Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Workplace bullying. What is your experience?

Community Member

Hi BB friends,

Just wondering...what is your experience of workplace bullying (or bullying in any environment) and how do you get back up? How do you stay resilient in the face of stigma, derogatory judgement, gossip and rumour? How do you not feel the shame due to believing what they say.

I experience a mild/low level of workplace bullying. It is chronic and wears me down. It takes me to damaging depths. I question my personality everyday and reflect on what I can do better. People pleasing is not the answer. I have learnt to really hate myself.

I'm not a malicious person and never stir up trouble. I have social anxiety and can come across as unfriendly rather than shy. I think this could be one of the causes of the bullying. I try so hard to counteract this with varying success. It's a great day when it works.

Internally I cry, I rage, I disengage, I withdraw, I partially checkout of reality and the inner critic curls my brain into the foetal position. I'll just be honest here and admit I think of suicide. The brain just wants relief, is that so bad? Just to be clear, I have no intention of taking my life. I know I can ring Lifeline etc. I think suicidal curiosity goes hand in hand with being chronically unhappy or to use a term that is thrown around so much it virtually means nothing - Depression. Again, the brain just wants relief. Doesn't mean it's going to get it, via suicide that is.

I called Lifeline today after work and it helped. Lifeline can be hit or miss and luckily today was a hit.

For the record I'm looking for another job where I can be alone more. The bullying seems to occur in every workplace I enter so I'm the common denominator as they say.

How do you stay resilient or content or even happy at work in the face of bullying?



18 Replies 18

Hey Succulent Queen, 

Thank you so much for reaching out to the community and sharing your journey here with us. We really appreciate your courage in being so open and honest with what you're going through, and we're really sorry to hear that you're experiencing this at work. We can hear that this is having a big impact on your mental health, but please know that support is always here for you. We're sure that a lot of our community members will relate to these feelings and experiences, and hopefully some of them will pop by soon to offer you words of advice.

You might also be interested in reading more about advice and steps that can be taken for employees in your situation that you may find beneficial: https://www.headsup.org.au/your-mental-health/bullying-information-for-employees

It sounds like you're already taking some important steps to help during overwhelming moments, and we are really glad to hear that you found talking these feelings through with the counsellors at Lifeline today helpful. We hope that you also always feel welcome to reach out to our Support Service, anytime- day or night- on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport and a friendly counsellor may be able to offer some extra support and advice to help you through this.

We hope that you can find some comfort here in the forums, and please feel free to keep checking back in and let us know how you are going when you feel up to it. We're all here for you.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi SQ,

Can you Google

Beyondblue topic fortress of survival (workplace)

Beyondblue topic bullying

reply here if you wish

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello SQ

I have experienced pretty severe workplace bullying.

I didn't survive it so well, it really affected me and I didn't know who to open-up to safely about it. It's very very important to talk about what's happening and have someone support you.
There was a senior staff member who protected me and stood with me, but then that person was fired.

I was at the time really afraid of the bullies but over time I've become quite confident and I wouldn't care too much about them. I also think it's important to really call a spade a spade - if they are behaving in horrible, unprofessional behaviour, that's on them. The more I say/write/remember things according to the truth of how bad they were the more I remember that I am ok. The bullying started on the premise that I wasn't ok. They made me feel that way. But I was able to leave that workplace and survive well in other workplaces.... so I am ok. They can't keep employees for 5 minutes lol. So whatever you can bare in mind to keep perspective. It wasn't your fault.

Community Member

Hi there.
I’ve experienced workplace bullying to the extent that three years on, I experience spouts of anger, and even suicide. I to have social anxiety and am a people pleaser.

In the end I quit that job, because management weren’t interested in helping me. They’re response was that the bully was the leading hand and they needed him.

Hey ReachOut - same here. My role was pretty replacable wheras they needed the bully more. They could care less about the fact that it affected me.
I have learnt to protect myself going forward. Sorry you went through that, Reach Out. Take care

Hi ReachOut83,

Its so maddening to know employers are still effectively telling those who report it that its too bad and see you later. In my experience bullying not only messes with the victims thoughts and nervous system but livelihoods are compromised too.
I knew it must be happening to others but it seems like a topic no-one wants to touch. Sharing stories seems to help normalise it so thankyou for sharing yours.

On Monday I asked my bully if I could have a quick chat and he reluctantly agreed. He came into the conversation closed off, denied and dismissed everything I said and was aggressive in manner and tone. At least I think he was all those things. He had me second guessing myself and speaking like a scared mouse. I have decided to observe him and see if there is a change in his behaviour towards me. Im not really one to go to the boss as am worried it could be minimised and waved away as your case was.
Am looking for a new job however as you mentioned, am dreading the regret and anger to come down the track as a result of not mentioning it.
Thanks again for your reply and I hope the people in your new workace have higher emotional quotients.

Community Member

Succulent Queen said:

How do you stay resilient or content or even happy at work in the face of bullying?

Hi SQ! Great question.

My Answer - Knowing that I can walk out the door at 4:30 and not have to worry about work until the next day.

Thankfully I work in a work place where theres very little office politics and everyone gets along fairly well. I simply don't care enough in the gossip rumours etc etc.

I've never been bullied as such, I've had people with a superiority complex try to have it over me though and the trick ive learnt to deal with them is to dismiss them. Look them sternly in the eye and say something like ok, and? after they spewed their toxic opinions or mm hmmm and dont be afraid to call them out.

Building resilience takes time and is easier said than done, I was a people pleaser but ive realised over the years that when dealing with people you need to stand on your own 2 feet, stand up for yourself and stand your ground and dont be afraid to seek help and advice from colleagues.

were here for you!

Bullies are jealous punitive petty people, when you really see them as they are, then they loss all their power. The thing they hate most is your confidence , that's why they try to erode it , it's their kryptonite. bye

I just want to say I went through the same thing at my old job. It destroyed me and what little self esteem I had in life. I haven't worked in over 10 years because of the ongoing mental health issues I have. Like you, I've got severe social anxiety disorder and quite bad depression. And now after years of living on my savings I've got no money left, I'm 35, I don't know how I'm going to get another job. I feel so depressed and alone.