Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 9/30/2006 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
The last week or so has been pretty stressful.  My aunt was diagnosed with cancer.  And one of my bosses has been treating me like dirt again.  It's the same old song and dance about rewriting things I've already writen, putting me down in front of others, and now yelling at me.  It really sucks.  I spoke with my therapist and she asked me if it had gotten to the point where I thought I should start looking for a new job.  I told her no.  That for the past 8 years I've always been scared to death of confrontation and that I thought it would be very helpful if I could find a way to talk to her and work some of this out.  My therapist cautioned me that confrontation can be stressful for anyone, but if I was conscious of how I interact with others and that my relationship with my boss in some ways mirrors my relationship with my mother (which I just picked up on while I was driving to my therapist that same day) and as long as I take small steps and don't deal with everything all at once and  keep in mind that some of what I may be reacting to may not have anything to do with my boss, but much more to do with my mother, then she thought it would be a healthy step for me.  Especially, since I could learn some skills and techniques that I could also use when dealing with my mom.  But, I'm scared.
 
I'm really stressed out even thinking about it.  I've had an unbelieveable headache all day.  I had the best intentions of going hiking today, but I never made out of town.  I ended up at the library typing this up, since I guess I needed to sit down and reflect much more than I needed to commune with nature.   
 
 
 

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 10/1/2006 5:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sadsong, I'm sorry to hear you have had a bad week. Your thearpist may be right in alot of respects and it does make alot of sense. However....
I too had a problem dealing with confrontation and standing up for myself in the past and had a boss much like the one you describe. She would constantly change things I had already done or want them done in a differant way. It always bothered me and I didnt say anything to her for the longest time...but eventually I realized that she actually had a problem with needing to control everything, and was on the point of being OCD. I did end up talking to her about it and whenever she wanted something changed she would explain to me why and we could discuss it...and I could understand that it wasnt that I actually did it wrong.  Also, there were times when she did become stressed and yell at me...no matter if it was at manager meetings or on the phone. The first few times I let it go and had hurt feelings and avoided talking to her & ignored that it happened even though I was still hurt but eventually when this behavior of hers continued I started to call her on it and even a few times yelled back and hung up on her.  Maybe not the best way to handle it at the time tongue .  I did end up leaving my job that I had been at for 11 years as it was so stressful and I was physically sick and couldnt handle it anymore...but I was so relieved to get away from her.
Never should your supervisor yell at you or put you down for any reason.  I was in a management position and I didnt treat any of my employees that way and wouldnt think too.  It is degrading and demeaning to you as a person and your position.  You have to put a stop to it. Is the the same boss you have had a problem with before and already spoken to about some of these issues?  If so then I would suggest another sit down with them, put your thoughts of what you what to discuss on paper and what you will not tolerate such as yelling at you and putting you down in front of others and be firm when talking to them.  Chances are they are doing this to you because they know they can get away with it from you and you have to put a stop to it.  You are a stong woman and can stand up for yourself...reach down inside and pull your confidence out.  I know it is in there.
Start to document all of these things in a notebook or something, as you may eventually want to look at filing a grievance or perhaps transfer to a differant position if talking to this supervisor doesnt help.  But trust me if they are doing these things and saying these things in front of other people then they take notice of the supervisors behavior and it isnt favorable for them at all.
We are always here as you know...as am I
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and try not to stress too much...Hugs :-)

Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 10/1/2006 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Els -
 
Thanks so much for your response.  Yes, it is the same boss that I've had problems with in the past.  The thing is the last time we sat down to discuss stuff, I never got a chance to go through my list of concerns.  My boss just apologized a bunch and acknowledged that she had a problem with control and said that if I ever wanted to talk some more all I needed to do was ask...  I mean she didn't say she would try to be less controlling, she just told me that I was doing a great job. 
 
