywhere - in person or online (cyberbullying), at any time, and can be verbal, physical or social (relational). It can be obvious or hidden.
Workplace bullying can have a devastating impact on emotional health and your own self-worth but it’s not always easy to know where you can go for some support and a listening ear. It’s entirely understandable that you may not feel comfortable enough to find anyone within the workplace that you can confide in, especially if things are tense and difficult at work and you are having to face this every day.
It may not be easy to talk about the harassment you are suffering at work, but we do know that sharing how you are feeling and confiding in someone that you trust can help to avoid emotions bubbling over into your personal life. It is inevitable that at some point the bullying at work will impact on your life at home. Talking with your partner or family might not be easy because you have such close emotional ties but think about how you would feel if your felt your partner was keeping something from you and how you would want to support them.
Your home will probably feel like your safe haven or sanctuary, and you might just want to shut the door and forget what is going on at work. However, if you don’t find an outlet it might mean that emotions are running high and you return home feeling a little more agitated and stressed than usual which can mean that the slightest little thing can result in tempers flaring and family life can start to deteriorate.
So what can you do to take control of your own emotional wellbeing and help you through these difficulties?
A diary can be a great way of expressing how you are feeling and can also aid in ensuring you have a written account of what has been going on.
Take some time out to think about how you are really feeling – many people feel scared, stressed, anxious and low in confidence. If you recognise any of these signs and feel it would help to take some time out from work then make an appointment to see your GP.
Stress can have a devastating impact on emotional health and it might mean that taking a couple of weeks off work might help you to feel calmer.
Don’t feel guilty or ashamed because you need some time out – workplace bullying is not acceptable and can have a debilitating effect on physical and emotional health. Contacting North Oak can give you someone to talk to and can ultimately help you receive the support and advice you need to move forward.
These are all steps that you can take for yourself if you are being bullied at work. Some will be harder than others but it is crucial that you remind yourself how important it is for you to look after “you”. We know that stress can affect blood pressure so it’s always worthwhile arranging regular checkups with your GP to make sure you are staying healthy. Listen to what your body is telling you and don’t ignore any signs of bullying that might be telling you that your body might be struggling.
Finding a hobby or an exercise that will help you to relax can also be another great strategy of trying to ensure that you stay calm and healthy. Exercise can be a great outlet for releasing stress and anxiety so perhaps you could do some local research at your library, council or local health club to see if there is anything that you might like to try. Finding outlets can be key in managing stress – it doesn’t have to be anything high impact.
Here’s a few ideas that might help:-
Going for a swim before or after work might help to calm the brain and put you in a good frame of mind.
A walk in the countryside or to the beach can also be another wonderful tonic.
Meditation can be a great way of encouraging the mind to switch off and relax.
Getting out on your bike with the family
Tai Chi or yoga can also help to balance mind, body and soul.
If you’re feeling more energetic perhaps you could try an exercise class or some martial arts.
Just remember North Oak offers trained, experienced and confidential counselling, psychotherapy and/or hypnotherapy. We are here for you in your time of need. Should you need any more information or would like to book an appointment please click the link or send a message using the form below. I am also more than happy to receive your texts, emails or telephone calls... whichever is easier for you.