Executive and employees,  do you wish to build up resilience if you have bullied?

In front of all your colleagues, your boss has made strong unkind comments about your work, which were totally out of proportion!

Picture of a lady at a desk who wants to build up resilienceThis bullying behaviour from your boss keeps reoccurring! As a consequence this has devalued you in the eye of your colleagues and comments have been made about you which have upset you.

First of all you have already sought some help
You have tried avoiding your boss, opening up to a friend and you have even tried some of the tips on the internet on what to do, how to tackle the bullying, but to no avail.


There are many ways to deal with this. Here are a few:

  • You may have been affected by past bullying and find that your are now more vulnerable in the work place because of it.  Bullying and harassment can in some cases lead to illnesses such as social anxiety or mild or severe depression.  Learning to build up resilience if you have been bullied is a good idea.
  • Realise that your issue does not define you as a human being, this is not who you really are.
  • Realise that beliefs come in the way, affecting your peer’s behaviour and your own.
  • But are your own beliefs true?  We are not our beliefs but we are human beings with a special package blending together a unique combination of skills we can use out there. No-one else does things the way we do!
  • A therapist may be able to help you recover from your wounds and come up with potential solutions which reflect your own unique situation, tailormade so to speak.

Building up resilience happens in stages.  After you have done some work on understanding beliefs you may find this will increase your self-confidence and build up your strengths.

Here are some situations to increase resilience:

Depersonalise what has happened – example of depersonalisation.

Picture of the word ResilienceDepersonalising what has happened is difficult because you feel vulnerable.

You have called a colleague who was there whilst your boss was speaking to you and making strong unkind comments about your work, but this colleague has not answered your call.  You are in a state because you think they are ignoring you.   Here is a small tip, check assumptions and try and depersonalise what has happened: This colleague may have good reasons for not returning a call or a text message, they may be busy or may have deleted your text – even though you may feel insecure about it.  Be  patient with yourself.

Give them the benefit of the doubt. The good thing also is that the fact that they have not answered means that you now have an opportunity of having some space for yourself, to reflect on what has happened without the influence of someone else’s opinion!

What happens with your boss

Your boss is in a bad mood.  Did he got up on the wrong side of the bed?   With the economic situation as it is at the moment in the UK, pressures on businesses have built up due to the crazy work hours bosses are working and the uncertainties of the market in some fields.  Some can be so stressed that they can be sleep deprived, have health problems and deteriorating work relationships, which can result in leadership issues. Because of this they can take out their troubles on other people too.

Employees can also go through something similar as they are feeling the tension and pressures of having to be in the office extra hours to finish their work. This can be aggravated by the irritability and the unkindness of some bosses with leadership issues and who can’t cope.

Speak to your boss

Picture saying: Tell your bossRudeness is of course unacceptable and needs to be addressed. You also know that you work very hard for a salary which has not necessarily increased due to the economic situation. You could:
Speak to your boss and tell him how you feel!

‘when you spoke to me yesterday, I felt really hurt and I wonder if there is a way we could communicate better?’
‘When you speak to me like this in front of my colleagues I feel this is not right. If you wish to speak to me, would you mind if we speak in your office? I would really appreciate this’

Setting boundaries

Picture showing a fence as a boundaryYou will need to develop effective ways of setting boundaries so that your boss understands that she/he has gone far enough.  The message is that you need respect.  We want to struck a balance between being able to speak to him calmly whilst at the same time setting boundaries with your boss.

Gradually it is possible to learn solutions and strategies to help you with speaking up and setting boundaries so that your boss starts respecting your  spiritual space and your emotional wellbeing.

Become “matter of fact”

It is important to give your boss the message that you do not support this bullying behaviour somehow. That is part of being resilient. Being resilient is about not being vulnerable any more and becoming more “matter of fact about things”. Some people are even able to laugh at whatever is presented to them.

You may need to have worked on yourself before reaching the point of feeling less vulnerable and more detached about situations. You may need to spend some time with someone who can help: a friend, a relative or a therapist or someone involved in the healing arts.

Be in a supportive environment

You are supported by many people, although you may not aware of it. Your team of “helpers” would be either your friends, your parents, brothers or sisters, your teachers and some colleagues. There are many books, films, meditation tapes and apps that can also provide help and support. Being in a supportive environment is of paramount importance for promoting personal growth and going on a journey of self-discovery.

Picture working on herself by reading books
How else can I deal with the situation?

Tell yourself:  ‘How else can I deal with the situation? Am I really that inefficient?’  The chances are that this is not true. If you feel efficiency could be improved, do not worry, rethink your work instead, prioritizing, reorganising, work to meeting deadlines.  If need be, ask for more training in some areas. If your boss has leadership issues, he probably would not have thought about which training you need in order to achieve what he wants.

There are solutions which are goal focused and encourage people to gradually work on themselves. They involve an approach encouraging wellbeing such as the use of empathy, warmth, acceptance, authenticity, compassion, humanity and potentiallly hope. Quite often this kind of support means identifying achievable and realistic goals and agree objectives to help you. Think what you could achieve if you gave yourself a small achievable goal each day resulting in success! If you set yourself to it, this may happen and will help you to build yourself up.You may decide you need some help with this.

Building up resilience takes time

Building up resilience takes time because beliefs about the past and present need to be looked at but also there is the question of depersonalising and doing some exercises of detachment which can be taught so that you are not affected any more.

Bullying can be a problem in many offices and for individuals in general these days.  Learning to speak to a bully by building up resilience if you have been bullied is important.  Taking on the help of a therapist who can assist you in clearing yourself of beliefs and insecurities Word Impossible with the letter IM dropped by the side of itis an option, among others.  Remember, you are not alone, there is always help in many forms!



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