Boss Driving You Crazy?

Posted November 1, 2012 by Rebecca Niziol in On the Ladder

When you have a leader in your life that inspires and motivates, work can feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. On the other hand, we’ve all had that boss that makes your entire life a complete hell.

If you find you are spending all your therapy sessions, workouts, happy hours, and waking moments thinking or complaining about how your boss is screwing you, admit it… you’re wasting a whole bunch of energy on him or her. Those are precious thoughts and minutes that you can’t get back. But, it can often feel like until you get beyond this, nothing is going to make you excited to go to work. You’re likely drained at the end of each and every day. You may be noticing your productivity has dropped. And likely others have noticed that either you’ve been “checking out” — mentally or physically — by actually leaving early, which can put your job at jeopardy.

Now it is completely normal to spend a healthy amount of time stewing over your situation. That’s your system’s way of coming up with a fight-or-flight plan.  But what if there was another option beyond leaving or continuously living in conflict?

Before you say “Screw this!”, lets figure out what you can do with all of your energy going towards hating your boss. You care about your job, you want to excel, and you want to do it in a way that builds lasting relationships. Realize that staying pissed off at the big dog isn’t fun, helpful, or making your job an easier. By re-purposing some of the fiery hatred into something more worthwhile, you will be making choices that actually help your job.

I’m laying out some options beyond ditch it or kick it, but obviously leaving or staying and fighting are options too. Warning: You might not want to do these actions at first, because it requires you to move beyond being right. Blow off some of your steam (pick a girlfriend to gush too, or take a kickboxing class), then move to these. I’ll start with the easiest/simplest one and move towards the more difficult.

My Top 5 Choices for Overcoming Your Crazy Boss:

  1. Take responsibility  – Own your actions and your part of the equation here. No one can push your buttons without your permission. Doing this instantly gives you a little more power in any situation. Drop an F-bomb, as Gabrielle Bernstein calls it, by forgiving your boss’s mistakes to free yourself from those conflict shackles. If you feel like your situation is particularly heavy, this is great option to shift into a more positive mindset.
  1. Express concern – Your boss may be surprised by your sudden compassion, but it will be much appreciated. This other person is likely under huge amounts of stress just like you (and therefore not operating at his or her best all the time). Give your boss a break, and offer up some help. Be sure not to just “kill them with kindness,” as that can come across as fake. Genuinely offer support, and expect nothing in return this one time.
  1. Look for opportunities  – Take this situation with your boss as one of the coolest challenges that’s been thrown at you. You can absolutely handle this, and make the most out of it. Flip it to the positive by looking at potential possibilities. By broadening your perspective, you may come up with an amazing solution that knocks you and your boss’s socks off!
  1. Work as a unit, not as individuals – When you work together, you often create something better than you could’ve as individuals. Instead of allowing your differences to create tension, use them to look at anything more holistically (from all angles). Your boss probably knows or sees something you don’t, and vice versa. By embracing all viewpoints you can connect in a way like never before, use each other’s strengths, and enjoy working together for once.
  1. Remove Judgment – It really comes down to the fact that you are judging your boss. You’re only human, and so is he/she. Judging is a natural tendency we’ve all become really great at. But, it builds up walls and separation between people. If you can move beyond judgment and see the situation with your boss as what it is (look at the facts), you will be released from any negative thoughts or emotions. Suddenly it won’t even seem like a problem. This is the one of the most difficult things to do, but when you are able to (try it out in a meditation), you will access an unlimited ability to create and express your passion at work like never before. Nothing will hold you back.

Say good-bye to pulling your hair out and sending death wishes to your boss. I believe you can rise above your conflict, and see you and your boss as two perfectly imperfect human beings brought together for a reason. If nothing else, treat your boss as you would your mother… unless your mom is crazy.


About the Author

Rebecca Niziol

Rebecca Niziol, ELI-MP, is many things: a life coach, yoga teacher, dancer, event planner, connection catalyst, and your new best friend. Her mission is to empower others to live the authentic life of their dreams. After years of traveling North America and Europe, she is happy to have found a home and community in Chicago.