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How to Deal With a Workplace Bully (Infographic)

What to do if you manage a bully, witness bullying or are bullied yourself.


Although we read about kids bullying each other — in schools and online — all the time, it’s less common to read about workplace bullying among adults. That doesn’t mean it’s not happening: An estimated 60 million Americans are affected by bullying in the workplace, and 29 percent of victims never report what’s happening, according to a report on bullying from job site

AndreyPopov | Getty Images

The shame that bullying victims feel as children is something adults deal with too, perhaps to an even greater degree. Someone who’s being picked on in the workplace likely feels like they did something wrong — that they’re not productive enough or make too many mistakes, for example. 

Related: Effectively Addressing A Workplace Bully

Workplace bullying can take forms that you might not expect, too. Here are a few examples:

  • Verbal abuse

  • Physical bullying

  • Intimidation

  • Manipulative behaviors like taking credit for someone else’s ideas

  • Institutional bullying, like assigning unrealistic goals that set someone up to fail 

  • Retaliation, like denying someone a deserved promotion

Related: 6 Effective Tactics for Handling a Toxic Boss

With workplace bullying, there’s often a power dynamic between the bully and the victim. It could be a boss picking on an employee, or even a tenured employee picking on a new hire to their team. In some cases, it’s even subordinates making life difficult for a new boss. For more information on what workplace bullying looks like and how you should handle it if you are a victim, a witness or even a bully yourself, read the infographic below.

Related: The Red-Headed Bully From 'A Christmas Story' Is Now the CEO of a Stock Market for Sports Fans

Jessica Thomas

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Jessica Thomas is a digital content director at Entrepreneur. Prior to this role, she spent nearly five years on staff at Worth magazine and was a staff writer for Bustle.