What To Do When
A Co-Worker Turns Nasty
by Rachelle Disbennet-Lee, PhD.
friend of mine laments that work would be great if only there
were no other people there. No matter where we work we will work
with others. Oftentimes those relationships are cordial if not
friendly, but there can be challenges. You will not love all your
co-workers, and some will be downright nasty.
doesn't just happen in schools. More frequent incidents of co-workers
who bully others are being reported. When co-workers turn nasty
it can make for an uncomfortable if not dangerous working environment;
but there are ways to handle the situation so that it doesn't
get out of hand.
clear boundaries. If you don't set limits and let the co-worker
know their behavior is unacceptable you can bet it will continue.
Let the offender know that you will not accept their behavior
by saying things such as, "It is not okay for you to talk
to me like that," or "I don't appreciate being treated
this way. I will not tolerate it." This lets the bully know
that you will not tolerate such behavior. If it continues report
the bully to your supervisor and company security.
fight back. The saying "Fight fire with fire" in this
case is dangerous. Often the bully is simply trying to engage
you, so if you fight back it will escalate the situation. If need
be remove yourself from the room and avoid contact with the bully
as much as possible. Letting the bully know you will not play
their game will often take the fun out of it for them, and they
will leave you alone.
law requires workplaces to be free from hostility. If you have
a problem don't just sit back and take it. Make your boundaries
clear and let your manager know what is happening. Your manager
is responsible for maintaining the peace and calm in the office,
but he or she can't if they do not know there is a problem.
deserve to work in a safe environment. If you find yourself in
anything less, be proactive and work on changing it. If being
proactive doesn't help, start looking for another position within
the company or a job with a different company. Unfortunately,
if the company tolerates bullying, there is little chance you
will be able to make significant changes. Whatever you do, keep
in mind that you don't have to take it. When it comes to bullying
create a no tolerance standard for yourself.
Disbennett-Lee, PhD provides daily motivation, information and
inspiration to thousands of people through her award winning e-zine
365 Days of Coaching. For a free report, "The Power
of Daily Action - How to create more Wealth, Health and Happiness
by Tapping Into the Power of Daily Action" go to
© Coach Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD, 2007