Try to keep your cool when responding to bullying boss
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Monday, January 28, 2013
1/28/13 at 4:01 AM
Dear Doctor K: My boss constantly insults me at work. It's subtle, but real. What can I do?
Dear Reader: If someone insults you once, it's easy to dismiss him or her as obnoxious, brush off the incident and move on. But when this kind of treatment is ongoing, moving on isn't as easy. Stopping these insults may not be within your power, especially when the perpetrator is your boss. But you can control how you react.
Going through life as a punching bag isn't healthy, but lashing out can also be stressful. Here are some tips that may help you to defend yourself enough to sleep well at night - without jeopardizing your job:
Be strategic. When you're insulted, don't react immediately. Think through the consequences of acting or not acting. Use timing as a strategic tool. Most of us are not quick enough to instantly come up with the perfect retort. Instead, say something later, after you've considered your response.
Get some perspective Sometimes it's hard to know if you're overreacting. Getting someone else's perspective can help. Or give yourself time to reflect on the situation when you're not in the heat of the moment.
Take the high road Respond to rude behavior with extreme politeness. This allows you to maintain your own dignity.
Consider one response after several incidents Instead of responding to a single incident, wait for several incidents. Then confront the boss with each of them. When you do it this way, you're talking about a pattern of behavior that it's harder for the boss to dismiss.
Let off some (healthy) steam Find a healthy outlet for your anger. Try martial arts, for example, or a good kick-boxing class.
Change what you can Don't be a passive victim. You have the power to respond.
Read the informative new e-book "Overcome Prejudice at Work," written by my Harvard Medical School colleague Dr. Ranna Parekh, along with Carl Bell and Karen Weintraub. You can learn more about this book at tulsaworld.com/DrK
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106