Dealing with nasty people and bullies at work

Do you know how it feels like to work with nasty people? I remember that, when I came out of university, jobs were rare in Germany. And my university degree is Economic and Social Geography. Not necessarily the study scope that is highest in demand.

I was happy to find a job in a company that tool care of run-down areas in my hometown in Germany. Friends of mine warned me that the company had a huge turnover, and kind of exploited fresh-grads. But I was happy that I found a job in the first place.

I replaced a female employee that moved on to another state, and her colleague never quite liked me, from the beginning. Most likely, it was also my behaviour, as I wasn’t perfect. I messed up quite a bit. And as the pressure to perform in line of the former employee started to rise, wow, started to feel bad. Because my colleague liked me less and less. No assistance. Hardly any conversation. If I had a question, the answers came short, like a machine gun. Frozen face, looking “strict”.

I didn’t last long. I was happy that my probation time after months wasn’t extended. While initially, I was worried of not finding a job again, I ultimately moved on and finally ended up here, in Asia.

And you see, there is no recipe on how to manage nasty people. No clear cut instruction. But you have to be clear that this is then about State Management. Yeah, I know, in NLP, we have the process of anchoring and achieving peak performance states through body and mind management. Does it really work in such situation? Not necessarily, because a nasty person or environment can wear someone down over time.

A few tips on how to survive in such an environment:

  • Try to stay away from them. Because you know that they are going to shoot at you the moment you see them. You are their fun;
  • Realise it is not about you. Actually, it is not about you. It is about them, and they don’t know it. There is something inside of them that needs to get worked out and since they don’t know how to do this, they project it to the outside world. While this is nice to know, it might not help you much, so!
  • Manage yourself when you mess up. We all mess up. They do it too. But they have a way of getting around it and managing their state in that kind of situation. Something that you need to learn.
  • Define your boundaries. That’s a toughy. Because according to their world, you are the weakling. Defining your boundaries means you need to step up and tell them when enough is enough. This is something they were waiting for. But then, you need, no, you have to stand your ground.
  • Find someone to talk to. This is important. You need to realise that somehow, all the frustration, the hurt, fear, anger and hate you feel, is hurting you. Really badly.  It is good to let it out. Talk to friends, and even better, talk to a colleague that you can trust.
  • Leave if you must. If nothing else is left, leave. I mean, look, how much longer do you want to feel hurt? How much more can you contribute in another place?
  • Learn from the experience. Another biggie for you. If you don’t learn what you need to learn, you will bring the same experience back to the next place. It won’t leave you. See, it is actually about you. You somehow attracted this person or environment into your life. So ask yourself – what is it that you need to learn from the situation, in order to prevent a repetition. And the learning must be positive, and for you. Cannot be something like:”These are @%#$@, and they deserve that @%#$#$ environment in which they live. Sooner or later, they will go down!” Doesn’t work that way.
  • See their perspective. What caused them to be nasty to you in the first place? Are they really nasty to everyone? If they are not nasty to everyone, and there is one exception, then how did you cause them to be nasty to you. Yes, I said “cause” but I don’t blame you. On the contrary, I believe that we are all responsible for what happens to us and that we can learn from any situation (see the preceding point). This means that once you understand their perspective and their point of view, may be you gain a realisation how you brought their nastiness on to you.

I believe there are more points, so share with me what you think!

By the way – you can also contact us and get us to coach you in these situations. We have done this many, many times.

Or take our NLP Practitioner certification. It will help you to remove barriers and enable you to design your life the way you want it.


Andreas is the founder of Asia Mind Dynamics and a certified trainer of internationally recognised certification programmes:

  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) with the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming (ABNLP),
  • NLP Coach Training with the Coaching Division of ABNLP,
  • The Words That Change Minds -Language and Behaviour Profile of which he also is one of 17 Global Master
  • Creating Your Future Coaching™ Techniques at the Masters Level with the International Timeline Therapy Association
  • Hypnosis with the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH)
  • Master Trainer of Hypnotherapy with the International Association of Counsellors and Therapists (IACT).

We also train companies to achieve higher performance especially through our signature programmes on Leadership, Sales and Advanced Communications.

To find out more about us or our programme and what makes us so very different as trainer and coaches, send an email to andreas.dorn AT or contact us at +6012 287 5048.

You can also follow us on Twitter or find us on FaceBook.

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