5 Ways to Heal From Workplace Bullying

Ideas for recovering from workplace bullying

upset businesswoman

Anyone who has been a target of workplace bullying, knows the pain that this type of harassment and humiliation causes. So when it is finally over, and the bully has been dealt with, you may experience a sense of relief. But you also may have some residual effects from what you experienced.  In fact, workplace bullying often has a lasting impact on your overall mental and physical health.

As a result, there will be days when the road to recovery may be challenging.

But just remember, it is worth it to get your life back. What's more, you can take what happened to you in the workplace and learn from it. Use it to strengthen you as you move forward with your life and your career.

The key is to not allow what happened to you define who you are as person. Recognize that workplace bullies have a choice. You did not deserve to be bullied. Place the responsibility for the bullying on the shoulders of the bully and move on. Leave the hurtful words and the actions in the past. Here are the top five things you can do to recover from workplace bullying.

Make your health a priority. Targets of workplace bullying deal with a host of health issues including sleeplessness, stomach issues, headaches and stress conditions. They also may deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, eating disorders, depression and thoughts of suicide. Talk to your doctor about any symptoms you are experiencing.

It’s also a good idea to find a counselor. Remember, being targeted by a workplace bully does more than impact your mood or self-esteem. It also can impact your physical health. Do not delay in taking care of your health. Ignoring your symptoms can lead to a host of other health issues. Getting well should be your top priority.

Find emotional support and validation. When bullying takes place, the target is often accused of having a problem or being the problem. Constant criticism, rumors, lies and gossip can take its toll leaving you feeling lonely, isolated and hopeless. But remember you are not alone. In fact, workplace bullying is a widespread issue that affects workers every day. Consider finding a support group in your area or starting one of your own. Find validation for what you have experienced and recognize that there is nothing wrong with you. It will take work to build up your self-esteem and overall confidence, but it can be done.

Educate yourself about workplace bullying. If you are confused by what has happened to you, read everything you can about workplace bullying. While it can be painful to learn more about the issue, in the long run it will help you come to terms with what happened to you. What’s more, being educated about bullying will prepare you for future confrontations. Some targets of workplace bullying even become advocates or support group leaders for others suffering at the hands of a workplace bully.

Change your mode of thinking. Many times, people who have been bullied develop a very narrow view of life because the bullying they experienced consumes their every thought.

Think about things other than what you have gone through, things that have meaning or purpose in your life. If you are having trouble doing this on your own, a counselor can help you redirect your thought processes. What’s more, avoid feeling guilty about how you confronted the bully or the length of time it took you to take action. These things are in the past. Leave them there.

Find closure and a new beginning. Part of the healing process is being able to put the past behind you and detach from the trauma you experienced. Sometimes finding this closure involves changing jobs or careers. But you also need to discover that your identity is tied to more than just your work.

Rediscover who you are. Develop new interests, new hobbies, new goals and new dreams. Do not allow yourself to be preoccupied with what happened to you. Instead, find a healthy way to shift your focus and put the past behind you.