Top Signs of Workplace Bullying

Top Signs of Workplace Bullying

We examine some of the top signs of workplace bullying.

According to a recent report, a whopping 30% of workers report having experienced bullying at the workplace. Regardless of the role one holds in the workplace, it’s crucial to note that anyone can be a bully or victim of bullying. Workplace bullying has a detrimental effect on the victim’s health and overall well-being. Moreover, it can significantly compromise workplace performance and productivity.

While bullying may be common, that doesn’t indicate in any way that it’s acceptable. Workplace bullying should never be normalized, and both employers and employees should be able to recognize it and take the necessary measures to prevent it. If you are ever bullied or recognize any form of workplace harassment, don’t hesitate to step forward and speak out. Here are some of the subtle signs of workplace bullying:

#1 – Isolation and Exclusion

One of the signs you’re a victim of bullying is if your colleagues frequently isolate you socially or physically. Isolation and exclusion often occur in professional settings, such as not being invited to crucial conversations or meetings that entail making important organizational decisions.

The behavior is often more subtle when the bully excludes you from social workplace events such as happy hours or luncheons. It can also be expressed by the bully ignoring you, not speaking to you, and avoiding you altogether.

#2 – Intimidation

You may also be a victim of workplace bullying if your employer frequently intimidates you. Workplace intimidation may subtly involve your employer or a senior colleague undermining you by casting a menacing stare or delivering written threats via text messages or emails. In escalated scenarios, the bully may throw objects or slam doors in your presence but out of the view of other colleagues.  

Additionally, you may be a victim of intimidation if your boss frequently threatens to fire you to maintain control and power over you. A bullying boss may even threaten to harm you physically. Intimidation may also include the invasion of your private space.

#3 – Undue Criticism

Bullying can also happen if you’re constantly criticized at the workplace, making you feel like your job is not up to standards or ashamed. When your boss constantly criticizes your behavior or work for unwarranted reasons, it can make you feel extremely underrated and inadequate, lowering your morale and performance at work.

If you experience regular and relentless criticism from either your coworker or boss, despite your competence and quality work, they are simply trying to bully you. And the bad thing is that workplace bullies have a unique tendency to keep their targets in mind.


There are many signs of workplace bullying, from isolation to unfair criticism and intimidation. Being able to recognize workplace bullying can help you maintain your self-worth. You and the management team must be aware of the vice and adopt a zero-tolerance policy.

Remember that bullying doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong, but it’s a conscious decision by the bully to victimize you. Taking appropriate steps to counter workplace bullying can greatly benefit the organization and employees alike.


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