Can't tell if this is bullying.

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    • #118030

      A coworker of mine seems very rude to me. I’ll be in the middle of something important and she’ll presume to know my priorities and tell me to do something like “you need to come down here and do this or that. So and so is here now and it’s your responsibility.” It doesn’t seem to matter that I’m in the middle of a meeting or what she’s literally ordering me to do is clearly something that can wait. Sometimes she sees me doing something and restates what I’m doing in the form of a command. Like I’m trying to motivate someone to leave an area and she’s over there like “you need to get him out of here. Get him out of here, please. You need to get him out of here.” when the person is already defiant and it’s clear that’s what I’ve asked him to do. She frequently tells me how to do my job, or whatever. I might be hypersensitive to when I feel like I’m being bullied and she might just lack the skills to phrase things politely or think about what other people’s priorities in work might be. But sometimes it feels like territorial pissing because she only does this when she has an audience of our other coworkers. I’m not sure what to do about this.

    • #118044

      Hi there. Have you sat down with your boss to discuss your ADHD? If not, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The more that people are open and honest with their employer’s, the more respect they are going to get and the lines of communication are open. I’m not trying to be preachy, but I’ve kinda been in your shoes.

      • #128774

        I wouldn’t say anything about your adhd. Is this women somewhat in charge of you? If she’s been there longer than you and in a way yes she is higher up than you then I would just try to please the shit out of her.
        Sometimes that will make things better but sometimes nothing you do will help and she is just bullying you. If you know she isn’t going anywhere anytime soon maybe you should find a different job. It can be scary finding a new job it was for me but I was in a situation like how you discribed and it was unhealthy for me to stay. After I left I ended up finding a job where the people I worked with were much better

    • #118053

      This sounds really uncomfortable at best and I’m so sorry you’re dealing with it. My experience is that I question my gut instinct, try to find ways to blame myself, and fear setting boundaries with people as I don’t want to upset or aggravate them. I’m not sure if you relate. From what you described, I don’t think I would use the term ‘bullying’ but I would definitely label you coworkerker’s behavior as disrespectful. I don’t suggest telling your boss about your ADD, but this is from my own experience. How would like to envision this situation working out?

    • #118061

      How would like to envision this situation working out?

      I love that question. That is such an important step to figuring out how to get to the root of what’s really bothering you. It reminded me a little of the acronym THINK – before you speak think about :
      T -is it truthful
      H- is it helpful
      I- is it inspiring
      N-is it necessary
      K-is it kind

      I use this with my kids a lot .

    • #118348

      It is dominance/bullying behavior. And it is indeed utterly disrespectful.
      When a similar situation arises go for the tried and true cliched “remind her of her borders and that she is out of line in a firm neutral tone of voice.”. Such people usually won’t tell you what their real deal is why they are messing with you and who cares really if they are so passive-aggressive about it. And once such a pattern and relationship is established it is hard to get out of.
      If she doesn’t get the memo and you can’t keep her away from you/avoid her you might have to play some office politics I suppose. Make friends with other coworkers and find out what her deal is and then find a way to put her back in her place. Depending whether she is just a hysterical type or a downright sociopath she might also be lazy and not live up to her mistakes so getting the boss involved about her doing sloppy work might be of interest to him. But that would open a whole other messy can of worms.

      I would advise against telling your boss about your ADD. What would be the point and solution? What positive could come out of this? What would he think what he is supposed to do with that information? Kind of in dmu1970’s vein. Many people would probably just think you are mentally unstable/weak and you might need a babysitter or something of that sort?

      That’s all I got. Good luck with your situation and I hope it will be quickly resolved in a satisfactory way.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Logos.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Logos.
    • #118371

      DM, is this a co-worker, or a supervisor of some type?

      It appears quite obvious that he/she is trying to show off for
      the “brass” by belittling you, or ordering you around while in
      front of them. That they are somehow superior to you.

      Completely unacceptable. If the individual is not approachable
      (as in you don’t feel comfortable talking to them about it), then
      would contact that persons supervisor, and explain the situation to them.
      Be professional, and let them know the persons behavior is inappropriate,
      and hopefully they will talk to the person about it.

      IMO, your ADHD has nothing to do with this…your co-worker is just a schmuck.

      Also, my first post on the site…Howdy Y’all!

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Dizzy.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Dizzy.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #118662

      I forgot to say I have dealt with a couple of colleagues who were bullies in the past. What works for me:

      Take the person aside – no audience / have some notes on hand in case you lose your train of thought (if you are like me and your brain shuts down when you get nervous) and use lots of “I feel” statements –

      Barbara I feel like you may be having some concerns with my work lately ? Im feeling a little attacked at times like this morning when … and last week when ..:.and give her those specific examples.

