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