Moment of Clarity: My Boss is A Monster
We understand. Sometimes, problems with romantic relationships, friendships, career or family life get you down. And we want to help. That’s why JET is working with therapist, Jinnie Cristerna, who will take your questions and offer some sage, sanity-restoring advice every Tuesday.
You can submit your own question via our contact form and don’t fret, we’ll keep your name and identity confidential. First up, we have a question from a reader we’ll call “Don’t Want to Get Arrested.”
My boss makes work a living hell! He talks to me like I am nothing and then wants me to help him get out of the messes he makes. One day I was going to punch him in his face for calling me stupid. Please tell me how to deal with this fool before I get arrested!
Jinnie’s Response to “Don’t Want to Get Arrested”:
To say that you are angry would be an understatement and I can see why – stupid is a loaded word! Nonetheless, whenever it gets to the point of wanting to put our hands on someone, it is definitely time to take a minute, so I am glad you reached out.
The first thing to keep in mind is you can only control you. You may be unable to control what others do, but you can control how you respond. In this situation, one of two things could be happening: 1) You really pissed off your boss and you didn’t get the memo, or 2) Something happened to them and they are projecting how they feel about themselves or another situation onto you.
In either case, you CAN do something about how you respond to the situation. Your response may in turn positively affect how your boss feels about and treats you in the future. Before you begin ‘doing’ anything, take a few minutes to think: When was the last time you and your boss really got along with each other? What was good in the relationship at that time? Then remember the situation right after that when the relationship changed, what happened?
Those two memories serve as the time frame wherein something happened. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to figure out what “THAT” was.
Now, it is important that you read what I am about to write VERY carefully and answer the question honestly:
Could you have done anything to warrant your boss’ reaction? If you did, you need to own it. Owning your role means you take full responsibility for your behavior without excuse. If you did not do anything, then chances are your boss may be going through a tough time. Either way, both of you need to address the relationship as it stands and figure out how to better deal with challenges moving forward.
Regardless of whether or not you did something that warrants their reaction, you should talk with your boss (use your best judgment regarding your approach). Let your boss know that you notice either a change or a problem in the relationship and you have been thinking about it. Ask if you both could talk about what may have happened between you. This should open the door to a decent conversation.
Do you have a question for Jinnie? Submit it to us via the contact us form. You can also learn more about our “Moment of Clarity” JET therapist via:
Her site at International High Achievers.