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  • FIRST POST
    • FeelingStrange
    • By FeelingStrange 13th Oct 16, 5:15 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 1Thanks
    FeelingStrange
    Anxiety in new job after bullying in old job
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 16, 5:15 PM
    Anxiety in new job after bullying in old job 13th Oct 16 at 5:15 PM
    I'm a regular poster on the forum but wanted to create an AE to post this...

    If anyone has any good advice for me I would really appreciate it. I was bullied by my line manager for around a year in my previous job. I found out not long after I started that several other members of staff being managed by the same person had left due to her also bullying them. They didn't report it to HR or do anything about it - just left (which is understandable). Unfortunately - or fortunately for her - she is in a very niche position and it would be very difficult to find a replacement if she left for whatever reason - so fairly untouchable by the company.

    Things were very bad in the last few months and my GP wanted to sign me off due to the stress - I was crying in work every day. I went to my manager's manager around four times, including a three way meeting with my manager, but nothing ever got resolved (sadly the 'big boss' was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, and had other serious concerns about his own post at the time). I could go on and on but suffice to say that I managed to find a new job and left, with my confidence severely damaged, and anxiety levels high.

    My problem now is this. I have been in my new job for 10 months and I'm really enjoying it. My new manager is very nice, colleagues are great, and I enjoy the work. But I just can't shake this feeling of anxiety when I get an email that might come across as questioning something that I did, or anything slightly negative about what I've done. I've been told that I'm doing a good job but I'm so worried I won't pass my probation (which is unlikely as I haven't been told of any major issues, and probation is 2 months away). My manager is great but is slightly socially awkward (!) and sometimes makes jokes or says things that could be taken the wrong way -- colleagues have mentioned this too (it's not in a sexual way, just to be clear!) -- and whilst I'm getting used to this, I'm sometimes not sure how to take things. I'm just always scared that an email asking why I've done something a certain way, or something like that, is akin to 'why on earth did you do this you silly girl, you're not trying hard enough/don't have the skills and expertise/are rubbish'.

    Sorry if this post is a bit of a mess but after 10 months away from my awful old manager I thought I'd be over it by now! I really don't want to feel this way in work. Has anyone had experience of this? Does it just take time to work through this, or should I do something else?

    Thank you for reading
Page 1
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 13th Oct 16, 5:55 PM
    • 2,735 Posts
    • 4,278 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 5:55 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 16, 5:55 PM
    I'm a regular poster on the forum but wanted to create an AE to post this...

    If anyone has any good advice for me I would really appreciate it. I was bullied by my line manager for around a year in my previous job. I found out not long after I started that several other members of staff being managed by the same person had left due to her also bullying them. They didn't report it to HR or do anything about it - just left (which is understandable). Unfortunately - or fortunately for her - she is in a very niche position and it would be very difficult to find a replacement if she left for whatever reason - so fairly untouchable by the company.

    Things were very bad in the last few months and my GP wanted to sign me off due to the stress - I was crying in work every day. I went to my manager's manager around four times, including a three way meeting with my manager, but nothing ever got resolved (sadly the 'big boss' was about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, and had other serious concerns about his own post at the time). I could go on and on but suffice to say that I managed to find a new job and left, with my confidence severely damaged, and anxiety levels high.

    My problem now is this. I have been in my new job for 10 months and I'm really enjoying it. My new manager is very nice, colleagues are great, and I enjoy the work. But I just can't shake this feeling of anxiety when I get an email that might come across as questioning something that I did, or anything slightly negative about what I've done. I've been told that I'm doing a good job but I'm so worried I won't pass my probation (which is unlikely as I haven't been told of any major issues, and probation is 2 months away). My manager is great but is slightly socially awkward (!) and sometimes makes jokes or says things that could be taken the wrong way -- colleagues have mentioned this too (it's not in a sexual way, just to be clear!) -- and whilst I'm getting used to this, I'm sometimes not sure how to take things. I'm just always scared that an email asking why I've done something a certain way, or something like that, is akin to 'why on earth did you do this you silly girl, you're not trying hard enough/don't have the skills and expertise/are rubbish'.

    Sorry if this post is a bit of a mess but after 10 months away from my awful old manager I thought I'd be over it by now! I really don't want to feel this way in work. Has anyone had experience of this? Does it just take time to work through this, or should I do something else?

    Thank you for reading
    Originally posted by FeelingStrange
    At ten months later, and still feeling this way, I'd suggest you might benefit from some counseling and/ or self help therapy. There's nothing wrong with you, but you could probably do with learning some techniques to shake off the negativity and fear. It's really only a matter of adjusting the way you are thinkin, but it's obviously something that doesn't come naturally to you, so you need a little help.

