Work nightmare. Your boss is crazy person. We can’t say it any other way.

Some of the most successful careers I’ve witnessed have been born of women who are able to overcome one of the scariest situations – the very bad boss. It’s not an easy process – it requires focusing more time and attention on on a very frustrating situation, and hardest of all, taking yourself out of the vortex of victimhood.

Yes. Victimhood. I would make the case that bad bosses can be a choice. They will ruin your life ONLY if you let them. To prevent that happening, you can start by answering these 4 questions:

1. Who’s the bad one – really? This question requires some brutal honesty. Bad bosses do exist but most managers aren’t critical, bullying, withholding etc with people they like. If your boss is being a thorn in your side, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself if there is something about your performance or attitude is engendering that behaviour.

2. What’s the future for your boss? – In other words, how much do you trust your company? If they’re any good, they know about your bad boss and are working on an exit strategy. This process is likely to take longer than you want it to, so focus your energy on keeping your head down and doing a good job. It’s a different situation if your company tolerates bad behaviour…read on.

3. Do you want to work for a company that tolerates bad bosses? – The simple answer should be no. I don’t know of anyone who likes the idea of giving half her waking hours, if not more, to an organisation she doesn’t respect. But, if the company you’re working at is really the only gig in town for time being, there’s just one question left to ask yourself…

4. What is your password? – If you decide to stay working for a bad boss, you can come up with a password that lets you into an emotional place where you do not ride your bad boss experience like a roller coaster. It might be something like “This too will pass” or “I cannot have it all, all at the same time”. With a password you’ll still have bad days but you’ll take yourself out of the vortex of victimhood.

No one can take your happiness or your success away.

Tamarisk Saunders-Davies is the founder of Two Chairs Counselling, a niche therapy practice that helps women whose lives look great on paper but suck in real life figure out how to have happier, more fulfilling lives.

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