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What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

Graphic Design Bully

by Thomas

I was a victim of an unpleasant female bully while studying for an Art and Graphic Design course at a local college. At the time that it occurred, I was unaware of the student’s motives, but still deal with anger about her cruel behaviour. Her hostility steadily increased, to the point where learning became untenable.

The bullying began on a day when we had been trained in using cameras for photography. I had checked through the viewfinder, and framed up some images. I was suddenly aware of her shouting, “Go away” in a loud voice, even though I hadn’t taken any photos. From that point, for reasons I have been unable to fathom, her passive hostility got worse.

She accused me of “creeping” around her, when I had attempted to make amicable conversation. On another occasion, when I professed that I needed more training in the use of computers, she interjected that I “should be shot”.

Later on, when we were working in the same room, she shouted, “Don’t touch my stuff”, even though I had no intention of interfering with her work.

On my final day at the college, I was called back to the art room, only to have her say, “Haven’t you gone yet?”

Unfortunately, for my own reasons, I decided not to pursue the Graphic course into the second year. She therefore evaded any kind of challenge on my part. In hindsight, I think she may have been in cahoots with another female student who was jealous of my work.

I would urge anyone experiences this type of behaviour to keep a written log, and not allow the bully to escape unpunished – if only for your own sense of self-worth.

Comments for Graphic Design Bully

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by: Author

A bully will use cutting, unkind comments to pierce the protective armour of the victim. Their goal, in context, is to destroy or denigrate the target's well-being, competence and ambitions.

Don't seek vengeance

Tempting as it is to want to bring a bully to light... it will only backfire on a hard earned reputation for being GOOD. And the bully won.

Fighting back, will make future employers wary they may say something that will upset you. You will be 'marked' as being unable to handle persons (and your own self)

LEAVE the bully... when the initial difficulties began, this student should have left the school and find a new graphic design school.
THAT would frustrate a difficult person to no end. Free will goes both ways... freely go to a different school, giving no reason to administration. (because if you do, the new school would also be wary of accepting) THAT'S LIFE.

Reply to LIZZY NJ
by: Thomas

I agree, leaving the school was the best thing I did. I felt a profound sense of relief. However, it was only after that I pieced together what had happened.
I would now say in hindsight, that at the FIRST indication of an unpleasant comment, one should no longer interact with a bully. A 'red flag' needs to be raised at this point, to prevent further cruel exchanges. It would also help to physically distance yourself from the perpetrator, if possible.
Knowledge comes with age and experience, in recognising the initial signs of bullying. One has to have their 'mental pencil' sharpened to anticipate potential situations. Your intuition can be improved by studying the psychology of 'workplace abuse'. It also helps to have a trusted friend or family member in the background, to guide you and provide moral support.

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