Helping You Cope With & Stop



The Most Important Thing If You’re Being Bullied Is…

Do you want to know the single most important thing you can do for someone who feels they are being bullied? How about this: If you are being bullied and you would like the support of someone nearby, feel free to pass this message along to them as well. Here is the answer in three parts:

Time and Interest in Hearing the “Story”:

If you were to look at what happens when someone is being bullied, it usually involves an unfair power position where the target feels misunderstood, undervalued or poorly treated.

What the target wants: To be acknowledged for having gone through something so tough, to feel understood that it has been tough and to be listened to (with sincere interest) so they do not feel alone.

What the helper does: Tries to give advice to fix the problem.

What to Do if a Target Approaches You:

  1. Make sure you have un-interrupted time to listen; if you don’t have time, suggest when a good time might be, or change your plans to ‘listen now’ if it is urgent.
  2. Tell the target you are here to listen; “I’m with you all the way”.
  3. Maintain good eye contact and resist the urge to interrupt and solve the problem.
  4. Stay tuned into the story with the target, even if it doesn’t make complete sense to you.
  5. Show your concern and care by stating: “That must have been difficult” or “Wow, this seems like a tough thing to go through”…
  6. Reassure the target by saying: “I can see you want to solve this and that this bothers you very much. Just know I acknowledge how much this must upset you.”
  7. Ask: “Is there anything else I can do to help”?


  • What if the target ‘goes on and on’? Suggest a time frame. “I have about 10 minutes, would that be helpful?”
  • What if you have no idea how to solve this problem? Release the need to solve a problem you don’t know how to solve and the responsibility to do so. If you are a manager or a leader and feel the need to be more responsible, then you might want to become more educated in how to help targets. Our book, Bully Free at Work , if you have the book already, lists excellent tips throughout Chapter 10 on page 209.
  • What if you don’t really care? You have a choice. You can walk away. You can also discipline yourself to help out even if just for a few minutes. If you are really tapped here, suggest in a kind way whom they may be able to talk to instead.

Remember: There will be many things we do not understand and many things we cannot solve completely. This does not give ‘helpers’ the excuse to ignore, minimize or brush by a target’s need to gain support. Everyone in the world can give support and encouragement.


*Note: Your name and email will not ever appear, it is strictly used to prevent spam comments.

4 responses to “The Most Important Thing If You’re Being Bullied Is…”

  1. Melissa says:

    I often avoid telling people about the bullying, because they tend to say things like “ignore it” “maybe you take things too seriously” “it happens because you are outspoken” etc etc.

  2. josie says:

    last time one of my target was vandilize the area I was taking my break I reported him to my supervisor . He worked around and asked people does he seems someone that make noise around . Does he talked loud. I think Good that I reported him because I could play around and said I was the one that was doing it.

  3. JJ says:


  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eBossWatch, Lawrence Butts . Lawrence Butts said: Bully Free at Work The Most Important Thing If You’re Being Bullied Is… (via @eBossWatch) […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to

© Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior permission.