I'm a very softly spoken, respectful, honorable, decent, innocent, and polite man who never hurts anyone, never strikes back with bad answers, and never makes fun of others.

My colleagues makes fun of me, laugh at my innocence, makes a fool out of me, keeps on taunting me, demotivates me. I want to quit the job and I'm in depression. I feel like quitting life.

When I'm drinking coffee with them, as I don't want to be alone, they all (around 6-7) people start calling me names, start personal attacks, belittle me, snub me, try to provoke me, intentionally change my topic and start discussing about me. They then say,

Why you feel bad.....let us make fool out of you.....you're still a small kid...you're brain is not developed...

It hurts and feels very bad. Everyone does this to me. It will impact my job performance and morale.

Those evil people are very very clever and can insult someone in seconds. How can I deal with this? I'm an adult man around 30 years. I'm no kid.

  • 12
    You are going to have to speak to HR, that's some pretty serious behaviour. Try to keep in mind they feel the need to do this because of their own shortcomings, not yours.
    – pay
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:23
  • 8
    While the behaviour you're having to endure is unacceptable anywhere IMO, adding a tag or editing to indicate your country/location might help people in advising first steps you might be able to take before escalating this to HR (if you're at all reluctant to do so, otherwise, just go to HR as pay has suggested).
    – 3N1GM4
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:38
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    If all 6-7 people behave this way then it says a lot about the company culture. I'd be looking for a new job.
    – David K
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:39
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    This is a temporary problem in your life. Do not quit life. Things will get better. When you are depressed things often look worse than they are and depression lies as it tries to convince you that everything is horrible and there is no hope. There is hope. Always believe that.
    – HLGEM
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:43
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    If you feel like quitting life, you need to talk to a mental health professional - now! Jan 24, 2017 at 20:38

7 Answers 7


First, if you are at the point where you are thinking of quitting life, you need to get some help immediately. There is no shame in getting treatment for depression; it is an illness just like cancer or heart disease. You don't need to tell anyone if you do feel they would judge you.

Next you need to learn how to stand up for yourself. You don't have to insult back, but you need to be able to frame a clear objection to their behavior. There are books on how to be assertive, you need to read a couple of them and practice the techniques until you feel you can do this at work. Start with something small and then when the world didn't end, you can move up to more and more important things. When I was young, I was very shy and unassertive, people who know me now would laugh at that concept of me. You can learn to be more assertive, it is just a subject too large for a few paragraphs on a website. That is why I recommended books.

Next consider if you want to work with these people. Decent people do not behave this way to anyone. There are other jobs where this is not tolerated. You could complain to HR but in the end, do you want to work with people who are bullies, especially since you said it was everyone and not just one person?

While you are there though, start going to lunch by yourself and taking breaks after they have taken theirs. Keep any interactions strictly to business. Remind yourself every time they tease you that this is a defect of their personality, not yours. Decent people do not behave this way.

  • 8
    Yes, get help. In US you can call 1-800-273-8255, or check here for elsewhere: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suicide_crisis_lines . Don't take a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
    – Chris E
    Jan 24, 2017 at 18:57
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    Thank you @ChristopherEstep, I should have looked up that number myself.
    – HLGEM
    Jan 24, 2017 at 20:45
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    The third paragraph is the main part in my opinion. I strongly suspect OP is not a good cultural fit at the company, to say the least.
    – Trebor
    Jan 25, 2017 at 10:36

This is not a situation where you will be able to have your cake and eat it too. If you go to HR right now there is a real risk that you end up being the one labeled as the problem. In a perfect world this does not happen but we do not live in a perfect world or even one that tries to be. So you are going to have to take steps to resolve this yourself.

First stop sitting with the group that is bulling you. Find some new people to to make friends with. If you can even take your breaks at times where you will not have to interact with them. Chances are there is one person that is the ring leader the rest follow. Avoid him. Do your best to not have to interact, if he is on your team and there are opportunities elsewhere in the company try to transfer to a different group.

They bullies exist and you can not run away all the time, but it has been my experience that if you remove yourself from them you probably are not going to find another, or at least not one that is so bad.

When you are forced to interact with this type of person do not engage them in their banter. If they go on and on, I just stare at them with a blank look, when they pause for a break or reaction, ask if they are done so we can get to work? As you have noted they are being unprofessional, so in a professional setting countering this behavior with extreme professionalism is the best course of action.


Stop being a victim. Some people, when seeing or feeling a victim, start behaving as predators. In these actions, there're always two parties - victims and predators, and each party may perpetuate its behavior, consciously or unconsciously. You need to break the pattern, and the easiest you can start is with yourself.

How to stop being a victim?

