Being a target of workplace bullying is devastating especially to one’s professional life. In the beginning, a target just wonders what is going on and often seeks a rational explanation for the way they are being treated. They might even ask for advice and suggestions from their co-workers. The target’s professional behavior basically stays the same.

However, over time, the target’s performance at work does change because of the continued attacks on their professional conduct. This is partially because of the intensification of the bullies strikes and their continued determination to harm the target’s status and reputation. 

Target’s also tend to internalize what is happening to them. They begin to question their work and professionalism based on the propaganda and lies that the bully is perpetrating. Targets question their ability to do their job and become hypersensitive about the quality of their work. The accusations that are being made often become a self-fulfilling prophecy for the target as they over compensate to prove what the bully says is wrong.

For example, Patricia is a nurse at the local hospital and had an exemplary record including written comments about the quality of her paperwork. A few months ago, Patricia started to get bullied by her supervisor. Her bully made complaints and accusations about Patricia’s paperwork. These criticisms included Patricia’s inability to get her paperwork done in a timely fashion and her paperwork contained inaccurate assessments. Overtime, Patricia lost confidence in her ability to do her paperwork.

To improve her paperwork and combat the bullying, Patricia started to write longer and more thorough reports including more details in her assessments. She proofread her paperwork two and three times to ensure that she was not doing the things her bullying was accusing her of. 

These modifications in her behavior impacted her ability to get her work done in a timely fashion.  Patricia started taking more time to get her paperwork done because she was concerned about the quality of it. Her attempts to resist the bullying became a self-fulfilling prophecy for her. Her bully made accusations that her paperwork was not done in a timely fashion and in the end, her paperwork was not done in a timely fashion.

The best strategy for targets is to maintain a high quality of professionalism and work. In a workplace bullying environment, this is much more difficult to do than it seems. However, it is vital that targets understand that they are being bullied for no reason and most of the accusations that are being have no merit. So instead of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, targets need to continue to be the quality worker they have always been. 

This week, continue to do your best at work. If you know someone is being bullied, show your support by complimenting them on their work.

If you or the organization you work for is experiencing persistent workplace aggression, please contact me at jankircher@jankircher.com or (320) 309-2360. You can also visit my website at www.jankircher.com. Help is out there.



I was bullied as a young kid. I am not surprised I am also bullied a lot at work. It's not that I am not doing anything to avoid it but I think the bullies are drawn to a specific kind of person. One whom they think will not or is impossible to fight back because they lack not just strength but resources. Through the years I have learned to just stay away because they just won't stop. Demons are everywhere. We need to stay as far away from them as possible for our own safety.

06/30/2017 8:32pm

Here’s the deal, schoolyard bullying doesn’t end after graduation. Not a lot of people talk about it but bullying is quite common in many workplaces around the globe. Sometimes it can involve negative physical contact as well. They may also make fun of their coworkers or tell inappropriate jokes at a victim’s expense. Nothing good comes out of bullying.

07/03/2017 12:49am

Seeing this makes me feel bad for all the people that are bullied. I'm glad that I was not bullied extremely or make me trauma for all my high school memories. But reading this makes me proud that I am brave enough to stand to myself and defend it. Also, reading this reminded me of my friend that was bullied a lot and he never fight back, because he is scared of them. I feel bad that I didn't defend him to those bullies when we are in high school.


This is a great inspiring .I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. I am looking to reading your next post.


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