Week 35: Reflect and Defuse—Workplace Bullies – #AlphaFemaleFriday


“ WEEK 35 / 133 – 133 WEEKS TO SUCCESS ”

A college professor once told me that we begin to create our identities in high school. We go to college to break down those identities. Then, we go to grad school or enter the workforce and have to rebuild those identities. While I like to believe that many of us grow up and learn from our mistakes, to strive to become better people, there will always be people out there who continue to perpetuate that negative cycle.




I’m talking about the schoolyard bully who used to push people around in school who grew up and put a suit and tie on (or a dress and high heels!) When we are attacked or bullied in the workplace, we tend to either counterattack the bully to stand up for ourselves or acquiesce and give in, knowing that this isn’t the schoolyard anymore. Neither of these things will solve the issue. The best thing you can do is find that middle ground in between attacking back and shrugging it off. Address the issue immediately and let the other person know how you feel. Even if that other person’s behavior doesn’t change, you’ve made it clear that you know what they are doing and will not tolerate such behavior.




Another method that I have tried is simply asking a person why they said that or why they feel that way. I’ve noticed that more often than not when someone you work with puts too many negative personal feelings into a project at work, they have a lot more personal things going on in the background. More often than not, once they realize how they have been acting, they apologize for such inappropriate behavior and we can continue on as such.




They are reflecting what has happened to them onto you, and you must choose to attack, acquiesce, or defuse. Choose defuse, which you can do without attacking or acquiescing. Bullies in the workplace are just like the bullies we grew up with: they have some terrible, sad things on their shoulders going on in other areas of their life. We cannot help or save everyone, but we can always try to find a common ground.







@AlphaFemSociety tweets by @KellyRGonzales                                                                                




Each week, I take a tip from Lois P. Frankel’s book, Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office, and explore how each of these tips affect myself and other women in similar positions on the road to becoming the women we want to be. There are far and few between who are a few steps behind me, and many more who are far advanced. I found that Lois P. Frankel’s advice applied to novice, intermediates, and experts alike. It helped me see that I was already doing right, served as a reminder to keep on doing what I was doing and how to keep that momentum going. The book also showed me areas where I could improve, and gave realistic tips to jump on board. There are a total of 133 tips, and explore one tip per week in a program I call: 133 Weeks to Success.

Join the movement using the hashtag #133WeeksToSuccess with posts which are posted every #AlphaFemaleFriday.


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