Lady V Global

Motivational Speaker, Confidence Coach

BULLYING: Let’s Talk About it

“Bullying? But I’m an Adult!”
Bullying doesn’t just occur amongst young children and teenagers.
Bullying occurs in almost every environment where two or more are gathered
So we are talking:
  • Family
  • School
  • Work
  • Even Place of worship e.g church, mosque, temple etc
Why do bullies do what they do in the first place?
Well, it could be one or more of the following reasons:
rivalry (competing)
Insecurity /inferiority complex
– They want to be favoured, loved, feared, revered, command some sort of respect and have some level of authority. This takes us back to the third point, if they weren’t so insecure, they wouldn’t have to be bullies.
Before I go on I want to make this really clear :
For you to be bullied in anyway, is a sign of your importance!
                                                                      – LadyVGlobal
Considering the points highlighted above, never think there is something wrong with you and that’s why you’re being bullied. NO! You’re fine! There’s something wrong with the bully. So never let it tamper with yourself esteem and confidence, somebody else’s lack of self confidence (in this case, the bully’s) should not be contagious.
I opened up this blog post with a statement that may or may not be new to some. Bullying doesn’t just happen amongst children (which needs to be thoroughly dealt with especially in this age of social media and cyber bullying, but thats a blog post for another day) it happens amongst full grown adults, in adult spaces. Unfortunately, many adults tolerate bullying in the workplace and even in their places of worship mainly because they don’t want to have to deal with any sort of attack, conflict, or discomfort. So we either pretend they aren’t causing any sort of damage or we hold our tongues and gnash our teeth in tolerance.
The truth is, a person does not have to harm you physically for it to be termed “Bullying”. They do not even have to touch you. In the words of my later mother Mrs Dora Otomewo (of blessed memory) “No be only who dey fly na im be witch” (in pidgin english) – meaning you don’t have to fly (on a broomstick at night) to be called a witch.
How do I know I am being bullied in my work place?
  1. If you are particularly anxious the night before the start of your workweek, you’re probably experiencing workplace bullying. Even though many people do not look forward to Mondays, they shouldn’t cause you to feel physically ill.
  2. If the criticism from your boss or co-worker never seems to stop, despite your history of objective competence and even excellence, a bully might be to blame.
  3. Bullies at the workplace usually make their feelings known by yelling. If you are frequently screamed at, insulted or humiliated in front of others, you’re  being bullied.
  4.  If your boss or co-worker seems to keep a file of your mistakes and constantly refer to them for no constructive reason, you’re likely being bullied. Falsely accusing you of errors is another common device.
  5. Office bullies usually spread destructive gossip and lies about you and your performance. Failing to stop the spread of a rumor can be an act of bullying, too.
  6. If you feel like you’re being singled out and/or isolated by your co-workers or boss, socially or physically, you are probably being bullied e.g. having your desk moved or not being invited to meetings or even lunch.
  7. If it feels like all your paid time off is being used for mental health breaks to get away from the torment of your office, it could be because you’re being bullied. You could also be spending your days off feeling lifeless.
  8. A workplace bully may try to find ways to ensure that you fail at your job. Examples include changing rules on the go that apply to your work or not performing tasks crucial to your success.
  9. A workplace bully won’t hesitate to change your schedule to make your life more difficult. If your boss always schedules last-minute late meetings on the days when he knows you’re taking night classes or you have to pick up the kids, for instance, he or she may be a bully.
  10. Your work colleague uses sarcastic and spiteful comments both directly and indirectly, especially on the days where you feel very good about yourself. They seem to just want to tear your confidence down.
 You may give the excuse that the above points are part of a working environment, and you may be right when its a one off thing, but here are the factors you need to further consider:

Repetition (occurs regularly) – if its happening all the time, it’s bullying.

Duration (is enduring) – if its long winded, its bullying.

Escalation (increasing aggression) – if it gets you even more upset every single time, its bullying.

 Power disparity (the target lacks the power to successfully defend themselves) – you can’t defend yourself or you feel to overpowered to defend yourself? That is bullying.

“Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or work-interference, i.e. sabotage, which prevents work from getting done,” from Workplace Bullying Institute.


By not speaking up and/or taking no action at all to these bullies, you will be encouraging their behaviour to continue, not just to you but everyone around you.

We all avoid uncomfortable human relations issues sometimes… but what is the cost? Really expensive–as we give our power away, compromise our integrity, and unconciously teach our team that bullying is “okay”. We also give space for our confidence and self esteem to be severely damaged. Before it gets to that, you need to put a stop to the bullying.

The first step to stop bullying is to identify and understand how you are permitting the bullying. Being bullied has serious consequences, especially if it is long-term. So do what you can to protect your mental and physical health. One way to do that is recognise what you can control and what you cannot control. In other words, you cannot control what a bully says or does, but you can control your response.

The second step; when you have identified the enabler, you need to end it. How? This leads us to our last point…

 Thirdly, create a new system with healthy boundaries and behaviours (rich with safety, belonging, mattering and shifting from tension to empowerment). Be direct about what you do not like about his behavior and let him know that if he continues you will report him. Try not to get emotional when you are talking to a bully because he will likely use this against you.

Note that if the bully is above you/senior to you, you’ll need a mentor equal or greater in stature, position and/or authority to the bully to do the following.

    1. Take the Mic – explain why you’re meeting and the outcome you want (to form a collaborative turnaround plan)
    2. State the obvious – this is where you describe specific behaviors that must change and examples so the bully can “step into” the past scenarios
    3. State the results– the damage that these behaviors are doing to others/the company/the bully themselves
    4. Check problem acknowledgement – do they agree that there is a problem? Do they agree this problem now must end?
    5. Co-create a plan – set a time period (30-60 days) where you’ll meet weekly for 15-30 minutes to track their progress on releasing the challenging behaviors identified above. Make the plan very specific in terms of what you need to see and when you’ll know you got the outcome you wanted (see Outcome Frame above). If the turnaround doesn’t occur, state clearly what the consequences will be (lose job, etc).
    6. Check understanding – is everything clear? Anything else we need to cover? Reiterate desire for a positive resolution so the consequences can become irrelevant.
    7. Come to small agreements – launch the plan and commit to ending the conflict once and for all. Be sure to track it frequently and make sure all concerned see the behaviour change too.
 In the next blog post will be about Bullying in the Family unit and also Bullying in school.
Till then, as usual, feel free to ask your questions via email

Stay blessed and be who you are, everyone else is taken!

Vowero Otomewo-Oriakhi

a.k.a. Lady V



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