    Everyone reacts differently, so I'm cautious of recommending a particular methodology here. Others may have suggestions, but a few friends of mine have found CBT workbooks useful. I'll ask if they can recommend the ones they used.
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 13th Oct 16, 6:56 PM
    • 694 Posts
    • 505 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 6:56 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 16, 6:56 PM
    You self confidence is non-existent and the negative voice in your head seems to be in total control.

    You need some CBT, you can do it yourself or visit your doctor and get and appointment to see a practitioner if you want support.

    Sadly, it wont go away until you deal with it.
    • hutman
    • By hutman 14th Oct 16, 11:48 AM
    • 45 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    hutman
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:48 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:48 AM
    sorry you'd gone through that, I'd punched that manager in the face!

    sounds like to me you need your confidence back and you also need to trust your new managers/people. i would regard your old experience as an outlier but still reflect on the lessons learnt. as a new person no doubt you'd be keen to make a good impression, but if you've been over critisized before, you'd be wise to set the risk parameters in gear.
    • FeelingStrange
    • By FeelingStrange 14th Oct 16, 12:40 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    FeelingStrange
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 12:40 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 12:40 PM
    Thank you for your replies. I am wondering if I need some CBT... I'm not wracked with anxiety every day or anything, but it just comes on quite quickly if I get an email like that which is maybe twice a week? (Plus I'd be reticent to ask for leave for CBT... really don't want any questions being raised over my competence)

    I think I might try one of the better CBT self-help websites and see how I get on with that.

    I also think I will feel better once I get that piece of paper to say I've passed probation and can feel a bit more secure.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 14th Oct 16, 1:03 PM
    • 1,099 Posts
    • 1,504 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 1:03 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 1:03 PM
    sorry you'd gone through that, I'd punched that manager in the face!
    Originally posted by hutman
    As we have absolutely no idea what they did that would seem a bit of an overreaction.
    • 2nd_Time_Lucky
    • By 2nd_Time_Lucky 14th Oct 16, 2:08 PM
    • 154 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    2nd_Time_Lucky
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:08 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 2:08 PM
    Hey FeelingStrange, i just wanted to say you are not alone, i could have typed your post in 2014 .. i didnt even have enough self esteem to go to councilling but my new job was/is so supportive & just the opposite of the toxic environment i left that i managed to work through my anxiety myself.

    The best coping mechanism for me has been to be very honest if there has been an issue and flag it myself rather than waiting for someone to bring it to me, i make sure i immerse myself in office life & never miss a social event (even though i hate them as i feel all self concious) and i love the Jess Glynne song "dont be so hard on yourself" which has become a personal anthem - i have the cd & anytime i feel wobbly i go for a drive & sing along at the top of my voice
    If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, its just possible you haven't grasped the situation
    • hutman
    • By hutman 14th Oct 16, 3:02 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    hutman
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:02 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:02 PM
    Things were very bad in the last few months and my GP wanted to sign me off due to the stress - I was crying in work every day.
    Originally posted by FeelingStrange
    As we have absolutely no idea what they did that would seem a bit of an overreaction.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    I beg to differ.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Oct 16, 3:28 PM
    • 14,344 Posts
    • 36,505 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:28 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 16, 3:28 PM
    OP, I know exactly what you mean and indeed, when you've been in this situation of always wondering when you're going to be abused, insulted, belittled etc..., you start to forget that it's not normal dynamics and it can take a very long time to readjust.

    I think the best you can do is accept it and remind yourself that all you can do is your best, and if you think you are doing well, then you can't do more to control what others think. Concentrate on being happy with the work you produce and if at any time your boss question it, be confident that you can explain your decisions, or apologise if you realise your made an error of judgement. The anxiety will ease off, it might just take a little bit longer still.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 14th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
    • 1,099 Posts
    • 1,504 Thanks
    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    I beg to differ.
    Originally posted by hutman
    You know they were stressed. You have no idea whether the boss did anything untoward so as to cause that stress.

    Never mind though, go round punching strangers in the face whenever you are told they have upset other strangers. If two people upset each other, punch them both.
    • 20aday
    • By 20aday 14th Oct 16, 11:20 PM
    • 1,721 Posts
    • 694 Thanks
    20aday
    Good evening OP.

    I completely and understand where you are coming from; in my case I tolerated work-place bullying for the best part of 10 years.

    I've been in my current job for nearly six months now and know how you feel about the anxiety; when anyone goes through what we've been through it's completely understandable.

    I also recommend CBT. It helped me no end when I was on the verge of walking out of my work place straight into the path of a HGV.

    As pointed out above do the best you can do; focus on yourself and your job. If you find yourself getting anxious take a breather and count to 10 (if you can).
    It's not your credit score that counts, it's your account conduct and credit history.
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