Bullies in the Workplace


This week, a student asked about Bullies at Work: “I’m often ineffective in these types of situations and I deal with them a lot. Also they are very unlikely to stop happening, so I would love to learn some tactics to put in place.”

Hi I’m Dr Andrea Vitz with Levelheaded Doc – the global Emotional Sobriety Movement for everyone!

Hi thanks for connecting with me. Today I am answering a question about bullies. This is from an adult who is struggling at work with a bully. I received this email that I’ll read to you here…regarding bullies at work: “I am often ineffective in these types of situations, and I deal with them a lot, also they are very unlikely to stop happening, so I would love to learn some tactics to put in place! Here is a pretty typical interaction: Big budget, big expectations, The issues come up with the people between my team and the people that manage how the money and time gets used in order to achieve that happy ending.I am the person who takes care of my team, and make sure they get compensated and respected for the work they do.We always make a reasonable budget to get to the finish line with no drama. The financial lead is often very stingy and micromanage. Any request on my part is often followed with snide jabs and accusations. A behavior is rampant and I wish I was better at handling it, and with better outcomes for my team!”

I love that you want to get better for your team. This is a true leadership! So let me try and help you a bit here to be an even more effective leader. Whenever we Butt up against a problem we look at ourselves. start by asking am I taking something personally,? What do I not like about myself in this situation? I Ask where am I not knowing all of my power and greatness?? Where am I believing in my victim hood? What am I believing about myself that this person is bringing up for me? And of course what Trauma Filter am I filtering this situation through? In Emotional Sobriety Training I have discovered there is always a trauma filter which is a big part of our emotional insobriety. Meaning what makes us emotional unsober. The Trauma Filter is the thing that reminds you of your beliefs about yourself that you installed after early age trauma. This Trauma Filter become the lens through which you will see everything. Causes you to feel negatively and creates the chemical or emotional affects of the situation due to its image it delivers to you. An example of a trauma filter would be the filter of unworthiness, unimportance or inadequacy…all can be overcome with emotional sobriety training. And this is important to talk about here because we are much less effective when flooded with offense, embarrassment, or other negative emotions. How can we be more effective leaders when a bully is in the mix? Well…What is a bully? Well… A bully is also person who has no understanding of their real power or greatness. A person who believes in their victimhood more than their wholeness. They have their own trauma filters. And in my experience the problems we face are nearly always due to ours and others’ emotional insobriety. If there is a problem in relationships work or other wise that means we have two people on each side who struggle with some type of emotional insobriety. Meaning they don’t carry with them the internal biochemical control to be able to endure these situations without feeling stressed, or as a personal attack. Poise and clarity are products of emotional sobriety and self reliance. “A signal of strength is poise. Poise isn’t easily demonstrated when faced with challenges, when we get bad news or something doesn’t go the way we believe it should, how we respond both internally and externally is a disclosure of true poise.” So pretending everything is fine while feeling a burning up inside is to lack emotional sobriety. It doesn’t mean you’re wrong or bad. It means you may have some training to do. We all have our weakness links and these links show us what to train making our entire being stronger and the best version we can be!! The “bully” in this case seems to be an individual who believes very negative things about themselves. When people show us there worst side they are showing us what happened to them! This is what happened to me. this behavior is what I call an echo of trauma … and we may be seeing it on both sides. One is loud and aggressive while the other may hide and shrink away. I would guess that Both of you are filtering everything thru your biggest trauma filters. we can train to choose what intoxicates is and what doesn’t. when someone behaves or radically, accusatory disrespectfully or arrogantly way. When we aren’t completely emotionally sober we take it personally. It creates chemical changes within us which make us swirl and trigger us to behave like we would in survival mode. Ie we (may fight back, tell a lie, want to hide, cry, not say our part, compromising based on not wanting more confrontation vs compromising for the betterment of the project Who is the victim of a bully?. Not you anymore! Because after training you will be able to rise above the problem and see that you are the solution. You can look at this person and see them as a small child who was hurt. While you are growing out of the victim hood and into leadership. Self reliance and wholeness. You can see this problem from a higher point than before. You can see that the two of you each have a job to do. Each different. and actually seemingly opposing jobs to do. But you are also working towards the same goal!! So what is important is the project and the people. Not the personalities. One is objecting and negotiating and the other is personality based. Do this with courage and poise. And say your part! Kindly, bring 100% you and seeing their side and considering it verbally with them. Remember When we submit. We agree with the bully that we are unimportant and unworthy of what we are asking for. ….. Stand for the mission in front of you and to never walk away with out saying everything you want to say. Professionally. . So, in a bullied work environment, you must maintain your composure. That means no matter who or what personality you are faced with, clear positive and unemotional communication has to take place from your side because that is the only side that you can control. Even if that means it only comes from you. You don’t approach this with the idea that you change their behavior. The idea is to practice being in a place where you are not longer reactive to what someone else is bringing.

The goal of Emotional Sobriety Training isn’t to learn techniques to change someone else’s behavior, it’s to become unassailable, regardless of circumstance. Our problems are never about the circumstance; they’re always about our perceptions and ability to adapt and remain levelheaded. So until you have better footing in this training begin your next communication by stating what you desire to get out of the conversation. “I desire for us to have a peaceful exchange and come to this conclusion where both of our agendas have been heard and considered.” Secondly, “My intention is for us to work as a team to make we achieve this goal, period. And these are the action steps that I would like to see taken and here’s the action steps, I’m willing to take to make our desires a reality.”

Your communication may be followed with rebuttal or resistance or passive aggression name calling things that bullies do when they’re flooded with emotions. But we can only be victims of a bully as adults when we allow it to change our internal chemistry; meaning we believe what they are saying about us, or we’re afraid that they actually think those things about us. Which that means that we are still allowing ourselves to be offended by the thought that they might not see us for what we really are. They may not understand us, they may not like us, they may not want to may not think we’re important. And when that happens, it creates an old repetitive, chronic biochemistry within us, taking us back to our youngest years of rejection and betrayal and not being picked for the team so to speak. So doing the work of advanced emotional sobriety puts you in this position of no longer needing to be right liked important or understood by everyone. Especially someone you may consider to be a bully. Specifically, people that you would consider quote bullies. And when this bully doesn’t have any influence over your internal chemistry and doesn’t even irritate you anymore in their personality traits. You have overcome their control over you. Because realize this when something can control how you feel it controls you. And that is the masterful skill of the bully.. I know you can do this. And we’re here to help.

If you want to learn the secrets, do the training,

levelheadeddoc.com or follow us on social media Instagram and Facebook @levelheadeddoc Always here for you. See you next time…

A.A. and EMSO

A.A. and EMSO

Did the energy of Bill Wilson (founder of AA) work through me to create EMSO Training? My motivation for writing the book, “The You You’ve Never...

What is Emotional Sobriety?

What is Emotional Sobriety?

Did you know Sobriety is not just for the drug addict or alcoholic?  It’s for all of us.  I want to reframe the term Sobriety. In my experience, it...