Sociopath/narcissist at work keeps trying to bully me, what to do?
I work with this young woman (I'm a young woman too) who is a bully to me, and I'm not sure how to handle the situation.
When I first met her my skin crawled (it didn't do this with anyone else I met at the same workplace) despite her being super extroverted and charming to me. Slowly, over time, it seemed like her mask slipped and now she's basically either super charming or she's incredibly mean when nobody else is around.
Do I "show strength" back? Or will that make me a bigger target? I'm scared to complain about her to superiors because she seems to be super super friendly to all of them, although I suspect I'm not the only person who sees her true character (I've noticed that the others seem to be quite timid around her too, or they try hard to be liked by her, either way she seems to make people uncomfortable despite being "popular").
I'm quite a shy/awkward person, so maybe that's why she made me a target (because I'm an "easy target" so they say), but I have a small suspicion that it's jealousy because her boyfriend is very smiley towards me and I think she hates my guts now. Now I just avoid the boyfriend at all times, because I'm terrified.
I always dread going into work if I know I have to interact with her, because for some reason I feel like I'm in danger or something. Logically I know this isn't the case, but there's a part of me that thinks she could harm me, either physically or just my reputation in the workplace. I want to complain to a manager about it but I'm afraid to "stir the pot" so to speak, and I'm afraid that if she catches onto me that something could happen.
- LindaLv 710 months ago
You're terrified of this bully. She might be a sociopath/narc or bipolar. I don't think you need to fear her unless she has directly threatened you. Start writing down whenever you have an altercation with her so if you have to go to management you will have dates and an accounting of everything that she has done. Try not to let her know you are afraid of her because it will make her feel like she has power over you. Stand up to her when you can and if she puts you down, then let her know that you don't like it. I think everyone has had a run in with a workplace bully, but if you act like they aren't getting to you and act confident then maybe she will pick on somebody else.
- FoofaLv 710 months ago
As you're obviously a trained mental health professional you should probably take your diagnosis to this person's supervisor so they can urge her into treatment for these various mental illnesses you've decided she has. On the other hand when someone assumes another person is jealous of them they often have some of the same problems you're ascribing to this coworker.
- Alan HLv 710 months ago
Report the bullying to senior management
Do not refer to her in such terms
- chris nLv 710 months ago
Don't be terrified of the bully. I don't think you will be more of a target if you front up to her privately and ask her why she's so changeable towards you. Does she realise she blows hot and cold all the time? 'How can you be SO nice one day and SO mean the next?' It's just a question. It's not a confrontation - but it shows that you have noticed a character trait is obvious to all. It would be a neutral sort of confrontation - but bullies don't like being onfronted. It may make her a little wary of you in future rather than someone who will roll over and take her taunts.
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- LaurieLv 710 months ago
My suggestion is to worry far less about her and far more about yourself. Be courteous, but not friendly. Do your work well, and do not gossip about ANYBODY, to anybody.
What are you doing spending time with her boyfriend? If she brings him into the office, that is inappropriate in itself; don’t get mixed up in it. You are on the right track, avoiding him.