      Did I do something to upset you ? (I don’t know for sure why but that question has worked every time for me). One time it was because it made the person realize they were the one who had the problem and they were just taking it out on me —-ie stressful home life, worsening personal medical problems therefore not feeling well at work. I didn’t actually do anything wrong – but rather they were taking their frustrations out on me. When their concern was valid – such as a productivity issue at one point, I made sure to agree with them saying I was also frustrated with that aspect of my job and had been trying different things to help.

      I then explained how my adhd affects this part of my job (I know this is not a popular choice among others on here) but I feel so strongly about advocating for people with invisible disabilities -I’m a full time advocate for my 3 kids at school- that it works for me anyway.

      I am the person in your office who talks openly about ADHD and mental illness. I am especially open with my patients. I’m not embarrassed to say I have adhd and mental illness (depression/anxiety) or that i take medications. It’s a brain based disorder – why should we treat it any different than a disease of my heart or my liver? I think I have even helped some of my patients to pursue their own diagnosis. Sorry I really went off on a tangent there !

      I always finish my explanation with ..this is not an excuse but rather an explanation. (I mean if I had an outward physical disability everyone would be able to see that. So why can’t I talk about how adhd affects me at work- I don’t say this part out loud).

      I am a Nurse Practitioner so for me it’s the whole stigma issue with invisible disabilities -especially mental illness- that I’m passionate about. I want to normalize talking about it and asking for help from bosses/colleagues/support staff. I learn differently than others/ my processing speed is not quite as fast as yours and my poor working memory means I have to take more notes than others when seeing a patient. So these things may mean I see one less patient a day than you do. If I had one leg and this meant I walked slower than others then that could be a factor in how many patients I’m able to see especially if I have to trek all over the hospital to see them …right ? I don’t say that last part to them of course.
      The most important part: Barbara if you have ANY ideas on short cuts or work arounds that you can think of that might help me pick up speed (so you don’t feel like I’m “getting away with being lazy”) please don’t hesitate to tell me.

      Enter office politics / lots of years of therapy : “because Barbara I respect how well you do your job and I’m sure I could learn a lot from you”.
      Leave it at that and after a week or 2 if she’s still being rude /interrupting etc – take her aside again and say “I wanted to say thank you for the ideas you gave me. Can you let me know if you have seen any differences yet in my work? Because I would love to get your feedback.

      Then – “one last thing – I’ve noticed when you interrupt me in front of a patient it makes me lose my train of thought and that just prolongs the visit”. OR “when you start directing me to do something that you can see I’m already working on – I know you mean well ( and if you’re like my husband probably frustrated with how long it takes me to do ..blah blah blah )

      But when you try to help me (take over the situation) i start getting anxious and then I end up forgetting to send the pt to the lab for their testing or I forget to ….

      I also think it may be affecting my authority with the lab techs and the secretaries. Some are giving me a lot of push back when I ask them to do something.

      How about we meet again in a couple weeks ? This has been so helpful- thank you Barbara for your patience and understanding”.

      I know these exchanges aren’t perfect but hopefully you get the idea.

      One colleague i did this with it shut her right up- she never liked me and talked about me behind my back all the time – including the fact
      That she thinks ADHD is fake and an excuse etc ….BUT she didn’t pull the other crap on
      me in front of others ever again. And I don’t care if she likes me or not – I don’t need to be friends with people I work with. I am confident in my skills as an NP and as a caring and empathic human being, mother, wife and friend -to my real friends 🙂

      I hope there will be something here that can help you out. Keep us posted


    • #128661

      Tell her to back off when there is an audience. I’m positive she’ll do it less and less if not ever again. Even if it might be hard to do at first it’ll get easier next time because nobody will die when you do and also nobody likes confrontations not even your rude coworker.

      Best of luck 🙂

      • #128663

        just curious did it ever work for you? I disagree. She/he doesn’t need to explain any reasoning nor her diagnoses. The only thing she needs to explain is that her rude coworker is crossing the line and he/she wont accept that anymore.
        Thats it. Im not saying pick a fight or be rude back. She/he can only say : You are now crossing a line. or I dont appreciate you to pushing me do something or telling me what to do. and be done with it.
        Telling her did ‘I get better at my job’ or ‘thank you for helping me to get better’ is belittling herself and its giving impression you dont know what you are doing hence feeding the fire with logs.
        Im pretty sure she has the skills to do that job otherwise she wouldnt be there. I wouldnt be surprised she has better qualifications that the rude coworker and shes doing it so she can rise above her.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by SimonaSto.
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