Courage to overcome bullying on social media
Many consider bullying over the internet as a problem faced only by youths, but the workplace is not immune to this phenomenon. Such incidents at the workplace are actually on the increase.
Bullies at the workplace often resort to bullying over the internet to intimidate their colleagues and control their territory. It is vital that workers who are affected by this abuse take action and do not continue to suffer in silence. While every case is different, if workers know how they should deal with bullying over the internet at the workplace, they would be better able to overcome it if it happened.
When a colleague or supervisor at the workplace says something that embarrasses you, posts something that is not true about you on social media or attacks you on the internet, do not give in to a knee-jerk reaction but take the time to pull your thoughts together. In spite of the hard words that the victim may be subjected to, they should not retort in anger but should respond in a reasonable manner. Sometimes there is no need for one to respond and, in some cases, one needs to maintain contact with the person who is perpetuating the abuse.
Although the best course of action is to ignore the cyberbully, sometimes circumstances at work require that we reply to an email or other form of communication. A sense of calm needs to be maintained in such cases. You do not want the whole office to witness an exchange of angry missiles between you and a colleague.
The victim needs to remember that the interpretation of the written word may be different from the meaning intended. The person experiencing the abuse needs to make sure that they are clear and honest about what they find offensive. One needs to ensure that the cyberbully understands that the comments on Facebook need to stop. When, then, the behaviour of the person who is being abusive does not change and the bullying on the internet persists, the time has come to move on to the next level.
It is important that all the comments, messages and posts on social media are gathered for evidence. Although the first reaction is to erase all, without evidence there will be no proof of cyberbullying. If the employer is not ready to respond to or deal with cyberbullying, the victim should consider contacting the police and lodging a report. Such a report is considered to be important in cases where the bullying escalates to violent threats. Many times the police can trace who is sending the emails and messages.
A worker who is being targeted by a bully should remain calm and rational whatever the person carrying out the abuse says and does. If you become upset, send negative messages or say something you regret, you weaken your position at work. An employee who is targeted by such behaviour should remember that the cyberbully would be waiting for a reaction. At this stage, professionalism should always reign.
Bullying over the internet is a delicate subject and should not be treated in isolation. If you are a worker who is being bullied on the internet, be sure to surround yourself by family members and friends who are ready to support you. Look for people who can understand what you are going through. It is of great benefit to talk to someone about what you are experiencing, so seek professional help or counselling to help you deal with this harassment.