At the Workplace

Oppressed and bullied at work

It’s been three months since I took over a managerial role. I am not supported or welcomed by my staff of four, my boss and assistant boss. I feel very oppressed and bullied at work. I feel like I need to outsmart them and break up their clan.

Oppression at work

At The Well

Li Ping says

Dear Oppression at work,

Before you act, discern if the oppression you feel is truly due to your not being part of “their clan”. It is unusual, though not impossible, that both subordinates and supervisors alike see you as an outsider.

It is worth asking if your own actions have contributed to the resistance you are facing. This will not be easy as it will require going beyond your subjective feelings, engaging in prayerful self-reflection, and paying attention to feedback your colleagues may have given you since taking on this role. If no feedback has been given, consider asking for it from a colleague that you think is the least unfavourable towards you.

Whether your colleagues truly are in one camp against you, or if your own actions have contributed to the situation, prayerfully ask how you should then act, remembering that as followers of Christ, we are called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14). Taking a combative and adversarial stance is likely to harden your colleagues’ position against you. Consider actively trying to build relationships with them instead.

If, however, despite your best and well-intentioned efforts, you still experience bullying, then seek the Lord’s guidance on whether this is where he has called you to be vocationally.