Anyone can be a target of bullying, regardless of age. Adults may also experience harassment and humiliation from their peers, especially at the workplace.
One survey found that, in 2017, 29% of adults have experienced workplace bullying. About 37% admitted to having witnessed it in their respective offices.
Most of the time, bullies hold a higher position in the workplace than the victim. They also often do not act alone.
Victims may suffer from loss of sleep, depression, and other physical and mental health conditions. Eventually, they may submit their resignation to get away from their abusers.
Whoever experiences bullying, whether young or old, suffer from it. They lose their confidence to become social or pursue a dream in fear that they may go through abuse again.
How do adults who have become victims of bullying at the workplace recover? Here are some tips that can help you gain back your self-esteem.
Listen to Other People’s Experience
Your bullies made you think that you caused them to act negatively toward you. People around you may also distance themselves from fear of becoming involved. It can feel isolating and lonely.
Remember that you are not alone. Seek motivational speakers who have been victims of workplace bullying and are now educating other people about how it affected their well-being. By hearing their stories, you will recognize common patterns of abuse that bullies use to undermine their victims which hopefully will assure you that you are not at fault. They harassed you not because they are weak, but because they are insecure or afraid of you.
You can also look for articles, blog posts, and videos of people who have survived bullying in the workplace.
Band Together with Other Victims
You should look for a support group in your area or online. Bullying in the workplace is unfortunately a widespread problem. It would not be difficult to find someone else who has had the same experience as you. If you cannot find one, create a group and invite people in your office who had become victims of bullying, too. Share your respective stories with the group.
Having people who will understand you hear your story can be cathartic. It will guide you toward a path of healing and build your confidence back when you are feeling insecure because of the experience you have had.
A solid support system can motivate you and reassure you that what you experience was not your fault. Through their help, you can regain the self-esteem you lost from bullying.
Take Good Care of Your Mental Health
Your mental health will receive the beating from bullying. It is important that you pay attention to what you are feeling and give yourself a break when you are getting overwhelmed.
Outside of work, instead of wallowing in your room, do the things that you enjoy. Go out and watch a movie, drink with friends, see your favorite band play live, shop your heart out, etc.
Having fun will make you forget the negative experience you went through even temporarily. It will give you a bit of time so you can recuperate and face another day, week, or month at the office.
Most importantly, remember to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. It will be tough to find the energy to continue doing day-to-day tasks when you are dejected, but letting your physical health waste away will not do you any good. A healthy body equals a healthy mind.
Speak to a Therapist
Bullying is a traumatic experience. Many victims of bullying in their childhood carried the consequences to adulthood. Adults, too, can be traumatized by bullying.
A therapist can help you navigate the emotions you have as a result of the bullying you have experienced and guide you through the steps of overcoming trauma.
Leave if You Have To
Life is too short to let yourself be subjected to abuse. If you have done everything you can to stop the abuse you are experiencing at the office and your superiors have refused to act to protect you, then it is time to submit that resignation.
Quitting is not an admission of failure. You do not deserve to be treated badly by your colleagues. You should look for a new office that has a clear policy to prevent and punish bullying in the workplace.
Bullying is damaging to one’s mental health. Its consequences can leave a person, no matter how old or young, losing their self-esteem and unable to move forward. Employers should do something to intervene when bullying takes place in the office. Victims should seek help from friends, family, and therapists.