The first tell tale sign is that bullying is something that happens again and again. Dealing with a difficult boss or co-worker is in a totally different league to personal insults, sabotage, vicious gossip or someone else taking credit for your work.
Ultimately women take on women because they are rarely confrontational when attacked. Whereas men might not stand for bad behaviour, women will tend to turn their backs on it. Women are also subtly nasty and are good at making snide remarks that men wouldn’t even necessarily register.
Lynn Taylor is the author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant and compares dealing with a bully to dealing with a toddler having a tantrum. She advises you to be the calm adult. If a bully is shouting at you then let her vent until she becomes tired. Look her in the eye and listen to what she has to say and then when she is finished repeat her concerns back to her and be specific about how to fix things
Women’s Health Magazine gives advice for those who are up against a sneaky co-worker, “ take her aside—she gets a lot of her confidence from having an audience—and in a quiet, steady voice, let her know that one, you are so on to her, and two, it had better stop. Now. Don’t give her a chance to explain; say your piece, then walk away.”
If none of the above works the best thing you can do is to talk to your HR department and make sure that when you do, you have documented all the bullying behaviour you have experienced, this way you will have a stronger case should the matter need to be taken any further. Often HR will help the two sides reach a resolution. But in rare cases it will put even more pressure on the relationship.
Just make sure that it doesn’t reach the point where you feel you have to leave. Just remember that Karma claims and that at some point, your bully will get what she deserves.