Think Feel ACT…"Write your own story"

Letters to a workplace bully

Workplace bullying just doesn’t seem to go away. Workplace bullying is a complex issue that can’t be fully explored in a blog – yet I hope this post goes some way to giving strength to those being bullied. To know they don’t deserve to be bullied, to know as human beings they are worthy of respect and dignity, to know they have the right for the bullying to stop.

Ducks at Centennial Park»Dear bully,
You are in our offices, in our workplaces.
You are there between colleagues….up, down and sideways.
You are there in person, on the phone, via teleconference.
You are everywhere.
From us. The ones you’ve hurt, tortured, destroyed.

Ducks»Dear bully,
How do you live with yourself?
Is it just innocent fun? Is it OK to take your pain out on others?
Didn’t you realise people die, families suffer, careers and reputations are destroyed because of you?
Us. P.S. We hate you.

Birds in the pond»Dear bully,
How do you choose your victims? It’s hard to know who is safe.
You target people of the wrong gender, height, religion, sexuality, age, profession, ethnicity, pedigree. The wrong anything. Maybe just for being in the wrong place.

»Dear “Us”,
Surely you’ve realised by now.
It doesn’t matter who you are.
I’m prepared to bully any of you if the circumstances are right.
You are all my victims.
The big “B”

Ducks»Dear “small b” bully,
Are you proud of causing pain?
You seem to think you know the way things should be…your way.
But what’s going on under the mask you wear?
Who are you really?

»Dear “Us”,
“Who am I really?” You ask.  Well, honestly, I’m you.
I am anyone who saw someone being bullied and did nothing.
I am anyone who says: “The victim probably deserved it” or “The victim is imagining things”.
I am workplaces that turn a blind eye.
So I’m you. You let me in. You invited me in. I am you. All of you.

Pond »Dear bully,
Don’t you see each person is a diamond?
What’s wrong with you, can’t you see you need to stop?
Don’t you see we are all people of worth and value? Don’t you see we all deserve respect?


Dear bully,
We are hereby putting you on notice.
We, all of us are in this together. We will fight you with acts of kindness, respect, compassion, looking out for each other, standing by each other’s sides, and plain human decency.
Each act of kindness you do for another strengthens good in the world, increases light in the world. One small spark of light banishes a great deal of darkness.
So we’ll stand by each other and form a wall you can’t get through. Together we will banish you from our midst. So pack your bags. And don’t say we didn’t warn you.
All of us. Together.

Read more about workplace bullying:

There is help available if you are (or think you are) being bullied. You can try:

Please let me know how this post has helped you and please share this post with anyone to whom it may offer hope or encouragement. 



  1. Rob Burnside

    A very creative way to address this important issue! Don’t ask for whom the blog post tolls. I was very lucky in this regard. As a career firefighter, I didn’t experience any workplace bullying. Lots of good-natured kidding and pranking that only brought us together as a group, but no bullying. No one was spared and no one was isolated. We KNEW our lives depended on each other. This is true in every workplace, but it’s not as obvious and bullying can therefor flourish. It wouldn’t be tolerated for a moment in my former trade.

    • Thankyou Rob for your comments.
      Sounds like we can learn an important lesson in togetherness from the firefighters.
      Togetherness, I believe, is the only way we’ll end up eradicating bullying from the workplace.

      • Rob Burnside

        “Paddyqua”, Jocelyn, as we used to say in French class. Give me a bad day on the fire department before a good day anywhere else! I’ve worked other jobs since retiring, where I’ve seen, and even experienced some nasty individual and group behavior. Hate to paint with such a broad brush, but in every case it was either instigated or enabled by poor management. Typically, it was mid-level management deliberately causing or at least permitting the problem, and just as typically, upper management was distant, deaf, dumb, and blind. And there was always some sort of hook (like health care benefits) keeping everyone else on the job and in the cauldron. Dickens in another century. Dante’s eighth circle. I’m glad to be fully-retired. Please keep up this very necessary work!

      • Thankyou Rob.
        Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think may benefit.
        Kind regards

      • Rob Burnside

        I will Jocelyn. Thanks for addressing it so well. And when you have a chance, take a closer look at firefighting. I think the thing that sets it apart from many other professions is the obvious requirement for teamwork. In many cases, the bad events than can occur–a wall collapses on you, you fall through a floor, or suffer a heart attack deep inside a building on fire–cannot be remedied by the individual alone.
        There are similar, though maybe not so drastic, elements in every job. They simply aren’t apparent. I truly believe more attention paid to illuminating these issues by upper management would go a long toward minimizing anti-social workplace behavior, and bring about more togetherness as you suggest.

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