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.
Dave Wolovsky, MS CAPP
Relationships Coach, answering the internet's questions about all kinds of relationships.