Have you ever been apprehensive about standing up for yourself at work? As much as we would like to think that employers and fellow employees will treat us with the utmost respect, there are always situations that will show that not all people are socially mature enough to conduct themselves appropriately in work environments.
According to the Workplace Bully Institute, 61% of offenders are actually people in leadership positions, and 31% are co-workers. It is common for workers to fear retaliation if they speak out against being mistreated. The truth is that if you don’t say something, matters tend to get worse and not better. In this guide, we will outline some key reasons why it is important to stand up for yourself.
It Will Restore Peace to Your Work Life
Do you dread going to work because you are certain that you will encounter some form of chastisement? Do you find yourself “walking on eggshells” at work, trying not to be noticed? Do you hide in your cubicle most of the workday to avoid confrontation? All of these behaviors are signs that you may be suffering from workplace bullying. The workplace should never be a source of frustration and conflict.
Rather than going through your day feeling like a victim, building the courage to stand up for yourself will allow you to get your feelings out in the open. Bullies do not like to be confronted. Instead of being combative about the situation, talking to the person one-on-one about their actions is the best way to address the issue. If the conduct continues, seek assistance from upper management or the human resources department.
Makes it Possible to Regain Your Self-Respect
When you allow others to dominate you and treat you disrespectfully, it wears down on you socially, mentally, and emotionally. Offenders often operate with the intentions of belittling those that they bully. Their actions are usually meant to make themselves seem like alphas in front of the rest of their co-workers.
Bullies tend to pick on those that they feel won’t fight back. The moment a person fights back, the bully’s biggest fear of being exposed surfaces. They may lash out one last time to save face during the confrontation, but their future attacks will likely be directed towards someone that seems like a soft target. You will not have to worry about being objectified in front of your co-workers again.
Your Rights Can Be Violated
The attacks of offenders have a chilling effect on victims. The consistent attacks suppress the actions of those they bully. Since people in leadership positions make up a majority of bad actors, this will mean that there are rights that one may be entitled to enjoy or benefits that can be denied.
For instance, if a worker has a vacation planned, and a manager that is constantly berating the employee says that they are not permitted to take the vacation when they planned to, this is a direct violation of the employee’s rights.
Another scenario may involve an employee that receives an injury on the job and wants to seek medical attention. If an overbearing employer makes fun of the employee to make them seem like a weakling for reacting to the injury can keep the employee from rightfully claiming workers compensation.
You Can Miss Out on Promotions
Not only can a manager’s constant attacks directly violate a subordinate’s rights, but these actions can also cause collateral damage. If a worker is used to being mistreated on the job by their employer, this can cause them to be timid when it comes to communication with them. The fear of being rejected or ridiculed can keep a worker from asking for what is rightfully owed to them.
One of the more serious of these instances occurs when the time for promotions and raises comes around. If a worker anticipates being rejected if they address the issue, they often remain silent about the matter. Instead of asking about their raise or promotion, the bullied individual may refrain from requesting their employee evaluation, thus keeping them from advancing in the organization.
If you think that it is best to keep your head down and stay quiet about any offenses directed toward you, it will likely lead to additional ridicule. If you are not the type of person to assert yourself, then you will need to take advantage of the resources at your disposal. The first line of defense can be in writing via email. If the written response is not sufficient, seek help from a manager or go to human resources.