In most cases, you can turn the situation around. This is my specialty, what I help people do.
There are two elements to work on. One is internal, your nervous system. The other is external, how you communicate with your boss.
The internal aspect is basically finding tools that allow you to gain more control over your nervous system - to disengage from the anxiety and calm yourself - when interacting with your boss.
The most effective tools are mind/body, so breathing, posture, soothing touch techniques. These are the things that help you regain control over your physiological threat response, so you’re not at the mercy of the other person.
The external aspect, communication, is equally important. Change the way you listen and talk to your boss. Using negotiation techniques, such as those taught by Chris Voss (former FBI hostage negotiator), you can get your boss to respect you more and get them to do what you want, i.e. be a better boss to you.
It’s not always possible to save your job. Sometimes, if you’ve reached a “breaking point,” you can’t recover from it and the only solution is to leave. The earlier you start using these techniques, the more effective they are.
Ultimately, no matter what, these techniques are worth learning because leaving one difficult boss doesn’t guarantee anything for your future. The only thing that matters is your ability to show up calm and confident, with skills to make other people feel understood and skills to get them to empathize with you.
First ask yourself why you feel the need to convince them.
Then ask yourself why they feel the need to believe in God.
Then accept that convincing them is not actually going to make either of your lives better.
If at some point they stop needing to believe in God, they will. If at some point you start needing to believe in God, you will.
There's a story about a soldier who said that when people are about to die, their beliefs switch.
When his military unit went into combat, in a situation in which they thought they were going to die, the religious ones yelled, “There's no good!” while the atheists bowed their heads and start praying.
Our beliefs are necessary for us to live our lives, until they aren’t.
It’s called “cognitive offloading.”
When you write something down, you’re using a piece of paper to store information, which would otherwise be held onto by the brain.
If it’s stored somewhere else (or in someone else’s brain when you tell them about it), you don’t have to remember the actual information anymore. You just have to remember where it’s stored.
Frustration and anxiety are emotions, and emotions are global (brain-wide) evaluations of our level of aliveness.
Negative emotions indicate a decrease in our aliveness (or potential aliveness), and positive emotions indicate an increase.
Emotions themselves only last 90 seconds or so.
What keeps them circulating and replaying is the story we tell ourselves about them. The story triggers the emotions, and the emotions trigger the story.
When you offload the story, the emotion can fade more easily because your brain is not holding on as deeply to all the information related to the emotion.
Soothing touch techniques. One is called "Havening."
The basic idea is to put your hands on opposite shoulders, and then rub down the backs of your arms to your elbows. Then lift the hands and replace them on your opposite shoulders, and rub down to the elbows again. Repeat over and over.
While doing this, you can repeat a mantra in your mind that you want to believe. “I am safe. I am powerful. I am infinite.” Anything that you want to believe. There are more complex techniques that work even better, but this is a really good start and super easy to do.
They are doing it because they feel threatened, which makes them act in automatic and aggressive (or passive aggressive) ways.
This makes you feel threatened, which makes you act in automatic and aggressive (or passive aggressive) ways.
It's a downward spiral that needs to be interrupted by physiological safety.
The way to interrupt it is by working directly on your brain. There are techniques out there for training the nervous system to reduce its threat response.
Before an interaction with that person, or just right when you get into work, find a space to be alone.
Put your hands up like you're punching the sky, and take 10 deep breaths.
Then do some Havening (Google it). Bring your hands to opposite shoulders, and rub down your upper arms to your elbows. It creates a relaxation response and shifts the frequencies of your brain rhythms to a calm, sleep like state.
There are more complex techniques like this you can do to train your nervous system not to feel threatened by this person.
The goal is, when you interact with them, to have it be from a feeling of safety and confidence, which will allow them to feel safe and be a better, more collaborative version of themselves.
Why do I get irritated so easily? When I do, I feel like I'm losing it. I started hitting things, yelling, and wanting to be alone.
You most likely have physical discomfort in your body (likely in your stomach, back, or chest).
Start to notice your physical sensations when you're irritated. Once you've figured them out, then you have a more direct line to the issue.
Use exercise, soothing self touch techniques (like Havening), or a hot shower, something to relax and create healthy positive sensations in your body.
One thing to further consider is the difficulty of putting our attention on uncomfortable physical sensations.
It’s literally the least enjoyable thing to pay attention to. It’s literally viscerally upsetting.
There’s a kind of finality about it, a terror of mortality.
That's because discomfort in the torso does reduce our life energy. It deadens us a little.
And of course, for some reason, our brains hide from us the fact that these things are connected. It’s somehow not built into our awareness that internally generated physical sensations are the vehicles of emotion flow.
But if you change the visceral sensations in your torso, you change the emotions behind your eyes.
What should I do? I looked through my friends phone because I thought she was talking behind my back - and she was - she found out and now she hates me. How do I get her to be my friend again, even though I've said sorry hundreds of times?
Aren't you angry at her too for talking behind your back?
You both did things to hurt the relationship. Things won't get better unless you both decide to own your part and apologize.
Yes, you should keep apologizing for breaking her trust. AND you have to make it known that you feel hurt by her being dishonest with you.
AND you need to make it known that you want to repair things and continue the relationship.
AND you need to be ok with her not wanting to meet you in this task.
Why we she taking about you? What was she getting out of it? You need to truly understand this, and she needs to be clear for herself about it too, otherwise she'll just keep doing it to you and her other friends.
If you tell her everything and then let it go, she'll come back eventually and tell you her story. Then you can listen, and that will help.
If you're too anxious to go to a therapist, don't go yet.
Find a video that soothes and inspires you. Watch it. Take gentle, deep breaths while you do.
Then find another. Watch that one. Breathe and know that because you are alive, every day is new.
Then talk to someone you feel safe with.
Ask them if they have any good sources (videos) for help with anxiety.
At some point, your brain will learn from your positive actions that you are braver you thought.
Find the smallest steps and take them. As you build bits of momentum, the next steps are less effortful.
I have social anxiety. I begin my first job tomorrow but I'm super nervous and shaking. I can't stop thinking about it. And now I don't want to go. I'm going to feel so uncomfortable and I will be shaking. What can I do to not feel like that?
The best way to do thinking is to DO something that uses all of yourself.
Your whole mind and body.
If your anxiety gets real bad at work, go outside and run around the block while singing a song in your head.
I also recommend soothing self touch. Give yourself a hug and a fake makeout session.
Rub your arms and torso as if you were soothing a baby, while singing a song in your head.
Get the body to feel loved, and do something that uses your whole mind, and your emotions will change.
Dave Wolovsky, MS CAPP
Relationships Coach, answering the internet's questions about all kinds of relationships.