Playground Bullies at Work

Playground Bullies at Work

Whether it is the kid from A Christmas Story tormenting Ralphie or another character from real life, the playground bully has been around since before there were playgrounds. A bully is defined as a person who hurts or browbeats those who are weaker. At my children’s elementary school, this bully looks like the kid that used to steal my son’s snack or who grabbed his kickball from him at lunch and made him “come and get it”.  It is the kid that used to shove my child out of the way in line, knocking him onto the ground.  It is aggravating, it is frustrating, and as a parent, I’ll be honest, it makes me want to break out a can of whup-ass. After having to deal with it for a few years and wringing my hands for my son, I am happy to report that this year, I have heard no reports of any bullies.

I can’t say the same for one of my girlfriends.  She is a fellow Proud Working Mom and is experiencing this same phenomenon at work. No, she doesn’t get her snack taken from her nor does she play kickball at lunch. (By the way, I totally support having kickball at lunch for adults).  This friend of mine has a colleague who is giving her a hard time almost every single day at work.  Whether it is making snarky comments during a company wide meeting, or going out of his way to point out her mistakes, she is definitely falling victim to his bullying behavior.  There is no teacher to report this to and just like with our kids, nobody like a tattletale.  So how does one handle  adult bullies at work? Here are a few ideas:

1. Kill them with kindness. It is the oldest trick in the book and remains one of the hardest. When someone is not being nice to you, it can be so hard to smile and act like it doesn’t matter. Bring them donuts one morning, compliment their outfit EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ask them to lunch. Get to know that person and let them get to know you. Make it impossible for that person to say anything bad about you.

2. If that doesn’t work, maybe a one on one sit down with this other adult will solve the problem. Perhaps you have offended this person and don’t even know it. Offering to sit and talk about it shows this other person that you care about the relationship and you care enough to try and figure out what is wrong.

3. Consider the possibility that this other person has something else going on in their own life.  Just like with kids, you never know what is going on at home with another person. Perhaps this bully is going through a rough time in his/her marriage, is having trouble at work, or is somehow taking out a problem at home on you. Consider asking the person if he/she is doing alright or if there is anything you can do for them.

4. Whatever you do, continue performing at work.  No matter what this person is putting you through, don’t let it affect your work!  Work is not a popularity contest and as long as you are out performing everyone else, your work will speak for itself.

5. If all of the above fails and this person is still giving you a hard time, I will give you the same advice that I finally gave my son towards the end of the school year.  Sometimes, bullies don’t respond well to logic or reason.  If they are still giving you a hard time and you have tried EVERYTHING else,  open up a can of whup-ass!

Julia Romanow is a working mom and Co-Founder of  This post originally appeared on October 8, 2013.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 350,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. Hello there, I found your website via Google while searching for a related topic, your website came up, it looks great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  2. I have really learned newer and more effective things by means of your website. One other thing I’d really like to say is newer computer system os’s tend to allow much more memory to use, but they furthermore demand more memory space simply to operate. If a person’s computer cannot handle more memory and also the newest software package requires that memory space increase, it might be the time to shop for a new Computer. Thanks

  3. I think that is among the so much significant information for me. And i’m satisfied studying your article. But wanna observation on some basic issues, The site taste is perfect, the articles is actually nice : D. Just right job, cheers

  4. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

  5. Thanks , I have recently been looking for info approximately this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have came upon so far. But, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive about the source?

  6. I loved up to you’ll receive carried out proper here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. however, you command get got an shakiness over that you would like be delivering the following. sick without a doubt come further beforehand once more since exactly the similar nearly a lot regularly inside case you shield this hike.

  7. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  8. naturally like your web site but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll certainly come back again.

  9. A lot of the things you say is supprisingly appropriate and that makes me ponder why I hadn’t looked at this with this light previously. This article really did turn the light on for me personally as far as this subject goes. Nonetheless there is one issue I am not really too comfy with and while I try to reconcile that with the main theme of the issue, let me observe just what the rest of your visitors have to point out.Very well done.

  10. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i’m happy to convey that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to don’t forget this site and give it a look regularly.

  11. You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  12. Just desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject. Fine along with your permission allow me to grasp your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the rewarding work.

  13. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  14. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  15. of course like your web site but you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I will surely come again again.

  16. There are some interesting closing dates in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There is some validity but I’ll take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like more! Added to FeedBurner as properly

  17. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!

  18. Hey very nice web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find a lot of useful info here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  19. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice methods and we are looking to swap techniques with other folks, why not shoot me an email if interested.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here