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Old 05-01-2021, 07:55 AM   #1
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Question New job jitters due to past bullying

I feel super insecure at work, which is really bothering me, and I believe it's due to the bullying I experienced in my last job.

I returned to my old employer three weeks ago, and I've been a nervous wreck about everything little thing I do and say - am I pleasing/displeasing my boss, I wonder? Am I saying this right, or am I sounding off colored? Am I offending anyone online with my tone? I can be very all down to business in writing. Everything is now online and remote. I had to re-introduce myself in a company video call the other day and I worried how I came across to everyone who doesn't know me. I worry about how I came across, and whether I was looking at people on the video call, or whether I was shyly looking away, clearly lacking confidence. My CEO knows that I can lack confidence sometimes.

I am paranoid down to every little detail about my approach to work.

In a job just prior to coming back on board with my old job, this incredibly mean woman bullied me horrendously. She beat me up verbally in a 1:1 phone call, whereby no one witnessed or heard it. She ripped into me about a project in my very first week of work!!!!!! She said she didn't like my approach to her in this phone call, when I was in fact, overly apologetic to her for anything that had rubbed her wrong, and when I approached this call very professionally and respectfully.

So now I worry about every little thing. It's driving me crazy since I am not normally like this.

How do I calm down my thoughts so that I can feel more confident in myself?
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

Are you working with a therapist on this? My husband tends to think that he either did something wrong at work or that people donít like him. I have a friend at work like that too. Both my friend and my husband are doing great job and arenít in any trouble ever but the way they feel isnít rational.

My husband is currently working with a therapist on building his self esteem. He was bullied a lot in life due to Touretteís and was in abusive marriage so he lacks confidence, but because he is a big guy with a loud voice people sometimes think he is overly confident but itís completely the other way around.

Honestly itís a life long struggle in a way but good therapist could help with strategies and techniques (meditation, breathing, relaxation etc).

PS my friend at works runs it by me if I think people hate her or she does a bad job. The answer is always no. Could you develop buddy system of sorts? Itís a bit different of course as weíve been working next to each other for 16 years and we are friends outside of work. But I have other colleagues who donít feel confident and they run it by me. See if you can develop type of support system. NOT with bosses!!!
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Old 05-02-2021, 04:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

I am working with my therapist on the abuse from my marriage, but not on my confidence - I mean, I could bring it up of course and ask him to work with me on it. I am really in between therapists though and am not sure yet whether I will stick with this one.

Because my team and the company has had a lot of turnover, I work with people who are mainly new to me. I wouldn't be able to have a buddy in this very small company, but it's a good idea.
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

There's one account manager in my job who is irking me. She's very young and is no more than 24 years old. I am 50 years old. But so far, she is very bossy with me, she talks over me in our 1:1 phone calls, and she is giving me directions when I am more senior to her and I DO in fact know what I am doing even though I am in a learning position for a couple of our accounts. Ultimately, her behavior is disrespectful towards me, and I think it's because I am new to these accounts, and she wants to throw her weight around with an attitude of superiority. In my previous tenure in this company, no account manager ever told me how to do my work, but she does.

I have to figure out how to handle her. If the behavior continues, I will address it, but very professionally and diplomatically. How do I say it to her though, and how best to confront this without ruffling her feathers and creating a conflict?
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

My friend and I were bullied by our bosses (in a very similar way) and now we commiserate over our shared "post bullying syndrome". We tend to be paranoid and more easily upset about things. Personally I just see it as being more aware of the things that go wrong that lead to a bad situation.

I had a new employee come in once and she lost her mind about something that I did know... she actually called a manager of mine (which was inappropriate) I wasn't angry then but I told her in no uncertain terms when I got back to my desk that I was aware of the issue, I had been doing the issue for at least 4 years prior to her arrival and there was no need for her to check up on me.. I had bosses of my own.

That shut her up.
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

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Originally Posted by NatalieJastrow View Post
I wasn't angry then but I told her in no uncertain terms when I got back to my desk that I was aware of the issue, I had been doing the issue for at least 4 years prior to her arrival and there was no need for her to check up on me.. I had bosses of my own.

