According to ToughNickel’s article “7 Surprising Reasons Why a Workplace Bully Might Target You” by McKenna Meyers, bullies target those who threaten them. As per the article,
A bully doesn’t pick a victim who’s weak or timid, on the contrary, the bully picks the one who’s highly skilled, ethical, honest and well-liked.
Being a senior professional in my field, I raise my voice against workplace bullying and highlight its consequences. Yet, I have been a victim myself.
Since my childhood, I was always told how opinionated I was, how I was strong witted like my father, how I could be a rebel to always raise my voice against the horrors of different ages. Ironically, at 28, the same strong witted girl questioned her worth and developed work anxiety. It was not much later that I realized what the root cause was.
My bully was a newcomer like McKenna’s, who was instantly disliked by the whole team. They called her incompetent, pretentious, rude with no respect for others. But me and my colleague thought otherwise, we thought that the person could bring in a different perspective and that, if given a chance to feel comfortable around us, can be a great strength to the team.
Little did we know that she played us while we were trying to provide her the comfort she needed as a new joiner.
We were ridiculed with the subtle hints of how below we were in terms of finances, status quo, experience, network, skills and abilities. We were subtly conditioned into thinking that our 12 and 6 years of experiences were a total waste. The young and impressionable team members were unknowingly ridiculed and were treated like personal & professional servants but were conditioned to feel proud about serving her.
I was mind blown when I saw the bully, apparently a highly experienced and a top class professional, do a project costing on a word document and bragging about how the project would have died if she hadn’t done that costing. I, on the other hand, paid the price for introducing her to “Excel” for the purpose.
“Why me? Why us?” I used to ask. We had no malice for her. But why? Because I can better articulate the narratives and was quicker than her in delivering something?
“Why me? Why us?” I used to ask. We had no malice for her. But why? Because I can better articulate the narratives and was quicker than her in delivering something? Because my colleague was kinder, an honestly capable leader? Our bully prided herself on having an international degree but, we got the work done. She had the experience of working with government institutions but we brought in more value for our corporate organization. She marketed herself while we worked our ass off and got the limelight. Her ego was bruised. That’s why!
Credits // thriveglobal
Even after moving to a different team, she kept on badmouthing me, telling everyone how miserable I and my colleague made her while she broke the team apart and turned people against us including one of the star performers of the team who used to have the most positive energy.
My colleague leads the team now and is a strong wall between her and the team. Yet, my bully used two people from within the team to propagate and turn the young lot against me. Made an image that I am wrong and incompetent whereas I was the one burning out to build the team to its full potential. My manager and I were able to connect the dots when one of the “informants” spilled the beans.
Beware! Because for the bully, anyone and everyone will be worse as far as it saves them. But the credit of the goods will also be theirs, every freaking time.
With that I leave for my readers to decide the next course of action in their own environment. Are you a bully who would create a façade or are you an honest professional focused on making a difference by adding real value?
The choice, my friends, will always be yours!