How to bully-proof yourself at work

How to bully-proof yourself at work

FORMER US president Bill Clinton was called 'fat band boy', Hollywood star Kate Winslet was nicknamed 'blubber' and swimming superstar Michael Phelps was constantly teased for his 'sticky-out ears'.

They clearly managed to shrug off the emotional devastation of their early years of bullying to conquer bigger challenges.

That shouldn't be any less inspiration for bully victims in the workplace, although I admit that such aggression can be somewhat innocuous in the workplace compared to a school yard.

A scornful gaze from your cubicle mate, taunting remarks or bad-mouthing from a colleague, or verbal abuse by your boss in front of peers - that's all it takes to turn a peaceful work environment into a hostile, morale-robbing setting.

Bullies do it for many reasons - from cowardice, hurt, insecurity or jealousy - all of which show up their shortcomings, not yours. They aim to discredit their targets, and unfortunately their best friend is your worst enemy - your lack of confidence.

There are several ways to overcome this, but they need some effort.

1) Face up to them

It may be daunting, but acknowledge the bullying behaviour when it happens and tell the bully to stop immediately, says Mr Josh Goh, assistant director of GMG Group, a recruitment firm.

'Since most bullies strike when the victims are alone, it is only to the victim's advantage that he/she stands up to the bully immediately,' he says.

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