That shut her up.
I love this response. I wonder if being direct is most effective?
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

Being direct is always the best while still remaining professional. Having said that, sometimes ignoring these kind of people works too.

We have a new also a very annoying employee, itís only her second year with us, she is extreme case of brown noser and ďknow it all.Ē She is sugary sweet fake and very manipulative. Most of us were on to her early on. I am her mentor so when it comes to day to day tasks she listens. But other stuff she likes to tell us how to do things and she likes to gossip and bad mouth people, and she is new!

My routine response to her is ďitís not how we do things.Ē Then I follow with explanation how we do things: like we donít undermine others or overstep our authorities. I also told her directly ďstop passing information around, no need to tell so and so when so and so said thingsĒ. She always finds excuses why she gossiped or why she tries to boss people around

Someone has to put this girl into her place. Or you can just nod and ignore
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

Quote:
Originally Posted by divine1966 View Post
Being direct is always the best while still remaining professional. Having said that, sometimes ignoring these kind of people works too.

We have a new also a very annoying employee, itís only her second year with us, she is extreme case of brown noser and ďknow it all.Ē She is sugary sweet fake and very manipulative. Most of us were on to her early on. I am her mentor so when it comes to day to day tasks she listens. But other stuff she likes to tell us how to do things and she likes to gossip and bad mouth people, and she is new!

My routine response to her is ďitís not how we do things.Ē Then I follow with explanation how we do things: like we donít undermine others or overstep our authorities. I also told her directly ďstop passing information around, no need to tell so and so when so and so said thingsĒ. She always finds excuses why she gossiped or why she tries to boss people around

Someone has to put this girl into her place. Or you can just nod and ignore
Thanks @divine1966! That girl sounds most annoying!

I may be direct if it continues, and I have a feeling it will continue.

Yesterday, I was in a meeting with both she and my boss, and she was disrespectful yet again to me! She spoke over me. she corrected me, then she shot down one of my ideas saying the client won't go for it. My boss ended up saying that it was a good idea and that we should pursue it. I also ended up putting her in her place by correcting her with her correction of me, and showing her my expertise.

Still, I couldn't believe she had the nerve to shoot down my idea, when I am the digital marketing strategist in charge of strategy and she is the account manager in charge of client relations. I stood my ground and maintained a position of authority.

I really don't like this person.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

I keep hearing at work "be confident" in yourself - HR has told me this, the CEO has told me this, and the VP of marketing called today and mentioned it in our conversation.

Little do they all know that I've been beaten up verbally many times at work at past jobs, which contributes to a lowered confidence level, and that I've been bullied and undermined at work by multiple people in the past, also contributing to my shyness and lowered confidence level.

To continuously hear the words "be confident" is very frustrating because they have NO idea WHY I am this way. All they see is someone very good at what they do.

I wish I could just explain this to them - and the fact that I suffer from PTSD as a direct result of all the bullying.
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Old 05-05-2021, 04:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

So, I received a call from the VP of Marketing yesterday, which means I was in trouble. He began the conversation with all positives, then told me to leave my new boss alone with any extraneous questions or issues. So what happens later that day? The account manager I am challenged by and struggling with tried to mandate that I join a client meeting I was not required to attend. I had offered to help, then retracted that offer due to my workload. I had to involve my boss, because he, too, is involved in this meeting and he had been involved in the recent meeting with my account manager about this particular client.

The VP is telling me this because my boss is overloaded. He wants me to have more confidence in myself to handle my job fully without involving my boss. In this particular situation with the account manager dictating that I join a client meeting, I felt I needed to involve my boss necessarily. Ultimately, he's in charge of my time and my work.

At the same time, I feel I am left without ANY manager. We're all remote, we barely communicate as a team and a company, and now my boss is completely hands off, leaving me flapping in the wind with this account manager and I am still relatively new to the job and many client accounts.

I was contacted by a recruiter yesterday for another position, and I expressed my interest. However, I really should not leave my job. I need to 1) face this challenge with my account manager and overcome it and 2) maintain a positive reference with this employer. If I leave so soon, I will lose my previous glowing reference for future employment. I also know that there's always 1 or 2 difficult people in every job to contend with. This is my one in this job to contend with. It's the evil you know is better than the evil you don't know, kind of scenario.

