Hi, I have been bullied in the workplace, off and on, for the last year and a half.
It is pathetic school-yard stuff but it has really gotten me down.
I want to say something, but doubt anyone in work would believe me. This person saves their tactics especially for me, so everyone else in the company thinks they are a good employee.
How do you prove you are being bullied when it is just your word against another person?
We all know it's an employer’s market and we all have to look like 'team-players' but how do you keep your sanity when you work with creeps?
Please be constructive.
I've been on the receiving end of something like this 20 years ago: a guy who managed a very special blend of nasty, such that only the intended victim thought it was nasty, everyone else just thought it was funny.
My solution was to stand up for myself: one day I just gave him a full-on ten minute lecture, in earshot of the rest of the office about why his behaviour was unacceptable, and how I would be taking a personal grievance complaint against him unless it totally changed. I sounded angry, and 100% convincing (even though some of what I spouted had no legal basis). He was 100% courteous after that.
The anti-bullying folks here will totally disagree with me: they'll tell you to do nothing different, to keep detailed records of exactly what happened, and tell your manager.
But personally, I disagree: involving someone else as a first step just entrenches you as a victim. I always think it's best to try solving the situation yourself first (using legal means of course), either by standing up for yourself, or by changing what you do so as to remove the other persons opportunites or ammunition. I'd only start involving authorities (managers, guards, etc) if that's unsuccessful.
I agree with JustMary. My reaction on reading the OP was to think - you allow yourself to be a victim. This sounds unsympathetic, but I have been in the same situation as the OP, and in the end you have to decide how you want to handle it. It took me quite a long time but in the end I decided that I would not be a victim. There are always people who will try it, but you can decide not to accept it.
This person is just another person, nothing special, a bit nasty or thoughtless or -most likely - insecure and needing to prove himself by picking on someone else, but nothing special. He has no rights to be offensive to you, and there is no reason for you to take it.
You don't even have to say anything, just decide that what he says does not matter, you don't have to take it on board. Try just stopping what you are doing and giving him a long, straight look then shrug or lift an eyebrow and get on with what you are doing. But, when he is being ok, be normal and pleasant, say hello casually. Confuse him The bullying will quite quickly all fade away. But mainly, don't take it on board, its his problem, not yours.
record everything. all mobile phones now have a record feature. keep it on when you have contact with the bully then when it comes to a head produce the recording when you report the person. keep copies of the recordings in case you need to have a solicitor.
Firstly, thank you everyone for your advice to date.
The main problem is that the bullying started because I stood up for myself.
Effectively, in their eyes, I crossed them and now they will go out of their way to see me suffer because of it.
The tactics they use, as I said in my OP, are pathetic.
For example, acting nice to me in front of the rest of the team, so that everyone else sees it, but when I'm by myself with this person, its bitchy remarks and dirty looks - totally improvable stuff.
How do I handle this individual? If only people could see this person for what they really are!
Great idea, just pretend to be playing with your phone and record the conversation.
Otherwise don't let it get you down, its not worth it. People tend to bully because they are insecure themselves. You don't have to bow down to
anyone in this life, so stick up for yourself and don't be afraid.
No, they are not trying to make you suffer. They could, in their own eyes be the victim, you are the one who did them down, so they are sulking. The bitchy remarks - smile and say 'you are so sweet' or similar. This is a manageable situation, don't let them through your defences, be coolly pleasant, but don't be affected. You don't have to be friends, but there is no point in being enemies either. Just because they are choosing to bully doesn't mean you have to accept being bullied.
Just set it to record and leave it in your pocket.
Thank you all for the very sound advice.
It helps to see everything from a different perspective.
Even if you don't record anything on your phone, keep a written record of times and dates.
It's highly unlikely you are the only one getting treated like this.
I was on a sports team where I kept records and actually made a formal complaint. The bully, being one of the strongest athletes we had, actually quit and formed a new team. Everybody joined it even some people who knew details of the complaints.
I hear that they are now having the same trouble in the new team, having eliminated the so-called 'trouble makers'. Not being believed is bad, but people turning a blind eye is even worse. At least at work they can't go and make a new company!