Stand Up Against Bullying: A blog to help stop workplace bullying
Mental Health Professionals Targets

Healing While Being Bullied

Red heart with bandaids in an X
Original Post Published: June 23, 2015; Edited and Republished: December 17, 2020

Being a target of workplace bullying is very painful and has long lasting effects on one’s personal and professional life. It is difficult to comprehend why a person is being terrorized in their place of employment, let alone trying to heal from the continuous pain of this. However, it is vital that targets begin the process of mending, even if they are still being bullied.

Healing, when a victim is still being abused, is much easier said than done. One of the first steps in healing for a target is developing a clear understanding that they are not responsible for what is happening. Workplace aggression is not something that we think happens at work and it is not logical or rational. It is not something to be made sense nor did targets cause this to happen. Part of healing is letting go of the desire to have an explanation for what is going on. Unfortunately, there just is not a rational explanation for workplace bullying. Releasing this desire to understand why for a target can be helpful and healing.

A target should find and practice methods that work for them. Self-talk is basic but a great tool to use especially if a person is still working and experiencing bullying. It is a technique that a person can use in the moment when the bullying is happening. It helps take the focus off what the bully is saying and onto helping themselves.

Develop one or two statements, such as “I am a survivor and not responsible for the aggressor’s bad behavior” or “I do not deserve to be treated this way and did not bring this on myself.” These statements are important to reinforce that the target knows they are not responsible, but also again focuses their energy away from the bully. This may seem elementary and simple; however, it is crucial for the target to reinforce and believe that they did not cause the bullying. By clearly understanding this, targets should be able to let go of their feelings of guilt taking back some of their power that the bully has taken. This helps heal a target’s wounds.

Another step in the healing process is having someone believe that you are being targeted at work and that you are in fact being tormented. This is imperative because aggressors are so skilled at making targets seem unreliable and unbelievable. Many victims do not talk about the bullying anymore because they are often dismissed and are seen as exaggerating what was happening. This only adds to the pain and self-doubt. It causes a target to solidify the belief that they did something for this to be happening. Having someone believe what is being said about the workplace and the bullying helps targets have an outlet for their feelings. This is key in healing.

Healing as a target is still being bullied is difficult. But target must begin the process of mending the damage that the bully has done. This is part of the recovery process from workplace bullying. Building self-confidence and learning to trust oneself helps targets regain their power that has been taken. Healing and recovery are vital to managing workplace bullying.