I'd really like to be a stronger more confident person around her, but for whatever reason I've become this scared little girl that just gets beat up whenever I try to speak up to her.  (The same kind of feelings I get when I try to stand up to my mom.)  And I have no idea if her boss notices this, since he is a very hands-off kind of guy.  While, she's been in her position for the past 15 years and no one in the department can seem to work very long with her.  (I think the longest person who has worked directly with her is my other boss and he's only been in his position for the past 3 years or so.  And a 1 1/2 years of those he was on leave.)  I think she does has some OCD tendencies, but i don't think she would very acknowledge that.
 
I guess I am just in complete and utter amazement when she starts yelling at me.  I mean we all work in a very small space and everyone can hear each other's phone conversations much less yelling.  Just the other day while I was tacking a poster onto an old poster board for my other boss, she says "You can't use that!"  I mean there are a ton a other ways to deal with a situation rather than treating me like a child and all I could respond with was, I'm not taping anything directly onto this one, I've covered up the display with paper and I'm attaching the poster onto the paper, rather than what's already on the poster board.  And ya know what she just continues on her rampage with "I need that for this weekend."  And come to find out she doesn't need it for this weekend, but the following weekend, but never even apologized.   
 
On a positive note, I went for a drive in the mountains to go leaf peeping.  The colors are absolutely spectatular!  I swear even though it was raining the colors were even more vibrant!  :) 

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 10/2/2006 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   

Wow Sadsong that is a terrible situation.  It sounds like she knows she has a problem with self control and most likely thinks no one can do things as well as she.  Maybe the next time she yells at you try saying something like "dont yell at me" or "there is no need for you to yell at me" calmly, instead of explaining yourself.  Not that you did wrong but maybe if you just once put her in her place she will back off and think twice before jumping on you like that.  Does she treat anyone else like that?

It does make sense about projecting some of your feeling from your mom to your boss...maybe the personalities or control issues are the same?....I dont know.  You took a trip and got some self confidence from that, right?...now perhaps maybe look into something that will give you inner strength and self confidence.  Like maybe a self defense course?...you can talk to your therapist about it and see what kind of things are available in your area for you like that.  I dont have many ideas as I live in rural area and there are not many options here and I am having brain fog this am..lol!

I am glad you had a good drive looking at the leaves.  Ours are turning too but slowly as we havent had any rain.  I have noticed that we are swamped with butterflies...they are everywhere and soooo beautiful!

I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful Monday...Hugs


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 10/6/2006 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been trying to notice how other people interact with her and how she responses and it's interesting.  It seems like the most effective response is humor.  I haven't directly worked with her lately, since I've been overwhelmed with other stuff, but I have noticed that I am only person who allows her to treat themselves like crap.  I mean, I'm usually soft spoken and rather shy at work.  I also usually defer to my bosses and make sure I run most things by them, since I don't like confrontation, especially when I screw up. 
 
It's very interesting to watch how she interacts with our newest employee.  Since, come to find out neither myself nor our newest "rookie" was her number one choice.  So, I'm constantly baffled when I see my boss take time out of her day to show the rookie how to do things that she should know how to do.  Or when my boss doesn't have any changes to a document that the rookie has just finished, but it's as plain as day that there are sentence fragments and clarification needed.
 
I do think that her boss notices how she interacts with people, since he attends all of our meetings.  I mean I think there is a clear difference between how I act when I'm around her and when I'm around my other boss.  Plus, her boss is within ear shot of all of our desks.

stronglady4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 10/6/2006 10:45 AM (GMT -7)   

Sadsong, I totally get that Bambi in the headlights feeling when a boss yells at you.  I am so amazed that anyone would do that that my brain goes to mush.  I am working for someone now who has  a tendency to yell when he gets stressed.  During the first few days I worked for him I worked into a conversation an experience that happened at another job when an employee was yelled at and how unacceptable I thought it was.  I have been here a year now and he yelled at me once.  I backed him down with facts (I didn't yell back at him) and he totally got it.

If you boss has acknowledged that she has a problem it is a great opening for you to tell you that you have a few things that you need to say and you need her to listen to all of it.  Then don't leave until you have finished.  Els gave you great advice and I know you can do it. 


Stronglady4me
Walk in harmony

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