Nearly every office has one, that person who for some reason keeps things stirred up. Whether it is a need for power or control, who knows? What they manage to do is have others begin to doubt their own skills and abilities. I like to think of these individuals as passive aggressive bullies, or my own naming convention of “The Busy Bully”. They don’t come right out and say something to another person in the office; rather they are busy gossiping or hinting around to others that “they know a secret”. They are also constantly second-guessing other co-workers true intentions and often believe others are talking about them behind their backs. Nine times out of ten they are wrong, and generally it’s a reflection of their own insecurities coming out.

It’s a reflection of their own insecurities coming out

It is a vindictive cycle that needs to be corrected. But who’s going to stick it to the bully? You? I’ve only come up with one solution to tame a busy bully, and that solution involves going right through them. Since fear is a major part of what a busy bully uses to control and manipulate, it is important for others to see through this veil and get to the other side of that wall of fear.

Ask yourself some basic questions like: does this person sign my paycheck? Do I have someone I can go to in order to discuss things privately, like resource management? Is sexual harassment involved? If I complain will this person then go on a work and social campaign to destroy my career? What happens when I avoid them? Do they come after me more? Do they have past infractions where they have done this to people at other businesses they have worked for? What do you really know about your bully?

Do they have past infractions where they have done this to people at other businesses they have worked for?

Some bullies are habitual offenders. They are good at making the problems in the workplace look like you or someone else is to blame. They like the buddy system too, and will often drag in a number of unsuspecting co-workers to gain what they perceive as the upper hand over you. The use of the silent treatment by others, petty gossiping and grumbling it adds up after a while. It is also a form of office stalking using others as their tool to gather information. Doesn't matter if the information is true or not.


No one likes feeling inferior in the workplace. Bullies know that. There are some very good ways to deal with bullies. The first step is to believe in you. Lets think about you for a minute.

  • What is your work style?
  • What are your goals?
  • What has influenced your choice of career moves?
  • What guides your professional development?
  • Do you seek ways to understand and improve your career?
  • What do you know about your job? Really know about it?
  • Is the product of your work successful and does it have an impact on the overall organization?

If you can answer the aforementioned questions positively, in retrospect you are a good employee.You shouldn't have to fight for your job. It is yours. Keep it. Take control of your own work life.

In an article written by Gary Namie the director of Workplace Bullying Institute. He states that “Sadly, what stops bullying the most is requiring the target to lose her or his job,” Their survey findings showed that “in 61% of cases, the bullying only stops when the target quits, is fired or forced out”.

You have a number of choices to make in a bullying situation. You can quit, or lose your job, or be forced out - allowing the bully to win again! Or you can put the Bully on Notice by standing up for yourself. I am sure the bully might get defensive, but they now know that things have changed, and that no one is going to stand for their juvenile games any longer - especially you. Others will also notice, and that’s important. Don't let the bully get comfortable.

jk Put Your Busy Bully On Notice

I assure you that the bully knows exactly what they are doing and how it will make you react. They get off on other peoples displeasure. It’s a game to them. Establishing that a pattern of bullying is taking place is sometimes hard to prove - but it is possible. Still, be forewarned that they might try to spin the situation before you can report them, and make it look like it was you who was upsetting the office environment. To them this just adds icing to the cake. They can continue to intimidate their victim and stretch out the torment even though they know what they are doing is wrong, and they are the true bully. Like myself, I’m sure many of you have experienced this type of psychological bullying. Stand up to them.

Put your Busy Bully on Notice

It’s time to put that Busy Bully on Notice. Maybe they wouldn’t be so busy if they did their work and left people alone. Maybe they wouldn’t like it so well if the things they were doing were printed out and handed to a superior. Letting someone know you don’t appreciate how they behave in a business meeting, online, or in any social gathering, and how inappropriate their behavior is – that’s important. They can deny their activities all they want – but they are now on Notice. Not only are they on Notice - but everyone knows about it. It's in the open now.

...they are now on Notice

Stand Up for yourself and soon your Busy Bully will be gone too. If you have been a victim of bullying it is important that you seek help as well. Talk to a friend, a minister or therapist.