As it is, this account manager and I went head to head in team call yesterday, with my boss attending, all about this upcoming client meeting she is requiring me to attend. I got out of the meeting, which was my goal, and again, due to my workload and wanting to get the job right.

But, bottom line: I am really very frustrated, and I am completely drained. I don't have it within me anymore to face bigger challenges. I am too wiped out from life itself and from having had too many crises on top of one another. And this account manager is seriously testing my limits right now. I despise her already, and I've only been there one month so far.
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

And I did end up on the phone with the Business Manager yesterday. I ended up divulging to her that I had been bullied in past jobs, and that it's why I come across as lacking confidence at work. We had a very nice and long conversation mainly about our lives and what's happening in our lives, but she also gave me advice. She said to ask the VP if he can come up with examples that demonstrate I lack confidence now, in my current tenure. She suspects that his opinion of me in this regard comes from my prior tenure there, and so do I. So I will ask for examples, whenever I get the chance - if I ever get the chance. OR, I will just falsely exude confidence for now - fake it til you make it.
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Old 05-05-2021, 06:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

Are you back with the same tiny company of like 20 people? How many bosses and managers are there? Sounds like there are more bosses than employees! No wonder you are stressed. Too many bosses.

It does take time to build confidence in a new job. Even if itís not fully new, your previous employment there was not long either. So itís all relatively new. It takes time

Iíd be mindful about sharing too much. Unless you are asking for official accommodations per ADA, it might be wise to keep PTSD or being bullied in other jobs or personal issues to yourself. At least for now. Itís too early on to tell them too much about yourself.
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Old 05-06-2021, 03:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

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Are you back with the same tiny company of like 20 people? How many bosses and managers are there? Sounds like there are more bosses than employees! No wonder you are stressed. Too many bosses.

It does take time to build confidence in a new job. Even if itís not fully new, your previous employment there was not long either. So itís all relatively new. It takes time

Iíd be mindful about sharing too much. Unless you are asking for official accommodations per ADA, it might be wise to keep PTSD or being bullied in other jobs or personal issues to yourself. At least for now. Itís too early on to tell them too much about yourself.
Yes, same tiny company. lol - they have more employees than managers. They've known me for two years prior to this. I was in touch with the Business Manager periodically when I was gone. She and I have developed a positive rapport, so in this call, I approached her as a friend and said as much. I don't think there's any harm. I was explaining why I come across as lacking confidence, which is what they've seen in me for those prior two years. She doesn't think it comes across now though.
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:10 AM   #14
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

So finally I had had it with this account manager, who yet again, gave me a lot of push back on expert input I gave her. Rather than just taking my input and bringing it forward to the appropriate person, she seemingly argued with me about it, causing a lengthy and exhausting back and forth over text. So, I decided to finally confront the issues with her by phone yesterday. I got everything out about her disrespect towards me. I told her let me speak before you respond. In reply, I did get some excuses on her part, yet she apologized and said she has a ton of respect for me - yeah, we'll see. I think it's a personality issue on her part, a lack of professionalism, and being so young. She's pushy and domineering, and I pretty much told her so. I told her she interrupts when I speak, that she speaks over me and dominates each 1:1 conversation when it's supposed to be a two-way conversation. I also gave examples of her disregard for my expertise and how she had embarrassed me in front of my client by indicating I wasn't prepared for a call when I was fully prepared for the call.

She is a real piece of work - this may not have resolved the issue, but maybe it will help improve the issue.
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: New job jitters due to past bullying

Well, she did it again - she spoke down to me again in front of my own client - so I confronted her again privately. I got excuses from her, then when I repeated my statement that it was embarrassing, she went silent. I had offered my input on paid media campaign on this client call, and her response in front of my client was " we got this handled - we're two steps ahead of you". This makes me look foolish in front of my own client! And again, it makes it look like we are splintered on our own team. I was livid.

And I realized that the first time I confronted her, I received excuses and explanations from her, rather than a sincere apology. It was the same this go around too.

This is going to be a challenge for me. I work with her on 3 out of 4 of my client accounts. I am not happy about this. She cannot continue insulting me in front of my clients!
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