  • Ask yourself why are you there? What is the reason being with those people in that room and in that company? You need to find a purpose being there (e.g. you need money to pay for a loan, you love your job, you admire your boss). If you know your purpose and goal being here, and it is worth, you will feel much better and be able to decide to which extent your being there is worth of discomfort. This will make you stronger in other's eyes - you will unconsciously show that you are purposeful and determined person. And it has nothing to do with being soft or polite. You may be soft, but very persistent and determined;

  • Ask someone close to you what would they think you can change in your image - how you look like. Hair? Clothes? Perfume? Need not to be expensive suit, you just need a refresh, and feel good;

  • Those people who mock you for sure are having (mental) problems, and are also in stress and depression, otherwise they would talk about their families, their children or friends, their hobby. Watch them - to spot which problems they have. You will quickly see and feel that you are really lucky not having problems like they have, and that they are probably very miserable people. Treat their strengths, as well as weaknesses, with respect;

  • Most probably, they behave this ugly way only when then gather in groups of more than one. If you like drinking coffee, do not hesitate and invite each for coffee, one by one, and have a chat with them about things you found out they are interested in, and exploring their issues. People usually like to talk about themselves, if you will get them interested - I repeat - in one-on-one chat - they will stop participating in mocking action.

  • Maybe it is good idea to chat with your boss about this issue (if he or she does not know about it). But remember - these issues can not be solved by administrative action. Your boss should be informed about it at least, because he or she should know the reason for your possible under-performance.


Adding to the Comments, I'd say intially keep your distance from them and ignore them completely. They might get a hint and stop bullying you.

If they still approach you just to bully you, report them to your Supervisor and Human Resources Personnel via Email as your co-workers are highly unprofessional and are office bullies.

If your Supervisor or Human Resources somehow does not take any action or if your co-workers still bully you after you've reported them, just resign.

Your mental health is taking a hit from all that bullying and its not worth staying at a company that tolerates such behavior.


As others have said HR might be a good option. Depends on what you want. Telling HR isn't going to change how they feel about you nor are you going to feel like you're respected by them, but if you're not comfortable with assimilating into this culture you should probably tell HR.

It seems like this company has a close culture where people joke around a lot and make fun of each other. I don't know your particular situation, but if you're asking how to do deal with this as "one of the guys", don't let them get away with that. That doesn't mean tell them to stop, it means when they make fun of your shirt you snap back with "Ok Bob, I'll make sure to return it your mother when I see her tonight" type of talk. Chances are they will find that hilarious and will think twice before shooting off some insult as they don't want to be embarrassed when you destroy them with your response. Next thing I'd do is pin them against each other, find the guy that's obviously into his image and has a fancy car, don't compliment him on it, instead compliment the guy with the crappy car. By sitting their and doing nothing you're playing all defense and if you've played Starcraft you know very well that you don't win unless you play some offense.

I do a bit of joking like that with the guys at work, but we don't do it to people that don't understand it, or don't want it. I imagine if people at work joked around like that all day every day it would get annoying and I'd probably quit.

Oh and stop hanging around them all the time, show interest in other things or people. Maybe occasionally walk by when they are drinking coffee, shoot off some funny comment and then go sit somewhere else and look busy. You gotta stop being the easy target.


I was in a similar situation once. I started working for this company I was 32 at the time and everyone I worked with including my supervisor were 25 or younger.

Everyday for the first couple years were shear torture, I hated going into work, I hated getting out of bed, I hated everyone I worked with, but I needed the job, It was an IT job and having a mostly Linux background finding a company that was more Linux that Windows was hard enough. Also I was out of work for almost 6 month before I got the job so quitting really wasn't an option.

These people were horrible, everything I knew was wrong, and instead of explain how I was wrong they would mock me and often leave little gifts for me on my desk when I would come in, pink slips, rainbow bright stickers, once there was a cane although a nice one still not nice, one day I am pretty sure there was semen on my chair, which I quickly replaced.

We didn't really have an HR, and the person who was our HR would have only joined in if she knew what was happening.

The CEO hired me, I'm really not sure why to this day, I didn't have half the experience my other co-worker had, yes they were indeed smarter than I was, I was not assertive, I was not aggressive, I was quiet kept to myself, wanted to learn as much as I could, which is why I was there.

So I used that, I studied, everyday they would mock me for not knowing something I would go home and research everything I could about what it was, talk to friends, post of the SE to get more insight to what I was missing, over time, about 6 months, it started to settle down, It never really stopped I was still someone's punching bag one day to the next but I was learning which is why I was there.

Before I go down memory road, decide why you are there if you need to be there. If you don't need to be there look for a job while you have a job, and if you do need to be there keep your head down, don't worry about making friends at work, they probably are not people you want to be friends with anyway.

Take the time to be the best at what you do, then people can say what they want, honestly acting like none of it bothers you really does work, laugh at yourself, go home and cry in your pillow and then get up and do it all over again, It gets better trust me.


There is something I want to add to the other answers. You describe yourself like that:

I'm a very softly spoken, respectful, honorable, decent, innocent, and polite man who never hurts anyone, never strikes back with bad answers, and never makes fun of others.

I am not judging. But there is no human being without a dark side. It is always there - even if we try to hide it from ourselves. We are just built like that - no reason for shame. If you are indeed behaving the way you described, it could be, that you are targeting that dark side against yourself instead of others. I am telling you this because this can contribute to your depressive feelings - regardless where you work. Also, depression tends to change the way one perceives the world and people. So a reality check from a neutral person is quite healthy.

You said you were thinking about quitting life, take this serious! Get yourself a counselor. He/She can help you to manage your depression and can give you far better advice, how to handle your colleges in a way that is compatible for you, than we ever could.

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