Beating the Workplace Bully

A Tactical Guide to Taking Charge

 Beating the Workplace Bully

Author: Lynne Curry, Ph.D.
Pub Date: January 2016
Print Edition: $17.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436882
Page Count: 256
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436899

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If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.


Anne didn't have a warning. When she landed what she thought was a dream job, she quickly bonded with a charismatic coworker, Karla. When Karla poured wine liberally at an informal dinner at her home and said, “Tell me all about you,” Anne did.

The next day, the receptionist giggled as Anne walked in. When Anne asked, “What’s so funny?” the receptionist looked at her, wide-eyed, and squeaked, “Nothing.”

Later, as Anne entered the break room for a cup of coffee, two of her new coworkers abruptly stopped talking.

At the afternoon staff meeting, she noticed two male coworkers smirking at her.

Anne went home with a headache, and decided to cheer herself up by logging on to Facebook. To her horror, she discovered that her coworkers were posting wildly exaggerated stories about her past relationships—all based on her private conversation with Karla. With her heart-shaped face ashen and her fists clenched so tight that the blood had wrung out of them, she called Karla. No answer.

The next day, Anne confronted Karla, who gave her a cold, coyote smile, and replied, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“But the things they’re posting could only have come from you,” Anne insisted, nausea percolating in her stomach.

“Pull yourself together,” Karla snapped. “You clearly have issues.”

Anne endured three more weeks of sideways glances, during which Karla tormented her with her own stories about unsuccessful love and work relationships. When Anne finally turned to Craigslist to find a new job, she discovered that her personal stories had circulated throughout the industry.

That’s when I met Anne. She described Karla, a two-faced Dr. Jekyll/Ms. Hyde, and shared how Karla had manipulated her into divulging personal details that, repeated out of context, made Anne look like a fool.

“Is there anything I can do?” she asked. “My female coworkers think I’m a bad joke. They look at me as if I’m something they scraped off the bottom of their shoes. The guys in my office, including my boss, are scared I’m man hungry, and make a point of telling me they love their wives.”

“What do they think about Karla?” I asked.

“They don’t like her, but no one crosses her. She has a power that I can’t explain. It’s like everyone goes along with her so she doesn’t attack them.”

“How have you fought back?” I asked.

“I haven’t.”

“Which means that as far as Karla’s concerned it’s open season on you. What’s your boss doing about this?”

“Nothing. It’s as if she has something on him.”

“Bullies win,” I explained, “because they set a rigged game in motion, and the rest of us find ourselves playing it—and badly. If you want to escape the bully’s control, you need to take the bully on and change the game’s rules.”


Workplace bullies. Have you recently tangled with one? Did you hold your own or did the bully ride roughshod over you? Do you expect a rematch?

If you’ve picked up this book, you want a better result the next time you encounter your bully. You want to walk away feeling whole, not trampled.

That’s what Beating the Workplace Bully offers you. In each chapter, you’ll find concrete strategies, skills, and tools for successfully outmaneuvering bullies in your workplace.

You’ll learn:

❚ How to quell your instinctive fear and not feel intimidated

❚ Powerful strategies to use with those who intimidate you

❚ Methods for turning the tables on bullies

❚ Strategies for building self-confidence

❚ Bully traps to avoid

❚ How to engage your fighting spirit

❚ Strategic moves for handling feared or unexpected attacks

❚ How to keep bullies from gaining an outpost in your mind

❚ Ways to calm yourself in any confrontation

❚ How to strengthen your “fighting-back” muscles

❚ The truth and falseness in bully myths and assumptions

❚ How to keep your dignity intact

. . . along with the steps employers, supervisors, and managers can take to successfully derail and prevent bullies from trampling on their employees.

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