We’ve all dealt with bullies at one time or another. But, it can be especially difficult when the bully is your boss. After all, it’s not like you can ignore him or avoid direct contact.
Bullies believe they can maintain control if they use hate and fear as weapons. They appear self-confident and strong because they intimidate weaker people. If you act afraid or react with rage, then that proves to them that you are inferior and “deserve” to be disparaged.
When bosses belittle you, your best defense is an offense. You must stand up to the bully.
What You’re Thinking
My boss tortures me with emotional blackmail. My stomach is in knots just thinking about seeing him in the office. He has me right where he wants me—I’ll never get a raise or move up unless I do as he says. I can’t afford to upset him, so I just hide my anger and try not to take it out on my loved ones at home. I can’t stand being so upset and on edge.
A Bully’s Thoughts
Barb makes me so mad. The whole office staff is so weak and stupid. No one can think on their own. I have to tell them how to do everything. Well, I sure told Barb the other day. That issue is not negotiable. I must prove I am right. If I frighten her now and show her how weak she is, then she will know how strong I am.
Protect your job by redeeming your self-esteem and thereby gaining the Bully’s respect. Stop accepting the situation. Arm yourself with friendliness and self-confidence and avoid a clash of wills.
Boss: You’re flat out wrong. You’d better just listen and do as you’re told, or today will be your last day.
You: Okay, boss, I see you don’t agree. Of course, you have the final say, but it would seem that—(Boss interrupts, but you continue, interrupting the interrupter.)
You: Excuse me, I’m not through. Give me 30 seconds to finish this point…. (Keep talking without pause so that the boss cannot interrupt you, again, before you share your idea.)
Our grandmas were right: You can catch more flies with honey.
Copyright© 2016 Amy Cooper Hakim