Strategies for Surviving Bullying at Work

Evelyn Field

Private Practice

No one goes to work to be humiliated, abused, ostracised, subjected to rumours, or assaulted. Yet this is the reality of a working day for many employees. Now you can do something about it. From the author of the highly successful introduction to workplace bullying "Bully Blocking at Work", comes a practical guide to empower all employees to care for themselves and colleagues when faced with bullying behaviours. Beginning with an overview of social and emotional resiliency at work, the reader is shown how six key strategies based on the development of social skills can equip them to fight even the most persistent of bullies.

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About the Author

EVELYN FIELD is a practising psychologist, professional speaker, media commentator and author with extensive clinical and personal experience in dealing with the trauma of loss and abuse. She has been helping workplace bullying victims for over 30 years, as well as training and writing about both workplace and school bullying. She regularly presents at international conferences and workshops. Her book on school bullying, Bully Blocking, has been published in five languages. Evelyn's first book on workplace bullying, Bully Blocking at Work, was published in 2010 and has received international praise. Evelyn lives in Melbourne, Australia.


This book makes for invaluable reading as it helps to build the necessary self-help strategies and resilience to effectively tackle the different stages of workplace bullying. - Professor Mona O'Moore, Associate Professor in the School of Education Founder and Director of the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre Trinity College, Dublin

Evelyn Field's stellar contribution to the field of workplace bullying is to pull from the research literature, from her practice as counsellor and therapist, and from her own hard experience, eminently practical lessons for how to respond to the problem in ways that actually make things better. She is too wise a lady to fall for panaceas or to pander to pipe dreams. She is attentive to evidence, sober and methodical. What is more, her prose sparkles with clarity and punch - and for that reason, is genuinely helpful to people brutalised at work. - Kenneth Westhues, PhD Professor Emeritus of Sociology & Legal Studies University of Waterloo, Canada

This is an important book, a sophisticated and comprehensive primer on managing workplace bullying, the next generation of books on this topic. This book moves beyond the victim perspective for those who have experienced bullying and provides sound advice for healing and rebuilding after bullying. If you have experienced workplace bullying and are struggling to recover, you must read this book. If you are an HR professional, you must consider this book your textbook. Even psychologists and other counselling professionals often fail to grasp the enormous impact of bullying behaviours or the skills required to defuse or reduce bullying behaviours. - Pat Ferris, MSW, RSW, MSc, PhD Partner, Calgary Psychology Group, Canada

There are so many difficulties of living in our modern era due to terrorism, economic and natural disasters. At least we have a solution for making the quality of our life at the workplace better. This new book from Evelyn Field can really help us in coping with bullying at work. This is the first book I know which really teaches us and provides simple, useful strategies to help anyone block or cope with bullying behaviours. As in many areas of life, the essence of resilience at work is emotional wellbeing, effective communication skills and social support. - Dan Zakay, Professor of Cognitive Psychology Head, Graduate Program in Organizational Development and Consulting The Inter-Disciplinary Center, Herzeliya, Israel

Evelyn Field writes with the clarity and knowledge of the truly experienced clinician. She goes straight to the facts in a no-nonsense style, making her message clear to everyone. Workplace bullying is all too common, and the effect is potentially devastating for the victim. Evelyn provides you with the tools to empower yourself, reflect on your situation, understand what is happening to you and how to counter the adverse effects to your health and wellbeing. Strategies for Surviving Bullying at Work is a great example of that noble tradition of helping people help themselves. We highly recommend it. - Rune Raudeberg, psychologist and Nils Mageroy, MD/PhD Jobbfast - Research Clinic on Trauma and Psychosocial Stressors at Work Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway

Bullying in the workplace is a game to a few and a health hazard to many. For me, the keywords in this book are 'respect' and 'responsibility'. This second half will help all parties involved in a bullying episode to deal with the situation effectively and appropriately. - Professor Michael Sheehan Head, Department of Management, Business School University of Glamorgan, Wales

In her new book, Evelyn Field provides a survival guide for those who have been bullied, for those who are being bullied and those who may be bullied in the future. The survival strategy espoused by Evelyn Field is the process I have used. First, the strategy involves detachment where the target becomes an observer of their own problem. They observe their problem through the eyes of others, including bystanders, management, and even the bully. Detachment is important because it permits analytical thought and not emotional thought. No bully is blocked through emotion. Second, the strategy of survival is based on the principle that your problem is not unique. One in six employees is bullied, and each target can learn from every other target. Bullies use a template, and every template can be inverted. Third, successful survival depends on rebuilding relations, with others and with yourself. To know and support yourself has no greater imperative than for those who have been bullied. Evelyn Field provides the evidence and the analysis needed to block bullies, to invert their bullying, and to survive. Evelyn has blown the whistle on bullying. - Dr Kim Sawyer, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne , Australia

Your book is like a lifeline. It has identified all the mechanisms of both bullying and being bullied. Although at times some things pertinent to my own case were confronting, hitting many a nerve, it was comforting to have had my experiences validated. I'm not crazy, or paranoid, or incompetent, or overly sensitive ... I was a healthy, normal, strong person who got ground into the dirt where I now exist as a lumpy, greasy residue. I'm trying so hard to pick up the pieces and put myself back together again, but some of the bits are missing, never to be replaced. Linda Workplace bully survivor I found your book so accurate that it's difficult to read without taking time to digest and reflect

Table of Contents

  • The secrets of relating
  • CHAPTER 1 - Building your social and emotional resilience at work
  • CHAPTER 2 - Strategy 1: Regulate your feelings
  • CHAPTER 3 - Strategy 2: Understand the reasons
  • CHAPTER 4 - Strategy 3: Revalue and restore your identity
  • CHAPTER 5 - Strategy 4: Use effective communication skills
  • CHAPTER 6 - Strategy 5: Protect and empower yourself
  • CHAPTER 7 - Strategy 6: Use your support network
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Bibliography
  • About the author
  • Acknowledgments