People break you down at work? here’s how to survive

Inner-Strength Training Tip #4: Continue to shine even when they come for you.

The Situation:

You’re hard at work. Feeling good about your output and yourself. You get along with your managers and co-workers fine.

You slowly start to get more comfortable at the job. When all of a sudden, a switch flips. Lights off. You’re on the outside now.

Either you heard someone talking about you, or the general vibe of your office space now feels like a battleground.

Shots are fired through comments that seem to be aimed at you.

They could even be so bold as to make these comments right in front of you. You instantly feel so small. What did you? You replay events over in your mind. Thinking you know what you did wrong. Stop right there. It’s not you. You’ve just witnessed….

A teardown.

Ok. If this is the case. You can’t be like…..


You have to be more like…..



Signs and signals to pick up on:

A general gut-feeling that all is not right at your job; a sense that you don’t belong; your body not allowing you to open up to anyone at work on a personal level; two or more individuals who share an unusually close bond when you’re around;

Whispering; or group meetings that don’t involve you; a change in the way you’re treated by others at work (suddenly someone who used to be friendly is abruptly rude),

Public embarrassment (through comments), unequal flattery to another co-worker (based on favoritism); fake compliments (made out of guilt);

The extra effort made by others to bond with a certain group that you are not a part of; Feeling dread the night before you go into work.

The formula:

To beat this you have to become stronger than your office bullies.

You do this by continually doing your best at the job, smiling, and not listening to their negative comments as the truth.

Realize if any negative comments come your way and you know you’re doing your best at work, then it is a result of the person’s negativity and a general feeling of lack and unhappiness.

Speak up (when it’s the right time)

Sometimes being strong presence isn’t enough, though. Those who spew negativity will continue to mock you and try to dominate and undermine you.

This is when you need to break out your magic wand of SPEAKING UP.

Because workplace bullies are scared of the truth.

They know what they are doing is wrong. And as long as you keep giving them a pass, you bet they will continue to do it.

Be the adult

Thing is, there’s a way to speak up and there is a time to speak up.

If you just yell at someone you are going to make things worse.

You can’t just have loose lips and anger in your voice.

You need to gauge when the time is right and appropriate for you to speak up.

Your gut will tell you when the time is right.

And you have to do so in a way that addresses their bad behavior in an assertive, calm and mature manner. With the absense of anger. This will mute their game and will push them back.

Try this, “{NAME} we are a professional establishment. As a leader in our field, we should treat employees with respect and dignity. Don’t you agree?” 

It’s scary though, right? 

For me it happened when I had enough of the behavior I was witnessing. I checked with my intuition and I knew that it was time to SPEAK UP.

If you don’t speak up, then you’re giving their behavior a thumbs up.

Test it for yourself. Speak up and really think about how you’re doing. Trust your inner guidance when it says “now is the time to say something” or when it says, “definitely don’t say anything right now!”

Days, days, days……

Look, I understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of this kind of treatment. I’ve actually had days where I’ve cried as a way to process the way I was treated at work.

It’s true people can be so mean. People will say in front of your face that you aren’t strong. That this person is stronger or better than you.

It hurts. But it isn’t true! It takes work to not let what others say affect you. I am open to this work and you should be to. It’s the way that you become strong.

Behind the scenes

A popular way that most tear-downs occur is to pit two people against each other. The bully will take you and another employee and play up their attributes and then leave you hanging out there “weaknesses”, exposed.

This is just a tactic. And the joke is on them because they can only break you down if you let them.

Take a moment to regain your strength. This is a test of your endurance. Eventually, their words won’t bother you. And you will see right through them to their insecurities and unhappiness.

Remember that you are a strong soul. You can overcome those who try to make you fold!

Natural reactions

It’s a natural reaction as humans that when we hear negativity we feel bad about ourselves and think, “Well, they must be right.” “You know maybe I’m not as good as I thought.”

Don’t think it must be “constructive criticism.” Constructive criticism is always helpful and should leave you feeling reflective about your abiltiites. A sign of a take-down is when a comment leaves you feeling really bad about your abilities. You may feel like you just aren’t good enough in general.

Be stronger then the ones who want to break you.

The only way to come out unscathed is to BECOME STRONGER then those who seek to opress. You can do it. I know it’s in you, girl. You need to know that you are strong.

How, though?

After enough experience with people testing your strength then you will figure out their game. You can repel their insults.

For me, after enough take-downs, and studying my own reactions and the traits of those who tried to break me. I became aware to the fact that I am strong. Through talking with my trusted advisor and friend, I saw that there are people out there who enjoy hurting others. I finally understood the old adge:

“Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

And I also understood that their behavior came from a negative place. A place that could never triumph over the good and strength that was inside of me.

And that same strength is inside of you. So take these challenges (however scary that they can be) and use them to put a knotch in your inner-strength belt.

And don’t forget to laugh! Because this experience is making you 100% stronger! Good work, girl!

Tell me and the other girls about a time you spoke up to a workplace bully. How did the situation play out afterwards?