It took me a lot of years, a lot of practice, and a lot of planning before I was able to set myself free from bullies and toxic people.
One of the first things I had to learn is how to recognize them and then I had to learn that I couldn’t beat them, I couldn’t change them and it was important for me not to “join them”. Eventually, I learned how to cope with and exist around them, so that I wouldn’t lose my cool, and thus, lose my job.
Not every business has an HR department where you can file complaints against these bullies. Even if you could file a formal complaint, not all bullies behave like “Back To The Future’s,” Biff Tannen. Many toxic people come across as friendly and helpful; it’s over time that you notice their underhanded tactics and manipulations, including gaslighting, triangulation, projections, and gossip. Many times, what you experience will be dismissed, due to lack of tangible evidence. Other times, others will make excuses for toxic people. In either case, to save your work reputation, it’s a good idea to learn how to deal with these bullies while you make an exit strategy; hopefully before they plan your exit for you.
In case you believe that, because you currently work for a great boss or a great company, you aren’t in danger of finding yourself working side by side with bullies and toxic people, let me disabuse you of that idea. The first two years of my six year stint, on my last job, were wonderful, until my boss died suddenly and unexpectedly. The culture of the business, literally, changed overnight. I went to bed loving my job, one day and woke up to a toxic work environment, just a few days later.
Because of my personal life, I was not in a place where I could up and quit that job. I had to stay put and set a plan in place. In the meantime, I also had to coexist with people who were either, bent on getting rid of me, or using me to further their own agendas; including my boss. I learned how to manage my temper and my expectations, and continued to do the best job that I was capable of, even on days when I felt like quitting, right then and there.
I’m not a professional, but I have a lifetime of experience being a target for bullies and toxic people. I was born to toxic, abusive parents. I learned to keep my head down and take the crap that people gave me, as if it were a gift. I participated in years of counseling to overcome the struggles of my youth, but, it is only in the last six years or so that I began learn how to recognize and deal, effectively, with these negative individuals, but I feel it is important for me to share my experiences with what works (and what doesn’t) in handling them.
On this site, I will continue sharing my experiences with a toxic workplace and offer advice, based on my own practices, on how to stick it out, if you can’t leave, right away. So watch this space, as I hope to make it a permanent feature.
Feel free to send email to Contact@dizzydezzi.com with questions, comments, concerns or to share your own story or to get advice.