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  • Writer's pictureSimone Ellin

Not All Bullies Outgrow It

Recently, a writer named Cathy Alter published an article in the Washington Post called "When the 'Mean Girl' is a Woman: How to Deal with an Adult Bully." Please check it out.

So many of the people I have interviewed for my project have talked to me about their experiences with adult bullies. Most of these experiences have taken place in their workplaces.

I know how they feel. A couple of years ago, I worked with a bully.

When A. first came to work at my company, I was elated. She was smart, talented and hysterically funny. We had lots in common and agreed on issues related to our work, politics, the arts and more. In the first weeks of her employment, I would leave work every evening with my throat and jaw muscles sore from laughing so much.

But then everything changed.

I wasn't exactly sure why. The only clue was that A. stopped being friendly after overhearing me on the phone with a man I was dating who was also bullying me. When I hung up the phone, A. made it known that she was disgusted with what she had heard on the phone call. I was mortified and promptly apologized for my lack of professionalism. Yet, after that incident, things were never the same between us. A. frequently mocked me; rolled her eyes at me when I asked a question; was hostile virtually all the time, and was convinced I was trying to get her fired. It got to the point when I dreaded coming to work and considered moving my desk to get away from the negative energy. Eventually, A. got a new job and left the company. What a relief! My office was no longer toxic.

Have you been the victim of an adult bully? Tell us about it!

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