How to Recognise Workplace Bullying

Bullying is something that most people have had either first or second-hand experience of at some point in their lives. Don’t just think it’s something that’s reserved for high school.


Workplace bullying is a common occurrence, with many employees who go through it too scared to speak up. To avoid these situations, below are some pointers on how to recognise bullying in the workplace.


For those who have never experienced anxiety, you may not even realise it’s happening. Common sensations for sufferers include a constant feeling of heaviness on your chest and the inability to take a full breath and calm yourself down. Anxiety will disrupt sleeping patterns and leave you unable to focus your thoughts. It can also make your feel nauseous and can even lead to severe health conditions such as depression. If you’re feeling the symptoms of anxiety during your workdays, it could be a signal that you are experiencing bullying in the workplace.


Just because someone might be your boss, does not mean they have the right to boss you around. Yes, they can allocate tasks and advise on where improvements can be made, but they can’t dictate to you, threaten you, or make you feel guilty about any aspect of your work. Intimidation can also occur with fellow employees. You are at work to do your job and anything in addition to your set tasks should be done at your own choosing, not because someone harassed or pestered you into doing it for them.

The Blame Game

Fear for being blamed or judged on your own work should not be a daily ordeal. You should never feel as though you can’t do anything right in your role because, if that were really the case, you wouldn’t have the job in the first place. Co-workers who criticise your work without ever giving praise or who drop you into the fire when they don’t want to take the blame for something themselves are perfect examples of workplace bullies.

Aggressive Behaviour

Yes, some people are just eternally angry by nature, but that doesn’t mean that these aggressive tendencies should ever be directed at you. Workplaces are all about dealing with various mixes of personalities. If there are cranky people about, you learn to avoid them unless you need them. If you are continually finding yourself in the firing line though, to the point where it is affecting your own work comfort, then this issue should be addressed sooner rather than later. You should not be afraid to go to work.

With no simple definition of workplace bullying out there, it can be hard to be clear about what it is you’re actually going through. The best solution is to directly tackle any concern you might be having, no matter how silly it might seem to you. Then, if it turns out to be a misunderstanding, you can both move on. But, if not, the issue is out in the open and you can take the next step towards sorting through it and eliminating the bullying behaviour. If an instance or series of instances of workplace bullying has caused you significant emotional (or even physical) suffering, it could also be a good idea to contact a firm that specialises in personal injury cases, such as Patinos Personal Lawyers, to see if compensation could be worth pursuing.

Have you or someone you know ever experienced bullying in the workplace? If so, how did you/they deal with it? Let us know below!

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.