Humiliation, bullying or ignorance... Bullying can manifest itself in any form and can occur not only in the school environment, but also at work. Does it make sense to fight it, says psychologist Ekaterina Fedorova.

Bullying at work: what to do if you are faced with bullying in a team

What is considered bullying? According to most experts, these are any systematic actions that humiliate a person in one way or another. In a corporate environment, this, alas, is not uncommon. Psychologists distinguish three classifications of this unpleasant phenomenon, where in each case - their own methods of solution.

1. Horizontal bullying

You become a victim of an "attack" by a colleague or some group. It may appear in different ways:

  • not invited to dinner or meetings together;
  • hide information;
  • spoil things;
  • communicate in raised tones, ingratiatingly;
  • your every action or opinion is depreciated.
Even the most stress-resistant person, being in such an environment every day, will experience at least confusion, negativity and reduced performance. Unpleasant emotions will outweigh, even if there are quite nice people inside the team.

How to fight?

The most correct thing is to somehow record dialogues with colleagues or those actions that indicate a manifestation of cruelty against you on a voice recorder and telephone. It is advisable to do this for several days and in different situations.

If the company has an HR department, then you can safely turn to it with evidence and a clear designation of the problem or to your immediate supervisor. In a serious team, where the concept of corporate culture is not an empty phrase, toxic people are not interested.

2. Vertical bullying

This is the case when the negative flows from the leader. Inadequate treatment is manifested in the incorrect setting of tasks, violation of personal boundaries, rudeness, humiliation and often goes beyond the working relationship.

How to fight?

If you are new to the company, some actions on the part of the manager, taken as negative, can be something of a test. Most often, bullying is indecisive, weak people who are unable to fight back, or beginners - being on the "bird's rights", they are embarrassed to express their own opinion.

Try talking out loud about what you don't like. Even simple phrases - “I don’t allow myself to be talked to like that” or “you violate my personal boundaries” usually have an effect. And in the future, the leader shows respect and tact.

But if he does not hear the first or second time, then he is unlikely to hear at all. Here it is important to evaluate your capabilities, although work in such an environment will sooner or later lead to psychological imbalance. Better to look for a new place.

3. Mixed bullying

When bullying comes from both your colleagues and your boss. Fight or not, it's up to you. But even in this situation, justice can be sought. Even if you leave the company, you will deliver many unpleasant minutes to those who caused you to lose self-esteem and experience stress.

How to fight?

First of all, do not put up with the fate of the "scapegoat" and do not turn into a victim. The task of bullying fans is to cut the ground from under their feet and “survive” from work. Do not swallow, defend your boundaries, develop a healthy selfishness and stress resistance, especially if the work is very valuable to you.

You can put a colleague in his place quite hard if he crossed some line. To make it easier to cope with emotions, make friends with someone, ask management more often for advice, showing your best professional qualities.

If you feel that you increasingly want to go on sick leave, you can’t resist so much negativity, you need to change your job. Respect for oneself and one's own health is more expensive than any most prestigious place.


Remember that bullying is very dangerous. It leads to professional burnout, depression, poor health. But if you change jobs quite often and periodically find yourself in such situations, then we can talk about your own psychological disorders.

In this case, you shift the responsibility to others and look for the guilty everywhere. You need to work with uncertainty, attend psychological trainings, develop a culture of communication with different people.