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Unimpressed HR woman filing a complaint

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Workplace bullying is quite common and can be described as intimidating, threatening or intentionally sabotaging a coworker. While both men and women are perpetrators, women typically tend to target other women. This type of bullying should not be confused with occasional petty gossip in the break room.

If you’re not sure whether you’re an offender, keep reading.

You target the newbies

If a new employee starts in your office and you’re the first to stir the pot with your antics, you just might be a bully. You can’t wait to feed her with all of your negativity about who’s out to get her and how her job is on the line if she doesn’t do as you say. When this new employee makes a mistake, you are quick to belittle and create hell on Earth for her. When that isn’t enough, you rally the troops to assist in your mockery. Like a hungry pack of hyenas, you all band together in the foolishness.

You spread rumors

What if I told you some women choose to keep their personal business to themselves? Yes, these women exist and would rather focus on achieving goals versus succumbing to your poking and prodding for information. This upsets you because your life is a snore and you need to spill her tea to keep the focus away from your shortcomings. When she refuses to tell you anything, you make it up. And Lord forbid, she ignores you; You’ll immediately spaz out and plot her demise.

You remove all allies

It can be second nature for women in new positions to form allies at work to get them through rough patches. Finding another woman who gets her and is supportive enough to listen to her venting is like discovering the last pair designer shoes in her size is on sale. But wait! You’ve removed these allies by turning everyone against her, and it’s unnerving for her. Your main goal since she started has been to make sure everyone else steers clear of her. You can’t let anyone find out how awesome she is, can you? “Why would she do this to me?”, She might ask. Well, you’re territorial and need to control your work life. Maybe you’re a weakling at home, and you have to find a way to balance your issues.

You’re insecure

The new employee is a wiz. She’s smart, resourceful and a go-to person for leadership – everything you’re not. She’s a rule follower and her congeniality is very attractive to those around her. Of course, this threatens you because you do the bare-minimum and are well aware that your head could be on the chopping block if she outshines you. Although your prey is a confident, high-performer, she’s far from confrontational. You learned early on that your boss doesn’t like whiners so your bullying tactics go unnoticed, and this gives you LIFE!

Workplace bullies are not only your peers but can also be your supervisors or subordinates. If you take pride in bullying others, dig deep within to find the source of your issues and get some help. Make some self-adjustments and stop penalizing others for your inefficiencies.

 Ashley Watkins, of Write Step Resumes, LLC, helps job seekers and career changers find the career of their dreams by creating the perfect resume, providing interview preparation and career coaching. She can be found on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Pinterest, or via www.WriteStepResumes.com.

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