How to Deal With a Boss Who Bullies You

How to Deal With a Boss Who Bullies You
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Coworker harassment and intimidation are widespread problems all around the world. Bullying is illegal in several jurisdictions. The question of whether or not to inform Human Resources of bullying in the workplace is real.

Because of the general nature of bullying, groups worldwide have been working to combat it. Some businesses have set up anti-bullying programs and policies, while others have formed committees to look into allegations of harassment.

However, what if your manager is abusive? The question is what a worker should do if they overhear workplace mistreatment. This article will discuss how to deal with a bullying boss.

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1. Do the work and avoid being a target.

If you are being bullied at work by an employee who reports to your supervisor, there’s no need for you to get involved. It’s perfectly acceptable to ignore the behavior and keep doing your job. If your supervisor notices that you’re avoiding them, they may assume something is wrong. If you do nothing about the situation, it could make things worse.

Bullying can escalate quickly when people feel threatened and intimidated. By ignoring the problem, you might inadvertently contribute to a hostile environment.

If you want to avoid this scenario, consider taking steps to ensure that you aren’t put in a position where you feel uncomfortable. Create a plan, so you don’t find yourself alone with your supervisor. Try to schedule meetings during times when other employees are present.

2. Understand the bully.

It’s important to understand why someone is behaving inappropriately toward you. Is it because they’re jealous of your success? Do they dislike your personality? Or perhaps they’re just trying to intimidate you because they think you won’t fight back.

The best way to determine the reason behind the behavior is to ask them directly. Be careful, though; some bullies may lie about their motives. They might even claim that they were only joking. But if you suspect that they’re serious, then take appropriate action.

3. Set silent limits.

Sometimes, it’s best to let the person know you won’t tolerate their behavior. For example, if you notice that your coworker is making fun of you regularly, tell them that you’d prefer the jokes stop.

Another option would be to leave the room whenever the behavior occurs quietly. It’s always okay to walk away from a conversation that makes you uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, sometimes the bully doesn’t listen. In these cases, you’ll have to speak up more forcefully. Consider writing down your concerns in a letter or email and giving them to your supervisor.

4. Focus less on your boss and more on your job.

If being mean to you is profitable for the bully, you shouldn’t expect them to modify their behavior. No matter what happens to them, they will not lose face. Focusing on something other than them is your best bet.

Pay attention primarily to the things you can influence in your position, the specifics of your work, rather than your employer. Instead of worrying about pleasing your boss, concentrate on producing a good job.

When working, disregard your employer and concentrate solely on the task. Do not let them divert your attention with idle chatter, unnecessary drama, or other distractions.

No amount of direct eye contact can ever allow your boss to enter your private mental zone. It’s possible that he understands your thoughts, but he probably doesn’t. Stop inviting him into your space if you want him out of your life.

5. Set verbal limits.

While you can’t physically remove an employee bullying you, you can certainly limit their access by talking to others about the situation. Tell your coworkers and managers what’s happening, and explain that you need help.

Your manager will likely agree to talk to your coworker about the issue. This could work wonders. However, if you’re brave, you can confront your bully. Just try to do this in private. If you feel like you need support, bring a friend along.

Don’t hesitate to report any inappropriate behavior. Many companies have policies against workplace harassment, and those policies often include reporting violations to management.

Your employer should provide training on this topic. Make sure to read through all the information before taking any action.

6. Build a network.

If you want to survive a hostile work environment, it helps build a support system outside your workplace. You might find yourself working alongside someone mistreating, and it could be difficult to know how to react without making things worse. But if you do nothing, you risk losing your job.

The best way to handle a situation like this is to start building relationships with coworkers and managers who aren’t in danger of getting fired. This gives you access to information about what’s happening in the office and lets you know when something isn’t okay. And if you’re lucky enough to have friends who work there, you’ll have allies who can help you navigate the tricky waters.

7. Inform management and human resources of the bully’s actions.

If you’ve tried everything else and still need to get somewhere, it may be time to take matters into your own hands. First, tell your supervisor and human resources department about the problem. Explain why you believe the person is behaving inappropriately. Ask for help.

Next, ask for a meeting with both your supervisor and human resources. Tell them exactly what’s been going on. Ask for advice on how to deal with it. Then listen carefully as they give you feedback about the situation. If they say the problem needs to come from another source, you’ll need to decide whether to keep trying to resolve it yourself or seek legal counsel.

You’ll need to gather evidence proving your claims if you file a formal complaint. Keep records of your interactions with the bully—record conversations where you discuss the issue. Take screenshots of emails and other communications. Save copies of anything you send to the bully.

8. Be a workplace warrior.

I’m not kidding: A bully doesn’t stop just because you leave his company. He may even make your life more miserable at home. So don’t let him win.

You can’t control every aspect of your boss’ day, so you shouldn’t expect to get away unscathed. But you can protect yourself by learning how to spot signs of aggression. Watch out for sudden changes in tone. Are you suddenly having trouble keeping up? Do you notice an increase in snide comments? Is he treating you differently than usual? Pay attention to these clues.

You can also use technology to your advantage. Install spyware on your phone or computer. Monitor email messages and social media accounts. Look for patterns in communication. If you see something suspicious, document it.

Finally, remember that bullies often target people who are weaker than themselves. They’re looking for easy targets. So don’t feel bad if you were targeted. It happens to everyone. Instead, focus on protecting yourself and helping others. That will put you back on top.

9. Don’t gossip

Bullying is all too common in the workplace and sometimes goes beyond verbal abuse. Sometimes, you might overhear a coworker talking behind your back. Or maybe you hear rumors about a colleague’s sexual orientation or drug addiction. Even if you think you’re safe, you should avoid spreading those kinds of stories. The last thing you want is to become a target yourself.

To stay above board, talk to your manager before sharing potentially damaging information. If you suspect someone is being dishonest, report it immediately. Otherwise, you could wind up playing a part in the bullying cycle.

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10. Keep detailed records

The best course of action if you experience or witness online harassment, stalking, or violence is to keep detailed records of all interactions. Although you may believe that simply recording events is sufficient, you should be prepared to provide supporting evidence for a complaint, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

Even if you are unable to substantiate every allegation of abuse, your case will benefit greatly from any evidence you can present regarding specific incidents of abuse.

A complaint will not advance with generalizations, hearsay, or the opinions of others. A strong argument can be made with evidence showing a consistent pattern of harmful activity.

A lack of thorough and precise documentation will hinder your progress.


As you can see from this article, dealing with a bully can be difficult. However, it’s possible to overcome them. There are ways to address issues as they arise and prevent them from escalating into full-blown harassment.

Remember that many bullies have their problems. They may be struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. These are things you can work around. Focus on improving your relationship with your boss rather than getting caught up in his drama.

However, if something seems to need to be fixed, it may be time to consider moving on. Our team of expert resume writers can help you make the transition smoother. We know how tough it can be dealing with a bully boss, so let us help you land your dream job – contact us today!

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